Natural Living

Drinking Raw Goat Milk: Nutrition and Health Benefits

Drinking Raw Goat Milk: Nutrition and Health Benefits

Raw goat milk is packed full of nutrition and health benefits. With healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and easy digestibility, learn why our family loves raw goat milk and why you should too!

Growing up, I wasn’t too fond of the grocery-store-brand 1% milk my family bought. I tolerated it in my cereal but didn’t care to gulp down a glass like I saw others do. 

I avoided dairy for many of my young adult years because it gave me negative side effects like digestive irritability, mucus and acne. So I bought gross, unhealthy nut based milks instead.

 One day at a regenerative farming conference, I had the opportunity to try fresh, raw goat milk.

I was amazed by the creamy, sweet drink and longed to taste it again…

Come to find out, there is a big difference between pasteurized, homogenized milk at the store and fresh, raw milk. It’s not surprising that grocery store milk gave me so many problems. Not to mention, the goat milk at the grocery store tastes awful!

Dairy products are very nutritious if they are consumed in a healthy form (we’ll talk more about what that healthy form is later). 

Dairy contains all of the essential amino acids. It contains an abundance of nutrients like calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamins A, D, E, B complex vitamins and trace elements to name a few. Milk has a good balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Organic, grass fed milk has high levels of a type of fat called conjugated linoleic acid which is known to slow cancer growth and increase metabolism. 

Needless to say, it’s no wonder many cultures throughout history have heavily depended on dairy for health and survival!

How is goat’s milk different from cow’s milk?

Goats were one of the first domesticated farm animals and in many countries, goat milk is still the most consumed milk. It took until the time of the Victory Gardens during World War II for goats to become a more common homestead animal in the United States, and they are now growing in popularity!

For many people who have an allergic reaction to dairy or lactose intolerance, goat milk may be easier to digest. There are a few reasons for this: goat milk has less lactose and a different form of casein (a type of protein) than most modern cow milk.  It naturally has the A2 form of casein proteins, while the more modern breeds of cow’s milk contain A1 casein protein which can be more difficult to digest. For these reasons, goat milk is said to be closer to human breast milk than cow milk. It also has more closely related prebiotic oligosaccharides to human milk which are beneficial for microflora and the immune system. Oligosaccharides can prevent many types of pathogens like E. Coli from being able to stick to the intestinal cells. It turns out almost 30% of diarrhea in children is linked to E. Coli!

Goat milk is said to be higher in nutrients like calcium, potassium, vitamin B (B12), A and D than cow milk. It’s higher in healthy types of fats than cow milk; these types of fats are more easily converted to energy and not stored in the body as much as some other kinds of fats. The fat in goat milk has smaller fat globules than cow milk which makes it easier to digest for humans. 

Have I convinced you to drink raw goat milk yet?!

Some people who have allergies to dairy still can’t tolerate goat milk, but many who are sensitive to cow dairy products are able to consume goat dairy products with no problems!

Throughout history people have turned a lot of their fresh milk into fermented products like cheeses and yogurts in order to preserve them for longer. The fermentation process can help to break down the lactose in dairy and can make it more easily digestible, so some people digest fermented dairy products more easily. If you struggle to digest even raw goat milk, maybe you could give this a try! 

Goat Milk Flavor:

 When I tell people I love goat milk, they often give me that grossed out look. Goat milk gets a bad rap for its taste for a few reasons.

 First of all, it depends on the breed of goat. The sweetest, creamiest goat milk I know of comes from Nigerian Dwarf Goats. Nubian or Mini Nubian goats also make delicious, creamy milk. There are other breeds that make good dairy milk, but if the goat is not a dairy goat, the milk might not taste as good. I’ve also heard that if a buck (male goat) is nearby, he can affect the flavor of the milk – I’m not sure if it’s true or not.

Another reason is that raw goat milk changes in flavor much more quickly than cow milk. The lactic acid buildup occurs within a few days and gives the milk that “goat” flavor everyone turns their noses up at. The milk at this point is not spoiled, it just has more lactic acid which gives is that flavor. This is why goat milk at the store tastes terrible, and why buying goat milk in bulk (unless you plan to freeze it or make something like cheese) may not be the best idea. 

Our ideal situation is to have our own goats! This way we can have the most fresh milk for our family, or turn it into fermented goat dairy products if we have more than we can drink within a couple of days. 

Goat Milk Cream:

Since the fat globules are so small, it takes a very long time for the cream to separate like it does with cow milk. You can use a cream separator if you are planning on making butter, cream cheese or anything else you need cream for.

Why drink raw milk instead of pasteurized?

  • The contemporary pasteurization process doesn’t just kill potential pathogenic bacteria. It changes the actual composition of the milk, making it very different from its original, healthy form.
  • There is actually beneficial bacteria in raw milk. This bacteria creates lactic acid which helps protect against harmful bacteria, and pasteurization kills this good bacteria.
  • High heat destroys the enzymes in milk that help the body digest and absorb many of the nutrients. The milk can then cause digestive issues by building up in the digestive system which can cause symptoms like fatigue and allergies. 
  • Pasteurization causes the unsaturated fatty acids to go rancid and destroys or reduces a large percent of the vitamins. It also changes the structure of the healthy amino acids and makes proteins and trace minerals less able to be absorbed.
  • Most of the milk and dairy products at the grocery store are homogenized. Homogenization is what they do to combine the cream with the skim milk and make it uniform. But this process breaks up the natural proteins and leads to gut irritation, reduces the ability to absorb nutrients, and has even been linked to heart disease!
  • Other products you may find at the store contain dehydrated milk. Many dehydration processes oxidize cholesterol which is harmful for arteries, and creates carcinogenic and nervous-system harming compounds because of the changes in protein structures. 
  • Milk at the store also often contains synthetic forms of vitamins which are not good for your health. These synthetic vitamins are even in some organic milks because of a law in the United States that requires low fat and fat free milk to be fortified. 

So, buying regular old milk from the supermarket may not be the best thing for your health. 

It may be against the law to sell raw milk for human consumption in your area, but there are some resources I will link below where you can connect with local farms that produce raw, pasture raised milk. There are often legal ways to obtain raw milk such as with “herd shares” where you pay a fee to rent a portion of the herd. This gives the farm the legal ability to give you raw milk since you are renting a herd portion, not technically buying the milk. You can also often buy it as “pet milk”. 

The farm you buy raw milk from should have healthy animals with plenty of room. The farmers should monitor for infections in the utters, and they should have a clean milking area and milking hygiene. I suggest looking into the risks of drinking raw milk and making the decision for yourself, but I will say that I have been drinking raw milk for years and have never had any issues. Humans have also been drinking raw milk for thousands of years!

Conventional cow farms where modern holstein cow breeds are fed a bunch of corn and soy, and are sick with puss in their utters would not be good to drink raw – or at all. This is probably a big reason that there is such a fear about raw milk. Those kinds of farms are not healthy or natural and do not make a high quality milk product. 

While many raw milk enthusiasts suggest giving raw milk to babies, at this point I wouldn’t personally give raw milk to a very young infant. Ideally babies have access to raw human breast milk, but if a baby had to have supplemental milk at a very young age: I would gently heat it to the minimum temperature required for killing any potential pathogens, and add any required ingredients to prevent electrolyte imbalance or deficiencies. Even though goat milk is in some ways similar to human breast milk it is still not the same; we are different creatures with different needs for our babies. I think gently heating milk is very different from high heat pasteurization, homogenization or commercial dehydration! Infant dietary needs are very complex and beyond the scope of this post, but when it comes to the appropriate age to give a child raw milk: that’s something I suggest doing some extensive research on and making your own decision for your family. Every child is different!

Can you Freeze Raw Milk?

Good news! Freezing raw milk doesn’t affect the enzymes or nutrients. So you can still benefit from all its goodness if you want to freeze it!

Remember that liquid expands when you freeze it which causes pressure to the container and can cause it to break. Leave plenty of room for expansion at the top of the container before putting milk in the freezer. I’ve seen some people leave the lid unscrewed until the liquid is frozen, and then going back to screw the lid on all the way to prevent any cracking during the freezing process. You can store raw milk in the freezer for up to 12 month, and when you are ready to thaw it just put it back in the fridge to let it liquefy!

The downside we mentioned earlier about goat milk is that it changes in flavor more quickly than cow milk because of the faster lactic acid production. This gives it that “goaty” barn-like flavor. If you get a large amount and won’t go through it within a couple of days you may want to consider freezing it! 

Speaking of freezing raw milk, one of my favorite ways to consume raw milk is by enjoying some homemade ice cream. Check out our family’s favorite raw milk ice cream recipes here!

Our next homestead goal is getting our own dairy goats! How about you?

Raw Milk Near You Links:

*This is not medical advice

*None of these statements have been evaluated by the FDA


How to Heal Your Metabolism by Kate Deering

Nourishing Traditions : The Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon

“Goat Milk Formula Could Benefit Infant Gut Health.” ScienceDaily, 27 June 2019,

“Goat Milk vs Cow Milk | Summerhill Goat Dairy.”

Sanderson, Rebecca. “Nutritional Differences of Goat Milk vs. Cow Milk – Backyard Goats.”

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  1. Several years back, my cousin had a baby born premature, pretty small/sickly, couldn’t keep any milk or formula down, so as the last resort, GOAT milk was tried, ..and low & behold, he kept it down and FLOURISHED .. some Doctors were shocked. He gained weight like a champ. Wasn’t long b4 he was ready to come home.

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