Goat Milk Caramel Candies

Our Goat Milk Caramel Candies are now available on the website! They are available in 2 flavors; Chocolate and Sea Salt.

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They are available in several different quantities including 5 pieces, 10 pieces, and 25 pieces.

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Everyone in the Jonas family absolutely loves them. Here’s what people who have tried them are saying:

“The chocolate is divine, oh my gosh!” – Jesse

“It was like a dance party in my mouth!” -Jon

“This is better than Hershey’s, man!” – Jared

We are very excited to bring Goat Milk Caramels! Be sure and let us know what you think of them.

PJ

 

 

How to Make Goat Milk Greek Yogurt

As I mentioned earlier, turning our raw goat milk into homemade yogurt is a great way to fill my children with healthy probiotics and boost their immune system.

Unless you heat the milk for extended time periods or add powdered milk, most homemade yogurt will come out fairly runny.  While this is great for smoothies, thicker greek-style yogurt is preferred in my family.

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To thicken your yogurt, all you really need to do is remove some of the whey (the liquid that separates out).  I’ve used many methods over the years – including cheese cloth and special cone filters.  They all worked, but were not the most convenient methods.

I have a new absolutely favorite tool.  I purchased this Greek Yogurt strainer* and I LOVE it.  (I love it so much that I acutally have 4 of them!)

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Each strainer can hold one of the Yogourmet* containers that I use.  As I mentioned in the previous post, I have two Yogourmets so I make 1 gallon of yogurt at a time.  I have four of the strainers because we prefer to leave the yogurt in the strainers for 24-48 hours.  This produces a very  thick, super yummy yogurt.

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To use the strainer, simply pour the finished yogurt into the strainer (it does splatter):

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Put the lid on and let it sit in the refrigerator for as long as desired.

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Then take it out and put the yogurt into a container (or eat directly).

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You can see in the below photo how much whey separates initially (strainer on left) vs after 24 hours (strainer on right).

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So the question then becomes, if I make so much yogurt, what do I do with all that whey?  That (of course) is the subject of an upcoming blog post!

Have you ever made your own yogurt?  Do you strain it?

PJ

 

 

Kids Cooking – Goat Milk Yogurt

I am a big believer in using whole foods to keep our bodies healthy.  In this day of scary viruses, a healthy immune system is especially important.  One of the foods that the children make quite often is goat milk yogurt.  It is full of probiotics that helps to keep their gut (and hence their immune systems) healthy.

To make your own yogurt, you need to first collect your milk.  We use raw goat milk, but you can use pasteurized whole cow milk from the grocery store.  In fact, if you don’t have a source of natural milk, turning your store-bought milk into yogurt is a great way to make it healthier. (Notice our sourdough in the background? Sourdough bread is a great way to make healthy bread.)

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I have used many methods to incubate my yogurt over the years – from insulated coolers to crockpots to dehydrators – there are many ways to make it work.  But my favorite method for consistently good yogurt is the Yogourmet*.  We currently have two of them so we can do a gallon at a time (each yogourmet holds 1/2 gallon of milk).  While they do use a little more electricity than some other methods, the reliability is worth it to me.

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The Yogourmet comes with a plastic container.

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I purchased 2 additional glass containers* that fit into the yogourmet.  I did this not only because I prefer glass, but because we make a lot of yogurt and this way I have extra containers.

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Pour your milk into the containers and then add a starter.

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You can use any starter* that has active yogurt cultures.  You can use a half cup of active yogurt from the grocery store.  I use a freeze-dried culture*.  It is more expensive, but I use it because we use raw milk.  Raw milk has a lot of live beneficial bacteria and I want to make sure that my starter is strong enough to culture the raw milk.  I’ve had trouble with yogurt from the store not being potent enough for my raw milk.  But if you’re using pasteurized milk, yogurt from the store (make sure it has live cultures) should be fine.

Stir your milk with a clean spoon to make sure the starter is properly mixed in.

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Set the container in the Yogourmet, make sure it is filled with water and plug it in.

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8-12 hours is usually a good amount of time to incubate your yogurt. We usually start yogurt after we’ve collected the evening milk.  We let the Yogourmet sit overnight and in the morning we unplug it and remove the finished jar of yogurt.

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We then put the yogurt in the refrigerator. This yogurt won’t be super thick because we didn’t add any thickeners or heat our milk for an extended time before making the yogurt.  (I’ll share in the next post how we turn this yogurt into thicker greek-style yogurt.)

But this yogurt is great for smoothies or mixing with granola or raw honey.

Have you ever made your own yogurt?  Do you want to?

PJ

 

 

 

15 Ways to Use Goat Milk

There is a saying in the goat community – “Goats are like potato chips. You can’t have just one.”

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It is so true! We have definitely found that our herd has grown to more animals than we really need because it is so hard to decide to sell any.  Mostly because of the children.  Each child has a few that are their “favorite” and they look at me and say, “Please don’t sell my favorite.”

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And while sometimes I still sell them anyway (I know, I’m a mean mom), most of the time I don’t. And because of that, we regularly have more goats and hence more milk than we need.

Over the years we’ve come up with many, many ways to use up our goat milk.  Here are some of our favorites:

1. Drink goat milk. We generally drink water at our home, but there are just some times (often involving chocolate) when a glass of cold goat milk is just right.  At home we drink raw goat milk, but we have pasteurized goat milk available in our farm store for you!

2. Pour goat milk on cereal or granola.  I don’t regularly buy packaged cereal because of the high sugar content.  But when we do, it’s goat milk all the way!  And I love a breakfast of homemade granola with fruit and goat milk.

3. Goat Milk Yogurt. Homemade yogurt is a great way to get some probiotics into your children.  It’s easy enough that my children are able to make yogurt themselves.  They’re even able to turn it into thick, Greek-style yogurt.  One of our new favorites is drinkable yogurt in vanilla or lemon flavors.  We usually have this in stock at our farm store.

4. Goat Milk Cheese. There are so many different cheeses that can be made with goat milk.  We have made many different kinds (e.g. feta, mozzarella, cheddar, chevre) over the years, but now stick mainly to chevre because it is so easy and versatile.  If you’re looking to make cheese, the book Cheesemaking Made Easy* is one I would highly recommend.  If you’d rather just buy it, we recommend ours!

5. Kefir.  Kefir is one of those things that many people have never heard of.  If you are unfamiliar with kefir, it is similar to yogurt in that beneficial bacteria process the goat milk and make it very healthy.  It doesn’t taste like yogurt, but has a unique tangy taste.  I’ve heard it referred to as “champagne milk”.  And while I wouldn’t describe it that way, it does give an idea of what kefir tastes like.  We make kefir daily at our house with live kefir grains.  I will be sharing more on this in an upcoming post as well.

6. Goat Milk Fudge. Super yummy barely begins to describe how creamy and good our goat milk fudge is.  We now selling this fudge in our farm store and online in many different flavors if you want some inspiration to make your own, or just want it right now!.

7. Cajeta. Cajeta is a goat milk caramel sauce that I add to everything from sliced apples, to ice cream, to rice pudding, to marshmallows.  So many foods are given a special touch when cajeta is added.  (We are also working on labels for our cajeta so that when our commercial kitchen is built, it will be available for sale).

8. Goat Milk Caramel Candies.  Emery is the candy making king in our family.  He makes toffee and goat milk caramel candy that he dips in chocolate that is beyond delicious.  In fact, he won “best dessert” at a party we attended.  He is currently perfecting his recipes and is also offering his candies for sale in our farm store.

9. Goat Milk Egg Nog.  Egg nog is not just for the holidays.  We make it year-round and enjoy it with our farm-fresh eggs.

10. Goat Milk Ice Cream. I was given this Ice Cream Maker* one year and we have enjoyed many flavors of goat milk ice cream since.  Because we are not using heavy cream, I usually add something to thicken the ice cream a bit – such as eggs or avocado.  The varieties you can make are only limited by your imagination.  I even keep an extra ice cream bowl* in the freezer so we can make different kinds back-to-back.

11. Goat Milk Pudding.  You can make pudding from scratch or you can use goat milk with boxes of instant pudding mix (which is a lot simpler).  Beware goat milk pudding can be very messy. LOL

12. Goat Milk Smoothies and Milk Shakes. Other than a good set of knives, in my opinion what every kitchen needs is a good blender.  I have a K-tec blender* and we use it multiple times daily.  Everyone in my family usually has some form of smoothie or milk shake at least once a day.  We all agree that they taste so much better with goat milk.  One thing we do is we freeze goat milk in ice cube trays so that we have milk cubes to cool down our smoothies (instead of water ice cubes).

13. Cooking with Goat Milk. Unless you are vegan, the vast majority of recipes call for milk.  We simply use our goat milk whenever milk is needed.  We also often replace water with milk if we think the milk will add good flavor.  Some of our favorite milk based recipes include – pancakes, biscuits with sausage gravy, fettucini alfredo, and rice pudding.  I’ll try to get recipes posted for these at some point.

14. Feed it to animals. We have our pet food license and over the years, our goat milk has been used to feed baby goats, lambs, piglets, chickens, puppies, kittens, and fawns.  Because it is illegal to sell raw goat milk for human consumption in Indiana, we don’t offer that.  But we do have pet milk available in our farm store.

15. Make Goat Milk Soap. And of course, our favorite way to use up our goat milk is in goat milk soap.  Goat Milk Stuff allows us to work together as a family, raise our goats, and help people with their skin issues.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

You may have been surprised that I didn’t list making butter as one of the uses.  That’s because I found making goat milk butter (even with a cream separator) to be a very tedious process.  So it is possible, but not something I ever plan to do again!

What is your favorite use for goat milk?

PJ

 

 

*Amazon Affiliate Link

Do You Drink Goat Milk?

We are asked all the time if we drink our goat milk. The answer is… yes!  That was why we got the goats in the first place.

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We actually do quite a lot with our goat milk besides making soap.  We drink it and use it on our cereal, we also use it to make pudding, fudge, and cheese.  Then of course there is all the baking we do with it.  And don’t forget pancakes.  Raw goat milk (not the stuff you get in the store) tastes wonderful and is wonderful for you!

I hope you get to enjoy goat milk for yourself!