Monday, April 11, 2011

Goat's Milk, Yogurt & Kefir

I have really enjoyed having fresh goat's milk available this week.  I had forgotten how good it tastes when compared to store bought milk and the fact that it's a little easier to digest is a blessing.  Even my lactose intolerant daughter has been able to drink the goat's milk with no problems. 

I do have to admit that I pasteurize my goat's milk.  I am well aware of all of the health benefits connected to raw milk and really wish I had peace of mind about using raw milk, but due to a "scare" with our goat herd several years ago (back when we were milking our own) we have begun pastuerizing.  Even with the benefits that are lost through pasteurizing I still think that "homegrown" milk is better for you than what you purchase and I have peace of mind which counts for a lot. 

Some of the ways I've been using our goat's milk this week (in addition to drinking it) are yogurt and kefir.  In the past I've made yogurt in the crockpot, but it's never turned out exactly the way I like it.  This week I've been making it in quart jars in an insulated cooler and I'm much more satisfied with the results.  Since it doesn't require any more effort I think that (at least for now) will be the method I use. 

The Kefir fascinates me.  I have never had any experience with Kefir until Caleb started having digestive trouble and a friend of mine recommended he drink Kefir.  She brought us a carton of Kefir she purchased through a co-op that she is in and Caleb drank it for about a week.   It did seem to help quite a bit with the pain and some of the other symptoms improved slightly.  (Coincidence or not I can't say).  We ran out of the Kefir so he hasn't been able to continue until now.  My cultures have arrived and I have started my own Kefir making experience. 

The grains looked sort of like wet noodles when they got here, but after feeding them a couple of days they are starting to look more like cauliflower, which is how they are supposed to look if I'm understanding what I've read.  They appear to be growing nicely and I'm hopeful I'll even have some to share in the future if I find anyone interested.

I've learned a few things, even in the few days that I've been making Kefir.  One is that if you don't feed them as much as they need the milk seems to separate from the whey and have a more "sour" taste.  Also, the longer you leave it to culture the more sour it gets.  My family seems to like it better after about 12 hours.  It isn't as sour and is a little runnier.  I think the Kefir that cultured longer will make an excellent substitute for buttermilk and since I have an abundance of Kefir at the moment I will probably be giving that a try sometime today.   The "12 hour" Kefir tastes a lot like plain yogurt to me and I'm planning to use it in smoothies.

I love to learn new things and have really enjoyed "playing around" with the Kefir and Yogurt.  I'm looking  forward to getting more goat's milk to "play around" with in the near future. 


  1. oh, what an experience! I love your life and hearing about what you are doing daily. Thanks for giving us a piece of what farming is all about! Luv-Loretta

  2. I bought kefir and used it to make waffles one morning and they all hated them!! They will eat a lot of the things we are learning about, but asked me not to do kefir again.

  3. Caleb had to adjust to the taste, but after the first couple of days it wasn't too bad. The flavor we were given was blackberry and he wasn't wild about that. Since I've been making it milder it hasn't been a problem and I'm hoping it will help him. I guess we'll see.

  4. I love goats milk products. I use the washing powder and some soaps. I buy mine from

  5. I like goat's milk products as well. My daughter and I make soap and when we have it available we make goat's milk soap. I can't wait to have my own goats to milk again.