Today they supply their goat's milk products to supermarkets around the country. What is special about St Helen's Farm beside the quality of the products is the focus on good animal welfare. The goats are kept on straw in large barns with plenty of light and air and are encouraged to roam around.
This is a company that really care about their animals.
I have to say I do enjoy goat's cheese when I go out for a meal but I don't buy it. The best starter at my local pub is goat's cheese and figs with a balsamic reduction and salad leaves. It is a really delicious starter and the sweetness of the figs mix well with the goat's cheese. So when St Helen's Farm sent me a selection of goat's milk products to review I was interested in trying them.
I was sent a wide selection of products to try from goat's cheese spread, milk and butter to a selection of yogurt. If you have tried goat's cheese you will know that it is a mild cheese with a distinctive tangy taste and I was expecting the rest of the goat's milk products to taste the same, but they don't.
Firstly the butter and the milk taste very similar to butter and milk from cows. I particularly liked the butter, it had a pleasant salty flavour and comparable to the best butter I have tried. I normally have soya milk at home and I now prefer the taste to sheep's milk, there was nothing wrong with the goat's milk but I still prefer soya. In my opinion you would not be able to tell the difference comparing goats milk and goats butter to cows milk and cows butter.
The yogurts I tried were tasty and moreish. I really enjoyed the yogurt with honey. I think it does have a slight aftertaste like a very mild goat's cheese. The yogurts were thick and creamy and felt indulgent. The yogurts are 'live' yogurts with four different cultures to help maintain a healthy digestive system and at just over 160 calories a pot I would certainly buy them again.
The spreadable goat's cheese was very nice, - a mild cheese spread I think children in particular would like. I tried it in a sandwich with cherry tomatoes and basil and really enjoyed it.
The last products to try were the goat's cheese. The mild goat's cheese was very tasty, and the mature goat's cheese had a more pronounced stronger flavour. Both were delicious.
The Health Benefits
There are a number of health benefits from goat's milk and there are many reasons to consider goat's milk products over cows milk products.
Firstly if you are diagnosed by a doctor with an intolerance to cows milk you should avoid goats milk. However for everyone else, goats milk has less of the protein Alpha S1-Casin than cows milk so it is easier on the stomach and is often tolerated more easily.
It has easily digestible fats and proteins and is lower in lactose that cows milk. Also it is high in calcium and oligosaccharides which act as prebiotics in the gut.
I decided to try out the goat's cheese in a recipe from their website, which I have adapted slightly, and I made this lovely lemon cheesecake below.
Lemon Baked Cheesecake
200g digestive biscuits
50g St Helen's Farm goats' butter melted
300g St Helen's Farm goats yogurt
100g St Helen's Farm goats' cheese, finely grated
2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely grated
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
150g caster sugar
4 large free range eggs
8 in spring loaded cake tin
Preheat oven to 190 degrees C or Gas Mark 5.
In a food bag place 200g of digestive biscuits, close seal and bash with a rolling pin until crumbs. Alternatively whizz up in a food processor.
Put biscuits crumbs in a bowl and add the melted butter.
Press into the cake tin evenly.
Pop into the oven for 10 minutes.
When base is cooking place the grated goats cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla into a bowl and beat until smooth.
Add sugar slowly and beat until well mixed and creamy.
Add the goats' yogurt and the eggs one at a time and mix well.
Remove base from oven and turn down to 160 degrees C or Gas Mark 3.
Pour the batter into a prepared cake tin and bake for 40-50 minutes until the edges look set and centre is soft.
Remove from oven and cool.
Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving.
Serve with strawberry coulis and pouring cream.
Let me know, have you ever tried goats cheese or milk? Would this review persuade you to try other products in this range?