It’s winter and it’s cold… yet the live bacteria cultures of unpasteurized dairy are working as hard as ever to warm your body with healthy energy. Tap into their vigor!
I am happy to say, that I can’t even remember when I washed a plastic milk bag (the liter kind they also package milk into in Hungary) or a box last. It must have been at least a month and a half ago – buried with the old year…
No, we did not stop drinking milk altogether instead, oh no! We stepped our milk consumption up several notches to heights it’s never been. Could be taken further, but for right now it is the very best, affordable and available solution our family can opt for.
We started buying raw milk directly from the farmers. Milk very obviously coming from grass-fed cows. 5 to 10 liters a week.
Wasn’t all that easy, it took some negotiation and convincing, but finally we ended up as regular customers of two different farmer ladies selling their goods side by side at the raw milk stand in the closest city’s market hall.
One we buy the actual raw milk from, very fatty and flavorful that doesn’t smell like plastic or detergent (like those commercially produced bagged/boxed milks)… not surprisingly, it smells like cow! The other lady sells us raw butter, churned the day before pick-up, from unpasteurized cream, for the same price as the ones with mostly killed-off cultures you and I are so familiar with – the long shelf life kind. So it’s a real deal.
Jars of clabbered milk under formation are filling our warm kitchen shelf, each having their lids open ajar. Once the leather-like skin forms on top with beautifully overlapping off white diskettes of noble mold and the fermented milk underneath is no longer moving around under the skin as liquid, in other words when it gains viscosity, we tighten the lids and move them in the fridge to slow down fermentation until we are ready to eat them… something like this:
Recently, following a spontaneous thought, we went ahead, bought a tub of Greek yogurt from the store, a kind we had tested before and loved the flavor of, to try and inoculate raw milk with its live bacterial cultures. It worked great!
Stirring a heaping tablespoon of yogurt in a jar of raw milk and after just two days of waiting time, this is the interesting “half & half” we got:
A bubbly white top with a wonderful effervescence to it when swished a bit around in the mouth, and a clumpier bottom, more akin clabbered milk:
Here they are side by side, the homemade Greek yogurt on the left and the clabbered milk on the right. Note the difference in whitenesses…
as well as the mold layers on top. I am crazy for those moldy skins! And our daughter devours them, too. They have a gourmet pungence to them, much like some aged cheeses we love specifically for that added flavor of the mold.
This is what the formerly half a kilo (about 1 pound) brick of raw butter looked like. Its creamy (not snow white!) color suggests that the cows are grass fed.
Once cut into, the texture seemed different from the pasteurized cream made butters. At fridge temperature it tended to break into crumbs, but we did not find that being an unappealing feature or one that would have made any difference in cooking-baking.
Kept in refrigerator not even after a week did it go rancid although we did not add salt to it for better preservation. After a while it sweated some juices which we poured off and that was all the care it took.That’s great! One shouldn’t even expect more from raw dairy.
Cheryl made farmer’s cheese, this time of the raw cow milk…
with our very own homemade and mellow organic apple cider vinegar and some store-bought white vinegar as adjutant. Even the whey had a very pleasant smell, reminiscent of apple. Used it to cook rice in, stirred into bread dough instead of water and even the dogs got to enjoy a few gulps.
So in just a few weeks we enriched our diet with a whole suit of healthy foods thank to raw milk, down to a very special, meringue topped homemade cappuccino – let’s just call it casuccino. ;)
In case you need any more convincing about the benefits of raw milk, here are 10 arguments to consider.