My friend, Jill, from The Prairie Homestead is a genius about goats. In fact, I think she might just be a genius about everything – remember the Crock Pot Granola? Today she’s giving us some information on goat’s milk, which I find utterly (get it?) fascinating. Thanks Jill!!
When you first mention drinking goat’s milk to many people, you’ll usually be met with funny looks and exclamations of “Gross!”
But, did you know that worldwide, goat’s milk is more popular than cow’s milk? And if you are interested in healthy eating of any sort, then you’ve probably come across articles and blogs touting the benefits of goat milk.
So, is it worth a try? Or does that initial gross-factor outweigh the benefits?
As a homesteading goat owner, I’m excited to share 5 Things You Should Know About Goat’s Milk. I’m hoping you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
1. Goat’s milk is naturally homogenized.
Ever heard someone mention cream rising to the top of milk and wondered why the milk at the store doesn’t do that? It’s because it’s undergone a process at the factory called “homogenization” which basically forces the cream to blend with the milk and not float to the top. (There is a lot of debate as to whether homogenization is safe, but we won’t get into that today…)
Since the fat particles in goat’s milk are different than those in cow’s milk, they automatically stay blended with the rest of the milk– no factory intervention required.
This results in a milk that most people think is creamier than cow’s milk (especially if you are accustomed to drinking 1% or 2%.)
However, the downside to this, is that you won’t get much extra cream along with your goat’s milk. (It is possible to use a cream separator to accomplish this, but it’s extra time and expense.)
2. Sometimes, goat’s milk can be consumed by those allergic to cow’s milk.
Because the composition of goat’s milk is different than cow’s milk, sometimes people who are allergic to milk from a cow can easily drink milk from a goat.
Occasionally, even lactose-intolerant folks can handle drinking goat’s milk. It’s not true for every single person, but if you are suffering from one of these intolerances, it might be worth a try.
This website contains some helpful information regarding the health benefits of goat’s milk.
3. Store-bought goat’s milk and farm-fresh goat’s milk are two entirely different things.
There are a variety of options when it comes to buying goat’s milk at the store. Some markets sell it in cartons, as well as in cans or in powdered form.
To be honest, I’ve never tried any sort of goat’s milk from the store, but from the reports I’ve heard, it’s nothing compared to the “real thing.”
If you are interested in adding goat’s milk to your diet, I would highly suggest finding a farmer or friend with goats and sampling some of their fresh milk. Which leads us to our fourth point…
4. Goat’s milk isn’t disgusting.
In a post I wrote not long after we got our goats, I confessed that I’d never even tried goat’s milk before purchasing our Nubians.
What can I say? I like to live on the edge…
Fresh, quality goat’s milk that has been handled properly isn’t goaty tasting. Really. Even my once-skeptical husband agrees wholeheartedly on this point. I have a sneaking suspicion that most people’s fear of goat’s milk comes after drinking the store-bought stuff.
Now, it IS possible for certain factors to affect the taste of the milk (breeding season or eating strong-tasting weeds for example). But as a rule? It tastes like… milk. Plain and simple.
5. Goats make wonderful family farm animals.
If you have ever felt the pull to “get back to your roots” or produce some of your own food, goats make a great addition to a mini-farm. Some people even keep goats in their urban backyards! (Just be sure to check your zoning laws first!)
Goats are much less intimidating than cows and need far less room and feed. If you are interested in possibly owning your own dairy goats in the future, I would love for you to check out the Goat 101 Series on my blog. You’ll find everything you need to know about owning your first goat, including a video showing you how to milk!
But is Goat’s Milk Frugal?
If you are buying the quart-sized cartons of goat milk at the store for all of your cooking and drinking, then you better have a special “milk” section of your budget. That stuff is expensive and in my personal opinion, not as healthy for you.
If drinking goat’s milk is something you’d like to pursue, then finding a local farm or family with goats is usually the most cost-effective way to go. Plus, the milk will usually be of much higher quality.
Will it be as cheap as the gallons of 1% at the grocery store? Probably not. But here is how I justify it:
You see, I love saving money and pinching pennies, but there are certain food items that I feel are important for the health of my family. Therefore, I am more than happy to spend a little extra cash on those products. For me, milk definitely falls into this category.
So, if you’ve never tried goat’s milk, I encourage you find a source and pour yourself a glass. I think you’ll be glad that you did!
Jill writes from the homestead she shares with her husband, daughter, and ever-changing assortment of animals. When she’s not in the kitchen preparing traditional foods, you’ll find her outside riding horses, growing vegetables, milking her cow, and building fence. She blogs at The Prairie Homestead, where she enjoys encouraging readers to return to their roots, no matter where they may live.