There is nothing more satisfying than bringing in fresh milk from the barn. I am now milking 4 goats and getting plenty of milk. But I cannot drink it all so what do I do with it? Soft Cheese: I make a lot of fresh soft goat cheese. This takes a gallon of milk and I eat it fairly fast. I have flavored it with powdered ranch dressing mix, or fresh basil and garlic, or jalapeno peppers, or chipotle salsa. The varieties are as limited as your imagination. I heard the other night about taking a two inch ball of fresh goat cheese, dipping it in flour then beaten egg then bread crumbs. Take that and fry it just until golden brown on the outside. It is cool on the inside, crispy on the outside. I gotta try that!
Hard cheese: This takes 5 gallons of milk to make a 3 pound block of cheese. My girls have not gotten that much production yet, but I am looking forward to it. I have made cheddar, jack, feta, and pepper jack. Mozzarella and ricotta are good too and don’t take a whole 5 gallons to make.
Kefir: This is the champagne of milk. It is slightly bubbly and is full of probiotics and health benefits. I have used the powdered culture that is available in grocery stores with limited success. The best way to get good kefir is to find someone with kefir “grains” and make it from there. I will be doing a post just about kefir soon.
Yogurt: I love fresh yogurt. There are different cultures that you can get that make the yogurt different in flavor and texture. I have used the package of dry culture, plain yogurt from the store with live cultures, and purchased specialty cultures. Experiment and find the flavor and texture that you like the best. I make a batch and use it with fruit, in smoothies, frozen yogurt, and cooking.
Soap: It does not take much milk to make a batch of soap, but it is a way to use up some. I love goat milk soap. It is the smoothest feeling of all soaps that I have made.
Freeze: Goats need to be allowed some time off before they have a new baby next year, so with only a few goats it would be a good idea to freeze some for that time. Make sure that you leave plenty of room at the top of the jar for expansion. I have put in too much on occasion and had the jar break.
Feed a calf: Every spring when I have a huge amount of milk, I raise a Holstein calf for my beef. I go to the local dairy farmers and pick up a newborn calf. They don’t want to feed it when they can get more money from their milk. This is a great way to increase the value of my milk.
Feed pigs: Milk that has stayed too long in the refrigerator or the whey from making cheese feeds pigs very well. The best pork I ever had is what I raised primarily on goat milk and bread.
Share with friends: I have friends that love goat milk. I share when I have enough. They bring me homemade wine when they have some. Sharing talents and food is a great community benefit.
Ice cream: This is the best part, fresh hand cranked ice cream. It has been a family tradition for years. If you don’t crank, you don’t eat it. Everyone from the time they can understand gets a hand on the crank and goes around and around with it. I haven’t made goat milk ice cream yet, but summer is coming!
What other ways can you think of to use up an abundance of milk?