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