I love walking into a kitchen where something has been baking – the smell just takes me right back to my childhood. What can I say? Cakes, cookies and brownies were practically staple foods in my house! And did I outgrow it? No way!

One way I feel better about it, however, is knowing that when I'm cooking desserts, I'm using pure and quality ingredients.

Many of my recipes call for sweetened condensed milk, which got me thinking. What exactly goes into this sweetened condensed milk? Is it good for me? Hmmm....

I noticed one product brand in particular that I have seen often – and cooked with, California Farms, and I started looking into it a bit further.

First of all, condensed milk is cow's milk from which water has been removed. It is most often found in the form of sweetened condensed milk (SCM), with sugar added, and the two terms "condensed milk" and "sweetened condensed milk" are often used synonymously today. If you've not cooked with it, you don't know what you're missing! I LOVE desserts that are made with it!

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Back to this one – California Farms is owned by Santini Foods, a larger manufacturing company out of California. Santini Foods was founded in 1987 and produces a number of different products – including sweetened condensed milk, chocolate sauces & syrups, fruit flavored syrups and olive oil. Sounds good to me!

And, true to their name, they use California farms to make their milk products. They're the only manufacturer of this product on the West Coast as a matter of fact. And they take it even a step further ... to make it all very healthy. They're now the only makers of organic sweetened condensed milk products!

That's right. In 2003, they took advantage of their expertise in making milk products and have now introduced the first organic sweetened condensed milk in the category. This is the only brand of Sweetened Condensed Milk that is rBST Free.

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Just so you know, rBST is a product primarily given to dairy cattle by injection to increase milk production. Bovine somatotropin or bovine somatotrophin (abbreviated bST and BST), or bovine growth hormone (BGH), is a peptide hormone produced by cows' pituitary gland. YUCK!

So, I discovered California Farms is definitely health-conscious and helps us bakers have healthful options when baking. Love that!

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I haven't baked with these yet, but this is also good to know. They introduced a six-item line of organic fruit-based syrups, made with organic fruit concentrates, not corn syrups. Plus, now they're even making Organic Evaporated Milk! Am liking this, aren't you?

How to use your sweetened condensed and evaporated milks:

  • Making decadent pies and cakes
  • Helping to produce light and fluffy cheesecakes
  • Ensuring scrumptious cookies and bars
  • Can be caramelized and spread over pastries
  • Making mouthwatering puddings and mousses
  • Used to make homemade ice cream
  • Pour into a bowl and use as dip for fresh fruits
  • Makes a great creamer and sweetener for coffee, tea or cocoa
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Have any awesome recipes that you use the California Farms' sweetened condensed milk? Post them on our FarmStarLiving Facebook page! Love to see them!


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