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Why I Go with Goat

One question I’m frequently asked is why I choose goat dairy over cow dairy, so I thought I’d address that today. I was kind of hesitant to write this post because as I’ve said many times before, I don’t want to influence anyone’s eats. Every body is different and just because a silly blogger is doing something doesn’t mean that we all need to follow suit. It’s up to us to do our own research, experiment and determine what works best for us.

Goat Dairy vs Cow Dairy

I’ll get back to goat dairy in a moment, just a little bit about my crazy day today first. 🙂 Today was been a frantic frenzy and I still haven’t finished everything I needed to do. I did set aside 30 minutes of Eat, Pray, Love watching and laying on the couch with Bell for sanity 🙂

bell 

She got her haircut today! I look shaggy as ever, but at least my dog looks prim and proper, right? 🙂 She’s been Miss Sassafras since I picked her up- she knows she looks pretty.

Breakfast:

protein french toast

Maria’s Protein French Toast

Packed snacks up to munch while I was out and about:

seaweed, plum, larabar

and lunch was leftovers.

sweet potato black bean chili with goat cheese

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili tastes every better the next day, and everything tastes better with goat cheese on it 😉

MY OTHER RECIPES


On very rare occasion, I’ll have a little bit of cow’s dairy (like if it’s in my nana’s egg casserole), but most often, I prefer not to.  If you like cow’s dairy and it works for you, by all means, feast away <3

holding a baby goat

[One day, we will have pet baby goats… one day….]

Goat Dairy and the Raw Food Diet

The main reason I changed over to goat dairy was about two and a half years ago, when I got really into raw foods. I found that the raw food lifestyle, while incredibly healthy, wasn’t something I could maintain over the long-term, but I took many of the lessons from studying it (and through raw culinary school) and still apply them today. A great example is my love for smoothies, salad beasts, sea veggies and goat dairy.

Natalia Rose’s books had a significant impact on my eating style, because I took many of the things she said and found that they worked well for me. Things that didn’t work well? Eating a teeny breakfast or food combining. Just goes to show, different strokes for different folks. You can read her thoughts on dairy *here*, if you’re interested.

Natalia Rose

Why I Go for Goat

-Cow’s dairy is more difficult to digest. Our bodies are actually only made to process milk until the age of one, which is why so many adults are lactose intolerant (about 65% according to this). The type of casein in the milk is what makes it more difficult to digest–A-1 casein, unlike A-2 casein which is found in human and goat’s milk.

-It’s highly mucus-forming. Mucus is good for preventing absorption of toxins, but too much of it can prevent us from getting nutrients.

-Goat cheese has pretty much the same nutritional stats for cow’s dairy, so it’s still a great way to get protein and calcium, and probiotics in yogurt.

-I prefer the taste of goat’s dairy over cow’s.

So why do I eat real butter, which is from cows?

-It has very low levels of hard-to-digest casein. Ghee is also a fave to cook with 🙂

Some of My Favorite Uses for Goat Cheese

-Sprinkled on top of a salad beast

-Shrimp penne pasta

penne pasta with shrimp and goat cheese

-Omelet style

-Straight-up

cowgirl creamery cheese 

[If you live near a Cowgirl Creamery, I am jealous of you.]

-I’ve been wanting to try a goat cream cheese cheesecake, too. Maybe next dinner party?

Are you a goat cheese fan or notsomuch? Did any books have an impact on your eating style? Which one(s)?

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140 Comments

  1. Annie@stronghealthyfit on August 9, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Interesting post! I love goat cheese, but I love all cheese for the most part 🙂 Except fake American cheese and the like!

  2. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen on August 9, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    I think a goat cream cheese cheesecake sounds delicious! Expensive, but delicious!

  3. Ginger on August 9, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    I love an herbed chevre in omelets w/portobellas, but that’s about the only time I cook with it. need to branch out bc I love the tang 🙂

    btw you are the cutest preg woman ever. making me want another baby. lol.

  4. Mel on August 9, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Is there any animal welfare aspect to your choice? Though the term is controversial, it seems easier to find “humane” goat dairy products than cow dairy products.

    • Fitnessista on August 9, 2011 at 11:44 pm

      Yes, treatment of animals goes into all of our grocery considerations, including goat dairy.

  5. chelsea on August 9, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    I bought goat cheese for the first time today thanks to your inspiration! I don’t remember what kind it is, but I’ll be sure to tell you about my experience once I have it lol.

  6. Jess@atasteofconfidence on August 9, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    I LOVE goat cheese, and I try to stay away from dairy most of the time because it hurts my stomach!

  7. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic on August 9, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    I love goat cheese! And cow’s milk cheese. And sheep’s milk cheese. I don’t discriminate 🙂 Ever had goat cheese brownies?? Sooo good!

  8. Valerie @ FreshMutz on August 9, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    My relationship with goat cheese was love at first bite. I haven’t ventured out to other goat diary delicacies but I think that should be remedied stat. Bella is sooooo fancy!!!!!!

  9. Julie (A Case of the Runs) on August 9, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    I can’t stand the taste of some goat-milk derived products, I can do mild feta, but that’s about it.

    Being one of the 75+% of people who are lactose intolerant, I’ve always known about goat milk being more easily digested, but eeww to the taste, so I’ll stick with almond milk for now! I never understand how I always still feel like I’m in the minority of people who cut back on dairy by need and not choice.

    • WarPony on August 19, 2011 at 7:56 pm

      This is a shame.

      Most often folks who dislike the taste of goat based dairy have not had GOOD goat based dairy products. Milk and cheese flavor is greatly effected by the genetics, handling and diet of the goats involved and can vary greatly from one animal/farm/product to the next. I’ve had goatmilk that tastes like a rutty buck went swimming it (*gag*) and I’ve had goat milk that literally tasted like melted ice cream (i get this from one of my does and even though she doesn’t produce a lot of milk what she does give me is worth it’s sweet delicious weight in GOLD).

      I have never had store bought goat products that tasted anything but goaty and unappetizing to me (except for a handful of cheeses that are SUPPOSED to taste goaty and are NOT for everyone’s taste). The store bought pasteurized goat milk I tried made me gag, literally. I don’t see how anyone can drink some of that stuff and not think goat milk is disgusting.

      Even my picky husband and his even pickier mother have admitted that the milk from my does is indistinguishable from cows milk, except that it is a bit sweeter. I wish more people could taste milk like I get from my does, i think a LOT more people would enjoy goat milk if they tried this. All too often a person’s first taste of goat dairy is a bad one and they can never get over that nasty first impression. On the one hand as a huge proponent of all things goat, this makes me sad. On the other hand… MORE GOAT CHEESE FOR ME!!!!

  10. Laura @ prettylittlewords on August 10, 2011 at 12:03 am

    Ahahah, I love that Valerie called Bella “fancy” — I think that’s the PERFECT word 🙂

    Goat cheese makes me weak in the knees. EVery time. It is just that good.

  11. Emily on August 10, 2011 at 12:11 am

    I used to hate goat cheese, but last winter I became a feta addict, and that led to a love affair with chevre (the flavor is sort of similar, don’t you think?). Now I’m a sucker for any and all things goat’s milk – I LOVE LaLoo’s ice cream, too! Of course, that said, I’m a sucker for pretty much any kind of cheese… I wouldn’t say no to anything 😉

  12. Ali @ urbanfruitbat on August 10, 2011 at 12:25 am

    My mom LOVES goat cheese, She goes for the feta most of the time. I like being vegan 🙂

  13. Marianne on August 10, 2011 at 1:24 am

    I quite like the tang of goat cheese, but we definitely don’t get the variety of goat dairy products here in Canada that you seem to be able to get in the US. Never tried goat milk or goat yogurt before, although I know we have both. I just like cheese in general – cow, goat, sheep – I’m not fussy 🙂

  14. Ellen on August 10, 2011 at 1:25 am

    i work at a cheese shop (i know, my life is tough), and we sell a LOT of goat cheese. for all the people out there who think goat cheese tastes like a barnyard (gamey), they need to expand their horizons beyond plain fresh goat cheese. many aged goat cheeses are milder in flavor while being more complex as well as lower in lactose than the fresh variety. my current favorite is Garrotxa, pronounced Gar-oh-CHA, a goats milk cheese from a farm in spain. awesome. 🙂

    also, if you can’t find other goats milk cheeses, try pairing fresh goat cheese with fresh or dried fruit, honey or preserves. the sweetness cuts the gamey quality and is super delish.

    • Katherine on August 10, 2011 at 9:56 am

      Thanks for this tip! I really want to love goat cheese because I always come across it at restaurants and such, but I can’t get over that gamey taste. I will look into trying more aged versions.

    • Natasha on August 10, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      Great tips! I’ll give it a go again…I haven’t been a fan of the taste in the past 🙂

  15. katie on August 10, 2011 at 2:09 am

    I love goat cheese…. I was actually just talking about this the other night with some friends and said I would pretty much put goat cheese on anything. So good.

  16. Katie on August 10, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Goat cheese fanatic! My boyfriend is even more so! 🙂 He is the cook in our home and used to put it in all sorts of dishes. Right now, we can’t seem to get enough of it straight up and with crackers. We are also obsessed with cow’s cheese – habanero all the way. Now I kinda want to eat an entire block of cheese for breakfast. Hmmm…

  17. Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) on August 10, 2011 at 7:05 am

    I was pretty interested to hear your opinions on this when I read the post title, as I’m lactose intol to a degree, and recently ventured into the world of goat dairy by accident.. I actually do enjoy it more, although I haven’t been brave enough to incorporate it into my family’s classic Italian recipes (like baked ziti or lasagna) .. do you think the taste would be off-putting, or blend in just like regular mozzarella would?

  18. Natasha (OveLoves) on August 10, 2011 at 7:31 am

    I’m a huge (HUGE!) cheese lover but limit myself because of the upset-tummy & mucus side-affects. However, one of my favorite cheeses was a firm goat cheese. Although I will never fully switch, I think I will pick that up again next time I’m at the market. Thanks for this informative post!

    OveLoves

  19. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on August 10, 2011 at 8:04 am

    That’s so interesting about the casein in goat cheese – I didn’t know that!

    I’m a big fan of ALL types of cheese. 😀

  20. Kelly on August 10, 2011 at 8:13 am

    I love goat cheese. After reading this, I’m going to look for it more and more!

  21. sophie on August 10, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Hi. I am a little confused. I was told that butter DOES have casein – that it is only GHEE that does not have casein.

  22. Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me on August 10, 2011 at 9:13 am

    I’ve actually never had goat cheese! Isn’t that weird? I’m wondering if I would like it. Is it sour? Stinky?

  23. anne on August 10, 2011 at 9:15 am

    I’ve never tried goat’s milk, it kind of creeps me out. Not sure why, it sounds like a healthier option! I have been avoiding cow milk a while now- partially for the reason of the mucus forming, but also because of the homogenization. Although I do still eat cheese and icecream! Fail. Anyway, is goat’s milk not homogenized? And not mucus forming? Also, i was wondering if you’ve thought about what you’ll do for your baby. You know how they say after 1 year to switch them to whole milk? I really do not want to do this, but apparently all the fat is good for baby’s brain developments. ? Anyway, I worry about this choice already and I’m not even pregnant! Any thoughts?

    • WarPony on August 19, 2011 at 8:03 pm

      Goat milk is naturally homogenized. It does not need to be processed to make it so. This makes it harder (but not impossible) to skim the cream to make butter, because very little of the cream rises to the top. I am not officially lactose intolerant but did have issues with mucus and stomach pain and other issues with cow dairy. I find that since switching to all goat dairy I have none of the digestive issues i had on cow dairy (except acid reflux, which i don’t think has anything to do with dairy since it was just as bad when i was on a NO dairy kick as any other time).

  24. Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life on August 10, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Really informative post, I have wondered the difference between the two and now I know!

  25. Sarah on August 10, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Thanks for this post. I’ve been avoiding dairy for a while now and I’ve noticed a difference in my energy, but sometimes it is really hard (and sometimes I want the creaminess on my pizza!). I’ll definitly be trying goat’s cheese to see how my body reacts.
    Thanks!

  26. Dani on August 10, 2011 at 9:45 am

    The one time I had goat cheese I didn’t dig it so much. Then again, I had it at a restaurant at Virginia Tech, so maybe that’s why. I stick to raw milk and raw cheese. The lactase is still present (which helps break down the lactose) since it hasn’t been pasteurized so it’s easy to digest and full of probiotics. And suuuper creamy

  27. liz wilson on August 10, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Now i feel more compelled to buy that cheap 2 pack of goat’s cheese at Costco instead of feeling guilty for loving cheese! hah – love love your posts, as always!

  28. Emily Chionchio on August 10, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Gina I’m in the same boat as you, can’t digest cow’s milk due to lactose intolerance but am totally obsessed with goats milk! I also eat butter still because it doesn’t seem to bother me, but never knew why, thanks for being so informative as always. Also, sheep’s milk romano is one of my favorite cheeses, so sharp and delicious, you should give it a shot, I believe sheep’s milk is equally easy to digest. Whole foods always has it up here in MA.

  29. Chelsa on August 10, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I love love love goat cheese so much. I’d choose goat over cow dairy any day. If i eat too much cow dairy my skin breaks out a little but if I stick to goat cheese with just a little cow on occasion I seem to be fine.

  30. Susan on August 10, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Just wanted to throw out that if you do have a true cow’s milk protein allergy (not intolerance), goat’s milk is likely to also be problematic.

    Sicherer SH. Clinical implications of cross-reactive food allergens. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001;108:881-90.
    (Sorry, don’t know how to make it a clicky link).

    • Fitnessista on August 10, 2011 at 10:56 am

      yeah, that’s why i said to check with a doc before trying it if you have an allergy.

  31. Irene on August 10, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Hey Gina! This isn’t related o this post, but I wanted to let you know how much I LOVE your “focus on” posts! Well, I love all of your posts, but these I find especially helpful! Do you think you could add them to your workouts page or link to them on a separate tab? I only found your blog a couple months ago and I bet I’ve missed some great posts that I’d like to find but don’t know how to do so easily! I especially love reviews of DVDs since I think we have similar workout philosophies! I borrowed a Physique 57 DVD from my Mom after reading your post on them and it was a great booty kicking workout!

    • Fitnessista on August 10, 2011 at 10:55 am

      i want to add them to the “fun” page- when i finally make it!
      glad you liked p57 🙂

  32. Cat @Breakfast to Bed on August 10, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Have you ever tried humboldt fog goat cheese? Even better if you pair it with marmalade. It is beyond.

    • Fitnessista on August 10, 2011 at 10:55 am

      YES. it is amazing <3

  33. Nicole on August 10, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Are you eating goat cheese while pregnant? I have heard you are not supposed to and that makes me so sad because I love it and Im 25 weeks!

    • Fitnessista on August 10, 2011 at 11:35 am

      My midwife said it’s totally fine as long as it’s made with pasteurized milk, so I’ve been feasting away

  34. Krista on August 10, 2011 at 11:58 am

    I eat goat’s milk cheese and yogurt (I o. Like you, I find it MUCH easier to digest and like the taste better. A little jam mixed into the yogurt and it tastes like cheesecake filling!! 🙂

  35. Marie on August 10, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    I was such a huge cheese lover before but in my early twenties, discovered the hard way that I was lactose intolerant. I have pretty much given up all lactose but I do splurge sometimes and use Lactaid pills to enjoy some entrees/desserts. I would love to try goat cheese but I would love to see if I could have it without pills but am too afraid to try. 🙂

  36. Shayla @ The Good Life on August 10, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Great post! I always wondered why you ate goats so thank you for this!

    I actually just tried a Chevre Goat Cheese from Trader Joes (it was being sampled at their sample station) and holy deliciousness, sooo good! I instantly thought to myself “now I know why Fitnessista loves Goat Cheese!” I was a fan and immediately bought some 😉

  37. Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble on August 10, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I’m a big goat cheese fan, but I like regular cheese as well. Goat cheesecake sounds ahhh-mazing!

  38. Shelley @Blonde Ambition on August 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I love goat cheese! I haven’t yet tried anything but the semi creamy stuff. I’d love to find goat gouda, etc. Where do you buy your goat cheese products?

  39. Kristen @ Chocolate Covered Kristen on August 10, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    I have always loved goat cheese (love that strong, tangy flavor!), so I actually prefer it to most other cheeses. While I will down some ice cream and cheesy pizza, I always end up with a stomach ache if I over-do it. Nothing major, but enough of an annoyance that I try to limit my dairy.

  40. xandra on August 10, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Cowgirl Creamery in my hometown of Point Reyes, CA !

    • Fitnessista on August 10, 2011 at 8:26 pm

      i am jealous of you

  41. Jess on August 10, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Random question, Gina- this has been bothering me and pertains to indian food wednesday 😉 can pregnant women eat paneer? i scoured the internet and cant really get an answer, and you seem to know your cheeses 😉 thanks!

    • Fitnessista on August 10, 2011 at 11:52 pm

      i’m not sure- i’ve actually never had it! my guess would be no, since many restaurants make it in-house and i’m not sure if they use pasteurized milk. you’d think they would… i’d ask to be sure.

      • Jess on August 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm

        Mmmmmmmm it is delish! I am just wondering for this trader joes meal I’m hooked on; pander masala…. I guess I could start by reading the package! ;). What about ricotta?

  42. Neha on August 10, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Hi!!
    Thanks for this post! I really love goat cheese too and would love to eat goat’s milk yogurt as well.
    Any thoughts on store bought branded goat’s milk yogurt? Any good, humane brands? Also, which goat cheese brands do you like the most?

    Thanks!!

    • Fitnessista on August 11, 2011 at 10:33 am

      i really like the trader joe’s brands and alta dena. if i can, i’ll usually buy it at the farmer’s market though

  43. Jill on August 10, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Good timing, I just bought a chunk of goat cheese from the grocery store for the first time yesterday! I made a little pizza on some flatbread with some tomato sauce, spinach, some cajun chicken breast chunks, a LITTLE bit of shredded mozzarella, but then I cut some hunks off the goat cheese and put that on too. It was AMAZING. I want to make a salad with it but have no more spinach left.

  44. Amanda on August 11, 2011 at 8:34 am

    I love goat cheese! Actually I love all cheese equally <3….. goat is the only one I like on my salads though! I really enjoyed this post. I love reading about raw food, vegan cooking and so forth….. it's fun to take ideas from each discipline ie a salad beast a day : D We could all use more salad beasts in our lives!

  45. char @ char on a mission on August 11, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I love Natalia, too! But I agree with you and the whole breakfast thing…can’t do it! I haven’t tried as much goats milk products as I’d like to. I try to avoid dairy altogether, but wouldn’t be opposed to goats’ products if I were to eat dairy. I want to try the raw goats cheese that Natalia eats but I highly doubt it’s floating around my neck of the woods (aka: Canada lol)

  46. Rebecca on August 12, 2011 at 6:31 am

    I like goat cheese. I volunteer at a place that raises goats and they’ve given me goat cheese and fudge before-yum. I’m allergic to milk so I’ve cut it out of my diet for a long time. I wonder if goat milk/products would produce the same effects.

  47. Dominique on August 12, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    I’m lactose-intolerant and do find myself able to digest goat’s milk products rather than cow’s milk. My BF and I tried goat’s milk for the first time a few months ago. I really liked it but the BF is more accustomed to cow’s milk and wasn’t crazy about it.

  48. Ashley @ The North Carolina Cowgirl on March 15, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    I had to stop drinking regular milk b/c I become lactose intolerant after having my son. I’ve started to drink Almond Milk but the only thing I don’t like is it makes me feel very full (after drinking 1/2 a cup) and that fullness might last a day or so. Have you ever tried Almond milk? Did it make you feel that way?

  49. Annaliese on February 1, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    I drink cow’s milk, but only my own A-2 casein dairy Dexter cow. Plus, there’s no additional hormones in a cow that you raise yourself. Added plus, Dexter cattle are much smaller than a regular cattle!

  50. Rachel on February 5, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Thanks for all the great info! I’m allergic to cow’s milk and eggs, but I always wondered why I could eat goat cheese and butter with no reaction. I must be allergic to the casein!

    I made a really good goat cheese tart with strawberries and basil last summer. You should give it a try, since it seems like you are as big of a fan of goat cheese as I am!

    http://huckleberriesandrain.blogspot.com/2012/08/strawberry-and-goat-cheese-tart-with.html

    Have a great day!

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