Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ah, Nuts... Almond or Goat Milk?

Ah, Nuts... Almond or Goat?

Angenette Lilly-Vasquez 

This is an udder--found on goats, sheep, or cows. 
It is where milk comes from.

This is an almond tree. It is where almonds come from.
Milk does not grow on trees. Nuts do. 

Love almond milk? Many people do. However, the truth is that it is not really milk. Sorry. For anyone who still wants to use it as milk, there are a few things one needs to be aware of. Again, one is that it is not really milk--nutritionally. Even though it has additives to fortify and make it more milk-like, it is highly processed, going from a solid to a liquid--nut to milk, while losing part of its 'goodies' in the process. When compared to a milk like goat's milk, it just doesn't stack up to the essentials found in real milk. In fact, almond milk does not really stack up to being almond 'milk.' With only 2% of the content in almond milk based in the US actually being almond based, it is more like almond 'water' than 'milk' with the other 98% of the ingredients being water and other products (sweeteners, vitamins, and minerals) to make the product more palatable and nutritional. Yes, it may be lower in calories and fat, but so is water. Some things are better eaten the way nature intended (as a nut) to get the full benefits from them instead of processing them. Nature good--> processed, well... not so good.

How does it compare to goat milk?

According to Kelsey Jeter, a University of Missouri Extension Nutrition Specialist, while almond milk may contain no saturated fat or cholesterol, is high in Vitamin E, calories, and carbs, and while it may also often be fortified with lots of vitamins (via the processor), it loses most of its protein during processing and after processing, ends up being mostly water with empty calories if sweetened. As Tom Philpott suggests in "Lay Off the Almond Milk," perhaps eating the almond itself is much more effective for those wanting any nutritional gain from the nut, especially in the form of protein.

When it comes to making comparisons, the following information is based on a 100 gram serving of either goat milk or almond milk. The information is taken from the ND database; it can differ based on type of goat. Goat milk has 3.6 g of protein vs 0.4 for almond milk. It has only 4.5 g total carbs while almond milk has 3.3 g. Almond milk is lower in calories at 25 vs 69, and goat milk is higher in 'fat'. Goat milk is also notated as having 11 mg of cholesterol, and this, in addition to the fat, is one of the only things that many people will consider unhealthy. However, according to research at the University of Granada, neither of these--the cholesterol or fat-- are factors to worry about with goat milk. In fact, the study found that fat in goat's milk actually reduces overall cholesterol levels in the body; the same fat "maintains adequate levels of triglycerides and transaminases (GOT and GPT). This makes it a food of choice for the prevention of heart diseases" ("Scientific study proves that goat milk"). It is also an A2 food, which also means it is not linked in the category with many A1 types of cow's milk that have been linked to stroke, diabetes, hypertension, and other diseases associated with animal milks. Goat's milk also contains essential fatty acids along with "medium-chain fatty acids (C6-C14) MCT" that can be used as quick energy; they aren't stored as fat in the body" ("Scientific study").

Other Nutrients, including the Essentials: 

Calcium: Goat milk contains 134 mg of calcium per 100 gram serving. Almond milk contains 188 mg, but this is not natural calcium. It is calcium that has been added to the milk after processing. It only contains 2 mg of calcium on its own, so it should not be used without fortification as a source of calcium.

Vitamin D: Goat milk contains minimal amounts of Vitamin D--usually about 3.2 mcg; it is often fortified with other sources of Vitamin D when sold in stores. However, grass fed goats with good pastures and access to browse will have higher amounts and require less fortification. If fortified, it is only fortified to around 12 IU. Naturally, it still beats almond milk, which only has 2.76 mcg; it is usually fortified to higher amounts--around 41.7 IU--to increase absorption.

Vitamin C:  Goat milk contains 1.3 mg. Almond milk contains none.

Phosphorus: Goat milk contains 111 mg of phosphorus, which is 11% of the DV. Almond milk comes in at about 8.3 mg. The lower phosphorus is sometimes asked for for those with stage 4 kidney problems, but not for others who want a more phosphorus rich diet.

Riboflavin: Goat milk contains 0.3 mg of riboflavin, which is 20% of the DV. Almond milk contains .2 mg.

Vitamin B-12:  There are 0.1 mcg of B-12 in goat milk. Almond milk is a good source of B Vitamins at 1.3 mcg.

Potassium: Goat milk contains 204 mg. Almond milk only contains 0 in a 100 gram serving.

Vitamin A: Goat milk contains 198 iu of Vitamin A. Almond milk is a little higher in this area with 208 iu. However, some of this is destroyed via processing, and while researching, I found that many labels of almond milk read as it having 0% or add it as fortification.

Niacin:  Raw almonds contain .032 mg of niacin in 1/4 cup, but I cannot seem to find info for amounts, if any, that are left after processing the small amount of almonds used in making milk. Niacin is essential for health, especially for those with depression and mood disorders, and many would say that those who have tendencies toward addictions (alcoholism, etc) need this nutrient, too. In this case, I would definitely opt for eating the nut itself to get the niacin. Otherwise, just drink the goat milk, which is higher at 0.280 gm.

Iron: Goat milk contains iron at 0.1 mg. The University of Granada research states that the iron levels in goat's milk have proven very beneficial for those with anemia. Personally, I saw my late husband's blood levels rise from a 6 after colo-rectal surgery to a 9 in just 2 weeks! The doctors were astounded.  Unless fortified, almond milk does not contain iron. Most packages read 0%.  If fortified, levels are between 0.1-0.3 mg.

Vitamin E: Goat milk contains .17 mg. Almonds are high in Vitamin E, and this comes in at about 4.2 mg.

Magnesium: Goat milk contains 14 mg. Almond milk contains 6.7 mg. This is another very necessary nutrient, especially for nervous system and cardiovascular health.

Thiamine: 0.1 mg is present in goat milk. None is present in almond milk.

Zinc: 0.3 mg is present in goat milk. Zinc is at 0.6 in almond milk. I am not aware of how much of this is natural and how much is fortified. From most of the labels, it looks like zinc is usually an addition.

Selenium: Goat milk contains 1.4 mcg. Almond milk contains none.

Copper: Goat milk contains 0.05 mg while almond milk contain 0.1 mg.

Vitamin K: 0.3 mcg in goat milk. None in almond milk.

Vitamin B6: None found in almond milk. 100 grams of goat milk is usually 2% B6.

Folate: None in almond milk. There is 0.1 mcg in goat milk.

Pantothenic Acid: None in almond milk. There is .3 mg in goat milk.

Choline: None in almond milk. There is a whopping 16 mg in goat milk. Choline is an essential micronutrient needed for healthy brain development and liver function.

Betaine: None in almond milk. None in goat milk.

Total Omega 3's: None in almond milk. There are 40 mg in goat milk.

Total Omega 6's: None in almond milk. There are 109 mg in goat milk.

More: Additionally, goat milk contains a large number of oligosaccharides, similar to the composition of human milk, and these act like prebiotics ("Scientific study").  The fat globules are small and easily digested by people of all ages. The same study also states that low levels of casein alpha 1 -as make goat milk 'hypo-allergenic' for those with true cow milk allergies. While lactose intolerance or allergy is often screamed at as the major offender with animal milk usage, it is often actually a casein intolerance that is the problem. In that case, the person drinking the milk will not suffer the same problems when drinking goat milk, which contains different casein than most cow milk.

The minerals and vitamins available in goat milk are natural, 'bioavailable,' and ready to build bones and healthy bodies. Eat the nut. Then drink goat milk.

Additional Sources:

Almond Milk: Healthy or Hype?

Could Goat's Milk be the New Almond Milk?

Goat Milk Nutrients VS Cow's Milk

Lay Off the Almond Milk, You Ignorant Hipsters

Scientific study proves that goat milk can be considered as functional food

Monday, January 26, 2015

Lots of Fun! French Buns at Firestone Creek!

Firestone Creek now has French angora RABBITS!

I'm a creativity junkie. I love being creative. I've always had an interest in fiber arts, and a few months back, we were thinking about purchasing a couple of alpacas (and we might still do that). I've also always LOVED the angora rabbits--all of them. I'm two shoes in for anything "fluffy," most of the time. 

Instead of diving into a sea of alpacas, we decided to start small with a few French angoras, and we've been having so much fun with this fiber and all of the fluffy snuggles and kisses from these guys. We added 7 (2 males and 5 females) and lost one female within 2 days due to some illness, probably brought on by stress and bad nutrition from the previous owner. I treated everyone else with my herbal immune building formulation, began a new diet of high protein pellets, timothy, alfalfa, and crudities, and everyone else is fine and doing well. In fact, they are producing lots of fine hair and having babies! 

When we got these buns, they were matted and looking pretty rough. The lady actually admitted she had NEVER brushed them! I was in shock. As you can see in some of the photos, they do still have a few underbody mats, and two of the adults are moulting now, too. I've been working on the mats, but since it is winter, I don't want to begin shaving/clipping huge areas of hair away from their bodies, so I have to do it slowly--a little at a time. In the photo to the right, one of our males (Sebastian--middle) is visiting with two of the girls (one is hiding behind him). We also have a REW buck, but we bred Sebastian to everyone. So far, he was bred to our chocolate tort and produced two self blacks, two whites (not sure if they are BEW or REW because the eyes haven't opened yet), and one black tort (from what I can tell). He also bred our black tort and she delivered four little buns-- one that looks like it is a blue or lilac point, and the others are all blue/black torts.

It looks like we are going to have quite a few babies for sale, so we are now taking reservations. Currently, one of the self-blacks and most of the torts will be available for $45 each without papers. These will make wonderful little fiber fluffs to add some color to your fiber projects. The whites (whether blue eyed or red eyed) are also available as is the adult REW male we have. Since we are already getting REW out of our girls, we want to find him a good home. If interested, contact us via the farm site.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

** I See Stars! **

Congrats are in order! :) These are the official numbers for 2014. Keep in mind I dried off a few early due to my carpal tunnel flaring up, but beyond that, everyone did really well, especially with me working and not always being able to milk on schedule as necessary. I had one doe that was .10 off from getting a star. If I would have realized she was that close, I would have kept milking her. Oh well... :( Everyone else got theirs! I am thrilled. :)

NC PromisedLand Z Bella 2*M (AGS pending)
D1518506       2*M       
PTA           34M    1F    1P       
DEV            0     0     0
PTA$                 4     4        
PTA%  11R 12/14   -.05   .00       
     4-00  271   840  5.4  45  4.0  34  101  20
  LIFE       271   840  5.4  45  4.0  34

On Firestone Creek P Palisade 2*M 5*D  (earned her Superior Genetics this year)
D1524330       2*M    SG PTI 37 -5
 03-04 89 VVEE
PTA           23M    2F    1P  -.20T
DEV          113     7     7
PTA$                 4     6     35R
PTA%  45R 12/14    .06   .03  11/14
     2-00   68   240  7.1  17  3.8   9   62  20
     3-01  208   580  5.3  31  4.1  24   95  20
     4-01  226   680  5.4  37  3.8  26   99  20
  LIFE       502  1500  5.7  85  3.9  59

On Firestone Creek H Jody Girl  1*M 1*D (pending)
Jody was doing really well this year. I think she might have a chance at breed leader for next year! This year, production dropped due to a move and my carpal tunnel. Milk machine is on order! 
D1541837       1*M       
PTA            5M    0F    1P       
DEV          113     0     8
PTA$                 0     3        
PTA%  21R 12/14   -.03   .06       
     4-01  266   910  4.4  40  4.4  40  -  20
  LIFE       266   910  4.4  40  4.4  40

On Firestone Creek R Minnie Me 3*M 6*D(pending)  Owned/Tested by John Bane  (Way to go, Minnie!)
D1571217       3*M       PTI 2 -11
 03-00 88 VVVE
PTA           11M    0F    1P  -.10T
DEV          -50    -5    -3
PTA$                 1     2     30R
PTA%  30R 12/14   -.02   .02  11/14
     2-08      296   730  5.2  38    4.4  32  102  20
     LIFE       296   730  5.2  38  4.4  32

On Firestone Creek R Palabra 3*M   (Sold) 
D1571221       3*M       
PTA           14M    1F    1P       
DEV          -24    -1    -3
PTA$                 2     3        
PTA%  30R 12/14    .01   .01       
     2-09      210   490  5.5  27  4.1    20   96  20
    LIFE       210   490  5.5  27  4.1  20

On Firestone Creek Sunnee Day will be earning her stars, too, but I don't have the official data yet. I will post it when I have it! :) 

By the way, congrats are in order to John Bane and Robin Tupper, who were in my group for testing. John (Run Joey Run) earned the following and is responsible for milking Jody Girl during the majority of her lactation, thus earning her her star:

  • On Firestone Creek R Minnie Me 3*M 6*D(pending)  (See above)

  • Congrats to Mia, who is a first freshener out of On Firestone Creek UP Sonic Boom *S and  ON FIRESTONE CREEK H JODY GIRL D1541837 1*M. 

RUN JOEY RUN SB MIA                   
D1644279       2*M       
 01-01 83 VVV+
PTA                            -.50T
PTA$                      26R
PTA%                          11/14
     0-09  289   500  5.6  28  4.0  20  -  20
  LIFE       289   500  5.6  28  4.0  20 

  • Congrats to Bayby...
PROCTOR HILL FARM BAYBY RUTH                   Pretty sure, Bayby should be a *M, too and the files just haven't updated yet.   She met                                                                            all amounts, I do believe.
D1625888                 PTI 9 -78
 02-01 85 +VE+
PTA           24M    2F    1P  -.70T
DEV           23    11    -1
PTA$                 5     5     29R
PTA%  28R 12/14    .09  -.01  11/14

Congrats to Robin Tupper, too, at Weeds 'n Whimsy farm. Her doe,ONE WILLOW BC LA LIGHT - D001680353 , also earned her stars. :) 

It was a good year--2014. Thanks, Robin and John, for participating, and I am looking forward to this year! 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Sales -- doeling available

Chili Pepper

Minnie Me (left) Cocoa beside of her 
Cocoa first fresh only 4 hrs fill
at 2 weeks fresh
Hi, everyone. Our kidding season for 2014 ended in November with the birth of two doelings-- Chili Pepper and Cardamom-- out of Run Joey Run SB Cocoa Bean X Tonto's Barn Eric's Billionaire *S. This is a strong breeding (Thanks, John Bane!) on ARMCH Caesar's Villa CBS Stetson ++*S, tossing in some of our Superior Genetics here with Cocoa Bean being a daughter of On Firestone Creek R Minnie Me 3*M 6*D (Winner of Best Udder at Rocky Mt, NC show in May 2014), who is a daughter of our first SG doe, On Firestone Creek Palisade 2*M 5*D. Cocoa's father is On Firestone Creek UP Sonic Boom *S, a son of Rosasharn CH Uproar +*S, father/grandfather of several does in the top 10 for 2013 and also a son of the famous Rosasharn 2*M ARMCH Rosasharn's Uni 3*D'E' 91.55. 
SG Palisade 3rd fresh
In 2002, Uni was breed leader for milk production and protein. In 2003, she was breed leader again in both areas. She also broke the record for Nigerian milk production in 2003 with 1601# of milk in only 305 days. 
We owned Rosasharn CH Uproar a few years ago for this very reason along with the fact that he has an excellent, sweet demeanor, throws a huge percentage of does and offers correctness, especially toplines, along with nice udders. Sonic Boom's mother is October Hill Country Charm *M 4*D, mother of Palisade, so this is a linebreeding on those good, old lines, which include ARMCH Gay Mor's NB Narcissus 3*D AR 1679, a beautiful doe!

We have decided to retain Cardamom out of this breeding, not because she is nicer than Chili Pepper, but because I fell in love with the sweet little kisses she loves to give! Chili (left and right) is just as sweet, but Cardamom will run to me and climb me for some snuggles! Chili is right behind her, of course! Chili is for sale. Chili is a buckskin with white cap on head and tail. She has a little roaning on her ears, face, and nose. She also has white on her left shoulder (see photo to left) along with a few small silver moonspots on her side and leg. Her sister also has some silver and dark brown moonspots.
Zillionaire --courtesy Tonto's Barn
She is long, petite, standing on strong legs with good rear leg angulation as you can see in the pic above on the right. We are asking $400 for Chili. She is conformationally correct and has the potential to be a great milker. Her mom is currently on test. Due to my carpal tunnel, she will probably not earn her milk star this time, but she should on the next breeding.
Billionaire-- courtesy Bartman farm

Please note that we have lots of kids due for 2015. The kidding should start in about two weeks with some very promising kids on the way! Our first fresheners, Proctor Hill Farm CH Joy, a Rosasharn Challenger (now deceased) daughter and daughter of SG Palisade is due along with On Firestone Creek BP Palmella who has a gorgeous udder growing. I can't wait to get pics and start milking this girl! Her mom was On Firestone Creek Palindrome, a daughter of OMF Palamino *S and granddaughter of Rosasharn CH Uproar +*S.  This kidding is a linebreeding on:
Registered NameReg #%
ROSASHARN'S UNID0013202750.12
That list doesn't even include some others that aren't listed because the parents were AGS not ADGA. These go back to Kids Corral, more Rosasharn, Caesar's Villa, and more. Can you tell I am excited!!! :)

Check the Kidding Schedule on our website for more info. 

Kids out of first fresheners are usually $350 unless the kid (and parent) show extreme promise. Kids out of proven (stars, etc) does and bucks will range from $400 up. Most bucks are wethered unless arrangements are made prior to kidding or quickly thereafter. I do sell bucks out of first fresheners, occasionally, if there is a history of nice udder genetics on both sides of the family. 

We accept payments via PayPal, check/money order (must allow time to clear bank), or cash (in person). To hold a kid, the deposit required is $100 (non-refundable--see Sales Agreement at the bottom of the For Sale page of the website). Reservations on scheduled kiddings can be made via email: Please let me know which breeding you are interested in when emailing, along with what you are looking for. No deposit is required to reserve a kid/kids.

Deposits and other Payment Options
Contact me at

Please notify me in advance before sending money to PayPal. Be sure to include the 3.4% additional when you send monies through PayPal unless you send it under the 'gift' category.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Time for Kudos and Applause for the girls!

I have to share news and congrats on a few of our lovely girls. First, we'll start with some of our 'firsts' here at Firestone Creek. 
First fresh udder Jody
On Firestone Creek HWD Jody Girl, has now earned both of her stars-- AGS and ADGA and is actually in line for possibly meeting top 10 requirements (holding my breath!) for protein and for production for 2014. Hoping she can hold her own and make it to the top. She deserves it for all of the work she's been doing! 


Next, our 'star' doe--On Firestone Creek Palisade has surprised us by becoming our first Superior Genetics doe here at Firestone Creek! We were thrilled to receive the notice in the mail saying she had reached that designation as a SG doe. We have several of her daughters and a granddaughter here, so we hope to continue following that path with production, quality, and transmitting ability.

We do have a Palisade daughter (in milk) available for sale-- Palabra, in addition to a doeling out of the Palisade X NC PromisedLand Bolero cross available for sale. See website or contact for more information.

Minnie Me
Additionally, it looks like Palisade's daughter, Minnie, will also be earning her stars, and so far NC PromisedLand Z Bella has
earned her star with AGS and should have it soon with ADGA. Beyond that, I have my fingers crossed that a few others will earn theirs, too. 

PS Other News: 
It looks like Pistachio and Joy may be bred
Palisade X Rosasharn TL Challenger
for late Nov/Dec. Joy is a Palisade daughter. Joy's would not have been an intentional breeding, and I will be doing DNA on all kids if she does freshen. I had no clue she was in heat, and the only hint I have now is that she hasn't had a heat and is getting a little chubby. If she is pregnant, the kids could belong to either Jacub, Sol, or Rumor. I will be doing DNA if she happens to kid.


CG Sol

I do separate boys from the girls at a little over 2 months, but this time, we had to finish their pasture first, and before it was completed, I had a few partially extending. I witnessed Sol breeding Pistachio. At first, I thought it was just 'practice.' Bucklings do this all of the time. However, I feel that at that point he did fully extend, and I do believe he is now breeding
M Pistachio
successfully, so with that said, Pistachio could be bred, too, by no one else except my spoiled rotten Sol or 'sun.' I like this breeding; those will be some gorgeous babies-- type-wise AND color-wise, pulling in Rosasharn, NC PromisedLand, and Firestone Creek genetics. I know, I know... blue eyes? moonspots? But yes, possible moonspots AND blue eyes, even though I didn't breed for them on purpose. Sometimes things just happen. 
By the way, Pistachio is a daughter of Nutmeg, niece of Acorn, and niece of Jody Girl (see above). Mesa was her father. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Panir -- Paneer -- Queso Fresco -- Whatever you want to call it!

Fresh Cheese

Panir, Paneer, Queso Frescho-- No Matter how you say it, it is Fresh Cheese and one of the easiest things you can make with fresh goat's milk. Many recipes will call for using lemon or vinegar for making fresh cheese, but I've found that using freshly made (or cultured) buttermilk and/or kefir works quite well and makes for a very flavorful cheese. Additionally, you can use fruit juices and even yogurt. Your goal is to raise the acidity of the milk after heating it. For fresh cheese, you heat to the boiling point but DO NOT BOIL. The best temp is around 195-200 F. 

Here's a simple recipe that can also be found on my website at Firestone Creek farm. If you have questions, feel free to ask me here in the comments or you can always add Firestone Creek Farm on Facebook and message me there.



  • 1 quart full-cream goat's milk 
  • buttermilk and/or Kefir (use what you have)
    • **1/2 cup buttermilk AND 1/2 cup kefir 
    • OR 3/4 cup buttermilk 
    • OR 3/4 cup kefir
    • *you may also use yogurt (1/2 buttermilk and 1/2 yogurt)
    • *you can use lemon juice or vinegar, but it tastes differently and the end result isn't as sweet
****When using buttermilk, I always get a much higher yield than when using lemon juice or vinegar.****


  • Pour the milk into a heavy pan that will not allow the milk to scorch while heating. Stir often.
  • As the milk is readied, measure the buttermilk and/or kefir.
    You can use store bought buttermilk, but I prefer to make my own. 

  • Watch the milk closely, stirring to keep it from sticking.
  • When the milk comes to a boil, add the buttermilk/kefir.
  • Reduce the heat and stir.The milk should change colors and begin to separate. Cheese curds will form, leaving a yellowish-greenish colored whey behind. 
  • Stir continuously until the milk is completely curdled.
  • Remove from the heat when the separation of the curds and yellowish whey is complete

  • Pour contents of pot into a strainer lined with clean muslin cloth

  • Wrap the muslin tightly, tie it, and squeeze out excess whey,
    holding it under cold water for approximately a minute to help rinse it clean. 
  • Hang the cheese for 15-20 minutes so that all the whey is drained out.

  • To form a block or circle , sit it into a round cheese strainer and place it under something heavy.
  • After 20+ minutes, remove from muslin, lightly salt, and cut into chunks. 
You are now ready to use your fresh cheese!!! 

Variations: I make a few. I've made salsa cheese, garlic cheese, pineapple cheese, jalapeno cheese and more. Experiment and have fun!