What’s the Real Seal? (+sweetpotato & yogurt gnocchi with buttery sage)

There are so many logos, trademarks, and animations on products today it’s no wonder people are confused by packaging!  The Real Seal is one of the older ones, created over 30 years ago by America’s Dairy Farmers, and here’s what you can be sure of when buying a product with this logo:

  • REAL® Seal dairy products guarantee your product is produced in the U.S.
  • REAL® Seal dairy products meet the standards of identity outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations for milk and dairy products.
  • REAL® Seal dairy products guarantee no casein, caseinate, vegetable oil, non-domestic dairy protein or ingredient, or any cheese substitute or cheese analog.

RealSeal

The words “real” and “natural” don’t mean much anymore, but the Real Seal has clearly defined terms a product must meet before using it.  As the Real Seal site point out, “It’s not that [other] products shouldn’t be available” – or that they’re bad for you.  But if dairy is what you’re trying to buy, this seal ensures you’ll get it.

If you’re a dairy consumer, greek yogurt is one of the most nutrient-rich products out there.  I’m a huge fan of using in as a substitute for sour cream, butter, mayonnaise, and cream cheese…it’s incredibly high in complete protein, potassium, calcium, and creaminess.  Check out my recipes for Three Sweetpotato Chili, Aloe-Mango Popsicles, Microwave Cheesecake, Healthy Coffee Cake, Coconut Cheesefake, Silky Green Gazpacho, and Guilt-Free Ranch Dip, all featuring plain greek yogurt.  None of those were sponsored posts, but this one was sponsored by the Real Seal – inspiring me to go outside the box!

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Gnocchi is basically a thick, potato pasta.  Most thick, starchy pastas are low in fiber and other nutrients, and very high in calories.  The trick is to beef up the vitamins and minerals while keeping the portion size reasonable – this is more of a side than an entree!  It has a sweet-and-savory element to it – the sweet potato is played up with cinnamon and allspice, and buttery sage and spicy feta offer a perfect balance.

Sweetpotato & Yogurt Gnocchi with Buttery Sage

Ingredients:

  • 7oz plain 2% greek yogurt
  • 1.5 c cooked sweetpotato (2-3 sweet potatoes)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 c all purpose flour
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped
  • 4 oz crumbled feta cheese

Directions:
Cook sweet potatoes in the microwave (~7 minutes on high).  Scrape insides out with a spoon into a blender.  Add the yogurt, spices, and eggs; puree on high.  If your blender or food processor has a dough setting, add the flour 1/2c at a time on this setting; if not, put the mixture into a large bowl and stir the flour in 1/2c at a time by hand.  Dough will be soft and slightly sticky.  Bring a large pot of salted water to boil on the stove, and set a bowl with water and ice nearby.  Separate the dough into three softball-sized parts and roll each into a cord about 1 inch thick on a floured surface.  Using a sharp knife, gently cut each cord into small, 1/2″ wide pieces, about the size of your top thumb joint. If you like, press a fork into the top to create some texture. Drop into boiling water one piece at a time; they will sink to the bottom.  When they’re done cooking, they’ll float up – using a slotted spoon, fish them out and put directly into the ice water bath.  Repeat with other two cords’ worth of pieces.  Combine olive oil, butter, and sage in a large pan on the stove, heat until sizzling, then add the drained gnocchi, stirring or flipping to coat, until heated through.  Sprinkle feta on top and serve with sage garnish.  Serves 6.

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2014-01-15 16.51.25 2014-01-15 16.52.39 2014-01-15 16.56.45 2014-01-15 17.16.35Tricky tip: if your pot starts to bubble up (due to starch in the water), put a wooden spoon across the top and it won’t overflow!

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