End of Summer Patio Dinner

end of summer patio dinner salad, cherry tomatoes, bocconcini

Happy September 1st!   The end of summer is nearing, but there is still plenty of time for eating dinner outside in the setting sun and enjoying the bounty of local produce that is in season.

We always recommend eating dairy in moderation because it can cause congestion, inflammation, and irritate the digestive system.  However, we do love cheese, particularly when it's organic, local and raw.  Consuming cheese made with organic raw milk is the best choice if you are going to eat dairy, because many of the beneficial bacteria, digestive enzymes and healthy vitamins are destroyed when milk is heated during the pasteurization process.  The enzymes in raw milk actually help the body to properly digest it.  When milk is homogenized, the fat molecules are mechanically broken apart creating a smooth liquid. This prevents the fat molecules and liquid milk from separating and forming a layer of cream on top. However, when these fat molecules are altered they become much smaller and are no longer digested normally.  Instead, they can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream.  The small fat molecules are often carrying small protein molecules, which then also bypass digestion and go directly into the bloodstream.  This can lead to inflammation in the arteries, as the body reacts, recognizing the small fat and undigested protein molecules as foreign substances.

Unfortunately, it's not always possible to find cheese made from raw, organic milk, which is why we suggest limiting dairy intake.  Once in a while, it is still important to let yourself enjoy the foods that you love!  The following recipe uses an organic, local bocconcini cheese, as well as other local vegetables that are in season here in Ontario.  If you do not have access to a farmer's market, you can replace these items with produce from your grocery store!

End of Summer Bocconcini and Greens Salad

bocconcini summer salad, local tomatoes, local greens, raw milk, raw dairy

10 small bocconcini cheese balls
4 cups local, organic salad greens mix (if you are able to shop at a farmer's market)
1/2 cup local, organic cherry tomatoes (if you are able to shop at a farmer's market)
large handful fresh, local, organic basil

Dressing: 
1 lemon, juiced
2 - 4 Tbsp olive oil
sea salt to taste

Directions:
1. Rinse off the tomatoes and chop in halves.
2. Chop the bocconcini in halves.
3. Rinse off the basil and chop finely.
4. Add all ingredients to a bowl.
5. Drizzle lemon juice and olive oil over top with a sprinkle of sea salt.