I wasn’t surprised when I noticed that I had become lactose-intolerant when I was 21. After all, my sister had been lactose-intolerant since birth and my mother had been off of milk since she made the connection in her years ago that milk products made her quite uncomfortable.
Bloating, gassiness, explosive diarreah, constipation, headache… these can all be symptoms of lactose intolerance, particularly if they show up within 1- 12 hours of ingesting a dairy product.
Lactose intolerance is not fun, to say the least. It’s particularly common among Mediterranean, Asian, African and other dark-skinned people, but can affect almost anyone.
It’s worth noting that mammals didn’t evolve to digest dairy products after weaning, and the human mammal is the only one to continue to drink milk as an adult. Really, lactose intolerance should be no surprise to any of us.
Still, life without cheese makes me feel deprived. Evolution didn’t account for the development of cheese.
Most lactose intolerant people simply avoid dairy products whenever possible. We can also take the lactase enzyme to help digest milk products on a food-by-food basis, but for me, even though lactase will ease the discomfort of digestion, I don’t believe it does everything it needs to because I notice a direct correlation between when I consume cow’s milk products and weight gain in my own body.
Not so with goat milk products. Go figure.
Although goat’s milk has only slightly less lactose then cow’s milk (4.1% to 4.7%), something is different enough that many lactose-intolerant people don’t have a problem digesting it. Hooray! This discovery has opened up a whole new world for me and my family because we can have cheese again!
The coolest part is finding how many products are now made with goat milk. Besides the typical soft Chevre log, we’ve found excellent Cheddar, Country Jack, and Mozzarella. Even our local Costco carries slices of unnamed goat cheese. Look for yogurt made from goat’s milk, too.
Colorado alone has more than 50 goat farms, dairies, and creameries. One of my favorites is the Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy — their cheeses are so delicious and special. Here’s a fun article about a program that puts prisoners to work on goat farms and then the goat milk goes to Haystack.
Mt. Sterling Creamery out of Wisconsin has wonderful harder goat cheeses, too.
(Do you get my newsletter? I send out a new Glorious One-Pot Meal recipe every other week exclusively to subscribers, and today’s recipe includes goat cheese!)