Crop Spot: Michigan Goat Milk

Local food is the GOAT! No, really – going local with goat milk, and the more easily-found goat cheese, is a great way to find quality dairy products. 

Why give goat milk a go? Goat milk contains more vitamins and minerals & more protein, as well as 1% less lactose than cow’s milk. Beyond that, due to the chemical structure of goat milk, many people who have trouble tolerating cow dairy have an easier time with this alternative. 

Nubian dairy goats at Maple Leaf Farm and Creamery in Falmouth, MI eating hay.
Dairy goats at Maple Leaf Farm and Creamery

What Does Goat Milk Taste Like? 

If you’ve had fresh goat cheese, expect goat milk to have a much similar taste. It’s a bit creamier and tangier than a typical cow dairy, with a distinct grassy, sweet, goat taste. 

How to Make Goat Milk Yogurt

Want an easy way to introduce goat dairy into your meal plan? Try yogurt! Yogurt is easy to make and highlights the tangy flavor of goat milk. Believed to be named from the Turkish word yoğurmak (to thicken), yogurt is great for breakfast and marinating proteins


  • 2 quarts goat milk
  • ½ cup live-culture yogurt
  • Dutch oven or another oven-safe large pot 
  • Thermometer


  • Pour all the milk into your pot and place it over medium heat on your stovetop. 
  • Slowly heat the milk until it reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally. This step does two important things. It denatures lactoglobulin, the major whey protein, allowing casein (another protein) to bind, making a thicker, creamier final product. It also has the second effect of killing off unwanted cultures, so that when you introduce your yogurt cultures later on, they won’t have as much competition. 
  • Allow the milk to cool back down to ~110 degrees Fahrenheit. You can do this by simply moving your pot off the heat, but you can also speed up the cooling process by adding the pot to a sink full of ice water. 
  • Once your milk is at this better temperature for your live cultures, stir in the live-culture yogurt. 
  • Let sit “overnight” or 6-12 hours, allowing the cultures to make your yogurt! 
  • Refrigerate as soon as you’ve reached a firm yogurt consistency. 
  • According to Washington State University, homemade yogurt can be kept in the refrigerator for 10-21 days. 

Where to Buy Michigan Goat Milk

Goat dairy can be found in cheese, butter, or milk products, and can also be purchased in the form of a herd share. A herd share is similar to a CSA share, but instead of veggies, you receive a percentage of the dairy produced by the herd. Search for Michigan farmers and retailers on our Find Food and Farms Directory to purchase goat dairy in your neighborhood!

Claire Butler is the Content Strategy Specialist for Taste the Local Difference. Contact her at [email protected].

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