I’ve often thought about what stands between my love of food and going vegan. Really it’s just one thing – milk, cheese and yoghurt. Some of my favourite foodie pleasures are simple ones that involve dairy – like milk in my coffee, cheesy pizzas and yoghurt based ‘nice-cream’. So, despite being happily vegetarian I’m unlikely to give up dairy any time soon, putting veganism out of reach.
Having said this when it comes to dairy I’ve found what (for me at least) is a middle ground for health reasons – by converting from cows milk to goats milk dairy products, including cheese and yoghurt.
Why goats dairy? Here are some benefits of goats milk over cows milk:
- Easier to digest – a different fat and protein structure makes goats milk closer to human milk and this means it’s more easily tolerated.
- Contains less lactose – the natural sugar found in goats diary is lower so great for those who have a low tolerance to lactose.
- Nutritionally superior – goats milk is higher in iron, vitamin A and potassium.
- Higher in prebiotics – so goats milk is superior in feeding our gut bacteria and promoting digestive health.
- Tastes better – this is just my opinion but give goats milk a go and see for yourself what you think!
Studies have even found goats milk to be the top choice among European centenarians who’ve reached the ripe old age of 100 plus. The best thing is that converting to goats dairy is simple because it’s easy to substitute goats dairy into recipes that call for milk, cheese or yoghurt – like this eggplant or aubergine lasagna with goats cheese bechamel.
Eggplant lasagna with goats cheese bechamel
- 2 large (or 3 small-medium) eggplants
- 400ml – 500ml tomato passata
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 ripe fresh tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 red or yellow capsicum
- 1 tsp salt
- Black pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 150g – 200g soft goats cheese
- 100ml goats yoghurt (or milk)
- Small handful of fresh basil leaves (or 1/4 chopped fresh parsley)
- Prepare the eggplant – slice into 1cm rounds and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 180C until soft (not soggy).
- Prepare the sauce – add the oregano, salt and 1 crushed garlic clove to the passata. Season with black pepper.
- Prepare the bechamel – combine the cheese and yoghurt (or milk), and 1 crushed garlic clove then mix until smooth.
- Slice the tomatoes into rounds and the capsicum into strips.
- Grease a lasagna dish with olive oil and then add the first layer – line the base with 1/3 of the cooked eggplant, followed by 1/2 of the sauce and then 1/2 of the capsicum strips, sliced tomato and fresh basil. Repeat for the second layer.
- For the third layer add the remaining eggplant and then top with the goats cheese bechamel.
- Add to a pre-heated oven and cook for 30-40 minutes at 180C. Cool before serving.
Of course if you can’t get hold of goats dairy products, or can’t be tempted away from cow’s dairy then you can easily make this lasagne with standard cheese. And if you’re already a goats dairy convert then please share your favourite recipe!