There is a saying in the goat community - "Goats are like potato chips. You can't have just one."
It is so true! We have definitely found that even with a growing business, our goat 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."
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 The Sweet Shop for you! (It is illegal to sell raw goat milk for human consumption in the state of Indiana and so we have pasteurized goat milk for humans and raw goat milk for pets available.)
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 flavors like vanilla, lemon, or strawberry. We usually have drinkable yogurt in stock at The Sweet Shop.
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 at home, the book Cheesemaking Made Easy* is one I would highly recommend. And we have lots of yummy goat cheese available at The Sweet Shop.
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 and are working toward being able to make it available for sale.
6. Goat Milk Fudge. Super yummy barely begins to describe how creamy and good our goat milk fudge is. We are now selling this fudge in The Sweet Shop 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.
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 continues to experiment with new caramel candies that he offers in the Sweet Shop.
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 Gelato (or Ice Cream). I was given this Ice Cream Maker* one year and we have enjoyed many flavors of goat milk ice cream since. 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. (Update: We now serve our gelato in the Sweet Shop and have it available in take-home pint containers).
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 trick is to maintain a supply of frozen goat milk cubes (easily made in silicone ice cube trays). We use these (instead of water ice cubes) to make our smoothies cold and they keep the smoothie from tasting watered-down.
13. Cooking with Goat Milk. Unless you are vegan, many 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 (which it usually does). 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.
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?