Who has animals in milk right now?! If you are milking for the first time this year, this one’s for you! After you’ve collected and strained the milk, what do you have to do to it before drinking or cooking with it?
Some people swear by raw milk, but you don’t consume it without taking on some risk. While it may contain good bacteria and other probiotics, it also can contain harmful bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and Campylobacter. If you’ve ever experienced any of these infections you can attest to how horrible it is to endure. Some people are more susceptible to these harmful bacteria including people with weakened immune systems, cancer, diabetes, children, and pregnant women. Listeria can even cause miscarriage or stillbirths in pregnant women.
So how do you make raw milk safe to drink and cook with? Pasteurizing milk is actually pretty simple and it makes it safe to consume.
Here is how to do it:
- Use a double broiler (or stack a small saucepan inside a larger one) and bring water in the bottom pan to a boil.
- Pour your raw milk into the top pan and increase the heat slowly until it boils. Stir constantly.
- Use a candy thermometer to measure the temperature of the milk. Once it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit start a timer and maintain that temperature in the milk for 15 seconds.
- Remove the top pan and put it in a cold water bath. Add ice as necessary to keep the water cold.
- Stir the milk in the cold water bath until the milk is cold and then store it in the refrigerator.
That’s it! If you don’t want to fool with a double broiler set up, you can also pasteurize raw milk in the microwave oven. All you have to do is heat the milk to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. (Use a candy thermometer to get an accurate measurement.) Stir the milk several times during the heating process to equalize the temperature. Cool and store the milk as directed above.
Presto! You can now safely drink or cook with your pasteurized milk! Don’t have a recipe?! Try this homemade goat cheese recipe below! Often, the first step in making cheese is to heat up the milk, which pasteurizes it as long as the temperature reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. So in this recipe below you will use your raw milk to start.
Homemade Goat Cheese Recipe: (From Alpha Foodie)
8 1/3 cups fresh goat milk
1/2 cup water
1.5 teaspoon citric acid
1 teaspoon cheese salt (AKA kosher salt and canning salt)
- Dissolve the citric acid in the water.
- Pour the goat milk in a large saucepan. Add the dissolved citric acid solution and stir.
- Cook over medium heat, slowly increasing the heat until the temperature reaches 185 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove from heat. Cover with a lid or tea towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Place cheesecloth inside a sieve. Pour the milk into the cheesecloth and allow it to drain for about an hour. - You can either catch the whey (liquid that drains out of the cheese) for later use or hang the bundled cheesecloth over a faucet to drain.
- Add salt to the cheese and mix well. You could also mix in some fresh herbs here like chives, dill, thyme, or basil.
- If you wish to roll it into a log, place the cheese in wax paper or plastic wrap and twist the ends to secure.
- Put the cheese in the fridge to chill and set up into your log shape.