One of the first things you learn as an agrarian, is that fresh raw milk is amazing! It can multi-task like no other and I am only just beginning to learn the art of raw milk. Here are some of the ways we have been using our milk:
1.) Whole Milk: First you have the basic gallon of whole milk. Straight from the cow, strained and cooled this milk is amazing with a nice layer of cream. Since raw milk isn’t homogenized, after sitting in the refrigerator for several hours, the cream separates to the top. You can just shake the gallon before serving or for a more skim milk, you can take the cream off the milk.
2.) Cream: That thick yummy cream is amazing –it’s double cream! It must have an amazing amount of calories per spoonful! You can use cream in a lot of things. We pour cream over oatmeal, grits or rice. We use it in hot tea and coffee. I also add cream when cooking and baking, but mostly, I save my cream for making butter. Occasionally, we whip the cream for a topping on pancakes or waffles, fruit or baked goods.
3.) Butter: This beta-carotene rich Guernsey butter is so yellow! I usually wait until the cream is 2 days old before I make butter with it. It just works better that way. If I have a lot of cream to work with, I use the blender on the lowest speed and within a minute or two, I have butter. The little ones like to make butter, so I usually hand them their own jar of cream and they will shake it until it turns to butter.
This week for the first time, our 3 year old made her very first jar of butter by herself…and ohh joy, was she proud of herself!
She shakes the jar as hard as she can….and sticks with it for a while…
…occasionally stopping to check to see if she has butter yet…and it was a happy day when she found butter!
4.) Cheese: We have just learned how to make raw milk mozzarella cheese and boy, is it out of this world yummy! I’ve been making a lot of cheese lately–experimenting with the salt to cheese ratio. It is a good way to use up 2 gallons of milk real quick and the pigs always love the bi-product of whey soaked slops.
5.) Whey: After you make the cheese, the left over liquid is whey. We soak the corn we feed our pigs in the whey. The chickens and kittens also like the whey.
6.) Yogurt: With the help of an experienced yogurt and mozzarella cheese making friend, I did make a gallon of yogurt using my crockpot. Now that was very exciting! We eat a lot of yogurt and I am anxious get a Yogourmet yogurt maker?
7.) Kefir: A good friend gave me some kefir grains, so I have been making kefir. I don’t really like the bite of plain kefir, so I use it in smoothies. I have also used it in various recipes.
8.) Animal food: We still have some calves that are drinking the raw milk. The kittens, dogs, pigs, chickens, and the pet turkey also love any extra milk or any milk that has soured–so none of it goes to waste.
There are many more ways the milk could be used. Ice Cream is topping the list quickly! I would also like to figure out sour cream pretty soon.
It is really amazing how a cow can munch on grass all day long and produce milk for us to use in so many ways. God’s magnificent design of this incredible animal continues to amaze me!