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Compared to bigger animals such as cattle and horses, goats are considered as small livestock animals and are among the earliest animals domesticated by humans. While cow milk remains one of the most common milk nowadays, it is also important to note that it may be the cause of indigestion, bloating and gas pain. Goat milk is a better alternative, especially if it is organic. A study was done at the University of Granada showed that goat milk is actually more beneficial than cow milk. Among these are it prevents iron deficiency anemia and bone demineralization. They attributed this to higher bioavailability of iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus found in goat milk. The researchers pointed out that the inclusion of goat milk with calcium in the diet enhances utilisation of iron, phosphorus and calcium and their deposits in their corresponding organs. In addition, they observed that unlike cow milk, its calcium enhancement does not interfere in the bioavailability of other minerals being studied.
From the moment we are brought into this world, we have been sustained solely upon mother’s milk for at least the first six months of life. There is no other food in the universe that would be better than mother’s milk and it is proven both in the laboratory and the real world. But what about after that?
What to Choose? Cow Milk vs Goat Milk
The differences between cow milk and goat milk may not seem obvious at first glance. However, on closer look, you will notice several factors that play an integral role on how either milk matches up with the human body. Goat milk contains a greater amount of essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid and arachidonic acid, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B6 and vitamin B3. Due to its high potassium content, it allows goat milk to react in an alkaline way within the body as compared with cow milk which has lesser potassium making it reacting in an acidic way.
Goat milk is easier to digest because it contains less alpha s1 casein, a protein allergen, and when ingested, their protein contents are broken up into smaller particles. Since it contains less casein, it is less allergenic. However, goat milk is not recommended for anyone who has past history of cow milk allergy. Cross-reactivity may happens wherein some proteins found in cow milk is similar to those found in goat milk. Although goat milk has lesser lactose content compared to cow milk, it is still not recommended for those who have been diagnosed with lactose intolerant. As compared to cow milk, goat milk has a much stronger taste and you may need some time to get used to it.
Goat milk contains plenty of calcium. 1 cup of goat milk contains 33% of an adult’s reference intake of calcium. (3 cups make almost 100%!) Whilst goat milk contains more Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, potassium and magnesium, it has lesser Vitamin B2, B12, folate and selenium than cow milk.
Goat milk is naturally homogenized. To homogenize simply means to make it uniform in consistency. This is done by forcing the milk fluid through a tiny hole under extreme pressure which destroys the fat globules and allows milk and cream to be well mixed. If both goat milk and cow milk was left sitting in the table, you will notice cow milk will separate into two distinct phases wherein the fat will float on top while goat milk stays the same.
Making goat milk kefir is basically the same as making any other milk kefir. The one exemption is that goat milk is naturally homogenized, meaning that the cream will not separate during the kefir-making process. Goat milk kefir can be used as an alternative in my kitchen recipes like heavy cream, mayonnaise and butter. Below I have shared some Goat Milk Kefir recipes you might want to try.
Goat Milk Kefir Recipes
Goat Milk Kefir
- Combine the milk kefir grains and 1 cup of raw goat milk in a clean, wide mouthed container.
- Cover the container and leave it at room temperature for 12-48 hours. (This depends on the milk to grain ratio and temperature.)
- Occasionally, swirl the mixture to help feed the grains and mix the milk with parts that are turning into kefir.
- The endpoint is when you see fine curds clinging to the side of the jar when you swirl it, while the bulk of the milk have become curdy and start to separate into curds and clear yellowish liquid which is the whey.
- Stir the contents with a wooden utensil. The mixture should be smooth and thick like a runny yogurt or thickened milk. It tastes a bit sour and tangy and smells sour and fresh. (The longer time you brew the kefir, the sourer it gets and less lactose it contains.)
- Strain the grains, and place them in another clean jar of raw goat milk to start another brew.
Goat Milk Kefir Pumpkin Pie
- 1 unbaked pie crust
- 1 cup fresh cooked pumpkin puree
- 1 cup Goat Milk Kefir
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup brown sugar light
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger ground
- 1/4 tsp cloves ground
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg freshly grated
- 1/8 cup brandy
- whipped cream
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Place the pie crust in a 9 inch pan, trim the edge and cover with aluminium. Bake for approximately 15 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, goat milk kefir and the eggs and beat thoroughly with a whisk.
- In another bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.
- Combine the spice mixture with the pumpkin mixture.
- Add brandy to the mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Spoon the filling into the partially baked pie crust.
- Place the pie in the lower shelf of the oven and bake for 8 minutes at 400°F. Reduce the heat 350°F and continue to bake for another 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Serve warm or cold, with whipped cream.
Healthy Goat Milk Kefir Smoothie
- 1/2 cup Goat Milk Kefir
- 1 cup leafy greens chard, spinach or kale with ribs removed
- 1/2 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen
- 1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice
- 1/2 medium frozen banana
- 1/2 cup ice cubes adjust to reach desired consistency
- 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional: boost of fiber, omega 3s, and calcium)
- 1 scoop whey protein powder (optional: for added protein)
- Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
- Serve the kefir smoothie.
Goat Milk Kefir Caramel Cake
- 1 cup Goat Milk Kefir
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp nutmeg freshly grated
- 1/2 tsp cloves ground
- 1 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup prunes cooked, pitted, & coarsely chopped
- 1 cup figs
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Caramel Frosting
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Combine all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices then sift.
- Mix goat milk kefir, butter and sugar thoroughly with an electric mixer.
- Add eggs on by one and beat hard until the mixture becomes smooth and silky.
- Add the flour mixture in batches, alternating with buttermilk, manually using rubber spatula.
- Add in prunes and figs and stir in vanilla.
- In a greased and lightly floured 9 inch pan, spoon the batter and place the pan in the middle of the preheated oven. The pan should be filled only to three quarters full.
- Bake for around 50minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let the cake rest for 3 minutes before unmoulding.
- Remove the cake onto a rack.
- Spread the caramel frosting over the top of the cake and allow it to drip down the sides.