If you have been following my story for a while you will be aware of the fact that I am actively looking to improve both my own eating habits and that of my family’s
As part of that journey I have been looking at making food substitutions to not only lose weight, but to add some variety to my meals.
We were recently challenged by the lovely folks at St Helen’s Farm to vary our dairy, and swap out cows’ milk dairy for goats’, milk dairy to see how we felt while using the products and how much we enjoyed them.
Right off the bat I accepted the challenge as I am a challenge kind of gal, and like nothing more than trying new things; secondly I have to say I was sceptical of liking any of the products due to past experience with goats’ dairy (but as you’ll see, I was pleasantly surprised!).
If you don’t know the health benefits associated with goats’ dairy, let me fill you in…
Firstly, goats’ milk is nutritionally similar to cows’ milk but has easily digestible fats and proteins, making it kinder to the digestive system. It’s lower in lactose, has less allergenic properties, and is also lower in cholesterol, as well as being blood pressure friendly.
When my delivery of St Helen’s Farm products arrived I have to say that I was blown away by the range on offer, I honestly had no idea that you could buy so many goat dairy products!
We were sent skimmed, semi skimmed and full milk, natural and fat-free yogurt, 3 different flavoured yogurts, mild and mature goats’ cheese, a spreadable cheese and a smooth goats butter.
Another pleasant surprise was the best before dates …. no 3 days’ notice here!
Making The Change
I thought making the change would be immensely harder than it actually was. The first thing I introduced was the milk. I usually use semi skimmed milk, so it was no real surprise that this was my preferred option when it came to goats’ milk too; the full fat milk was a little too much for us.
It was a really lovely consistency, not too translucent as it is in cows’ milk, and there was no musky smell which I have previously experienced when using goat products.
We used the semi skimmed options in our everyday items like coffee, tea and cereal, and then used the full version of the milk for baking and cooking. We noticed that once it was cooked we couldn’t tell any difference in the flavour at all which was great.
The goats’ butter was really nice and creamy, and is something I would certainly look to instigate long-term. Joshua never battered an eyelid at the change so it obviously would make an easy swap!
We really enjoyed 2 of the yogurt flavours and the fat free versions, and these would make an amazing long term switch in the household, however, I didn’t really like the honey version, but I think this is purealy because I don’t usually like honey!
After making the change and liking everything so far I have to say I was really optimistic about the 2 hard cheeses and the spreadable cheese that was sent…but the honest truth is I didn’t like the flavours when eaten uncooked.
I was really surprised that I didn’t enjoy it as much as the other products, as I eat a lot of cheese! Saying that, I tend to stick to mild cheddar, so think the goats’ cheese just had a little too much flavour for me and pushed me just out the comfort zone.
However, to not let this defeat me I decided to cook it into things like cheese straws and quiche and thankfully the goats’ cheese pulled it out the bag … it was a hit!
I am really pleased we took this challenge as it taught me several things; firstly there are healthier alternatives to cows’ dairy, and secondly, once I got past my uncertainty, I liked most of it. I was amazed how easily it fit into my diet. It can be one of those things that you never buy in case you don’t like it, but I’ve realised now it is definitely worth giving a go!
I have suffered before with a sensitive tummy, and making the change did improve how my tummy felt. I was a less bloated and not so sensitive, which was great.
Although there were aspects that didn’t go down as well, such as the uncooked cheese, I’m pretty confident that this was more down to personal preference than anything else. I’m seriously considering introducing goats’ dairy a lot more going forwards due to it being healthier and not as heavy on my stomach.
Thank you St Helen’s Farm for allowing us to discover what goats’ dairy has to offer.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored collaboration with St Helen’s Farm. However all thoughts and opinions were independently formed by members of The Oliver’s Madhouse.