100% Certified Grass Fed

Products

Yes, all of our products are certified USDA and PCO organic.

Our manufacturing plants are dedicated dairy processing facilities and are free of the following common food allergens: soy, nuts, tree nuts, peanuts, gluten, shellfish, and eggs.

The following products are OU Kosher:

  • Drinkable Yogurt
  • Cream On Top Yogurt
  • Whole Mike Kefir
  • Whole Milk Greek Yogurt

The following products are Tablet Kosher:

  • Fresh Mozzarella
  • Old Fashioned Ricotta

The following products are NOT Kosher in any form:

  • Raw Milk Cheeses made by Grafton Village Cheese

Yes, our products are free from GMOs. Most organic dairy processors circumvent GMOs by obtaining milk from farmers who purchase and feed their cows only organic grains (in addition to the 30% grazing requirement for certified organic dairy).

In contrast, our milk is free from GMOs by default because grass is inherently GMO-free since it’s not planted or cultivated by humans—and from what we’ve heard, Monsanto isn’t interested in modifying Meadow Timothy or White Sweetclover as of yet.

Our cheese, like other aged cheeses, contain very little to no lactose, including our Stone Creek and One Year Cheddars. However, we do recommend that you consult with your health professional before including dairy products into your diet if you are lactose-intolerant.

Maple Hill Creamery Raw Whole Milk Cheeses are vegetarian approved! We use a vegetable rennet, rather than the traditional rennet made from calf’s stomach.

Maple Hill Creamery cheeses, crafted by the raw-milk artisans at Grafton Village Cheese, are made from the same 100% grass-fed organic whole milk as our other dairy products, and by law, are aged for a minimum of 60 days. The milk that makes our cheese is not pasteurized, as that can alter the rich, complex flavor found naturally in our 100% grass-fed milk – something artisanal cheese lovers appreciate!

We currently have three Raw Whole Milk Cheeses available for you to enjoy:

  • Dharma Lea Dutch – A rich, creamy Gouda-style cheese with butterscotch undertones.
  • One Year Cheddar – A flavorfully piquant cheese, redolent of fresh green grass.
  • Stone Creek Cheddar – A fresh cheddar aged for 6 months with sweet cream and floral notes.

Our Raw Milk Cheeses are certified USDA Organic, but are not certified Kosher.

Pronounced ‘kur-feer’, Kefir is a fermented, cultured dairy beverage, often with a yogurt-like tartness and creamy consistency. Kefir is also loaded with probiotics (see more on this below) to support a healthy digestive system.

The main difference between our yogurt and kefir are the type of cultures we add to the milk to create the finished product. We incubate the culture in our Kefir for approximately eight (8) hours. We use the following cultures in our Kefir:

Streptococcus thermophilus, L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, L. rhamnosus, L. casei, L. lactis subsp. lactis, L. lactis subsp. lactis biovar. diacetylactis, Leuconostoc cremoris, Bifidobacterium lactis, L. lactis subsp. cremoris, L. acidophilus.

Like all of our other products, we make every drop of our kefir exclusively with our third-party certified, 100% grass-fed whole milk from the Maple Hill Creamery Milkshed, our family of farms in New York State.

Our Kefir is available in 32-ounce containers in three flavors: Plain, Vanilla, and Strawberry.

Like other cultured dairy products, our kefir contains ten live and active probiotic  “good” bacteria (i.e., cultures) that, when ingested, can be beneficial for our health—especially our digestive and immune systems. So drink up a belly-friendly cup!

When it comes to sweetness, we believe less is more. Our flavored kefir varieties are very low in added sugar—about 1.75 to 2 teaspoons (7-8 grams) per eight ounce serving. Most national organic brands of whole milk kefir average an added 3-4.5 teaspoons (12-18 grams) of added sugar per serving. Our Plain Whole Milk Kefir has no added sugar; the 11 grams of carbohydrates listed on the Nutrition Facts Panel comes from naturally occurring lactose (milk sugar).

Our Whole Milk Kefir’s ultra-smooth texture comes from our highest-quality 100% grass-fed whole milk—not gums or thickeners. Unlike most kefir brands, we don’t add color or “natural” flavors to replicate using real fruit. And, like our other products, we keep it simple and authentic—using only organic fruit and real flavor extracts to create subtly flavored varieties.

While Kefir is traditionally consumed as a beverage, there are lots of other ways to enjoy it, including:

  • Smoothie base—add your own tweaks (chia, greens, bananas)
  • Pour over fresh fruit, granola, or warm fruit cobblers / crisps
  • Freeze in molds for creamy popsicles
  • Use as a 1-to-1 replacement for buttermilk in baking recipes
  • Use as marinade base for lamb, chicken or beef

For three decades, avoiding full-fat dairy products has long been lauded as a “healthy” lifestyle choice, backed by the USDA’s 1985 official recommendation to choose low-fat or non-fat dairy products. This recommendation made low-fat and non-fat yogurt the norm in the average American household, and furthered yogurt’s image as a healthy food choice. However, in order to improve flavor and palatability due to the lack of fat, most yogurt manufacturers added thickeners, stabilizers, excessive sugar, artificial flavors, and other ingredients, resulting in an excessively processed dairy product that had little resemblance to real, traditional yogurt.

When we founded Maple Hill, we wanted to replicate the centuries-old tradition of “European-style” yogurt – piquantly tart and boasting a luxurious “creamline” top—made from the milk of the healthiest 100% grass-fed cows. The result was our hallmark Cream on Top yogurt. Despite its unconventional flavor profile, more and more folks fell in love with this “real” yogurt, which would not be the same had we skimmed off all that beautiful cream! We believe in eating the whole food, especially when it’s created from a dairy farming system that sidesteps many of the problems inherent in industrial and even large organic dairy farms.

Thankfully, the long-followed advice of eating a low-fat diet for health is beginning to unravel in the reality of the obesity epidemic and skyrocketing incidence of “western diseases”. In January of 2016, the USDA removed the recommendation of overall dietary fat intake, though it still does limit saturated fat intake to less than 10% of calories per day (a serving of any of our products (including our cheeses!) fit into these recommendations, and contain 5% or less of calories from saturated fat for individuals consuming a 2000-calorie diet, and some of our products, like our Greek yogurt, only provide 2% of calories from saturated fat for those eating a 2000-calorie diet). 

It’s a step in the right direction, and we are thrilled to see the sea change of people realizing they don’t have to “fear the fat”.

Ultra-pasteurization (UP) is the process we use to ensure our milk can be safely distributed and will not spoil on the shelf. The UP process heats milk to 280 degrees F for 2 seconds to kill 99.9% of bacteria.  High-temperature short-time (HTST) pasteurization is another common process that uses a lower temperature and shorter time (160 degrees for 15 seconds) with similar results but a shorter shelf life. There is no detectable difference in taste or nutritional value between UP milk and HTST milk.

This “cream on top” of our yogurt is a layer of milk fat that rises as the yogurt cools and settles during the culturing process. This occurs naturally when milk is not homogenized. The old saying “the cream rises to the top” has special meaning for us at Maple Hill Creamery. We consider our creamline to be the hallmark of an artisanal-quality, less processed dairy product. And our fans agree!

The main difference between the two styles of yogurt is that our Greek yogurt is strained during the manufacturing process, which means that the majority of liquid whey is removed. Straining results in a thicker, more concentrated “spoonable” style yogurt. We also use a different type of yogurt culture in our Whole Milk Greek yogurt, creating a milder, less tangy flavor profile than our Cream On Top yogurt.

Due to the straining process, the nutritional profile of our Whole Milk Greek yogurt and our Cream On Top yogurt is slightly different:

  • Protein: Our Whole Milk Greek yogurt has about 2x the amount of protein (average of 11-12 grams per 5.3 oz serving) compared to our Cream On Top yogurt (average of 6 grams per 6 oz serving).
  • Calcium: Our Whole Milk Greek yogurt has less calcium (average of 10% of Daily Value per 5.3 oz cup) compared to our Cream On Top yogurt (average of 20% Daily Value per 6 oz serving).
  • Fat: Our Whole Milk Greek yogurt has less total fat (average of 6 grams per 5.3 oz serving) compared to our Cream On Top yogurt (average of 7-8 grams per 6 oz serving).
  • Carbohydrates / Lactose: Our Whole Milk Greek yogurt has less total naturally occurring sugar (lactose) (average of 5 grams per 5.3 oz serving) compared to our Cream On Top yogurt (average of 8 grams per 6 oz serving).

All of the whey from manufacturing our Whole Milk Greek yogurt goes to an anaerobic digester in the city of Cortland, NY, which in turn creates electricity for the city. We are committed to not creating or adding to the overproduction and disposal issue of the whey that has become problematic for some large yogurt producers.

We add about the same amount of added organic cane sugar (not much!) to our Greek yogurt as we do to our Traditional Cream on Top yogurt. On average, our Greek flavors have about 4-6 grams LESS of added sugar per serving compared to most other national organic Greek yogurt brands.

Our fruit preparation contains these ingredients, which is necessary in order for the fruit to blend properly with the yogurt. In essence, our fruit prep is comparable to jam, which is made with fruit, fruit pectin, and sugar. Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and citric acid are added to preserve the freshness of the fruit, which would otherwise break down and deteriorate once mixed with the yogurt. Our citric acid is sourced from citrus fruit, not from sugar beets or corn.

We flavor our Cream On Top Vanilla, Lemon, and Orange Crème varieties with real, organic extracts (rather than “natural” flavors that are often manufactured by a flavor manufacturers to cheaply replicate the real thing). We use only organic, real maple syrup in our Maple flavor, and wild blueberries (from Maine and Quebec) in our Wild Blueberry variety.

We flavor our Greek yogurt with high-quality organic fruit preparations that contain fruit, sugar, pectin, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) / citric acid.

Our flavor motto is “yogurt first, flavor second”. We think that any added flavor should play second fiddle to the yogurt itself, not the other way around, so that the uniquely delicious flavor of our 100% grass-fed milk can be fully enjoyed.

We don’t add much sugar to our yogurt, because we think any sweetener or flavor should subtly enhance the zingy, fresh flavor of Maple Hill, not mask it. We also believe in transparency in food labeling, so here’s a helpful breakdown for added sugar:

In each six-ounce serving of our Cream on Top yogurt, 8 grams of the carbohydrate content come from the naturally occurring lactose in the milk. The remaining grams of carbohydrate content come from added organic sugar, pure maple syrup, fruit puree, or combination thereof.

We add the equivalent of 1.75 teaspoons (7 grams) of sugar to our Lemon and Orange Crème flavors (each totals 14 and 15 grams of carbohydrates).

We add the equivalent of 1.75 teaspoons (7 grams) of pure maple syrup to our Maple flavor (15 grams of carbohydrates total). We use only maple syrup to sweeten this variety, along with some vanilla extract to enrich the overall taste.

We add the equivalent of 1.75 teaspoons (7 grams) of organic sugar to our Vanilla flavor (15 grams of carbohydrate total).

We add the equivalent of 1.50 (6 grams) of organic sugar to our Wild Blueberry flavor, with 1 gram of carbohydrates coming from the berry puree (15 grams of carbohydrate total).

By comparison, most other “natural” and organic yogurts on the market have an average of 3.0 – 5.0 teaspoons of added sugar per six-ounce serving. Highly-processed, conventional brands can be even higher.

Maple Hill Creamery Cream On Top Creamline yogurt is a “yogurt eater’s yogurt”: zingy, tart, and with a distinctly stronger flavor than most yogurt sold in the U.S. because of our milk and our unique culture process.

100% grass-fed, non-homogenized milk is a seasonal food. Unlike milk from conventional cows, grass-fed milk’s flavor changes throughout the year, with more noticeable grass notes in the spring and summer. When cows eat a variety of grasses and other plants, instead of grain or corn, there is a marked difference in the flavor and even the odor of the milk. In essence, you are tasting the grass that the cows munched on. In the summer the flavor is often more “earthy”, and in the winter months, the creamline layer is thicker due to the shift to eating mostly baleage and hay, and cow’s bodies natural inclination to put on weight.

We also favor a longer, slower culturing process than most yogurt brands, allowing the flavor and texture to develop to our trademark velvety-light smoothness. You can’t rush yogurt this good!

We do not add any preservatives to our yogurt. Our Whole Milk Greek yogurt’s fruit jam preparation has added fruit pectin and citric acid to stabilize the fruit once it is mixed with the strained yogurt. These additives are the same as those used for making jam and jellies, whether at home or on a commercial scale.

We use the following cultures for our Cream On Top yogurt:
Bifidobacterium lactis, lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp., Bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophilus.

We use the following cultures for our Whole Milk Greek yogurt:
L. Delbrueckii subsp., Bulgaricus and S. thermophiles.

We use the following culture for our Drinkable yogurt:
Streptococcus themophilus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp bulgaricus, Lactobacillus casei,Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactococcus lactis subsp. Cremoris,Lactococcus lactis subsp. Lactis biovar diacetylactis,Leuconostoc mesenteroides ssp. Cremoris,Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp lacris.

We use the following cultures in our Whole Milk Kefir:
Streptococcus thermophilus, L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, L. rhamnosus, L. casei, L. lactis subsp. lactis, L. lactis subsp. lactis biovar. diacetylactis, Leuconostoc cremoris, Bifidobacterium lactis, L. lactis subsp. cremoris, L. acidophilus.

Yes, the milk we use to make yogurt and kefir is pasteurized (180 degrees / 30 minutes) as it is an important step of the yogurt making process. Pasteurized yogurt is required by Federal Law. Our Whole Milk is pasteurized with a different method, while our Raw Milk Cheeses are not made with pasteurized milk at all. We support the right of consumers to purchase and consume raw dairy products. Our friends at the Weston A. Price foundation have great resources and information about the benefits of raw milk.

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