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Why goat milk versus cow milk? Most people who drink goat milk are not able to drink cow milk because of lactose intolerance. While goat milk has the same percentage of lactose and fat, it is easier to digest because the fat globules do not bind together and are more easily digested and nutrients more efficiently absorbed. Many people believe that goat milk tastes “bucky” or “goaty”. I enjoy dispelling this myth with the Udder Challenge – comparing the taste of goat milk to cow’s milk with adventuresome milk tasters. Over half of the tasters cannot distinguish the cow milk from the goat milk. If goat milk tastes like the smell of a buck or a goat, it is most likely because the milk was improperly handled such as leaving it unrefrigerated for a while.
Recipes for Goat Milk
Raw goat milk is the best. The milk holds the flavor of the grasses, herbs and browse that the goats are eating. The flavors of the seasons are celebrated in the fresh milk. In the spring, the goat milk has a green, tangy taste from new grass and is buttercup yellow from the dandelion flowers. When the mint appears streamside, the milk, even as it is milked out of the udders, wafts of fresh mint. By June and by July the distinct taste of wild thyme flavors the milk. In late summer, the taste of hawthorn berries, wild blackberries and raspberries dominates the milk. By autumn, the milk is deeper flavored and more concentrated with taste traces of leaves, mosses, earth and apples.
My favorite goat milk recipe is Cajeta, a Mexican caramel that is drizzled over ice cream or pound cake or eaten with a spoon right out of the jar.
2 quarts of goat's milk
2 cups sugar
1 large, plump vanilla bean, preferably Mexican, split open (or substitute 1 tablespoon pure Mexican vanilla extract)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
1. In a large, heavy pot (not iron), combine the milk, sugar, and vanilla, and place over medium heat. Stir regularly until the milk comes to a simmer and sugar is dissolved. Remove the pot from the heat and add dissolved baking soda; it will bubble up. When the bubbles have subsided, return it to the heat.
2. Adjust heat so that the mixture is simmering briskly but not boiling. Cook, stirring regularly, until the mixture turns pale golden, about two hours.
3. The milk should be stirred regularly as it begins to thicken and turns a caramel-brown color. Don't allow the milk to stick to the bottom of the pot. You can drop a few drops into a small glass of water. If a soft ball forms, the cajeta is ready.
4. If you take the pot off the heat and allow the cajeta to cool, it should be a medium-thick sauce. If it's too thick, add hot water, 1 tablespoon at a time until it is the proper consistency. If it is too thin, return to the heat until it thickens.
5. When the cajeta is cool, remove the vanilla bean. Strain the cajeta through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl or wide-mouthed jar, then scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the cajeta. Refrigerate until ready to use. Cajeta is best served warm.
It is difficult to make goat milk cream as goat milk is naturally homogenized. It requires a separator. We make a lot of goat milk fudge, ice cream and chevre. Spring's offerings of chives and dandelions mixed in the chevre is a little slice of heaven.
What is your favorite recipe with goat milk?