Nosh by Naz: ’D’ is for Dairy

Recipe of the Month: Banoffee Pie

Recipe of the Month: Banoffee Pie

This month, I’m going to be looking at dairy products, in particular, milk.

I love all dairy products, probably because I was lactose intolerant as a child. They say that those people who are intolerant to particular foods end up craving them. So what is included in the dairy category? Traditionally, I have always thought of eggs as being a member of the dairy family, but technically eggs are not part of this food category. The standard definition of the term ‘dairy’ stipulates that it is ‘food stuff that is generated from milk’, hence my decision to focus on milk!

The Dairy Council in the UK recently launched an initiative ‘The Three a Day’ initiative stipulating that 3 portions of milk, yoghurt and cheese ‘could help top up daily vitamin and mineral levels, as well as providing most of the daily calcium needs, and a whole range of other nutrients’. At present, there are at least two and a half million people in the UK who do not meet the required calcium levels in their diet. Is there a problem with that? Well calcium is required for growing healthy teeth and bones. Prolonged deficiency in calcium in one’s diet could lead to brittle bones and eventually osteoporosis. The 3-A-Day initiative could manage the deficiency if a person consumed (for example):

  • A glass (200ml) of semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, and
  • A pot (150g) of low-fat yoghurt and
  • A match box sized (30g) piece of cheese

Milk is often known for being a ‘A meal in a glass’ as it has so many different nutrients. The diagram below indicates the different minerals and vitamins that a glass of milk can provide and there is an explanation of how they benefit the body as a whole.

Minerals and Nutrients in Milk

  • Calcium helps build and maintain strong bones and is also vital for nerve function, muscle contraction, and blood clotting.
  • Phosphorus promotes cell growth and repair and is a major component of bones and teeth, second only to calcium. It also influences bone mineralization
  • Potassium regulates the body’s fluids balance and blood pressure allowing the skin to remain moisturizer and healthy. It is also required for assisting with muscle activity and contractions.
  • Protein assists with building lean muscles as well as promoting healthy hair and strong nails. Protein also helps develop the brain.
  • Riboflavin and niacin help produce the energy that keeps the body going all day long. Niacin enables the enzymes to function normally and assists with the processing of the sugars and fatty acids. It is vital for the development of the nervous system as is Riboflavin.
  • Vitamin A is known for its benefit to the skin (hence a lot of face creams have vitamin A in them). It maintains the outer layer of the skin enabling a more youthful look. It also regulates cell growth and helps with the integrity of the immune system.
  • Vitamin B-12 helps build red blood cells which are responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients around the entire body. It is also essential for the growth and health of the nervous system.
  • Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and influences bone mineralization, the strengthening of bones.

Did you know that an 8-ounce glass of milk contains 30 percent of your daily value for calcium and 25 percent for vitamin D; both help keep bones strong and promote a bright, shiny smile.

There are various types of milk all with different components, flavours, uses and nutritional values: Evaporated milk, Condensed milk, Goats milk, Sheep’s milk, to name but a few.

Evaporated Milk
Evaporated milk is so-called because of the fact that around 60% of its water is removed via evaporation. This process is also responsible for the high concentration of nutrients and calories present in the milk, so logically it is the higher in calories and more nutritious than the fresh variety. It is normally found in cans and is also known as condensed milk, although the latter term is now redundant.

It is either whole milk or non-fat milk and comprises various amounts of butterfat, whole evaporated milk contains about 8% of butterfat whereas the skimmed variety contains only about 0.5% of butterfat. The yummy caramel-like flavour is due to the fact that it is heated at a very high temperature and is also responsible for the light creamy colour that it has compared to fresh milk.

Following evaporation, the milk has to be homogenized, chilled and then vitamins and stabilizers are added to it before packaging and sterilisation. Legally, it must contain 7.9% of milk fat and 25.5% milk solids. The low-fat and skimmed evaporated milk varieties are required to have added vitamins including Vitamin A, C and D

I sometimes use evaporated milk in tea. In the Middle East it is possible to buy evaporated milk with cardamom flavouring in it. It is absolutely wonderful to drink and is one of my favourites!!

Condensed Milk
As mentioned in the previous section, the term unsweetened condensed milk is a redundant term. This is simply because the unsweetened version is known as evaporated milk and the sweetened version as sweetened condensed milk. The latter undergoes less processing than the former but still has sixty percent of its water removed, but differs in that it has added sugar. Almost 40-45 percent of condensed milk is sugar at least 8 percent fat and 28 percent milk solids.

Sugar prevents the growth of micro-organisms so the addition of sugar ensures that no further sterilisation is required following the evaporation process, the point at which pasteurisation takes place. Many governments have regulations which insist on Vitamin A being added to the milk. However, no other nutrients are required by law. Condensed milk is very high in calories. I use condensed milk for making banoffee pie, the recipe of the month for this issue. I love banoffee pie and could eat oodles of it, but it is highly calorific and can be quite sickly if too much is eaten at one time. (

Goats Milk
Goats Milk comes in many varieties and is one of the major substitutes for people with allergies/intolerances to cow’s milk. It can be bought fresh, in powdered form, canned or in the UHT variety. Goat’s milk is a lot harder to digest than cow’s milk. However, unlike cow’s milk, there is no requirement to homogenized goat’s milk. This is because the fat globules in goat’s milk are small enough to remain suspended in solution rather than separate to the surface as cows milk tends to do. It is best drunk fresh as many people say that the other types have an unpleasant flavour as heating is required for packaging. Unlike like goats cheese, the milk is slightly sweet and sometimes possesses a slight salty taste too.

Most people assume goat’s milk to be a substitute for cow’s milk. However in most areas of the world the rings true. Worldwide, there are more consumers of goat’s milk than cow’s milk. Personally, I have not used goat’s milk as an ingredient. However, I have used yoghurt made out of goat’s milk as a base for dips and added mint and cumin to make an Indian dish called ‘raita’ (

Sheep’s Milk
Sheep’s milk has traditionally been known to consist of higher total solids than cows milk or goats milk. It has twice as many minerals; calcium, phosphorous and zinc as well as Vitamin B. Sheep’s milk can be bought fresh or frozen and will last in the freezer for at least 4 months. Like goats milk, sheep’s milk is often used as a substitute for both cows milk and has a rich, bland but slight sweet taste to it.

Milk has always been a good drink for those suffering from insomnia. It has also been shown to be particularly beneficial to for children and elderly people suffering from a bed-wetting problem. Another interesting fact about sheep’s milk is that it is known for preventing hangovers. A person who drinks a glass of sheep’s milk 3 hours before going on a drinking binge will ensure that their stomach is lined!!

The Table below provides a nutritional comparison between sheep, goat and cows milk. A typical comparative analysis:

Whole Milk %

Vitamins mg/l

Minerals mg/100g














162 – 259

82 – 183

41 – 132

0.5 – 1.2






102 – 203

86 – 118

35 – 65

0.19 – 0.5











Whole milk

Total Solids




Calorific value /100g




















Recipe of the Month: Banoffee Pie


  • 1.5 cups of Crushed corn flakes
  • 2 cans Condensed Milk
  • 5 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 Bananas
  • 2 Bananas (optional for an extra layer)
  • Whipped Cream or a Can of 3/4 cup butter


  • Place the two cans of milk (unopened) into a deep pan.
  • Pour boiling water over the cans, ensuring that the cans are covered and that the water is boiling. Cover the pan with a lid that fits snugly. (This is imperative otherwise, the cans could explode and then you will have toffee all over the ceiling!! Not pleasant!!).
  • Boil the cans for 3 hours and then allow them to cool a little.
  • Whilst the cans are boiling, melt the butter in another pan and add the sugar and crushed corn flakes to the butter. Stir well.
  • Mix the corn flakes into the butter/sugar mixture ensure that the flakes are evenly coated.
  • Pour the mixture into a dish which should be fairly deep. I use an 8 inch cake tin which has a removable base.
  • Press the corn flakes into the base using a spoon and then allow to cool in the fridge.
  • Once the cans of condensed milk have cooled slightly, slice up the bananas width ways and cover the cornflakes.
  • Open the cans of milk and spoon the toffee over the bananas ensuring that everything is covered and the surface of the toffee is smooth.
  • Allow the mixture to set in the fridge.
  • Once set, slice up more bananas and place on top of the toffee and then cover with cream and leave in the fridge until time to be served.

If you have any suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me on Would love to hear your comments.

Nazia Hussain

About Sahar Huneidi-Palmer
Author, Columnist, Holistic Therapist & Personal Mentor; helping my clients achieve the life they are meant to live since 1992. I am passionate about demystifying the abstract, podcasting & and love Turkish coffee!

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