Goat cheese, also known as chèvre, is a delicious and versatile dairy product that has been enjoyed for centuries in various cultures around the world. This blog post will explore the health benefits and cultural significance of both raw goat milk and raw goat cheese, as well as provide a step-by-step guide on how to make it at home.

The Health Benefits of Raw Goat Milk

Raw goat milk is a rich source of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. It contains higher levels of calcium, vitamin A, and potassium than cow’s milk, and is also easier to digest due to its smaller fat globules and lower lactose content. This makes it a great alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or have difficulty digesting cow’s milk.

In addition to their nutritional value, raw goat products have several health benefits. Raw goat milk contains immunoglobulins and other immune factors that can help improve immunity and reduce the risk of infections. It also has antimicrobial properties that can help fight harmful bacteria in the gut and promote a healthy digestive system. Raw goat milk is also known to be beneficial for skin health, as it contains high levels of vitamin A and lactic acid, which can help moisturize and soothe dry, irritated skin.

How Does Goat Milk Compare to Cow Milk in Vitamins and Minerals?

  • Goat milk has slightly lower levels of vitamin A than cow milk, but higher levels of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, folate, magnesium, and potassium.
  • Goat milk contains less vitamin D than cow milk.
  • Goat milk has significantly higher levels of vitamin E than cow milk.
  • Both types of milk have similar levels of vitamin B3 and vitamin B6.
Vitamin/Mineral Goat Milk (per 100g) Cow Milk (per 100g)
Vitamin A 37 mcg 49 mcg
Vitamin C 1.0 mg 0.0 mg
Vitamin D 0.1 mcg 0.5 mcg
Vitamin E 0.11 mg 0.03 mg
Vitamin K 2.2 mcg 0.5 mcg
Vitamin B1 0.13 mg 0.04 mg
Vitamin B2 0.62 mg 0.21 mg
Vitamin B3 0.2 mg 0.1 mg
Vitamin B6 0.05 mg 0.04 mg
Vitamin B12 1.76 mcg 0.4 mcg
Folate (B9) 3 mcg 1 mcg
Magnesium 13 mg 10 mg
Potassium 204 mg 120 mg

The History of Raw Goat Cheese in Different Cultures

The art of cheese-making dates back to ancient times, and goat cheese has been a popular dairy product in various cultures around the world. In Greece, feta cheese has been a staple in the Mediterranean diet for centuries and is used in a variety of dishes, such as salads and pies. In France, chèvre cheese is a beloved ingredient in traditional cuisine, and is often served with bread or paired with wine. In India, paneer cheese is a common ingredient in vegetarian dishes and is often used as a substitute for meat.

Hand-rolled raw goat cheese comes in different variations, depending on the region and the specific cheese-making techniques. For example, French chèvre cheese is often aged for several weeks and has a tangy flavor, while Greek feta cheese is brined and has a crumbly texture. In addition to its culinary uses, goat cheese also has cultural significance in many traditional diets and is often associated with health and wellness.

How to Make Hand-Rolled Raw Goat Cheese at Home:

Ingredients:

1 gallon of raw goat milk
1/8 teaspoon of mesophilic culture
1/8 teaspoon of rennet
1 tablespoon of cheese salt

Equipment:

Large stainless steel pot
Thermometer
Cheese cloth
Cheese mold
Cheese press
Large bowl
Wooden spoon

Instructions:

  • Heat the raw goat milk in a large stainless steel pot to 86°F.
  • Once the milk is at 86°F, add 1/8 teaspoon of mesophilic culture and stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
  • Dissolve 1/8 teaspoon of rennet in 1/4 cup of cool water, then add it to the milk and stir for 30 seconds.
  • Cover the pot and let it sit undisturbed for 12-18 hours at room temperature, or until the curd has formed and separated from the whey.
  • Cut the curd into small cubes using a long knife, then gently stir the curds and whey for 10 minutes.
  • Place a cheesecloth-lined cheese mold into a large bowl, then pour the curds and whey into the mold.
  • Fold the cheesecloth over the top of the curds, then place a weight on top of the cheese mold to press the cheese.
  • Let the cheese press for 6-8 hours, then remove the cheese from the mold and unwrap it from the cheesecloth.
  • Sprinkle the cheese with cheese salt, then knead it gently by hand until the salt is evenly distributed.
  • Shape the cheese into small balls or logs by rolling it between your hands, then store the cheese in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Serving size: This recipe will make about 1 pound of hand rolled raw goat cheese. The serving size will depend on how much cheese you would like to serve per person.

Prep time: The prep time for this recipe is approximately 30 minutes.

Processing time: The processing time for this recipe is approximately 12-18 hours for the curd to form and separate from the whey, and an additional 6-8 hours to press the cheese. There is no active cooking time involved in this recipe, as it is a process of culturing, coagulating, draining, and pressing the cheese.

Fried Goat Cheese Balls with Olive Oil – A Popular Croatian Snack

Frying goat cheese in olive oil is a popular snack in Croatia, where both olive oil and goat’s milk are abundant. The rich and tangy flavor of the goat cheese pairs perfectly with the delicate taste of the olive oil, making for a delicious and satisfying treat. Hand-rolled raw goat cheese balls coated with breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and fresh parsley are fried to a crispy golden brown, creating a contrast in textures that is simply irresistible. Served with a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of chopped fresh herbs, these fried goat cheese balls are a must-try for anyone who loves cheese and all things savory.

Overall, raw goat cheese is a delicious and nutritious dairy product that has been enjoyed for centuries in various cultures around the world. It has several health benefits, including improving immunity, promoting digestive health, and moisturizing the skin. By making cheese at home, you can experience the art and science of cheese-making, and enjoy a delicious and versatile dairy product that can be used in a variety of dishes.

Author

Willow Brennan is the editor of SeedOils.com, a blog focused on health and wellness. With an interest in botany and holistic medicine, Willow has become obsessed with the use of fruit oils and animal fats for improving overall health. Before starting her homestead life with her family, she had a short career as a park ranger, where she fell in love with the outdoors and the importance of preserving natural habitats. When not writing or tending to her homestead, Willow indulges in her love of photography and capturing the beauty of nature. Feel free to email her at Editor@SeedOils.com.

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