Ahhh, raw milk. Funny how a natural substance that has existed for thousands of years without human interference can elicit such passionate emotions in modern society.
It seems chemical alternation to cow meat and milk never got along with my body. I avoided milk and beef while growing up and only recently have attempted to try both again now that I have access to organic sources. I've already tried eating beef, and that didn't go too well. I think I still have an aversion to the taste. However, raw milk and I are friends - good friends.
The difference between organic and raw milk though is a big one. Organic milk is supposed to be free of growth hormones and other terrible substances, but it's still pasteurized. This means it's killed, yes, killed of beneficial bacteria and just sits on the shelf or in the refrigerator already dead and slowly rotting. Not exactly nutritious, as this actually harms your digestive system. Your body cannot recognize the substance formerly-known-as-milk and launches an immune system response, which can lead to allergies, a sluggish colon, and even heart disease. The substances added to the dead "milk" causes these negative reactions to be more likely, and is why many people who drink milk still suffer from aliments like osteoporosis.
Raw milk was just milk until the 1920s. That's when mass producing dairy farms began to emerge, leading to a slue of sickness and deaths in the United States. Instead of thinking twice about packing so many cows into tiny spaces that are filthy, people thought pasteurization was the answer. And instead of finding methods of large, sustainable dairy farms, people accepted sick cows producing contaminated milk. Milk took the bad wrap and sadly pasteurized milk is considered normal by modern standards.
Of course, it is still of the utmost importance to find grass-fed cows that are healthy and produce quality milk collected through clean methods. Many states sadly still condemn raw milk sold in conventional stores, but it's possible to find it through co-ops, local farms, or online.
Also, raw milk is more than just whole milk. You can buy one product and make many others with it. It's very easy to make cream, buttermilk, and butter from raw milk. Homogenization of pasteurized milk prevents making these healthy dairy products possible, but they're accessible and delicious with raw milk. I find it much more economical to buy a gallon of raw milk and make my own milk products, including the few minutes and average kitchen tools it takes to change the milk into other dairy products.
For this first step, the cream can be used in place of heavy cream in recipes, or you can just keep it around to add to coffee in the morning. It's so simple and delicious. Plus, I'll show you in my next post how to make buttermilk and butter in one step.
How To Make Cream
1 gallon raw milk
To make cream all you have to do is buy a gallon of raw milk, let it sit in the refrigerator overnight to separate with gravity, and then spoon the cream off the top in the morning.
~Yields approximately 2 cups of cream.