Homemade Goats Milk Ricotta Cheese.

by Brittany on February 23, 2013

Post image for Homemade Goats Milk Ricotta Cheese.

I consider myself a very  strong person. In the past 7 years I have had to pull myself through many difficult situations.. one of the most difficult being this hashimoto’s disease and all the compounding issues that come with it.

I have a gift at being able to find a smile, a real authentic smile despite hard times trying to bring me down. I’m not sure why- but there’s always just been this infectious candle of joy that lives deep within me that no difficult time has ever been able to completely shadow. This boundless optimism is literally what has gotten me through the tough days..like today.

As many of you know- roughly 5 months ago after 3 years of battling up hill I put my hashimotos disease into remission. It was a long, sometimes awful journey- but I made it. In addition my adrenal fatigue was fabulously under control and my candida issues barely a concern. I have been able to rapidly add new foods back into my diet with happy results. I was on cloud 9 and felt positively unstoppable.

I thought I was 100% better or extremely close to it.  At the end of January I joined a gym. 3 years prior I had to give up kickboxing because I became simply too sick to keep up with the classes.  At first working out felt amazing. I called my husband in sheer joy announcing this would be the year that I would once again be able to put on a swimsuit and not look and feel like an untoned sickly looking galoof.

And then..after 2 weeks I entered a terrifying state of hyperthyroidism.. and I have been an absolute mess since.  My adrenals are once again shot and acting in extreme ways.  From utter exhaustion to feeling so high I can barely see. From sleeping nonstop to insomnia.

I am so disappointed. Today I cannot fight the tears.. and I’m realizing that its ok to cry. Its ok to mourn the setbacks. Sometimes you have to cry a little (or a lot) before you can find hope again and step back up to the battle for your health.

Ricotta cheese is my favorite. Literally, give me a spoon and some fresh ricotta and you’ll see my gleaming from one end of the world to another.  Back before getting sick I made huge batches of fresh ricotta once a week. I made gnocchi and an incredible nutmeg and cinnamon ricotta pie. When I got sick- I lost ricotta and it felt tradgic.


Today I wiped my tears and I made ricotta- ricotta that I can eat. Ricotta that is giving me back someone that I felt was taken unfairly. Today I had my first bite of ricotta in 3 years.

Today I am replacing my tears of sadness with tears of joy. This ricotta is good and I am thankful.

Thankful for the improved health that I have gained, thankful for my improved health to come, thankful for my will to fight forward, and thankful for this cheese. This cheese that I can eat.

Everything is going to be ok.


Homemade Goats Milk Ricotta Cheese

4 cups of goats milk.

1 Teaspoon of  Salt

4 Teaspoons Lemon Juice.

  1. In a sauce pan combine the 4 cups of goats milk and salt. Over medium high heat slowly warm it up sirring every so often. Just before it comes to a boil turn off the heat and pour in the lemon juice. (NOTE: It is VERY important that the milk does not boil as this will affect the texture of the cheese negatively. Watch your milk carefully and shut off the heat the second you see it starting to ever so gently bubble.) 
  2. Stir the lemon juice into the milk and let the pot sit for 10 minutes- during this time it will curdle. (If if does not curdle then your milk was not quite warm enough).
  3. Drape a piece of square cheesecloth over a colander. After the ten minutes pour the hot curdled milk mixture into the cheesecloth. Carefully lift up the edges and fasten them tight using a rubber band or piece of string. Hang the cheese allowing it to drip for 1 hour.  (I do this by attaching it to my sink nozzle and letting it hang in the sink. This keeps the mess to a minimum.
  4. After the hour untie your cheesecloth and store the cheese in the fridge in a sealed container. If you want the cheese even thicker- feel free to let it hang and drip excess liquid longer.



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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Tyra February 23, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your heart today. Having my own health struggles as well as dealing with them in all 4 of my children can be so difficult sometimes! Lately it feels like we will never win the battle of being healthier. This was definitely an encouragement to keep a good attitude and not give up!


Michele February 23, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Brittany- Thanks for sharing. You are such a giving, lovely person. I so appreciate all the effort you put in to make the lives of people that you have never met, easier. My life is lighter for having read your blogs and made your wonderful recipes. You have made me personally stronger knowing I don't have to live the rest of my life feeling like I am missing out on so many foods/comforts. Hugs to you and good wishes that your body will feel good again very soon.


Joanne C February 23, 2013 at 5:54 pm

HI Brittany! Thank you for sharing. Praying for your complete healing as well as my own and my granddaughter. Quick question for you, if you know the answer. IF someone has an allergy to Dairy, Is Goats milk ok to consume. I am still new to this and learning. I have used soy and coconut milk but not Goats milk. would this recipe possibly work with either of those? Any ideas? And is there something to sub for lemon juice if citrus is not an option? Thanks for any help you can give. Be blessed and have a wonderful day! Crying is good sometimes as it releases stress too :)


Courtney February 23, 2013 at 5:55 pm

This looks too easy....is it really that simple! :)
Thank you for sharing your struggles; as I've posted numerous times, I have my own lately and I feel as though no one will listen and insists that it's all in my head. Luckily I have a good naturopath who believes me and actually listens. I feel like its a never ending downhill battle but ever since I've 'met' you, you give me the hope and strength to continue and that it does get better. Thank you for bringing me back the joy of cooking as I search again for my joy in my life. I wish you the best as you fight your battles and thank you from the bottom of my heart. xxxooo


Stephanie February 23, 2013 at 8:54 pm

My heart goes out to you. You are such an inspiration to everyone who is battling health/food issues. I wish you strength and happiness as you regain your health back. May you be surrounded by unending love, joy & yummy food that you can eat!


Leslie McKinnon February 23, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Does the goat's milk need to be raw or can it be pasteurized? This recipe seems so easy and the cheese looks absolutely delicious - can't wait to try it! :-)


Brittany February 23, 2013 at 10:06 pm

I used pasteurized! Raw is tough to find. ( Though if you have access to raw it should work too). I'm able to get a really delicious local pasteurized goats milk and that's what I used. I have not yet tried meyenberg goats milk in this recipe which can be found in most grocery stores.


Janice February 23, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Goats milk will still have lactose, and
casein therefore I would not use it. Try healing the gut first - then try a little raw kefir .
Soy can cause problems also.


Brittany February 23, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Yes- that's true.
However the lactose and casein in goats is a different composition as that in cows. It's easier to digest and many that cant have cow dairy products can tolerate goat/sheep dairy.


JS February 23, 2013 at 10:52 pm

I'm so grateful that you shared this setback. Remission is the perfect word for those times when we feel that our life is (almost) back. I am in an upswing and keep reminding myself that it doesn't mean that I'm well--it's a reprieve for a time, and I'm thankful for that even though I wish it could be cured forever. It is so terrifying to be in a downswing, knowing how hard it was to fight back the last time. Keep fighting--you are inspiring to the rest of us! :)


Mary February 23, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your struggle... I have similar issues; I had a very strange condition with my glucosamine/GABA cycle that left me bedridden for two years, plus Celiac's and some trouble with CFS and possibly thyroid issues as well... it's so hard when you have a setback and I empathize soooooo much about the swimsuit issue. My CFS leaves me looking like a blueberry no matter how healthily I eat, so I've had to majorly work on loving my body the way it is... anyway, this January was the first time I'd felt healthy enough to take up running, and it was such a joy... and then it turned out that the Gatorade I was drinking while running had gluten (I know I should have read the label, but I just didn't think it would be in a drink!!!) and suddenly I was exhausted and glutened all over again and now I have to start from scratch... anyway, just wanted to say I get it. Be gentle with yourself and please know you're such a joy to others, not just because you help us find comfort food we can eat... hey, I can't eat all of the recipes you post as often as I like because I have to keep my nut consumption moderate (because the excess magnesium will mess with my gut), but I still love to read all the recipes because it's so interesting how you come up with them and it makes me want to think up my own! I made up a "grain-free risotto" with the cauliflower rice and it's one of the only ways to get vegetables into my finicky husband. Sorry I'm rambling, just wanted to say I get it.

And as for the ricotta-- this looks awesome! I'll try it next time we can afford to buy adventurous things (grad students have a pretty fixed food budget, especially the last week of the month)!


Bev February 23, 2013 at 11:28 pm

I learned a hard lesson a few years ago. Lactic acid can bind to the chemical receptor site for the thyroid and shut it down. I'd be happy to share what I know with you if you would like to e-mail me privately.



Donna February 23, 2013 at 11:53 pm

How important is it that you use goats milk? I have access to raw cows milk and we all seem to be able to tolerate it well. I'm anxious to try this!


Brittany February 24, 2013 at 12:17 am

I would do a quick search online and compare cows milk ricotta recipes to mine- as I think the amount of lemon juice that you need may differ slightly.
It's been a long time since I've made it with cows milk and can't remember what my proportion of ingredients were.


Donna February 24, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Thanks so much I will check around. I appreciate your blog very much! Your honesty is refreshing!


Sara February 24, 2013 at 1:08 am

Can almond, or any other nut milk be used? Can rice milk be used? Can coconut milk be used?

I have a very strong allergy to goat anything. Same with milk. Same with soy. Same with gluten. Same with almost all grains.

Have Hashimoto's. I don't even know what it would look like/feel like to have Hashimoto's go into remission.


Brittany February 24, 2013 at 1:09 am

No- sorry! Nut and coconut milks do not curdle or act at all like milk when it comes to cheese making.


Shannon Brown February 24, 2013 at 3:45 am

I've read that when healing adrenals (as I also am) exercise has to be gentle and you have to build slowly. It may be that something like yoga is a better answer right now? I found a lot of good info in a book that's a few years old: The Schwarzbein Principle II: The "Transition." She's an endocrinologist that goes a natural direction.


Kathleen Conner February 24, 2013 at 6:53 pm

That's very interesting--I often get sick when I exercise, even a little bit. This is the first time I've heard of a possible reason, so thanks!


Jess February 24, 2013 at 3:50 am

You know what I am grateful for? I am so grateful for the fact that you share THIS part of your journey too. There are a lot of yippy skippy blogs out there that are extremely upbeat and share all of the amazing recipes that they have created. I'm grateful for these blogs too- because I love to see recipes and success stories... you know- the fact that things work. But I am so grateful that you post when things go wrong too. It helps me when I read that your journey has taken 3 years and sometimes you still struggle. I am a year into a Celiac diagnosis... and along that gluten free road- I have found that there are a LOT of other foods that I can't eat either. It's disheartening sometimes. And it's not that I'm happy you have problems... but if you ARE going to have problems- I'm grateful you share. Thank you. And hurray for your ricotta- I have goat's milk on my shopping list for next week now!


Rebecca February 25, 2013 at 3:09 am

I have Hashimoto's and 1 1/2 years ago leading up to my wedding I got back to what I would call 80% normal. So thankful it happened pre wedding. Had the best time and loved our honeymoon. I can pinpoint the day one week after returning home when things went bad again. Stress leading up to wedding must have set me off again. Been super tired/brain fog/piled on lots of weight (all the usual stuff) for the past year. Having that glimpse of feeling better keeps me going tho so trying to get back there. You know how to do it so you'll hopefully get back there too. Take it easy!


Katharine February 26, 2013 at 2:07 am

I'm so sorry that trying to do something so healthy (exercise) led to you feeling worse. That must be so frustrating. Managing a chronic condition can be such a roller coaster. Thanks for sharing your journey - we all benefit from your authenticity (not to mention culinary creativity).


Sharon Rieske February 28, 2013 at 1:40 am

Hi. Recipe looks easy enough. Question: if the milk doesn't curdle do you have throw it away and start over? Thank You.


Brittany February 28, 2013 at 2:02 am

If the milk doesn't curdle then I would probably heat it up some more.
But I've never had a problem with it not curdling..


Laura February 28, 2013 at 2:27 am

Thanks so much for all you share on your site.... I have a question about your health issues. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto Syndrome over 20 years ago. I have managed it with Armoure and Synthroid but my question is more to do with the following years. I have had many additional autoimmune complications over the years since my Hashimoto's diagnosis. Now in the last 5 to 7 years I have developed multiple food sensitivities..... I would love to hear if you have been able to reintroduce foods...so far I have not been able to bring any of the foods that cause me problems. Wishing you increased health and strength....Laura


Brittany February 28, 2013 at 2:44 am

Yes! Many-
But it was a matter of getting my candida under control and healing my gut ( leaky gut). After that I was able to add many things back.


Audra April 8, 2013 at 1:26 am

Hi Brittany,
I've recently have found your site and love it. I've been trying to make this recipe and am not having any luck. I've tried four times and every time it just doesn't curdle. (At least I'm consistent). Reading your post I know its because its not hot enough. My question for you is... how hot does the milk need to get? It starts to "bubble" over the 200s, I'm afraid for it to steadily boil, and Ive brought it up to 212. Any advice you have I'd greatly appreciate. I'm always so excited and then feel defeated as I watch the milk pour through the colander. I'm hopeful though and have 2 other quarts of goats milk in the fridge ready for victory!

Thanks so much.


Brittany April 8, 2013 at 2:11 am

My thermometer has died so I don't know exactly the temp. I use.
I remove mine from the heat just as it very gently starts to bubble. I can tell its about the boil when I see some air movement in the sauce pan.
Worst case let it gently boil the first time and then scale back the next time.
Basically if the milk gets too hot the cheese becomes harder and dryer vs. soft and creamy.

You should see the milk curdle right in the pan. If it doesn't then turn your heat back on. Don't dump the milk until it curdles.


Audra April 10, 2013 at 2:58 am

Success! Thank you for such a speedy response.


Brittany April 10, 2013 at 3:25 am

Horray!!!!!! :)


Brittany April 8, 2013 at 2:11 am

Now you have me craving it! :)


Lisa June 5, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Gosh--I wish I had read the part about not dumping the milk in the colander if it hasn't curdled. Duh--head slap. Well, I will have to just go buy another litre of goat milk because now I am on a mission!


Brittany June 5, 2013 at 11:38 pm

Oh man! I'm sorry.
Making ricotta is a little bit if an art form. I also threw out several batches while learning. Once you understand what to look for you'll never have a bad batch again!


Dawn June 20, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Wow, I am amazed as I read your post it was my identical story. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto 20 years ago and the Dr. said take a pill and you will be fine. I too always keep a smile on my face. I am a firm believer God woke me up today for a purpose. My husband and I are adopting a little girl that we have had living with us since she was born. It has become surreal that I needed to do more than take a pill. I need to take control of my life so I can have the energy to keep up with a 2 year old. I have started a gluten and dairy free lifestyle and already see more energy as if the fog is lifting. Thank you for sharing and keep on sharing your story you are an inspiration.


Michele July 11, 2013 at 6:58 am

I see that you wrote this in Feb. I had a "disappearing" winter too. Apparently. you know the kind. You disappear from church, shopping, "mom" stuff, and sometimes it feels like you've "disappeared from your own life.
My children have serious food allergies and sensitivities, and to control my pain I went Gluten Free as well. Winter's are usually the most difficult. Our menus get easier, too repetitive at times.
I have always felt that food should be MORE than JUST Edible. No matter what allergy or sensitivity. I think food should be Good, or Great! I appreciate that you have put so much time and energy into experimenting, and then with sharing. My son is 15+. We learned about is allergies and sensitivities 13 years ago. There was very little help then, most success was found by experimenting . I've learned that chemistry in cooking is important. Things like "what does an egg do?" It's still difficult to use others recipes verbatim very often, due to our specific list. Your recipes are workable, at least easily varied. I especially appreciate the "bases" that you've created. I haven't had a lot of energy to spend on "how to make ricotta cheeses from goat milk" or even better "how to make whipped cream from goat milk" !!! Thank you !!!!! Now I can make a proper Lasagna!!! All in one pan, for all of us to share. That is a great energy saver!! Thank you!!! Again!! And I don't know how to express my joy for being able to add Whipped cream to my son's "special dessert" menu. It will be soooo fun to put it on his ice cream or pie. Our complete allergy list for family cooking/baking is: Gluten, Milk(both parts- one child Lactose, one Protein, Eggs, Peanuts, Soy, Citrus Fruits (all), Canola, Sesame, Garlic (this one we can use small amount of now), and Fructose (this occurs OFTEN when people have intense Lactose allergies/sensitivities. Everyone has to find out what they can tolerate and when, and how much. High fructose corn syrup, Honey, and Agave are at the to of his list. )
I wanted to share about the lactose/ fructose connection. We found out when a doctor told a friend. It greatly improved our lives. We hope others are given this vital information, so they can smile easier.
Thanks again! It's always nice to share a smile over good food,
One question- Have you tried anything besides lemon juice in the Ricotta? I often substitute Cream of Tartar fo Lemon in things. Do you think that or something else would work?


Renee July 13, 2013 at 10:44 am

Hi Brittany,

I'd love to have your nutmeg and cinnamon ricotta pie recipe! THat sounds SO good. I'm also SO excited that you can make ricotta from goats milk!! I havent had ricotta for so long!!! THanks Brittany!


Teresa August 28, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Thanks for all of your great posts and recipes. I have just found your site and love it! Question on the ricotta though. I followed the directions exactly, and the milk did not curdle. I even heated it up a second time, added a little more lemon juice, and nothing. Waited a long time, too. Still nothing. I used the Meyenberg goat's milk. I ended up pouring the whole quart down the drain. Any ideas?


Brittany August 28, 2013 at 3:21 pm

That's so sad!!! I hate wasted milk!
Perhaps the meyenberg requires a little bit more acid ( lemon juice) to curdle?
I used local goats milk when I made mine- but ill experiment with the meyenberg soon and let you know!


Teresa August 28, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Yep, total bummer as I was planning on making a GF/DF/SF baked ziti or lasagna for dinner and now I don't have the yummy ricotta to do it. Wondering what I can do with a container of sheep's milk yogurt, if anything, to still make dinner. Might have to do it another night. Sigh...perhaps it is the brand, but I added at least another teaspoon or two of lemon juice and still no curdle. Just isn't my day, I guess!


Brittany August 28, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Boo!!! I'm so sorry!
If you add some lemon to the yogurt I bet it would taste good!


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