Raw Milk. The most common reaction I receive after telling people we drink raw milk is, “Ew, I couldn’t do the texture”. But the reality is, most of these people have never tried it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was a little nervous about trying at first also. But after that first swallow, it was like a curtain was pulled from my eyes. Like a fog was lifted. Like a fresh breeze blew through my hair on a sunny day. It was magnificent.
We will never go back!!
What’s the difference? Store bough milk is pasteurize and homogenized. This process became a requirement so the retailers didn’t have to worry about the farm the milk came from. As long as you kill off the bacteria, who cares how dirty and gross the fresh milk was. Also, with all the bacteria killed, it will last longer. So we can ship milk from a 50,000 cow dairy all the way across the US and not have to worry about it.
Commercialize. That’s what it was about. Get it bigger. Get is faster. The retailer makes more money. The farmer makes a fraction of a penny.
Some of this is written with sarcasm. But it is still true. Commercialized farming has created a marginalize market where the only people that profit are the ones sitting on top. But, aside from my political stance, there are true health benefits of drinking raw milk.
Did you know that not all bacteria is bad? Actually, most bacteria is good for you. There are bacteria on the surface of your skin that keep it healthy and clean. Same with your gut! The gastrointestinal tract requires bacteria to breakdown food.
Raw milk is full of healthy gut bacteria the body needs. It also contain lactase, which is killed off in the pasteurization process. Lactase is an enzyme that breaks down lactose. Those that have a hard time breaking down lactose think they can’t have milk. In reality, they are starving their body of the one thing needed to breakdown the lactose and it comes in the purest form.
Homogenization is the process of making something all the same. In raw milk, the fat will separate from the milk. When homogenized, it breaks down the fat so it does not have that separating reaction. When the fat is forced to break down it cannot do so in your gut, where natural bodily reactions cannot occur.
The biggest difference though between raw milk and store bought milk, is your farmer.
When you buy from your local dairy farmer, you have the ability to meet the cows, see the facility, and ask questions when you think something might be wrong. You are also supporting your local economy. When you buy from a local farmer or local business, your money is more likely to stay in your community.
Can raw milk be harmful? Yes. But, as long as your farmer knows what they are doing, adheres to guidelines, and has a clean facility and proper procedures, your milk will be the best tasting thing you have ever had!
Lastly, do you know what you can do with 1 gallon of raw milk?! You can make butter, cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream, coffee creamer, buttermilk, and cheese. You may think that you have to put a ton of work get any of these byproducts… Want to know how I make butter? Click here.
How I make homemade butter!
No, I do not have a wooden churn that I sit at for a day and a half. I also do not shake a mason jar until my arm falls off. Are you ready for this??
First, skim the cream off the top. I use a turkey baster. But make sure you move the baster around. I have found that the cream can be so thick it will not pull from the surrounding area, only from the bottom up. So move the baster around in the cream to make sure you are getting it all. You can also put the milk in a wide mouth jar, wait a day for it to separate, and ladle it out.
Next, put the cream in the blender on high for 5 minutes.
Dump the contents into a mesh strainer. Be sure to have a bowl until the strainer to catch the liquid, that is buttermilk!!
Once all the buttermilk is drained, remove the bowl with buttermilk in it. Remaining in the strainer is butter.
Almost done… rinse the butter with cold water, moving it around with a fork. It will start clump up. That is normal. Try not to mash it down into the mesh strainer so you can have as much butter as possible!
You can salt it or flavor it to your liking. I prefer to eat it as is!