Home dairying has been one of the greatest joys in owning dairy goats and cows for our family. Mini Nubians produce a high butterfat content, making their milk creamy and sweet. It seems the home-made dairy possibilities that our daily fresh supply of goat milk is virtually inexhaustible! Below are the dairy products we have had the opportunity to make so far.
First comes the milk. Our goats eagerly trot to their
assigned milk stands to be milked while happily munching on their
grain. I personally love and prefer sturdy wooden milk stands
for milking my goats on. Usually an old laundry soap bucket makes for a very comfortable milking stool. Cleanliness is vital! Hands are washed and teats
and udders are cleaned before and after milking to prevent debris from
falling into the milk as well as to keep bacteria from entering the
sphincter muscles after milking. I have chosen to never use use harsh
chemicals that dry out teats and udders. Instead, I use a completely
natural teat and udder wash with a wonderful all-natural and effective
recipe I got from LandOfHavilahFarm.com. This has worked wonderfully for
my goats and cows and I've never had an issue with mastitis. Sometimes, I also just use clean warm water and a clean rag.
We use seamless stainless steel milk pails, never plastic as that harbors bacteria. After milking, the milk from each doe is weighed, strained through a milk filter into prepared glass canning jars and set in the freezer at 38 degrees until completely cooled, eliminating the growth of bad bacteria. We have chosen not to pasteurize our milk as that destroys both good and bad bacteria. Strict sanitation measures are taken to ensure that the milk is handled properly, cooled quickly, and stored at 38 degrees.
I make Cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Mozzarella cheeses for my family from our raw, unpasteurized Jersey cow milk. The cheeses I make do not have food coloring in them, so they are as pure white as the milk it comes from! They taste so much better than store-bought counterparts.
To make hard cheeses, the milk is heated to different temperatures and the specific culture for the cheese you are making is added. I have used SACCO Italian cultures from HomesteaderSupply.com. Rennet is added to separate the milk solids from the whey and then curds are salted and pressed in a cheese press (below) and pressed for several hours before being dried. Then they can be eaten right away, frozen for later use or stored for aging. Some hard cheeses, like Monterey Jack, needs to soak in brine water before drying to give it a unique flavor. I don't use wax for my stored cheeses - it is far too messy and so I just use a vacuum sealing Save-A-Meal and it works just the same and is much cleaner!
Chevre - a basic goat cheese you can flavor with your own herbs and other seasonings and it's good on salads and crackers.
Cottage cheese - fresh goat milk cream may be added to this cheese to get it to the desired consistency.
Other Dairy products:
Butter - this can be made by the 'jar-shaking' method. Fresh cow cream is collected from off the top of the milk and put by in a glass canning jar. Then it is slowly shaken methodically for 20 minutes or so until the cream forms butter and a definite 'thunking' at every shake is heard. The butter is pressed to push out any remaining buttermilk liquid, salted to taste, and then stored up to two weeks in the fridge or frozen for later use. Goat milk butter is pure white without yellow butter food coloring and is sweet and creamy! Jersey butter is a rich, yellow butter.
- we save the buttermilk from our butter making and can 're-batch' our
buttermilk to keep the culture going. Buttermilk is used in baking and
we have a wonderful buttermilk biscuit recipe that is very yummy to go
along with our home-made butter.
Yogurt - this is another culture that can be kept going by 're-batching' by saving a little from the last batch. It is deliciously sweet with a little tart kick to it and can be made in all different flavors. Great in smoothies and healthy baking as a substitute for sour cream.
Kefir - simply delicious by itself or in smoothies!!!
Ice-cream - Home-made with a few fresh, natural ingredients with no preservatives, this is a family treat! Our favorite flavors are Vanilla Bean, Cookies & Cream, Coffee, and Strawberry! This is the BEST ice cream we've ever tasted! When the recipe calls for heavy cream, we just add that measurement to the milk required and it is the creamiest, most satisfying dessert ever. We use raw whole Mini Nubian goat milk or Jersey milk - both cow and goat breeds produce the most per body weight and the most butterfat and cream among other breeds which is why we chose them. Mmm, delicious!
Try it on your skin and feel the amazing
difference! My customers have said it helped their kids suffering from
acne to clear up and also problems with constantly raw, chapped hands have been able to go
without continually lathering on lotions and cream just by using the goat
milk soap for hand, face, and body washing. People with dry, itchy skin have said that their
skin pH was re-balanced and they no longer have dry skin...that is why
my family and I love using goat milk soap!
Goat milk soaps have a
uniqueness about them not only stemming from their origins of fresh and
creamy raw goat milk, but also the many gentle, skin-soothing
ingredients. We use many different kinds of skin-loving oils including
olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, almond oil, avocado oil, sunflower
oil, and castor oil. We also have used beeswax, cocoa butter and shea
butter as well. Goat milk soaps can be made plain without a scent added to them
or have essential oils added to them. Since learning how unhealthy synthetic fragrances can be, we do not choose to add them to our soaps. Completely natural, goat milk soaps are very mild for chapped
or dry skin, even for skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema. The
extra casein in goat milk helps the skin maintain a natural pH balance.
They lather very well and the combination of skin-loving oils replenish
and refresh your skin, putting a protective layer of natural oils on
it, unlike cheap commercial liquid and hard soaps that are stripped of
glycerin for more industrial profit, drying out the skin leaving it raw
We love to use them as
sachets in our drawers as well because they smell so good! Remember to
keep your soap bars as dry as possible. We do not run our soaps under
the water, rather we wet our hands first, then use the soaps, and they
last a long time when used this way. We love goat milk soaps and even
use them for shaving in the shower, face cleansing, etc. They are handy
to travel with as a multi-purpose item, especially with the air travel
restrictions for liquids.