Goats Milk Kefir
Goat milk was a godsend for my tiny daughter, Holli. She was born eight weeks premature and this little one rocked my world. I became a woman on a mission to help her be well. Nursing this tiny infant was a challenge. She was born so early that she didn’t have the strength to nurse for very long. But nurse her I did, until suddenly at 10 months old she decided she was done. I was panicking because she was still so tiny and she needed to get the best nutrients to keep her healthy. I wasn’t producing enough milk without her nursing, but I believe there was a divine plan at work and I didn’t quite know it yet. Her very entrance into the world was a huge shock to me. I couldn’t believe I was pregnant at the age of 40! Then my pregnancy turned into a 9-month nightmare that ended with this sweet 4-pound baby who turned my world upside down. I was trying with all my heart to keep her healthy and looking for things she could consume, and it was then that I found goat milk and kefir. I placed a spoonful of kefir in every bottle of goat milk I fed her, and it changed Holli so fast it made me sit up and take notice. Goat milk and kefir agreed with Holli and for the first time in her short life she began to grow and thrive like never before. I remember taking her for her well baby visit and her doctor smiling and saying, “I worry about these little preemies, but just look at her growing now!” All the problems with sleeping through the night vanished and picking up colds every other month stopped, and oh my! The color in her cheeks was a glow of health and I was so grateful. She was doing so well and I had found the answer.
It was her transformation that made me start drinking kefir for myself and then my health problems started vanishing one by one. How I wished I had known about kefir before I had Holli. I wasn’t as healthy as I could have been and desperately needed kefir in my life, which would have been given to Holli through nursing (nursing is the best for babies). I believe it would have made such a difference, but I had much to learn and this is how it played out for me. All the struggles in my life turn into blessings, so I have learned to be thankful for every each and every one of them. Now, fifteen years later I have found a new source of fresh goat milk just miles from my house and I love to turn it into kefir. I have also made kefir from store bought goat milk versions with great success. I want to tell you all the benefits that goat milk provides, so you can make and enjoy some Goat Milk Kefir! The benefits are many!
Goat milk is less allergenic. There is a protein in most cow milk called Alpha1 casein that many individuals are allergic to. Not all cows produce this A1 casein. The milk from A2 cows produces none of these inflammatory effects that A1 casein does. Goat milk primarily contains only A2 casein making it, protein-wise, the closest milk to human breast milk.
Goat milk stays creamy. Goat milk kefir will not thicken like regular cow’s milk kefir, but rather stays creamy and quite delicious. I get a lot of emails from folks saying their goat kefir is not thickening. This is due to the structure of proteins and fats in the milk. I love creamy kefir!
Goat milk has more prebiotics than cow milk. Oligosaccharides are prebiotics found in foods and in mother’s milk. As infants we can’t consume this prebiotic but our microbes can. I love it that mother’s milk nourishes our microbes, an important portion of our anatomy. There are thought to be four to five times more oligosaccharides in goat’s milk compared with cow’s milk.
Goat milk is easier to digest. Goat milk contains less casein than cow milk and the fat molecules are smaller, making it easy to digest. Only 2% of goat milk is curd, compared to 10% in cow milk.
Goat milk is lower in lactose than cow milk. However, when you make either cow milk or goat milk into kefir, it becomes 99% lactose free. The microbes eat the milk sugars leaving you that tart taste in the milk. All the sugars are gone and eaten by the microbes.
Goat milk is naturally homogenized. Homogenized simply means “to make uniform in consistency.” Most store-bought cow milk is factory homogenized. Cow milk will separate into cream at the top and milk at the bottom, but when it’s homogenized the fat droplets are emulsified and the cream does not separate.
Goat milk is higher in minerals than cow’s milk. Goat milk has 13% more calcium, 25% more vitamin B6, 47% more vitamin A, and 134% more potassium than regular cow milk. It’s more easily digested because of the bioavailability of these vitamins and minerals.