Fresh raw milk is truly an amazing, living food that has been enjoyed by humanity since the beginning of time. This is milk as it was intended to be consumed: natural, nourishing and delicious! This nutrient-rich superfood is filled with so many things that our bodies require! A cold glass of fresh milk is a great pick-me-upper when you're feeling weary.
Raw milk is chock full of a wide variety of pure nutrients in forms that our bodies can easily digest and assimilate. It's a rich source of multiple vitamins, minerals, probiotics, many different fatty acids, and omega-3s. Not only is it high in raw proteins, it's considered a 'complete protein'. As a living food, raw milk is also rich in natural food enzymes which help your body to better digest milk and metabolize its vital nutrients.
Here on our hobby farm our milk comes from two our sweet cows, Ebony, a purebred Dexter, and Willow, a Dexter/Jersey mix. We feel so blessed to be the recipients of this wonderful gift of their fresh raw milk!
The most commonly consumed milk here in North America comes from cows. But goats milk as well as sheep milk are also wonderful sources of nutrients that are enjoyed on hobby farms and homesteads.
About one third of fresh milk consumed by families in developing countries comes from goats, sheep, buffalo, and camels. But horses, donkeys, reindeer, and yaks, as well as other animals provide humans with fresh raw milk.
The presence and importance of each of these milk-giving animals vary significantly among regions and countries around the world. The milk of each species varies in taste, amount given, and each of these species provides unique nutritional benefits.
Sheep Milk, or also called ewes milk, has been consumed humans in some areas of the world for thousands of years. It is enjoying a growing popularity in North America today. Sheep milk contains about 33 percent more energy than cow or goat milk. Also, It has double the protein and much more of the right kinds of fats, vitamins and minerals, particularly calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc, while being lower in sodium. It has more than twice as much Vitamin C, and double or triple the other essential vitamins. Importantly, it also has more folic acid. [More info]
Horse milk, or mares milk, contains many unique benefits. In places like Kyrgyzstan, drinking mares milk is fairly common. The country's history and culture are inextricably intertwined with horses and they know the value of their mares' milk. Among the benefits, it provides an antibacterial boost that rebalances the intestinal flora. This reduces symptoms of indigestion, bloating and constipation. "The most well-known benefits of mare’s milk include improving eczema symptoms, detoxifying the body, aiding digestion, boosting bone density, protecting the heart, and reducing inflammation throughout the body. ...Research has found that mare’s milk has a stimulating effect on the liver, which can help your body eliminate toxins more effectively. This aids in overall health and wellness, and can provide a boost to the immune system.'' [Source, more info]
Buffalo milk is extremely nutritional as well. It is said to be richer in calcium and protein than cows milk and has less cholesterol and sodium. Drinking fresh raw milk from buffalo aids in healthy bones as well as dental and cardiovascular health. It's a great source of minerals, such as magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. Buffalo milk also provides more Vitamin A than we get from cows milk. [More info]
Spread it, spoon it, slice it, grate it, ...or melt it? Yes! Besides drinking it, with a bit of time, some tender loving care, adding a simple ingredient or two, you can transform your fresh raw milk into other types of food!
Butter, cheese, yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, sour cream, etc., are wonderful ways to enjoy fresh raw milk!
And have you ever made Milk Mayonnaise? It's super easy, fun to make, and tastes great, and it's made with milk! Here at our hobby farm, we haven't purchased store bought mayonnaise for years since replacing it with our own homemade Milk Mayo! You can find our Milk Mayonnaise recipe here!
It's definitely satisfying to turn your fresh raw milk into other foods! Such wonderful products as butter, whipped cream, yogurt, ice cream, cheeses always taste better when they're made right there on your farm or homestead. You can end up crossing even more items off of your grocery list! These are great ways to support self-sustainability.
Without our milk-giving farm animals, it wouldn't be nearly as easy to make any of these! What's your favorite way to transform milk into another food?
Has your generous cow or goats overwhelmed you with too much milk, leaving you to wonder what to do with it all?
There are many ways to put excess milk to beneficial use. Besides drinking it, transforming it into other foods, cooking and baking with it, you can share it with others, barter with it, or feed it to the other animals...
If you live on a hobby farm or homestead, how do you utilize your fresh milk when you have an abundance of it?
Yes, there are a few ways that we can preserve milk to utilize at a later date. We'll explore three ways:
The first method that we'll discuss if freezing your fresh raw milk. We've done this here at our hobby farm. More often though, we collect and freeze our cream. When we have the desired amount, we thaw it and make butter. Both the cream and the butter freeze very nicely as well!
Another method of preservation is making powdered milk by dehydrating it. This method seems to be less commonly done, but there are several advantages to it. Drying the milk requires a slower, lower heat, therefore the goodness of the milk is not all destroyed. Just the water content of the milk is lost. It doesn't require the adding of chemicals or anything else to it. Storing dry powered milk is easier and takes up less space than frozen or canned milk. This is a method that I'd really like to try sometime! Alphafoodie provides clear instructions on the process of making powdered milk at home! Click the pic and check it out!
Canning is another way to preserve your excess milk. A benefit of this method is that it doesn't take up your freezer space. This method allows you to keep milk on the shelf for a long time. I've heard that it's not so great for drinking though, and it doesn't taste the same as fresh milk. It's more like the canned milk that you'd buy at the grocery store. It can be used in recipes for cooking, baking and making sauces, soups or even fudge.
For several centuries, raw milk diets have been effective tonics and treatments. Medical doctors in various countries prescribed a fresh raw milk diet, often referred to as 'The Milk Cure', to cure a wide variety of illnesses.
In the 1800s, Phillip Karell, MD, "physician to His Majesty, the Emperor of Russia", wrote a widely received manuscript on the Milk Cure. This was later "read before the British Medical Society of St. Petersburg, on the 8th and 23rd of march, 1865" and was later published in Philadelphia in 1870. Click the title, you can read this old manuscript, 'On the Milk Cure!' online.
Doctors continued to see great results from the many medical benefits of fresh raw milk. After successfully using the raw milk treatment for at least 15 years for a wide spectrum of illnesses, Dr. J. R. Crewe, an MD of the Mayo Foundation, forerunner of the renowned Mayo Clinic in America today, wrote an extensive article documenting the incredible curative effects of fresh raw milk. He gave many specific examples of individuals who, after going on the raw milk treatment, saw a profound improvement in many different serious health issues.
In 1929, Dr. J.R. Crewe wrote, “The results obtained in various types of disease have been so uniformly excellent that one’s conception of disease and its alleviation is necessarily changed. When sick people are limited to a diet containing an excess of vitamins and all the elements necessary to growth and maintenance, they recover rapidly without the use of drugs and without bringing to bear all the complicated weapons of modern medicine.” (Source)
Today, people are using a raw milk diet for detoxification, to support overall wellness, and more. Not only that, but some say that drinking it can make you skinny! But this isn't new. In 1929, the Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Crewe also wrote, “...One patient reduced from 325 pounds to 284 in two weeks, on four quarts of milk a day, while her blood pressure was reduced from 220 to 170.”
Of course, the milk available in those early days was whole raw milk from dairy cows that grazed on grassy, untreated pastures. It's important to note that raw milk is totally different from the highly processed store bought milk of today.
There are many who "pooh-haw" it's amazing benefits, but raw milk has supported the healthy existence of countless generations before ours. If you've been blessed with a milk-providing farm animal, you've also probably experienced the amazing benefits that support your health and wellbeing.
Upton Beall Sinclair Jr., in the first half of the last century, wrote: “It is very difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on not understanding it.” This is true of the commercial dairy people and their understanding of the superior value of fresh raw milk.
They may argue against this, but the truth is that pasteurizing requires heating the milk to temperatures that reduce, change or destroy a significant amount of its raw nutritive value. These enzymes, vitamins, and certain essential proteins meant to work synergistically to promote balanced health are no longer there as before. Pasteurized as well as 'ultra pasteurized' bought in stores today is simply not the same food as fresh raw milk. In this chart below you'll see some of the nutritional differences between pasteurized and raw milk.
This chart is not complete, but it gives you an idea how fresh raw milk is altered when commercially processed. We're not saying that store bought milk is bad for you, rather that natural raw milk is so much more nutritious.
Sometimes I'm in awe at the amazing blessing that we've been given to enjoy in fresh raw milk! It's good to learn more about this unique food.
If you're interested, here's another great resource that you can read on line - just click on the title in red or click the photo of the book.
This is a manuscript written by Dr. William Campbell Douglass II, MD, "The Raw Truth About Milk": how science is destroying nature's nearly perfect food and why animal protein and animal fat in your diet can save your life."
The author has a sense of humor. This book looks like an enjoyable read. We invite you to drink up this important information! And as they say, don't skim over the raw truth about fresh whole milk!
1) Written by Mayo Clinic's Dr. J.R. Crewe, MD, Raw Milk Cures Many Diseases, article, 1929
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