Homemade Goat Cheese: easy, frugal and delicious!
Why do I love this homemade goat cheese? Let me count the ways:
- It doesn’t require any special rennet or special cheese-making ingredients
- It only requires a few minutes of hands-on time
- It is raw, so it is chock full of live and beneficial enzymes
- It is packed with gut-healing probiotics
- It is completely lactose-free due to the preparation method
- It is easy to digest, even if you usually can’t tolerate dairy
- It is suitable for the specific carbohydrate diet, GAPS Diet and primal diets
- It is an excellent source of protein and healthy fats
- It is gosh-darned tasty
It starts with goat milk yogurt…
Goat mik yogurt is a staple in my diet. I ferment the yogurt for a full 24 hours, and this allows the probiotics to completely consume all of the lactose (milk sugar) in the milk. The resulting yogurt is lactose-free and very easy to digest. I recommend homemade, raw milk yogurt to almost everybody. Raw dairy is a very healing food due to the bioavailable vitamins, calcium paired with cofactors and the cellularly-protective saturated fat content. Even those who are lactose-intolerant can usually enjoy raw cow’s milk without a problem. Raw goats milk is even more digestible and is suitable for those who have a cow milk allergy.
You have a couple of options when making this homemade goat cheese. First, make the yogurt yourself as described below. This will allow you to have a raw goat cheese. Alternatively, you can start with purchased goat milk yogurt (you can usually find it in health food stores). In that case, the final product will not be raw since purchased yogurt is made from pasteurized goat milk.
If you don’t have access to raw goat milk or goat milk yogurt, you can use this technique with cow milk or purchased cow milk yogurt.
How to make homemade goat cheese
First, prepare a batch of raw goat milk yogurt according to my yogurt tutorial here. Like I mentioned, you can skip this step and start with purchased goat milk yogurt.
Next, it is time to drip the yogurt to separate the whey from the milk solids. I recommend purchasing a cotton cheese bag made specifically for this purpose. Before each use, soak the cheese bag in boiling water for 30-60 seconds (this softens and sterilizes the bag). Remove it, let it cool, and gently squeeze out the excess water (don’t wring the bag, though).
Then, place a fine-mesh strainer over a tall bowl. Line your strainer with the cheese bag and pour in your yogurt. Place this in the fridge for 12-24 hours. The whey will drip into the bowl below, leaving the thickened goat cheese in the bag. Scrap out the goat cheese from the bag and pour in more yogurt, until you have used all the yogurt. (You can save the mineral-rich whey and here is a list of things to do with whey from The Prairie Homestead.) I get about 2/3 – 3/4 cup goat cheese from 4 cups of yogurt.
Are you a fan of goat cheese? Do you have access to raw goat milk (I know it can be hard to find)? Remember, ask around at your farmer’s markets to locate a source of goat milk.