Goat’s cheese isn’t just a tasty delicacy.
It can also be a healthier replacement for cheeses made with cow’s milk. In fact, goat’s cheese is good for you and good for the planet.
Good for you
- Goat’s cheese has more vitamins and minerals than cheese made from cow’s milk. It has more vitamins K and D and niacin. It’s also rich in calcium, riboflavin, iron, vitamins A and B, magnesium, and potassium.
- It has fewer calories – around 75 calories in an ounce, compared with around 115 per ounce in an average cheddar. It also has less fat per ounce than most cow’s cheeses.
- It has a different protein structure and less lactose. Our bodies find it easier to digest than cow’s cheese and most people who are allergic to cow’s milk can eat it.
Good for the planet
- Goats produce more milk than cows for the food they eat. For 70lbs of food, a goat will give a gallon more milk than a cow.
- They need less space and food than cows – often foraging on weeds and scrub that cows won’t eat.
- They help keep down bracken. That reduces the risk of wildfires spreading, damaging plant and animal life and adding to carbon dioxide levels.
So, how can you find the best goat’s cheese?
Avoid cheese made from milk from herds where there are concentrated animal feeding operations. Goats are raised in close proximity to one another and viruses can spread, leading to the use of chemicals to combat them. Instead, look for cheeses made from goats which have been pastured on grass – just like the Florida goat herd grazed on the lush pastures of El Bucarito.
Look at the maturation process used. The best cheeses are matured for months and stored carefully at the right temperatures.
You can choose pasteurised cheeses or cheeses made from raw goat’s milk which give a deep flavour.
Here are 3 of our favourite goat’s cheeses – and some suggestions for using them in your cooking:
- Raw goat’s milk cheese cured in olive oil – Matured for a total of seven months, the last two in local olive oil, this cheese is perfect when paired with olives and sherry as an aperitif. Whip it up with a little more olive oil and serve on rye bread with sliced radishes. Delicious!
- Raw goat’s milk cheese rolled in smoky Spanish paprika – This tangy cheese holds its own when served in a tapas dish with chorizo. It would give a smoky taste to a spinach and goat’s cheese souffle made with garlic, olive oil, baby spinach, a shallot, milk, parmesan cheese, and eggs. Crumble in the cheese and add the egg yolks and wilted spinach before combining the milk and flour mixture with whipped egg whites.
- Pasteurised goat’s cheese rolled in wheat bran – Perfect for goat’s cheese potato cakes made with softly boiled potatoes, an onion, flour, and an egg. Mash the potatoes with the onion then squeeze the moisture out of the mixture, mash in the cheese, mix in the flour and egg, and season. Shape into cakes. Fry until golden.