What is the most popular milk in the world? If you answered “Cow’s Milk” then you’re wrong. The answer is actually Goat’s Milk. This popularity doesn’t come from any marketing blitz, but more of the ease to raise goats. A goat can produce more than enough milk for a family per day and it’s much cheaper to maintain when compared to cows (plus, in many areas around the world, a cow is too expensive to own). Ease of taking care of livestock aside, goat’s milk has been around long before cows were domesticated so that also contributes to the worldwide popularity of goat’s milk.
Goat's Milk Trivia
- 65% of the world’s population drinks goat milk.
- Goat’s milk is naturally low in lactose so it can be safely consumed by people with mild lactose intolerance. (Of course, it’s best to consult with a GP first before doing so)
- Goat’s milk is easily digested in about 20 minutes. Cow’s milk, on the other hand, takes a full day before it is fully digested.
- Goat’s milk is alkaline while cow’s milk is acidic.
- Goat’s milk is not only good for drinking, but it’s made into soap as well!
Goat's Milk Buying Guide
If you’re at a goat farm looking for milk, then here are some things to ask the producers so you can not only learn more about the goat milk but also determine if the goat’s milk is actually good or if you should keep on driving.
- Check the goats – Since you’re at the farm, take a look at the goats. Do they look happy? Unlike other animals, you can tell if a goat is a well-taken care of because it will be active and… well… you’ll get a vibe that they’re happy. Trust us on this, it’s very easy to tell if a goat is happy or not.
- Look at where the goat lives – A good rule to follow is, if the goat is frolicking around in a large open area, then that’s one happy goat. If the goat is penned up, then that’s not a happy goat.
- Check the milking area – Does the milking area look clean? While farm areas cannot be 100% clean, just check to see if it’s reasonably clean. By reasonably clean, we mean that it’s always hosed down, it should smell reasonably clean, and it should be separate from the goat’s living area. By making sure that the milking area is clean, you’re making sure that there are no contaminants in your goat’s milk.
- Ask about antibiotics – If you’re concerned about antibiotics getting passed down to your milk, then ask the producer if he or she uses antibiotics.
- Ask if the milk is raw or pasteurized – If you’re in the market for raw milk then this is a very important question to ask. But if you’re more concerned about bacterial contamination, then you should get pasteurized milk.
- Taste – This is the final, and best thing to consider when in the market for goat’s milk. The goat’s milk should taste like, well… milk. The more “goaty” the milk tastes or smell, then there must be something wrong, either in the handling, the environment, or keeping male goats near the milking area (having male goats near the milking area makes the goats release hormones that carry the “goaty” smell into the milk. If you don’t like the taste of their goat milk, move on and shop elsewhere, don’t get milk that you don’t enjoy drinking.
Goat's Milk Production & Farming in Texas
The interest in goat’s milk has grown in the past ten years in the state. Statistics have shown that dairy goat milk herds in Texas have grown faster than any type of livestock. This comes from both the growing demand for organic milk as well as the ease of growing goat when compared to dairy cows. Many small farmsteads now have a few goats on their properties and they produce goat’s milk and goat’s milk products to sell on the property or in farmers’ markets.
It’s almost impossible to walk into a farmers’ market without seeing a producer selling fresh goat’s milk and goat’s milk products.
Pesticides, Additives, and Chemicals:
Goat’s milk has fewer hormones and chemical contaminants when compared to cow’s milk, so it’s a very good choice if you’re concerned about those contaminants. But that doesn’t mean that there’s none though. To really avoid contaminants, look for the USDA organic seal on commercially produced goat’s milk.
Another way to avoid these contaminants is to follow our buying guide which we had presented earlier.
Commercially produced goat’s milk is packaged much like commercially produced cow’s milk, either in glass bottles, PET jugs or in milk cartons.
Enjoying Goat's Milk
Goat’s milk, no matter how you look at them, is still milk. It’s great cold, on cereal, and even on milkshakes. You can add goat’s milk to sauces or to any recipe that calls for milk. You can even replace the water in many recipes with goat’s milk if you want a creamier dish.
Store goat’s milk in the fridge and consume within a week. You can also store goat’s milk in the freezer for about six months, but just make sure to stir it thoroughly after defrosting it to mix up all of the components as it might separate when frozen.
Make Your Own Cajeta or Mexican caramel Sauce:
Cajeta is traditionally made with goat’s milk and it’s a sweet caramel sauce that’s great on ice cream, bread, and basically anything that could do with a touch of sweetness.
Goat’s Milk, 1 quart
Cinnamon Stick, 1 whole
Vanilla Extract, 2 teaspoons
Salt, ½ teaspoon
Sugar, 1 cup
Baking Soda, ½ teaspoon
In a heavy-bottomed pan, stir together goat’s milk and sugar until the sugar is fully melted. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the baking soda, and bring to a boil using medium heat while constantly stirring.
Once the milk starts to boil, turn off the heat and add the baking soda. This will cause the mixture to bubble up, so keep on stirring to prevent it from boiling over.
Once the mixture has settled down, turn the heat back on to medium and give it a stir every 10 minutes to prevent the bottom from scorching. Adjust the heat so that the mixture is just at a mild simmer.
After an hour or an hour and a half, the mixture should start to turn golden, now is the time to remove the cinnamon stick as this is where the mixture will start to turn into caramel.
Keep on stirring until the mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon. Once it’s thick enough to coat a spoon, turn off the heat and allow to cool.
Transfer to a clean container and store in the fridge for up to a week.