Sheep Milk Cheese: Step-By-Step Recipe
Today, most people lead unhealthy lifestyles. After all the emphasis on health and nutrition, people are failing to meet their nutritional needs. As a result, your overall health bears the brunt of it. Milk is considered a necessary source of protein and calcium all over the world. There are various milk alternatives and animal-derived milk available on the market. Sheep milk proves to be the healthiest of all animal kinds of milk. This is because of its unparalleled nutrient profile.
You should definitely incorporate this nutrient-rich animal milk into your diet. All in all, it has enormous benefits.
What is Sheep Milk?
Sheep milk refers to the milk of domesticated sheep. Also called ewe’s milk, it is usually the first option for those who are allergic to other animal milk. It is used in preparing cultured dairy products.
As a matter of fact, sheep milk cheese is popular for being easily digestible and high in protein content. It contains important bioactive substances which promote good health.
This milk is used to produce prebiotics and probiotics. It is light on the stomach and is packed with fatty acids, immunoglobulins, hormones, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
If you suffer from digestive problems but also want to enjoy the maximum benefits of milk, this could be the best option. Adding to it, this animal milk also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
The largest amount of this milk produced is from China, Greece and Turkey. Other countries that produce major shares of total milk are Syria and Spain. On the other hand, the production of this extremely beneficial milk is increasing in New Zealand with time.
Adding to this, a maximum of about 200 dairy farms are there in the US. Most of these are in New England and The Upper Midwest. California also has several of these commercial dairies.
Therefore, it is safe to say that at present, this animal milk is the healthiest milk.
4 Benefits of Sheep Milk
It contains an impressive profile of minerals namely, zinc, magnesium and calcium. It is known to promote bone health better than any other animal milk.
Adding to it, it is natural A2-type milk. It totally lives up to the image of being the most nutritious milk in the world. As can be seen, you’ll be amazed to learn its countless benefits.
#1. Prevents Heart Diseases
This milk is low in cholesterol and even though it contains two times more fat than cow milk. This is due to the presence of unsaturated fats which are known to lower overall cholesterol levels.
25% of the fat content in this milk is made up of medium chain triglycerides. As a result, it is easier for the body to convert protein into energy and do check fat deposits in the body. Therefore, it can reduce the risks of heart ailments such as stroke, heart attacks and coronary heart diseases.
#2. Boosts Immunity
Owing to its rich composition of minerals with an abundance of Vitamin A and E, it can help you build strong immunity. Vitamin A and E are antioxidants which eliminate free radicals in the body thus saving us from chronic diseases.
Immunity boosters had been in the spotlight since the pandemic. This milk proves to be one of the natural immunity boosters of the body.
#3. Promotes Youthful Looking Skin
Due to the high amount of Vitamin E, this milk can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It can also be used as a natural face cleanser. It acts as an exfoliant since it has lactic acid and alpha hydroxy acids.
In addition, it helps in building collagen and promotes cell regeneration. Due to its high-fat content, it can also prove a useful moisturizer.
#4. Regulates Blood Pressure
This milk can prove a great natural approach to checking blood pressure levels. It has a good amount of amino acids which prove as useful as blood pressure mediators from the drugstores.
Consuming this nutritious animal milk can reduce the pressure on arteries and eventually regulate blood pressure.
Therefore, this milk has unlimited benefits although you should check its consumption if you are currently undergoing obesity. It is important to keep its high-fat content in mind.
Sheep Milk vs Cow Milk
Interesting to note is the fact that the benefits of this milk are way more than that of cow milk.
Dr Amber Milan, from the University of New Zealand, says that this milk has higher amounts of protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. For instance, it has twice the level of zinc and calcium as cow milk.
Not limited to this it has higher amounts of fatty acids and also than the ‘good fats’ or Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). Adding to this, it is easier to digest it and its fats are easily converted into energy.
As seen, you must have understood how healthy this milk is. It has higher amounts of amino acids than those present in cow milk. It also has more than twice the amount of Vitamin C and smaller fat globules when compared to cow milk. This makes it a better choice than cow milk for people suffering from stomach sensitivities.
However, cow milk is more easily available in the market than sheep milk. This is the sole reason for its popularity in the animal milk industry. Not only cow milk, but this milk also outperforms its other contemporaries (such as goat milk) as well.
Sheep Milk vs Goat Milk
Analogous to the fact that goat milk is highly nutritive too, sheep milk proves to be a better alternative. This nutritive milk has more than double the number of solids as that of goat. It also doesn’t have a strong smell or taste like goat milk. It has higher folic acid and vitamin B12 levels along with thiamin, riboflavin and Vitamin B6.
Old-aged men and women who need protein in their diets but have weak digestion should prefer this milk over that of goat. In effect, this milk is better at preventing osteoporosis since it has higher Vitamin D content and Calcium combined with lactose.
A higher quantity of both medium and short-chain unsaturated fatty acids leads to better absorption of lactose. As a matter of fact, this animal milk is great for lactose intolerant people. Its casein and whey protein content of it makes it a better option than goat for the fact because these proteins are easily digestible.
On the other hand, this milk is not advisable for babies for its high protein content. Goat milk could be a better option to feed babies. As it may be, sportsmen in Europe consume sheep milk for its enormous gifts to the body.
All in all, this milk is healthier than goat milk and is, therefore, unparalleled animal milk in the market.
What is Sheep Milk Cheese?
Sheep milk cheese is a dairy product produced by coagulation of sheep milk and protein casein. It has different flavours and textures. There is a vivid range of this cheese prepared around the world. Some of these are world classics and the others, lesser known variants. These differ across the world owing to different ways of preparation.
Some popular options are Manchego from Spain, Ricotta and Pecorino Romano from Italy and Feta from Greece. The taste of this cheese is slightly sweeter than that of any other milk owing to its high-fat content. The taste also depends on the form it is prepared in.
Manchego is the most famous sheep milk cheese. It originates from the La Mancha region of Spain. It has a firm and pliant texture and is comparatively mild to other kinds of cheese.
Sheep milk cheese is a treat to the tongue and body both but keeping in mind its fat content, it shouldn’t be over-consumed.
The ingredients required to make this cheese have easy availability in the market. You should prefer fresh farm milk if possible as it would be free of any preservatives.
Analogous to this you can also use the milk available in the organic stores.
If this is your first time making cheese, do not try to flavour it. This cheese will be delectable even if you leave it unflavored. However, you can flavour it once you’ve mastered the art of cheese preparation. Here is a list of required ingredients to prepare homemade sheep cheese:
- ½ gallon of raw or pasteurized sheep milk (Do not use ultra-pasteurized milk).
- ⅓ cup of fresh lemon juice (or 1 tablespoon of white cider vinegar, if available).
- ½ to 1 tablespoon of sea salt (you can also use table salt).
- ½ pint of fresh cream (optional, since this milk has an optimum amount of cream).
These are the basic ingredients needed to make this homemade cheese.
In addition to the basic utensils in your kitchen, you need certain extra equipment to create the perfect homemade sheep cheese. These might be available in the stores in your neighbourhood.
In case you fail to find them, you can always order them online. The following are all the tools you need for this recipe:
- A non-copper and non-iron four-quart stock pot
- A large colander
- Cheesecloth (preferably a new package)
- A meat or candy thermometer
- A large spoon
- A large bowl (such that the bowl opening is smaller than that of the colander since the colander will be placed at the top of it)
- A ball of cotton or yarn
- A place to hang your cheese from while it drains
- A kitchen timer (Even the one on your phone will do)
These tools are all you need for the recipe.
Sheep Milk Cheese: Step-By-Step Recipe
You will totally relish having this cheese as a part of your breakfast. On the other hand, it can make up a great supper option too. In effect, you won’t have problems digesting it.
Here is a step-by-step recipe to prepare mouth-watering sheep milk cheese. This homemade cheese will be an absolute delight to you and your loved ones! Here is the method to prepare this cheese which is not only super easy but also effective.
Place your non-iron pot on the stove and add about 2 quarts of milk to it. Scrape off all the cream in the pan by using a rubber scraper. Now add ½ to 1 tablespoon of salt. The heat should be around medium-low to medium-high. Around ½ hour should be taken to heat the milk up to 185°F.
As the milk reaches 185°F, turn off the heat. Now add ⅓ cup of lemon juice and stir. Let this mixture sit for 10 minutes.
Since you have waited for 10 minutes, check for milk and solid separation. If it is still creamy with no solid separation, add 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Remember, do not add more than 1 tablespoon or it will make the cheese sour.
Clear your counter and place your colander on it. You can also place it on the sink if you don’t find the whey useful. Now, line it up with 4 sheets of cheesecloth. Remember to double them. Now, place the colander over the bowl.
Pour the milk solids and whey into the colander which you have lined with cheesecloth. Be careful since it’s hot; you do not want any burns.
After draining enough whey, carefully press more whey out of the formed cheese ball. Since it’s hot, you should use rubber gloves. Now, tie the opposite corners of the cheesecloths leaving a little space for the thing you’ll suspend your cheese ball from.
Hang the cheese ball under your whey bowl or the sink. For the rest of the day, the whey can be drained from the cheese. Now, set a 30-minute timer.
After 30 minutes take the cheese ball down. Now, keep it in the colander and untie everything. Squeeze out a little more whey carefully. This will still be hot. Now cut 3 feet of the cotton string and double it. Tie it tightly around the cheesecloth stem of the cheese ball. Remember to tie it as securely as possible.
Now hang the cheese ball again. Check every 20 minutes and squeeze more whey. You can leave it hanging for about 3 hours if you live in a chilly place. On the contrary, if you live in a warm place you can keep the cheese on the colander and refrigerate it. You should not leave it in the refrigerator for more than 3 hours. The cheese will turn hard otherwise.
The cheese is almost ready. Now, you need to cut the cloth under where it’s tied. Place the cheese in a glass container and cover it with a loose lid. Set it in a fruit drawer in your fridge such that it cools gradually. Dispose of the cheesecloth and string since you can’t reuse them.
After a cooling period of 4-6 hours, enjoy your delectable homemade cheese!
This recipe takes time but your cheese will be good for up to 4 weeks and serve around 10 people. You can use this cheese to top your salads and toast. Enjoy this healthy homemade cheese and share it with your loved ones!
Sheep Milk Cheese
- 1 non-copper and non-iron four-quart stock pot
- 1 large colander
- Cheesecloth preferably a new package
- 1 meat or candy thermometer
- 1 large spoon
- 1 large bowl such that the bowl opening is smaller than that of the colander since the colander will be placed at the top of it
- 1 ball of cotton or yarn
- A place to hang your cheese from while it drains
- A kitchen timer Even the one on your phone will do
- ½ gallon of sheep milk
- ⅓ gallon of lemon juice
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- ½ pint of fresh cream
- 1 tbsp white cider vinegar optional
- Pour the milk into a non-iron pot and add ½ to 1 tbsp of salt.
- Scrape the cream and heat up to 185°F.
- Turn off the heat and add lemon juice and sit for 10 minutes.
- Line your colander with 4 sheets of cheesecloth and place it over the bowl.
- Pour the mixture with separated milk solids in it.
- Press out more whey from the formed cheese ball.
- Tie the corners of the cheesecloth and suspend it.
- Let it hang for 30 minutes under the sink or whey bowl.
- Bring it down and tie it tightly with 3 feet of cotton string to squeeze more whey.
- Hang the cheese ball again as before and leave it for 3 hours or refrigerate it.
- After 3 hours, cut the cloth from where it’s tied and put the cheese ball in a glass container.
- Loosely cover it with a lid and refrigerate it for 6 hours.
- After 4-6 hours of cooling, your sheep cheese is ready!
Sheep Milk Cheese: Nutritional Information
This cheese is healthy for its protein-rich profile but high in fats. In effect, you should cut down on having a lot if you suffer from obesity.
28g of sheep milk cheese contains the following amounts of nutrients:
- 12% Saturated fats
- 15% Trans fat
- Protein Content of 5g
- 8% Calcium
- 2% Iron
- 7% Cholesterol
- 0% Carbohydrates
Overall, fat forms 78% of its entire constitution with the remaining 22% of protein.
Is Sheep Milk Good To Drink?
Sheep milk is more delicious than cow milk and also a healthier alternative. You can drink it but it is not advisable for babies. As adults, you can enjoy the taste of this milk with its innumerable health benefits. On average a daily intake of 2 cups of it can help you meet your requirements of 5 essential amino acids, Calcium and Vitamin B2.
Why Do We Not Drink Sheep Milk?
This milk has a sharp odour and high-fat content. As a result, it is too rich to be drunk on a daily basis, for someone who doesn’t indulge in much physical activity. On the other hand, it is not as easily obtained as that of a cow. Sheep are recalcitrant beasts. They are difficult to raise and fickle. Adding to this, there is not enough yield. Due to its low availability, and our less physical indulgence, we do not drink this milk.
Is Sheep Milk Better Than Cow Milk?
On account of its better nutritional profile, this milk is way better than cow milk.
It has higher protein, better vitamin and mineral profile and a greater amount of amino acids. It is not only healthier than cow milk but it also does a better job in the energy breakdown of proteins. Adding to this, if you suffer from frequent indigestion, you should prefer sheep milk over that of a cow.
Is Sheep Milk Inflammatory?
The bioactive composition of this milk has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. In effect, the A2 beta-casein makes it less likely to cause any inflammatory responses. The biopeptides present not only have anti-inflammatory but also antiviral and antibacterial properties. As a matter of fact, sheep milk is less likely to cause any inflammatory response.
What Does Sheep Milk Taste Like?
It is sweeter than cow milk and has a very subtle flavour. Most people find the taste delicious. Analogous to this, people fear that it might smell like sheep, which is not true. It is very creamy and does not have any indistinct flavour like that of a cow or goat. It is due to the tiny fat globules in this milk that it has a sweet taste. You should definitely try out some fresh sheep milk. As a matter of fact, you are most likely to like it.
Sheep milk has exceptional health benefits and is said to have a class of its own. It is rich in many essential nutrients that help you lead a life of longevity and vitality.
As a matter of fact, its yield is less, so it is not as popular as its other contemporaries. There are various dairy products made from cheese and it is even used in prebiotic drug production. On the other hand, it is rich in fats.
As a result, you should not consume it if you are trying to lose weight. It is also good for skin, bones and the digestive system.
It outperforms cow milk and goat milk due to its high nutritional profile. This animal milk is also good for people who are lactose intolerant or get allergic reactions.
Sheep milk cheese is one way of consuming it in the form of dairy products. There is a wide variety of this cheese around the world. Adding to this, you can prepare some homemade cheese using simple steps. This milk aids heart ailments and vitamin D deficiency.
Not only does it regulate blood pressure but also boosts immunity and prevents cardiovascular diseases. You should definitely consider incorporating this milk into your diet. You will relish its benefits which would help in the betterment of your physical and mental well-being.
Have you ever tried sheep milk? What is your favourite sheep milk product? Let us know in the comment section below!
Deeksha Tripathi is a Literature graduate and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Business Administration. Besides being a passionate writer, she is a fashion enthusiast.