We do not ship directly to consumers. Transporting and distributing our products is a delicate process, and we’ve found that direct shipping can be too rough on the product and compromise its integrity. Please visit our store locator to find our products at a store near you.
Our goat milk yogurt and kefir are sold nationwide in natural, specialty and conventional food stores. Please visit our store locator to find our products at a store near you. If you can't find a store in your area that carries our products, we encourage you to let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can follow up with them. If a store is not able to place the products on their shelves, it is oftentimes possible to special order a whole case and receive a case discount from the retailer.
Beginning in Winter 2020, you will see that our yogurt and kefir packaging has a new look. Rest assured, we have not made any changes to our recipes. All of our products are still made with Grade A, Certified Humane® goat milk, crafted with care, and minimally processed. In addition to a new design, we are using different cups for the yogurt packaging. Deepening our commitment to sustainability, the new cups are made with ultra-lightweight plastic free of BPA, BPS, PVC, and phthalates, and they don't contain chloride (which releases dioxins when heated). The new containers are delivered to us via state-of-the-art "cube" transport configuration, which reduces our CO2 and fuel emission footprints by keeping tens-of-thousands of pounds of secondary packaging waste out of the landfill and by taking trucks off the road. Unlike our previous yogurt packaging, the new design is fully recyclable with no need to separate and sort materials. Simply remove the foil lid, enjoy, rinse, and toss in the recycle bin! To learn more about our new look, click here.
We design all of our packaging with food safety, product integrity, and sustainability in mind. To find out where you can recycle our packaging, visit www.earth911.org. Simply enter your zip code and the type of material you want to recycle. We also encourage you to reuse your containers for art projects, food storage, or to start plants for the garden. Here are the specific types packaging we use:
The original Redwood Hill Farm, just down the road from our creamery, offers intimate, hands-on educational tours of its Certified Humane® goat dairy in Sebastopol, CA. At the farm tours, you’ll get to meet the goats and learn how to milk, brush, or feed them. In addition, you’ll learn about the many other crops and animals that thrive on this biodiverse farm, including chickens, bees, Gravenstein apples, hops, and olives. Visit redwoodhillfarm.org for details and to reserve your spot. We are a working creamery and cannot offer tours at all times for the general public. However, if you are one of our partners, customers in the trade, or from the media and would like to inquire about a personal, educational tour for yourself or staff, please contact us for details. To learn about other farm tours and agricultural activities that happen year-round in Sonoma County, visit FarmTrails.org.
We often hear from people in Canada who request our goat milk dairy products. Unfortunately, we are not able to export or ship to Canada, due to their strict quotas on dairy products.
Our products are kosher certified for year-round use, exclusive of Passover, by the Orthodox Rabbinic Certifiers of San Francisco. We undergo annual inspections of our facility in order to maintain kosher certification.
There is a printed “best by” date on every container of yogurt and kefir. We recommend all of our products be consumed on or before the “best by” date to ensure quality and freshness. Once opened, we recommend consuming our products within 5-7 days. Our products will last longer if stored at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less. By smelling, tasting, and looking at the appearance, you can use your best judgment to determine the product’s freshness.
Our products are wonderful substitutes for other dairy products in recipes and we encourage you to bake and cook with them. Please keep in mind that the probiotics are alive and active, and their nutritional digestive properties will be compromised when heated above 120 degrees. For recipe ideas, please visit the Recipes section of our website.
Goat milk yogurt and kefir are similar in taste, but differ slightly in texture. Goat milk yogurt is more firm than kefir, like a custard. We use a small amount of pectin and tapioca starch to thicken our yogurt, and culture it with a blend of 7 probiotics.
We don’t use anything to thicken our goat milk kefir; it has a naturally creamy, pourable consistency. We culture it with a blend of 11 probiotics. Both are delicious and contain billions of probiotics in every serving.
Yes, our yogurt and kefir can be frozen for later use. Always thaw them in the refrigerator, which can take up to 24 hours. The texture of the products may be affected and they will not be as creamy, but the probiotics and nutritional benefits will not be compromised.
We specialize in cultured goat milk dairy products like yogurt and kefir and no longer sell fresh bottled goat milk. You may wish to enjoy our kefir in place of milk—many people pour it over cereal or blend it with fruit in a smoothie.
All of our products are pasteurized using the High Temperature Short Time (HTST) method, which uses metal plates and hot water to raise milk temperatures to at least 161° F for not less than 15 seconds, followed by rapid cooling.
After pasteurization, we cool the milk to 110 degrees and add beneficial bacteria (also called cultures or probiotics). Then we incubate the milk for 5-8 hours until the product thickens into yogurt or kefir.
Yes, it is normal for a bit of liquid (whey) to separate from our yogurt. It occurs when there’s been pressure applied to the yogurt or when it has undergone a temperature change. This liquid contains many of the important vitamins and nutrients in the yogurt, so we recommend delicately folding it back into the yogurt.
The composition of goat milk changes seasonally due to goats’ natural lactation cycles. In the winter and early spring they tend to produce milk that is denser and higher in butterfat content, which can result in thicker, more robust kefir and yogurt. In the summer and fall, goat milk has less butterfat, which leads to a slightly thinner consistency. We see a lighter, more delicate texture in our yogurt and kefir during these months.
We do our best to maintain consistency so that our customers are able to enjoy our products year round. During certain months, we slightly increase the amount of tapioca starch used in our yogurt to achieve a consistent thickness. Since we don't include any additional ingredients to thicken our kefir, some seasonal variation is to be expected.
All of our products are Certified Gluten-Free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) and are made in a facility that does not contain any products with gluten as an ingredient.
To make our kefir and yogurt, we ferment milk with live and active cultures that contain potent probiotics. Probiotic literally means “life giving,” and the live, active cultures help our digestive system break down food and absorb nutrients. We use a blend of cultures in our kefir and yogurt selected for their unique and complementary roles in flavor and probiotic development.
Our kefir includes the following cultures: Bifidobacterium Lactis, S. Thermophilus, L. Casei, L. Rhamnosus, L. Acidophilus, L. Delbrueckii Subsp. Lactis, L. Delbrueckii Subsp. Bulgaricus, Lactococcus Lactis Subsp. Cremoris, Lactococcus Lactis Subsp. Lactis, Lactococcus Lactis Subsp. Lactis Biovar Diacetylactis, And Leuconostoc Mesenteroides Subsp. Cremoris.
Our yogurt includes the following cultures: S. Thermophilus, Bifidobacterium Lactis, L. Acidophilus, L. Casei, L. Rhamnosus, L. Delbrueckii Subsp. Lactis, L. Delbrueckii Subsp. Bulgaricus.
We use a small amount of tapioca starch and pectin to thicken the yogurt, create its delicate texture, and minimize excess whey (the liquid that separates from yogurt). We use a non-GMO tapioca starch, derived from the root of the Cassava plant. Our pectin is citrus-based, derived from lemon and lime peels. Our kefirs do not contain any tapioca or pectin.
If you are highly allergic to potato, we suggest you ask your physician if consumption of tapioca is advisable.
We recently reformulated our vanilla yogurt to give it a classic vanilla flavor, using organic vanilla extract and organic cane sugar. After many trials, we came up with our new recipe that features the bright, classic aroma of pure vanilla, without being overly sweet.
If you prefer the taste of our previous vanilla yogurt recipe, try stirring a couple of teaspoons of maple syrup into our plain yogurt, which contains no added sugar. That way, you can adjust the sweetness to your liking!
We also reformulated our fruit yogurts with the goal of using less sugar and more fruit. We now use all-organic fruit and organic cane sugar to flavor our fruit yogurts. Our new recipe has 50% more fruit, twice as many actual fruit pieces, and less sugar per serving. We find that using organic cane sugar provides the perfect balance of sweetness and tart.
We don’t add sugar to our plain goat milk kefir or yogurt. The sugar content on the label reflects the milk sugar (lactose), which is naturally occurring in the milk.
Our kefir does not contain alcohol. Traditionally, kefir was made with kefir grains, which produce a small amount of alcohol during the fermentation process. Since we wanted to make a product that allows our customers to enjoy cultured dairy without having to worry about alcohol in the finished product, we use a blend of live and active cultures instead of kefir grains. We carefully picked this specific blend because it produces billions of probiotic bacteria in every serving, and creates the kefir flavor we were looking for, without creating alcohol as a byproduct.
Why did you switch from Tapioca Starch to Modified Tapioca Starch? What is modified tapioca starch?
We add a starch to our delicate goat milk yogurt to improve the texture by thickening it. The composition of goat milk changes seasonally and as a result it is particularly challenging to ensure that our yogurt has a good thick consistency in the Summer. By switching to a modified tapioca starch, we can ensure a more consistently thick texture in the Summer and a more consistent product year-round.
A tapioca starch that has been modified has been treated to improve its ability to keep the texture and structure of the yogurt. Modified Food Starch is made by physically, enzymatically, or chemically altering starch to change its inherent properties. In this instance, modified does not mean genetically modified - the starch we use is not genetically engineered.
By nature, goats are browsers (like deer) and not grazers like cows and sheep. Our dairy goats are fed a balanced diet, which is full of nutrients, and free of antibiotics, hormones, animal by-products, or preservatives. Their diet consists of about 70% fibers, which includes brush, leaves, almond hulls, and hay, such as oat or alfalfa hay. The other 30% of their vegetarian diet consists of a variety of grains, which may include safflower meal, oats, barley, cottonseed, corn, and soy depending on the mix.
We work with five different Certified Humane® family farms, including the original Redwood Hill Farm several miles away from our creamery, to source goat milk for our products. The farms primarily raise Alpine, LaMancha, Nubian, and Saanen goats, breeds known for being well suited to milk production. Learn more about our goats here.
Each farm undergoes an annual inspection to maintain its Certified Humane® status, which includes an evaluation of the goats’ diet, social conditions, shelter and resting areas, access to outdoors, veterinary care, and milking procedures.
Our products are not certified organic, however we take great care to use humane and environmentally sensitive practices, including using 100% renewable energy at our creamery and requiring that all our supplying farms be Certified Humane®.
There are very specific reasons that make organic certification challenging for goat dairies. First, under the organic “Pasture Rule,” animals must receive at least 30% of their nutrition from grazing on pasture. This rule was developed with cows in mind, but is applied to all ruminant dairy animals. Because goats are by nature browsers (like deer) and not pasture grazers (like cows or sheep), it is not feasible for farms meet this standard. While our goats do have ample access to pasture, given the choice they will eat bushes, brush, hay, and leafy branches.
Second, we are unable to source GMO-free feed for our goats at this time, due to the limited availability and oftentimes cost prohibitive nature of this feed. However, we do make a point to ensure that none of the ingredients we use in our yogurt or kefir (such as sugar, vanilla, cultures, and fruit) contain GMOs. We require that our suppliers provide us with specifications that ensure the ingredients’ non-GMO status.
Finally, if a goat becomes sick, our farms will treat them with antibiotics if directed by a veterinarian. We care about our goats, many of whom are award-winning animals, too much to let them succumb to a curable infection. Non-therapeutic use of antibiotics (e.g. to promote growth or feed efficiency) is strictly prohibited under the Certified Humane standards. If a goat ever requires medication, we discard the milk long after the recommended time and we test the milk to ensure no drugs enter the human food chain.
At Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery we are deeply concerned with the widespread use of GMOs in our food system, and we fully support efforts to provide GMO transparency through labeling. None of the ingredients we use in our goat milk yogurt, kefir, or cheese (such as sugar, vanilla, cultures, and fruit) contain GMOs. We require that our suppliers provide us with specifications that ensure the ingredients’ non-GMO status.
Unfortunately, we are unable to source non-GMO feed for our goats at this time, due to the limited availability and oftentimes cost prohibitive nature of this feed. The goats receive most of their nutrition (approximately 70%) from hay and brush. The other 30% of their diet comes from a nutritious, vegetarian grain formula that typically includes safflower meal, oats, barley, cottonseed, corn, and soy depending on the mix. The feed contains no hormones, antibiotics, animal by-products, or preservatives.
Some of the farms we work with are very small and located in remote areas and they rely on the availability of feed at their local feed stores. The composition of the grain mix varies from farm to farm, depending on price and seasonal availability, and purchasing non-GMO feed is not always an option.
As soon as we find that sourcing non-GMO goat feed becomes feasible and economically viable (and we very much hope it will), we will take steps to explore non-GMO certification.
In 2005, Redwood Hill Farm became the first goat dairy in the United States to become Certified Humane®. Today, every farm that supplies goat milk to Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery undergoes an annual audit in order to maintain Certified Humane® status. Certified Humane® is a rigorous animal welfare certification awarded by Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC), an independent, third-party nonprofit organization based in Virginia.
The program is designed to empower consumers to buy food products with the confidence that they came from a farm with high standards for animal welfare. By certifying products with the Certified Humane® logo, consumers are given a choice. The goal is to improve the lives of farm animals in food production by driving consumer demand for kinder and more responsible farm animal practices.
The animal welfare standards for Certified Humane® were created by a Scientific Committee comprised of 40 scientists and veterinarians from all over the world. For goats, requirements include:
If you are interested in reading the complete standard for dairy goats, click here.
Casein is a natural protein found in all milk. Some people have an intolerance or allergy to casein—especially alpha s1 casein, which occurs in high levels in most cow milk. Goat milk is generally lower in alpha S1 casein and often contains a higher percentage of alpha s2 casein, depending on the breed. Casein comprises 70-80% of the proteins in goat milk; whey proteins account for the other 20-30%. Whey contains many of the important nutrients in yogurt and kefir that aid in muscle development and support the body’s immune response.
If you have been diagnosed with a milk protein allergy, goat milk may not be right for you. It is important that you consult your physician or health provider before making any dietary changes.
Goat milk naturally contains slightly less lactose than cow milk, and is therefore not lactose free. Our goat milk yogurts and kefirs both contain about 2% lactose, compared to 4.9% in whole cow milk.1
We do produce lactose-free yogurt, kefir, sour cream, cream cheese, and butter made with organic cow milk under our sister brand, Green Valley Creamery. Visit greenvalleylactosefree.com to learn more.
There are key nutritional differences between cow milk and goat milk that make goat milk easier for many people to digest:
Many people also prefer the flavor of goat milk to cow milk. It has a grassy, earthy, sweet flavor that is simply delicious. We use only the freshest milk possible, resulting in a clean and mild flavor, without the “goatiness” some people associate with goat products. Give it a try and see why more people in the world drink goat milk than any other milk!
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