Goats milk has been gaining popularity recently due to it’s low amount of lactose. While many people are interested in goat milk, they worry about the taste. Raising our own goats naturally has proven all of the myths to be wrong. Goat milk does not taste bad whatsoever. It all depends on how you handle it and what the goats are fed. Let’s see which is the best option for you, cows milk or goats milk.
Now a day you have plant-based milks, soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, all kinds of milk you would’ve never heard of 30 years ago. I’m thankful to know the many benefits of raw milk so that we can stay away from the many additives those other milks have. I never did thrive on those like I do with raw milk and we can’t deny the amazing taste raw milk brings!
If you don’t have a farm you may wonder the difference between goat and cow milk. While the nutrition facts aren’t the same, the taste can be very similar. We have the pleasure of raising both grass fed cows and goats.
How Diet Affects The Taste Of Milk
When it comes to the taste of the milk for goats and cows, it all comes down to their food. What you feed your animals really does matter. When we purchased our first goat in milk a few years ago, I remember tasting the milk for the first time. I was not impressed at all. The goat was fed a diet high in soy and corn, go figure. When we switched her diet over to organic oats, barley, field peas, and black oil sunflower seeds we were amazed. The milk tasted SO clean and in my opinion better than cows milk.
For our cows, they get grass all day long and on the stand they get organic alfalfa and chaff hay. No grain whatsoever, their milk is a beautiful yellow color and taste mild but sweet. Going from goats milk to cows milk, I find the cows milk taste more like butter. Which is probably from the cream in the cows milk of course. While both have delicious milk, I love the nutrient makeup of goats milk and how easy it is to digest. Especially with my past history of autoimmune issues.
How To Get Good Tasting Goats Milk
The key to good goats milk is not only food like I mentioned before but also how you handle the milk. Fresh goat milk should be handled and processed fairly quickly. Before we get into that, I would like to share about the cleanliness of the milking process as well.
When we have dairy goats in milk, we shave their whole under belly, the udder, and the insides of their legs. This prevents any hairs from falling into the milk and decreases the risk of contamination. We use hot soapy water with anti-bacterial essential oils added to the mixture and clean their udder with a sterile rag. After cleaning the udder, we dry off their teats with another clean rag and we milk out the first two squirts into a drip cup. This ensures any bacteria in the teat is squirted out. The drip cup milk is disposed of and we then start milking the fresh milk into a sterile stainless steel pail.
After we finish milking, we strain the milk into fine disposable milk filters and into a clean glass jar. The milk then goes directly into our freezer in a ice bath. The ice bath is a large plastic container filled with water and salt. The salt keeps the water from turning into ice and helps to bring the milk down to a cold temperature extremely fast.
The quicker you can get your goat milk cold, the cleaner and better tasting it will be! This also prevents bacteria growth as well. After just 30 minutes in the freezer, the milk is starting to freeze and we move it to the fridge. We don’t let our goats milk get room temperature once it has entered into the fridge. This ensures the best milk!
Sitting your milk on the counter for too long will result in a goaty tasting milk. The taste of goat milk is surprisingly sweet, mild, and creamy. Not goaty like most would say!
Does The Breed Of Goat Affect The Taste Of Milk
Yes and no. It all depends on how you take care of them like mentioned above. We have raised, nigerian dwarfs, alpine, nubians, and mini nubians. I will say that Nigerian dwarf goats do have a higher butterfat content (7-10%) so they have sweet tasting milk that is thick. The only problem with them, is they don’t product a whole lot of milk.
Alpines, while we only milked one, her milk I found to be slightly thinner but still very sweet and mild in flavor.
Mini Nubians and nubians are what we currently raise. By far my favorite breed so far. Mini nubians are nubian and nigerian dwarf mixed. Their milk is thick, creamy, and sweet. They have a butterfat content of around (4-7%). They also produce very well for us! Nubian’s milk I find taste slightly different in that the milk is a little thinner than the mini nubians. The taste isn’t a whole lot different though. The flavor of their milk is still excellent to me and my family!
Most will say each goats breed milk taste different but I haven’t seen a significant difference from the few breeds we have raised and milked. I think it has a lot to do with how you process the milk and feed your animals.
Many goat owners will milk test their goats to know how high their butterfat content is. We have two goats who are milk tested and they rank high on the butterfat content. I can honestly say, their milk is very thick and I do see cream on the lid of our jars from their milk. It’s the best-tasting goat milk and I look forward to it everyday!
Housing Conditions For Dairy Goats
It is also super important to note the cleanliness of the goats home. The barn that they sleep in should be cleaned frequently to prevent, parasites, manure build up on fur, and odor of the goat.
Our barn is a decent size but for the amount of goats we have, it’s on the smaller side. As a precaution we clean up our barn every day or every two days depending on how it’s looking. We also built sleeping platforms for our goats to get off of the ground. This gets them off of the poop and urine from the barn floor. They love their platforms too!
Always try and keep your goat’s home as clean as possible for them and your own health too!
Raw Goat Milk Vs. Pasteurized Goat Milk
When it comes to raw milk and pasteurized goats milk, the taste difference is huge. Before our goats were in milk the season I purchased pasteurized store-bought goat milk from a local farmer and man oh man I was shocked. It was not what my taste buds were hoping for. After doing a little research I found that when you pasteurize goats milk it actually enhances the goaty taste of the milk. It alters the flavor and decreases the freshness of the milk. I didn’t find it to have a sweet taste but rather a milk goaty/gamey flavor. It was for sure a goaty tasting goat’s milk.
So PLEASE don’t base your review of goats milk from pasteurized goats milk. Raw goats milk taste way more fresh, clean, sweet, and creamy. I promise you!
Goat Milk Vs. Cow’s Milk
Many people who struggle with lactose intolerance find that they can handle goat’s milk due to less lactose than cows milk. The lipids of goats milk provide better and easier digestion with small fat globules and high short- and medium chain fatty acid content. it also has higher amounts of conjugated linoleic acid, which plays a huge role in immune stimulation, growth promotion, and disease prevention. This article shares more.
The a1 beta casein ratio in goats milk (70%/30%) is also closest to human breast milk. Which results in easier digestion compared to cows milk where the beta a casein is problematic for a lot of people, especially children.
Goats milk is also high in oligoscaccharides which is important in its protective function of intestinal flora against pathogens in brain and nervous system development.
Goats milk is also naturally homogenized making it great for goat milk cheese, soap making, and all goat milk products you find today! All thanks to the high butterfat content. We and many others find the goats milk to taste, sweet, creamy, and mild. No strong aftertaste like most would think.
Cows milk can be easier digestible if it comes from an A2A2 cow. This simply means the cow has two copies of the A2 gene in their DNA opposed to A1 which is A1 beta casein that can be harder to digest. Regular cow’s milk A1/A2 is most commonly what you will find in the stores. If you prefer whole cows milk, try and either find raw cows milk from an A2A2 cow or you can try purchasing A2/A2 milk from the store. Cows milk is also not naturally homogenized like goats milk. Which is how we are able to get cream to make butter, cow’s milk cheese, sour cream and ice cream.
Cows milk will also have a more plain but creamy flavor. We did a taste test will a family member who has never had raw milk. We put a cup of cows milk and a cup of goats milk for them to try and didn’t say which was which. They guessed that the goats milk was cows milk. How wild is that.
It all comes down to you trying it out yourself and seeing if you like goats milk! I really think you will be surprised, I know I was when we first started milking our goats. Goats milk really can and does have a very rich, creamy, and mild flavor. Despite what most will say about goat’s milk tasting goaty, I encourage you to try out some raw goats milk if you can! You can ask around if there are any farmers who do herd shares around you or you can check here to find raw milk near you!
What are your thoughts on goats milk? Have you tried it yet? Let me know in the comments below!