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When it comes to milk production, goats “bleat” out the competition, producing 1,200 to 2,600 pounds of milk per year that provides more calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin A than cow’s milk.
Besides dunking a freshly baked cookie in a fresh glass of goat milk or pouring it over your morning cereal, how else can you make sure that every gallon your does produce never goes to waste? Here are seven ways to use up each delicious drop.
If you like kombucha, you’ll love kefir. The fermented milk drink has a slightly sour taste and is chock full of probiotics that promote beneficial gut bacteria and is reported to help with blood sugar and cholesterol. You can drink kefir like milk, pour it over cereal or add it to smoothies.
Do not wait until Christmas to make eggnog. As the name suggests, eggs are the primary ingredients in eggnog with some recipes using one dozen eggs in a single batch but milk is also essential. Goat milk adds a unique flavor to the festive beverage and making it at home allows you to drink eggnog long after it disappears from the dairy case until next season. If you also raise chickens and are tired of omelets, eggnog is a great way to use extra eggs.
It’s almost impossible to go to a farmers market or craft fair without coming across vendors selling goat milk soap. Hailed as a natural moisturizer that is great for sensitive skin, the soaps, which sell for about $6 per bar, can be made in the kitchen with a few simple tools. Check Pinterest for additional recipes—I like this one for cold process soap—or sign up for classes to learn how to turn goat milk into a shower staple. As you get more comfortable with the basic process, you can experiment with different colors and scents. Unlike raw goat milk, there are no restrictions on selling soap (and soap is much more conducive to online sales and shipping than milk)!
Soap is not the only popular beauty product made from goat milk. The fat content in goat milk makes lotion extra hydrating and, like soap, lotions can be made with your favorite scents. Goat milk can also be used in many other personal care products from body butter to lip balm.
5. Ice Cream
I was surprised to find pints of goat milk ice cream in the freezer section of major grocery chains like Whole Foods, Kroger and Ralphs. If you’ve never tried it, buy a pint. YUM. You can make it at home, too. This recipe from epicurious is simple—and the recipe developer swears that egg yolks make all of the difference when you’re making ice cream without heavy cream.
The price of chevre at our local cheese shop makes my heart skip a beat. Instead of whipping out your wallet, make a flavorful block of the creamy cheese at home with a simple recipe such as this one. It takes a bit of practice (and patience; chevre needs to be aged for four weeks) but once you get the hang of it, you’ll think of nothing but cheese during morning milking. You can also try this recipe for goat farmer’s cheese.
When I was a kid, we’d get mini caramels at Halloween and they were always the first thing I ate from my trick or treat bag. I’m just as obsessed with caramels made from goat milk. Bonus: The sweet, creamy cubes make great gifts. Try this recipe for goat milk caramel with sea salt. Homestead Ranch also has a recipe for cajeta, a Mexican caramel sauce make from goat milk that sounds ah-ma-zing. I’d drizzle it over goat milk ice cream.