How cow milk and goat milk relate to Mama milk: a story and a quiche recipe

Updated Oct 12 2015
Guest post by Jenn Fletcher
Photos by Jenn Fletcher.

During my pregnancy my craving was ice cream. But during my last trimester I was advised to stop eating sugar. When I gave birth, I was so excited to be able to eat ice cream again and make up for all those cravings I hadn't been able to satisfy. I knew that because I was nursing, that I'd have to eat healthy, but at least some sugar could return to my diet. But when my baby was about three months old, I was put on another new strict diet, this time for dairy, and my dreams of eating ice cream throughout the spring and summer months were squashed again.

We had noticed that our baby was showing signs of food intolerance around the time she turned three months old, so I started to research what that could be. Most likely, she wasn't tolerating something I was eating (via my breast milk), and the three most likely culprits were dairy, wheat, or soy. So I began an elimination diet to determine if it was one of the three, and lo and behold, dairy it was. This was hard news to deal with since such a huge part of my diet was dairy-based. I love cheese, yogurt, milk, and ice cream of course, and ate some form of dairy at just about every meal.

So, I switched to soy milk, fake butter spread, and fake cheese. But, she was still having a slight problem sometimes. Speaking with our pediatrician, she told us that it wasn't the lactose in dairy that babies generally have a problem with like adults — it is the protein. Which, under further investigation, the fake cheese I was eating was lactose free, but still contained casein and milk protein. So that got tossed too. But wait, there was a light at the end of the tunnel! She also said that the problem is cow milk specifically, and that I could still eat goat and sheep milk dairy products.

The search then began to find goat or sheep substitutes for all of my staples and favorites. Milk alternatives (soy, coconut, almond, goat) were the easiest to find, and non-dairy ice cream was also easy (although I haven't found any goat or sheep ice cream yet). Regular soft goat cheese was easy too, but goat butter was a little trickier (I found some at Whole Foods). A lot of feta cheeses are also made with sheep or goat milk, but not all, so I had to do a bit of research and was constantly calling restaurants ahead of time to ask what kind of milk their feta cheese was made from.

It was a hard switch at first, but now four months in it's pretty easy. One thing that I keep saying to myself is, "Why aren't there any products out there for nursing mothers who have babies with this issue?" Because lets face it, finding the time to cook all of your meals from scratch with an infant is hard if you actually want to cook healthy and have the chance to eat it, too. So, this put me on another mission: to find a healthy and easy meal choice that had little prep time, could last a few days, was delicious and nutritious, and was one that I could eat and my baby could tolerate, too.

I experimented with my go-to quiche recipe and finally settled on a new one that fit the bill for all of those requirements. Plus, leafy greens? Check. Calcium? Check. And protein? Check. I tried the recipe with soy milk, and I tried it with Daiya "cheese" (a vegan cheese alternative). Both of those changed the flavor and consistency of the quiche too much and not for the better. Going goat all the way ended up being the winning combination.

Quiche à la Goat

(for the mother who is nursing a cow milk intolerant infant)

Ingredients:

  • 1 deep-dish pie shell (your favorite homemade recipe, pre-made frozen, or no crust for a gluten-free alternative)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups goat milk
  • 2 shakes cayenne pepper
  • 1 shake black pepper
  • 3 shakes nutmeg
  • 3 shakes dried basil
  • ¾ teaspoon salt (* If you're pregnant or nursing and not taking an iodine supplement, you may want to use iodized salt over sea salt for this. Pregnant women and nursing mothers need iodine in their diets!)
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh spinach (* I prefer organic spinach since it's one of the "dirty dozen")
  • 5 oz. soft goat cheese

Directions:

  1. Warm oven to 325 degrees.
  2. If using a frozen piecrust, poke fork holes in crust and bake for 10 minutes empty, then let cool.
  3. Mix the eggs, milk, and spices together. Whisk.
  4. Add in spinach, and crumble in goat cheese. Stir.
  5. Spoon in solid ingredients then pour in remaining liquid.
  6. Bake for about 1 hour.
  7. Let cool, cut into 4 pieces.

Ta-da!

  1. I know I have seen goat's milk ice cream somewhere… I thought at Whole Foods, honestly. Anyway, I hope once your young'un gets a little older you can go back to enjoying cheeses and ice cream! 🙂

    • LaLoos: http://www.laloos.com/

      I've had the deep chocolate and the mission fig (not on the website? was it discontinued?!), and they were both incredible. Very rich ice cream, absolutely delicious with no compromises in taste or texture. I recommend it!

  2. Oh man! This happened to me, too. I didn't know about the goat and sheep's milk, though, so THANK YOU! I'm due with baby #2 in August and I've been thinking about how to prepare for the possibility of a similar intolerance. Mainly by making a couple lasagnes with Daiya, and bracing for the rice milk substitutions. 🙁

    You = my hero.

  3. We've had the same issue with our son (now 10 months). I LOVE DAIRY, so it's been sad times. I had heard conflicting things about using goats or sheeps milk (potential for related allergies), so I was hesitant to try, but I've recently been reintroducing some back into my diet and so far so good! I also don't eat soy products, so the dairy alternatives were pretty bleak there for a minute.
    BUT! An amazing thing? Ghee! (aka clarified butter) It's really easy to make at home, and since you are cooking out (the vast majority of) the offending proteins, it's a buttery win! (I have heard that commercial ghee is "cleaner" in terms of protein content, so you might also want to go that route.) Our home is much happier with butter in it. 🙂

  4. I'm lactose-intolerant and my brand of it apparently includes goat milk too, which is sadsadsad. I love goat's milk.

    Laloo's makes goat milk ice cream and their deep chocolate is amazeballs. I found it at the local health food store. I haven't noticed it at Whole Foods, but I haven't looked there either. Try local places as well as Whole Foods. They sell a lot of the same stuff, but there's usually some differences.

    http://www.laloos.com/flavors.php

  5. Oh man. I have just gotten back to cheese and ice cream after 15 months dairy and soy free due to my son's intolerance to both proteins. Sadly, I don't like yogurt anymore…My son is still intolerant but at 16 months is not sensitive to my milk if I have eaten the offending products.

    SoDelicious ice cream sandwiches were my friend through the dietary limitations.

  6. Another awesome idea for quiche might be to make it with duck eggs if you can get them. They are richer and creamier than regular eggs, and if you used to make your quiche with cream rather than milk, might help you get a richer quiche. Yours sounds delish though!

  7. My whole foods (in nyc) carries LaLoos brand Goat Milk Ice Cream and it is awesome! I see someone else said their whole foods doesn't carry it, so it must be a store-by-store thing.

  8. Oh, that quiche looks wonderful! I love goat cheese!

    As for goat's milk ice cream, it might be worth looking into making your own. We're lucky enough here to have a few homemade gelato places that sometimes have goat's milk flavors, and it's always quite tasty.

  9. I swear by coconut milk ice cream! It is soooo yummy, it does have a coconut undertone which if you don't like coconut wouldn't be good but if you do then its fabulous!

  10. I am deathly allergic to cow dairy and chicken eggs. I just found out goat dairy and duck eggs were okay, but I'm not allowed to do too much of either of those to avoid acquiring an allergy. All of the soy/almond/coconut ice creams and whatnot are great. For a lower cost, healthier, DIY treat mash up berries or fruit, mix in full fat coconut milk and honey, then freeze. So so good.

  11. Raw cow milk and its products (butter, cheese, ice cream) are also tolerated by some people who can't do regular dairy. Doing a gut healing protocol is also a good idea for anyone who finds themselves with intolerances. It can help you prevent acquiring new intolerances.

  12. My son is sensitive to many things, which means I cannot have soy, dairy, nuts, citrus, gelatin, sesame, or eggs in any form in my diet.

    I've done a ton of research around this and have found some good products (Daiya cheese is soy and dairy free!) and great stores (If you have Wegman's grocery store near you, many items in their store brand are soy free including chicken broth and tortillas, which often have soy in them).

    Unfortunately I also cannot have goat's milk, but I've survived the summer by buying coconut ice cream. Trader Joe's has a cheap brand which is not as great but works when you're desperate for a fix. The chocolate is better than the strawberry. So Delicious is absolutely awesome. I've also used this to make "milk" shakes with either coconut milk, flaxseed milk, or rice milk. If you can have nuts, almond milk is similarly awesome.

    Also, skittles and sour patch kids have helped my sweet tooth survive, as they don't have any of these allergens!

    I look forward to the day that I can eat everything again – I plan on having a potluck party and consuming my weight in cheese.

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