Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Paneer Cheese and Its Health Benefits!

posted by Karen Jean Matkso Hood
Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Paneer, also called Indian cheese, can be produced from the milk of sheep, goats, cows, and other mammals. It is prepared by heating raw whole milk and then adding food acid (usually lemon juice, vinegar, or citric acid) to it to separate the curds from the whey. When the milk coagulates, the curds are drained and the excess liquid is pressed out. It is similar to Ricotta cheese except that it is in block form. The resulting paneer is dipped in chilled water for 2–3 hours to give it a good texture and appearance.

From this point, the preparation of paneer in India diverges based on its use and regional variation. In most cuisines, the curds are wrapped in cloth and placed under a heavy weight, such as a stone slab, for 2 to 3 hours and then cut into cubes for use in curries. Pressing for a shorter time (approximately 20 minutes) results in a softer, fluffier cheese.

In Eastern Indian and Bangladeshi cuisines, the curds are beaten or kneaded by hand into a dough-like consistency. In these regions, it is distinguished from ponir, a salty semi-hard cheese with a sharper flavor and high salt content. Hard ponir is typically eaten in slices at teatime with biscuits or various types of bread, or deep-fried in a light batter. In the area surrounding the Gujarati city of Surat, surti paneer is made by draining the curds and ripening them in whey for 12 to 36 hours.

Health Benefits

Paneer, prepared by the most simple method, has many health benefits and it is good to know about them.  Indian cheese is a treasure of good nutritional elements.  It is easy to digest and can be used in a number of preparations.  It is used in most Indian homes.  Paneer can be used in sweets, savories, and in gravies of dishes too.

Indian cheese is a rich source of calcium.  This helps in building strong teeth and bones. Paneer has the health benefit of helping to prevent osteoporosis, which is a curse of old age. Women who have attained menopause and men above the age of 65 should make it a rule to include such foods in their diet to get 25% of calcium through food.

Paneer eaten in moderation could help reduce weight.  It is good to note that many people who wish to lose weight include Indian cheese in their daily diet.

Paneer also gives the health benefits of reducing the development of Insulin Resistance Syndrome.  Hence, it is all about tackling the problem of insulin-dependent diabetes.
Including paneer in one’s daily diet helps to give the health benefit of providing the protein required by the body for growth and renewal.

It is, however, also interesting to note that Indian culture believes that paneer cheese provides protection against cancer.  Equally interesting is Indian culture states that this cheese helps prevent stomach disorders in people as they grow older.  One thing that health practitioners can agree on is that paneer is a storehouse of calcium, which has the benefit of making bones stronger and helping prevent brittle bones as we age.  Since it promotes strong bones, paneer also helps to prevent and reduce back and joint problems.

To conclude, anyone who has realized the health benefits of paneer should make it a rule to include this delightful cheese in their diet.  The ways in which Indian cheese can be used are many and varied and most people would enjoy the taste and flavor also.  We definitely enjoy cooking with paneer here at Mountain Valley View Farm, Inc. and the Getaway Studio.

Please note that Mountain Valley View Farm, Inc. is working very hard to become a licensed WSDA Grade A Dairy!  We are currently following all their guidelines to produce safe goat milk and goat milk products.  We are following the law here at Mountain Valley View Farm, Inc. and we will not sell any goat milk until our WSDA license is finalized and approved.  In the meantime, we are making and testing various cheese recipes for our family.  When our license is finalized we will know exactly which is the best recipe to sell to our customers.

Please pre-order Paneer Cheese from Mountain Valley View Farm, Inc.

We will not sell any cheese until we officially receive our WSDA Grade A Dairy license.  Until then, we are keeping a waiting list of all future customers so we can also evaluate the volume of cheese we will need to plan for once we have our license.

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Mountain Valley View Farm, Inc.
Your Source for Northwest Farm Fresh Foods Shipped Worldwide
4301 South Chapman Road
Greenacres, Washington 99016-8732 USA
Phone (509) 928-1800 | Fax (509) 922-9949

Online Store:
Blog with us at

Mountain Valley View Farm Hours:

Monday – Saturday
8:00 a.m. – Noon; 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Time)
Closed Noon – 1:00 p.m.

Other farm hours by advance appointment only.
Please call (509) 928-1800 to schedule an appointment.

Getaway Studio Dining Room
& Bed and Breakfast
Phone (509) 928-8900

Directions to Mountain Valley View Farm, Inc.
From I-90 East or West
Take the Sullivan Exit (291B) – South for about 3 miles
Turn left on Saltese (east), and continue straight for .5 mile
Turn right on South Chapman Road (south), and proceed .9 mile
The farm will be on the left-hand side of the road – 4301 South Chapman Road


The History and Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate form Mountain Valley Farm

posted by Dr. James G. Hood
Friday, July 15, 2011


Historical and Archaeological records show that the cacao bean used in making modern chocolate has been used for thousands of years.  Mesoamericans, pre-Columbian Paleo-Indians dated to circa 3500 BCE, drank the cacao been ground with other ingredients to make a bitter beverage.  These ancient people whose remains are found in southern north America were originally hunter-gatherers who established agricultural settlements due in part to the cacao tree.  The Classic Maya Period (circa 250-900 CE) the ancestors to the Mesoamericans took the trees from the ancient rainforest settlements and replanted it into their fields to harvest, ferment, roast and grind the cacao seeds into a paste.

In the 1400’s, the Aztecs began trading for cacao or were given “tribute” in cacao seeds from those whose territories were conquered.  The Aztecs mixed the cacao with peppers and other native spices to create a beverage, much like their ancestors.  Most of these bitter drinks were consumed by rulers and royalty, and by priests while performing sacred ceremonies.  These seeds were also given to their gods as offerings.  It was during the conquests of the conquistadors in 1521 that the Spanish saw the benefits of cacao and imported it back home.  This would be the beginning of modern consumption of Cacao.  Within 100 years, cacao spread across Europe, and with the addition of sugar, a product unknown to the Americas, chocolate was born and quickly became loved by nearly all who consumed it.

Today, there are many forms of chocolate, mainly dark, milk and white.  Dark chocolate, has the purest cacao bean; milk chocolate, the most popular form of chocolate, includes milk and sugar which dilutes the cacao. White chocolate is a chocolate that contains no cacao at all.  And with so many marketed products, there are nearly as many urban legends about chocolate.  We hear that chocolate causes acne, causes cavities and headaches, gives consumers the jitters, and is an aphrodisiac.  Because of these claims, many studies have been done to find out what the properties of chocolate really achieve.  Below are the findings of various universities’ studies:

  • The Pennsylvania School of Medicine and US Naval Acadamy sought to find out the truth behind the claim that chocolate causes acne.  The result?  Cacao DOES NOT affect our skin; the many other added ingredients, however, can.
  • Chocolate has often been the blame of cavities; but, according to the Osaka University in Japan, “cacao contains antibacterial agents that actually fight tooth decay.”[1] It is the sugar from the mass production of the candy that can cause cavities.
  • At the University of Pittsburgh, studies were done to find out if chocolate should really be blamed for headaches.  An average headache IS NOT related to the consumption of chocolate.  As a matter of fact, the small amounts of stimulants found in processes cacao are also found in some headache medicines and, in fact, can stop headaches. Their studies do suggest that chocolate can trigger migraines.
  • The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found that the polyphenols (the antioxidants inhibiting oxidation of LDL or bad cholesterol) in red wine and green tea are comparable to the polyphenols in cacao.
  • Cocoa butter found naturally in dark chocolate, according to NUMEROUS studies, does not raise blood cholesterol levels; rather, it acts more like the monounsaturated fat found in olive oil.

In short, the benefits of dark chocolate are exemplary.  Much like medicines given to us for high blood pressure, headaches, coronary artery disease and so on, the consumption of dark chocolate is a natural way to keep out bodies in good health, without the concerns of side-affects from the synthetic alternative.


To learn about available Dark Chocolate Goodies:

Mountain Valley View Farm, Inc.

Organic Dark Chocolate Cookies & Fudge for Sale


Mountain Valley View Farm, Inc.

Your Source for Northwest Farm Fresh Foods Shipped Worldwide

4301 South Chapman Road

Greenacres, Washington 99016-8732 USA

Phone (509) 928-1800 | Fax (509) 922-9949



Blog with us at


Mountain Valley View Farm Hours:

Monday – Saturday (Pacific Time) 8:00 a.m. – Noon

Closed Noon – 1:00 p.m. Daily

1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Time)


Other farm hours by advance appointment only.

Please call (509) 928-1800 to schedule an appointment.

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[1] A Sweet Life.  “The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate.”  Accessed at: <> ©2011