Sheep milk yogurt is an alternative to traditional yogurt products, which are typically made using milk from cows. Sheep milk was one of the earliest milk varieties consumed by humans, and is still used frequently in Greece and the Middle East. Yogurt made from sheep milk not only provides many of the same nutritional benefits as yogurt made from cow milk, but also offers a naturally thick and smooth texture. For people with lactose intolerance or milk allergies, sheep milk yogurt may also be easier to digest.
Generally, people do not drink sheep milk like they would milk from cows due to its thicker texture and stronger flavor. Instead, the milk is mixed in a 50/50 ratio with water before it is consumed. Sheep milk is also used to make cheese, butter, and dried milk, as well as cosmetic products like bars of soap.
In areas where sheep milk is regularly consumed, sheep milk yogurt often serves as a popular food product. This product has also been exported to other countries, like the United States. Consumers may have to shop at health food or specialty stores in order to find this product, though some may prefer to make their own. While cows require a large amount of care, sheep are relatively easy to care for, and take up less space than cows. Families with a spare bit of land may choose to raise their own sheep and make their own yogurt at home.
Sheep milk yogurt can be eaten plain, or mixed with fruit, granola, and other additives to give it taste and texture. Some manufacturers also produce flavored varieties, just like those found with cow milk yogurt. These may include strawberry, vanilla or honey flavored products. Consumers may also use this yogurt in place of creams or butter milk when cooking, as it tends to hold up better than these products at high temperatures.
Nutritionally, sheep milk yogurt offers many of the same benefits as traditional yogurt. It contains roughly the same amount of calories per serving, with high calcium and vitamin contents. Unlike cow milk yogurt, yogurt made from sheep milk is high in vitamin B, and has about twice the protein of standard varieties. It contains more fat than regular yogurt, but this fat is considered healthy, like the fats found in olive oil and nuts. People with lactose intolerance or milk allergies may find they can consume this product without concern, though consumers should check the ingredients list and consult their doctor to make sure.