Most of us don’t think much about what “mother’s milk” actually is once we start forming memories. I was nursed until I was three years old and have zero recollection of the process. A good thing. But mother’s milk provides us with our first bits of life-sustaining nutrition—vital to healthy development. The rich array of nutrients found in milk include important growth factors, antimicrobials, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and many other properties that are the building blocks to proper development and growth.
Those first drops of milk are full of a nutrient-dense fluid called colostrum. Colostrum is produced in abundance in the very first milkings. It provides the newborn with a rich dose of immunoglobulins, a class of proteins present in the serum and cells of the immune system that function as antibodies.
Colostrum really is our first drop of super food.
You’re probably thinking: “Great!” Or maybe: “Gross!” Or: “Why does this matter to me now?”
About two months ago I had an epiphany. I recently found out that I was pregnant and all of my dietary dogma went out the window. I wanted dairy… and more dairy. Nothing soothed my stomach and gave me more energy than a little pot of grassed yogurt or a few slices of high quality cheese. I followed my gut. Why was I craving it? My conclusion is that dairy was the perfect combination of fat and protein that my body needed to sustain fetal development. Babies aren’t made from greens and grasses after all. So I went with it. Through my research I started to familiarize myself with colostrum. If I was going to eat dairy, I wanted it to be the healthiest and most nutrient dense source. Although it may seem a bit strange at first colostrum really is one of nature’s most perfect foods. It is sometimes called ‘immune milk.’ It is perfect for those early stages of motherhood, or for a nourishing boost of creaminess added to your favorite dessert or smoothie.
So I got weird and ordered fresh colostrum online from an underground raw dairy source in Los Angeles (don’t cringe!). If you don’t have the underground goods, you can order the powdered version online and substitute it 1 to 1.
With summer almost around the corner, we’ve created an ice cream recipe that can serve as the perfect foray into your colostrum eating adventures.
VANILLA BEAN COLOSTRUM ICE CREAM
- 2 cups coconut milk or raw dairy milk
- 1⁄2 cup cashews
- 1 tablespoon colostrum
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1⁄4 cup honey
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- large pinch of sea salt
In a high speed blender, blend all ingredients until smooth.
Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.