Lori Rice
June 22, 2015

Adventurous consumers are moving beyond familiar cow’s milk to explore goat’s and sheep’s milk as ways to experience new flavors and gain nutritional and health benefits. These milks are becoming a hot item at the farmers market, but some consumers may still need some convincing before they stray from their favorite form of dairy. Familiarizing yourself with the numerous ways to use all varieties of milk provides a competitive edge that allows you to educate your buyers in a way that secures a sale.

1. Yogurt

While many people have experimented with making cow’s milk yogurt at home, fewer have tried using goat’s or sheep’s milk in the process. Research shows that they have less lactose and a different form of the protein, casein. As a result, dairy products made from the milks of these animals may be easier to digest for those with sensitivities. Add these benefits to your list of marketing points and share information on how your buyers can get more creative with yogurt-making.

2. Kefir

Kefir is a fermented dairy product that has a tangy flavor similar to yogurt, but a thinner consistency that qualifies it as a drink. Many people drink kefir for the beneficial probiotics that have been found to aid in healthy digestion. Kefir can easily be made at home using full-fat cow’s, sheep’s or goat’s milk, and kefir grains that can be purchased online or at local store that carries ingredients for home-fermented products.

3. Soft Cheeses

Ricotta, farmer cheese, cottage cheese and cream cheese are a few of the unripened, soft cheeses that are easy to make at home. Many varieties simply need an acid, such as vinegar, to form the curds. Others may be more successful by using rennet, which can be obtained at any store that carries ingredients for cheese making. Cow’s, goat’s and sheep’s milk all make ideal candidates as the base for these cheeses. Encourage the sale of other market ingredients by providing recipes for cheese that are flavored with fresh-cut herbs or served with seasonal berries, honey or jams.

4. Smoothies

Smoothies and protein shakes continue to thrive as a healthy breakfast and snack option, and milks and yogurts serve as a good base for these shakes by making them thick and creamy while providing valuable nutrients like protein. Show your customers how to get creative with animal milks by providing recipes with unique combinations of seasonal fruits, vegetables and farm-fresh milk. Sell your products as smoothie packs that contain the fruits, vegetables, herbs and milks needed for each drink recipe.

5. Ice Cream

With the required appliances now readily available on a small scale and affordable, homemade ice cream has never been easier to make. While seasonal strawberry ice cream with cow’s milk will never go out of style, many people may be missing out on the delicious ice cream that can be made with tangy goat’s milk. Using it to make a rich, dark chocolate ice cream complements the characteristic mild grassy flavor. Encourage your customers to experiment with alternative animal milks for frozen treats by providing new recipes ideas that incorporate seasonal fruits, honey, herbs and spices.

6. Candies

Many favorite candies get their creamy texture from milk, and any form of animal milk can be substituted in most recipes. Velvety caramels and smooth fudge can be made with goat’s or sheep’s milk, and each adds its own distinct characteristics. The nutty, grassy notes deepen the flavor for a treat that is rich and complex. Give customers ideas for how to make a unique candy all their own simply by experimenting with animal milks.

At first, milk may seem like a standard, staple ingredient, but by altering traditional recipes and using a less common animal milk, the possibilities are endless. With a little encouragement, recipe ideas and sample tastings, your customers will be ready to add all types of milks to their market shopping lists.



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