Our Food Editors Love Goat Milk—Here's Why They Think You Should, Too
From goat milk butter to kefir, we tasted our way through a variety of goat milk products.
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One of the biggest trends that our food editors predicted would be popular 2020 was the rise of alternative milk—almond, oat, cashew, hemp. While many people are straying away from cow milk-based dairy products, goat milk is on the rise. To learn more about goat milk, our food editors tasted their way through a portfolio of goat-milk products from Redwood Hill Farm and Meyenberg Dairy, both of which are based in Sebastopol, California. "I think a lot of people have really expanded their definition of dairy at this point. It used to just be cow exclusively and now it can be a lot of things. People might like oat milk in their latte but drink cow's milk with their cookies," said Seair Lorentz, brand manager for both Redwood Hill Farm and Meyenberg Dairy.
Our food editors expected that this goat milk would taste like all the rest—potent, grassy, and earthy. However, they were pleasantly surprised. "Goat milk can taste very gamey, but this one is nice and mild," said deputy food editor Greg Lofts upon tasting Meyenberg Dairy's goat milk. Goat milk can be used in place of cow's milk in a myriad of culinary applications. Steam it for a cappuccino or latte, or use goat milk-based kefir from Redwood Hill Farm in place of buttermilk for fried chicken, pancakes, or ranch dressing. Greg also suggested using goat milk butter, which is very white compared to yellow cow's milk butter, for a white cake to maintain its angelic color.
About seven percent of children in the United States are lactose intolerant, but approximately 40 percent of them can easily digest goat's milk. "Goat's milk does have lactose, but significantly less. Goat's milk has smaller fat particles than cow's milk, so it forms a smaller, softer curd in your stomach and your enzymes can digest it better," explained Lorentz.
What are the other health benefits of goat milk? According to Lorentz, one cup of goat milk has 18 percent more calcium, 40 percent more potassium and magnesium, and 104 percent more vitamin A than cow's milk. Goat milk has also been embraced by the fitness community and those who follow a keto diet because it has higher levels of short- and medium-chain fatty acids, which helps for rapid energy absorption.
Some people, including goat milk producers, consider goat milk to be better for the environment than cow's milk or almond milk. It's produced on a smaller scale and goats graze on a wide variety of plants and shrubbery, instead of just grass like cows, which is gentler on pastures.