Goats Milk Cottage Cheese: Health Benefits and Delicious Recipes




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I’ve been raising goats for nearly 20 years now. Over those years, I accumulated a lot of information about goats and what works and what doesn’t.

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Goat milk Cottage Cheese
Goat milk Cottage Cheese

Goat milk cottage cheese is a creamy and nutritious alternative to traditional cow’s milk cottage cheese. Known for its delicate flavor and smooth texture, it is gaining popularity among cheese enthusiasts for its unique taste and health benefits. Goat milk cottage cheese is a versatile dairy product that can be enjoyed as a snack, accompaniment to meals, or ingredient in various recipes.

Can you Make Goat’s Milk Cottage Cheese at Home?

Making goat milk cottage cheese at home is a simple and rewarding process that requires minimal ingredients and equipment. By following a few straightforward steps, you can create your own delicious and healthy goat milk cottage cheese, customized to your preferred taste and consistency. This not only gives you control over the quality of the ingredients used, but also allows you to experiment with different variations to suit your palate.

Key Takeaways

  • Goat milk cottage cheese is a nutritious and delicious alternative to traditional cow’s milk cottage cheese.
  • Making goat milk cottage cheese at home is simple, requiring minimal ingredients and equipment.
  • Homemade goat milk cottage cheese can be customized to your preferred taste and consistency.

Goat Milk Cottage Cheese Basics

Definition of Goat Milk Cottage Cheese

Goat milk cottage cheese is a soft, fresh cheese made from goat’s milk, with a mild flavor and distinctive curds. It is similar to regular cottage cheese, which is made from cow’s milk, but offers a unique taste and texture due to the qualities of goat milk.

Nutritional Facts

Goat milk cottage cheese contains a good amount of protein, calcium, and healthy fats. Typical nutritional facts for 100 grams of goat milk cottage cheese include:

  • Calories: 103
  • Fat: 4.3g
  • Protein: 11g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.4g
  • Calcium: 83mg

It is important to note that nutritional values may vary depending on the specific brand or homemade recipe used.

Types of Goat Milk

Different types of goat milk used in making cottage cheese can affect the final product’s taste, texture, and nutritional value. Some types include:

  • Raw goat milk: Unpasteurized goat milk which retains all of its natural nutrients and enzymes. Known to create a stronger flavor in cottage cheese.
  • Pasteurized goat milk: This milk undergoes a heat treatment process to eliminate bacteria, resulting in a milder taste and longer shelf life.
  • Whole goat milk: Full-fat goat milk that provides rich, creamy cottage cheese.
  • Skimmed goat milk: Low-fat goat milk resulting in reduced-fat or fat-free cottage cheese options.

Key Differences between Goat Cheese and Cottage Cheese

While both are derived from milk, goat’s milk cottage cheese and traditional goat cheese have some distinctive differences:

  • Milk source: Goat cheese is made from goat’s milk, while cottage cheese is traditionally made from cow’s milk.
  • Production: Goat cheese is made by adding culture and rennet to milk, then draining and aging the curds, while cottage cheese involves heating milk, adding a starter culture, and separating the curds from the whey.
  • Texture: Goat cheese has a smooth, creamy texture, while cottage cheese has a more lumpy, curd-like texture.
  • Taste: Goat cheese has a tangy, slightly tart flavor, whereas cottage cheese has a milder taste, making it more versatile in recipes.
  • Shelf life: Cottage cheese typically has a shorter shelf life than aged goat cheeses, due to its fresh, non-aged nature.
Making goat cottage cheese
Making goat cottage cheese

Ingredients for Goat Milk Cottage Cheese

Milk or Cream

Goat milk is the primary ingredient for making goat milk cottage cheese. You can use whole goat milk, which provides a richer flavor and more nutrition compared to low-fat goat milk. Raw goat milk is preferred for its natural and unprocessed state, but you can also use pasteurized goat milk if necessary. Optionally, you can add heavy cream, cultured buttermilk, or a blend of goat milk and cream to achieve a creamier texture and taste in the final product.

Rennet and Starter Culture

Rennet, usually in the form of liquid rennet, is essential for coagulating the milk and separating curds from the whey. You can also use rennet tablets or powdered rennet if preferred. Starter culture, like mesophilic culture or yogurt, is crucial for fermenting the milk, giving the cheese its unique flavor, and creating a hospitable environment for the production of lactic acid bacteria. These bacteria are responsible for transforming lactose (milk carbohydrates) into lactic acid, further preserving and developing the taste of the cheese.

Rennet Form Volume Instructions
Liquid Rennet 1/4 teaspoon
Rennet Tablets 1 tablet (equivalent to 1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet) Dissolve in cool water before use
Powdered Rennet As specified on packaging Dilute in water following package instructions
Using different forms of Rennet

Salt and Seasonings

Salt is a key ingredient in goat milk cottage cheese. It enhances the flavor and helps preserve the cheese. Common options include kosher salt, cheese salt, or finely ground sea salt. Add salt to taste, typically ranging from 1/2 to 2 teaspoons, depending on the desired overall saltiness.

In addition to salt, you can include various seasonings to customize the flavor of your goat milk cottage cheese. Common options to give the cheese a unique twist include herbs like chives, parsley, or dill, and you can also mix in additional ingredients such as finely chopped garlic, black pepper, or sundried tomatoes.

While preparing the cheese, remember to monitor the temperature, as it plays a crucial role in the process. Generally, the milk is heated to 70°F (21°C) – 90°F (32°C) and maintained for a specific duration to achieve the desired coagulation and fermentation.

Examples of seasonings:

  • Herbs: chives, parsley, dill
  • Spices: black pepper, chili flakes
  • Extra ingredients: garlic, sundried tomatoes, olives

By carefully selecting and combining these ingredients, you can create a delicious, wholesome, and satisfying homemade goat milk cottage cheese. There are quite a few goat milk cheese recipes out there. However, don’t be afraid to experiment with new flavors while keeping the fundamentals of temperature, rennet, and starter culture in mind!

Equipment for Making Goat Milk Cottage Cheese

Important Tools and Utensils

To make goat milk cottage cheese, it’s essential to have the following tools and utensils on hand:

  • A large pot: This is necessary for heating the goat milk. Choose a pot capable of holding at least 1 gallon of milk.
  • A thermometer: A reliable thermometer will ensure the milk reaches the correct temperature for the cheese-making process.
  • A colander: A colander is needed to strain the curds from the whey.
  • A cheesecloth: This is a crucial piece of equipment for draining and separating the curds from the whey. Make sure to select a fine-mesh cheesecloth for this task.
  • Stirring utensils: A long-handled spoon or ladle is necessary for stirring the milk during various stages of the process.

Additonally, it is useful to have these additional items:

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • A bowl for collecting the whey
  • A clean workspace

Choosing the Right Material

When selecting equipment for making goat milk cottage cheese, keep the following considerations in mind:

  • Stainless steel: This material is best for pots, colanders, and other utensils. It is resistant to corrosion and does not react with the acidic contents of the milk.
  • Non-ultra-pasteurized milk: For best results, use goat milk that has not been ultra-pasteurized, as this high heat treatment can negatively affect the cheese-making process.
  • Quality cheesecloth: Choose a cheesecloth made from natural fibers such as cotton or linen and with a fine mesh. This will allow for proper draining and separation of the curds from the whey.

In summary, the right equipment and materials are essential for making goat milk cottage cheese. Ensuring you have a stainless steel pot, a quality thermometer, a colander, a fine-mesh cheesecloth, and the necessary utensils will set you up for success in creating delicious homemade cottage cheese using goat milk.

Making Goat Milk Cottage Cheese at Home

Step by Step Instructions

Step by step instructions for how to make goats milk cottage cheese in your home kitchen.

  1. Heat Goat Milk

    Heat 2 gallons of whole goat milk slowly to 72°F over low heat, stirring frequently.

  2. Add cheese culture

    Add Mesophilic culture

  3. Add Rennet

    Dilute 4 drops of liquid rennet in ¼ cup of cool water and add to the milk mixture.

  4. Coagulation

    Let the mixture sit for approximately 12 hours at room temperature, or until the milk has coagulated.

  5. Separate the curds and whey

    Once coagulated, cut the curds into cubes using a sharp knife. Gently warm the curds to separate the whey until the curds reach 90°F, stirring occasionally.

  6. Drain the whey

    Drain the curds using a cheesecloth and allow them to hang for at least 4 hours.

  7. Finshing touches

    Place the drained curds in a bowl, and add 1 tablespoon of cheese salt or other herbs

  8. Optional

    add heavy cream to the curds if desired for a creamier texture.

Cooking Tips and Tricks

  • Choosing the milk: For the best results, use organic milk. Avoid ultra-pasteurized milk and opt for whole milk for a creamier outcome. Powdered milk can also be used in a pinch, but ensure it’s full-fat for best results.
  • Beyond cottage cheese: This same method can be used to create other simple cheeses such as queso fresco or feta by simply adjusting the salt content or using a different culture as the coagulant.
  • Adding tang: If you prefer a tangier flavor, substitute white wine vinegar or lemon juice for the liquid rennet.
  • Coagulation: Keep an eye on the milk for the 12-hour resting period, and don’t be alarmed if the coagulation takes slightly more or less time than anticipated. Factors like room temperature and humidity can affect the coagulation process.
  • Nutrition facts: Goat milk cottage cheese is a nutritious alternative to store-bought varieties, with high protein content and fewer additives. Each batch provides approximately 4 pounds of cottage cheese.

Remember to be patient while making homemade goat milk cottage cheese, as the process does take time. Enjoy your fresh, creamy, and protein-rich cottage cheese made right in your own kitchen.

Serving and Storing Goat Milk Cottage Cheese

Delicious Serving Suggestions

Goat milk cottage cheese makes a versatile and tasty addition to many dishes. Here are some serving ideas:

  • Breakfast bowls: Top your morning oatmeal or granola with a dollop of cottage cheese, fresh fruit, honey, and a sprinkling of nuts or seeds for extra crunch.
  • Dessert: Stir in whipped cream or yogurt, and sweeten your cottage cheese with maple syrup or honey. Top it off with chopped nuts and fruit for a light yet satisfying treat.
  • Salads: Use goat milk cottage cheese to add creaminess and tang to salads, such as a colorful Caprese or a mixed green salad.
  • Baking: Incorporate cottage cheese into savory baked dishes like quiches and casseroles, or give your muffins, pancakes, and other sweet baked goods a nutritious boost.

Proper Storage

To keep your goat milk cottage cheese fresh and flavorful, take the following steps:

  • Transfer it to an airtight container after opening or making. This will help prevent odors from other foods in the refrigerator from affecting the taste of the cheese.
  • Store it in the coldest part of the refrigerator, where the temperature remains stable or below 40°F (4°C).
  • Do not leave cottage cheese at room temperature for more than two hours, as it can spoil quickly.

Shelf Life

The shelf life of goat milk cottage cheese depends on its freshness, storage conditions, and whether it’s homemade or store-bought. Generally, store-bought cottage cheese lasts about 7-10 days after opening, while homemade cottage cheese has a shorter shelf life of 3-5 days. Always check for any signs of spoilage, such as discoloration, an off smell, or a change in texture before consuming.

Video – Making Goat’s Milk Cottage Cheese

In this video from Hammock Haven Farm, Kristin Hammock demonstrates how to make goat milk cottage cheese. At 04:05, you can see the curds being cut, and at 4:30 you can the the curds and when begin to separate. Kristin won the Amateur cheese competition at the American Dairy Goat Association National Convention in 2017, so you won’t want to miss this video.

Goat Milk cottage cheese video

Frequently Asked Questions

How is goat milk cottage cheese made?

Goat milk cottage cheese is made by combining goat milk with a mesophilic culture, and then adding liquid rennet or a rennet substitute to form curds. The curds are then cut, drained, and mixed with salt. The specific process may vary according to the chosen recipe, but generally involves heating the milk, adding the culture and rennet, letting it set, and then cutting and draining the curds.

What are the benefits of goat milk cottage cheese?

Goat milk cottage cheese can offer various benefits, such as being easier to digest for those with lactose intolerance due to its lower lactose content compared to cow milk. It is also rich in nutrients like protein, calcium, and vitamin A. Moreover, it has a unique taste and texture that appeals to many cheese lovers.

Are goat and sheep milk cottage cheeses different?

Yes, goat and sheep milk cottage cheeses are different, mainly in taste, texture, and nutritional content. While both are similar in their production process, sheep milk cheese generally has a richer, creamier texture and higher fat content. In contrast, goat milk cheese has a more tangy flavor and a lighter, softer texture.

Can I make feta cheese from goat milk?

Yes, feta cheese can be made from goat milk. Traditional feta cheese is made from sheep milk or a mixture of sheep and goat milk. If you choose to make feta cheese from goat milk, the process is quite similar to making other cheeses with the addition of specific starter cultures and rennet to achieve the desired flavor and consistency.

Does goat milk cheese taste different from cow cheese?

Goat milk cheese does typically taste different from cow cheese, owing to differences in the milk’s makeup. Goat milk cheese tends to have a tangier and sharper flavor compared to milder cow milk cheeses. The distinct “goaty” taste also sets it apart from cow milk cheese. However, the specific taste of a cheese will depend on the variety and how it has been produced.

Is goat cheese healthier than cow cheese?

Goat cheese can be considered healthier than cow cheese in some aspects. It has easier-to-digest fat molecules and a lower lactose content, making it a better option for those with lactose intolerance. Goat cheese is also higher in some nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin K, and niacin. However, both goat and cow cheeses can be part of a balanced diet when enjoyed in moderation.

What is the difference between farmers cheese and cottage cheese?

Cottage cheese and farmer cheese differ in their production methods and consistency. Cottage cheese is made by curdling milk with an acid or a bacterial culture, resulting in small curds that are typically moist and creamy. It often contains added cream to enhance its texture and flavor. Farmer cheese, on the other hand, is made by curdling milk with an acid, then pressing and draining the curds to remove the whey. This process creates a drier and crumbly cheese with a mild and slightly tangy flavor. Unlike cottage cheese, farmer cheese is typically not mixed with cream, resulting in a lower fat content.

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