Raw Camel Milk for Homemade Baby Formula?Updated: December 23, 2016Raw Milk and Childcare
Mothers who are unable to breastfeed or procure enough quality donor milk are increasingly making their own homemade formula in lieu of the unhealthy, processed formula powders at the store. The biggest hurdle to making DIY baby formula, however, is procuring grassfed raw milk. While the availability of raw milk continues to expand around the world (yay!), many parents are still not able to buy it where they live. This is where camel milk comes in.
Camel Milk vs Cow or Goat Milk
Camel milk has suddenly exploded across the globe as one of the most readily available types of raw milk. Milk from camels is a traditional source of dairy for Middle Eastern countries. In fact, it is one of the very first dairy milks that nourished humankind.
Conveniently, it also tastes just like cow milk!
Interestingly, this ease of availability is due to the unique anatomy of camels. It is certainly not an issue of practicality or cost!
There are approximately 18,000 dairy cows in the United States for every camel. And in Europe, the ratio isn’t much more favorable. There are about 12,000 dairy cows for every camel in that part of the world!
The typical camel dairy has between 2 and 20 camels. Each camel produces only about 5.3 quarts/ 5 liters per day! This compares to the several gallons of milk per cow per day that is produced on a typical grassfed farm.
How is Camel Milk so Widely Available?
The reason raw camel milk is ironically more widely available is because camels have feet rather than hooves like cows, goats, and sheep. This unique biological feature makes raw milk from these creatures legal for shipping anywhere in the United States, Canada, the UK or the European Union. In other words, animals with feet are exempt from regulations prohibiting the shipping of raw milk across state lines or within countries unfriendly to raw milk like Canada.
Camel milk is certainly not the most practical or affordable type of raw dairy if you have the luxury of a local farm that supplies it to the community. For some mothers who seek to make a healthy homemade formula for their babies, however, it may be the only option.
I’ve had several mothers email me lately asking if substituting raw camel milk for cow or goat milk in the homemade baby formula recipe would be acceptable.
Let’s take a look!
Raw Camel Milk for Homemade Baby Formula
The short answer is most definitely YES! Raw camel milk is fine to use for homemade formula. The United Nations has even hailed the nutritional value of camel milk and predicted higher consumption once it became easier for consumers to buy.
This “yes” comes with a very important caveat, however.
Camel milk is much lower in fat than cow or goat milk. 50% lower in fact. This is not a trivial difference!
As a result, it is critically important to make sure you add additional cream to the homemade formula. The amount of cream added is included in the recipe instructions (click here for the full recipe plus video). This is necessary to ensure that homemade formula made with camel milk nutritionally matches human breastmilk as closely as possible. Not adding additional cream would make camel milk formula too low in fat in comparison with breastmilk.
Sourcing Camel Cream for Baby Formula?
Here’s another caveat.
Camel cream (and camel butter) is not available anywhere that I’ve been able to determine. The reason is that it is not feasible to skim cream from raw camel milk because it is so low in fat. There just isn’t enough cream to make it worthwhile!
So, while you are able to ship raw camel milk to your door, you won’t be able to ship any raw camel cream.
What to do?
In that case, you can use pasteurized cow or goat cream as a substitute. Why is pasteurized cream acceptable and not pasteurized milk, you might wonder? The reason is that cream is fat which is not damaged by pasteurization nearly as much as the protein portion of milk. Hence, you can use pasteurized cream in the homemade baby formula, but not pasteurized milk.
If you’re having trouble finding pasteurized cream, you can buy low-temp pasteurized (also called “vat pasteurized”), non-homogenized cow milk (“cream top” milk) and suck off the cream with a turkey baster. Pasteurized, non-homogenized milk is widely available in most healthfood stores across North America that I’ve observed. Perhaps someone from the UK and the EU can chime in about the availability on that continent.
Another option is to buy pasteurized, organic whole milk yogurt (this brand is widely available) and scrape the cream straight off the top with a large spoon.
Hopefully, these tips for using raw camel milk properly when making homemade baby formula will help you!
Other Camel Milk Benefits
Camel milk is a wonderful option for making homemade baby formula, and I’m thrilled that Moms now can conveniently ship it right to their door if they are desperate for this healthy option for their babies.
If this choice is something you are considering, note these other benefits for making homemade formula with camel milk:
- Camel milk is high in GABA, a calming amino acid. As a result, you might notice baby more readily naps after a bottle of camel milk formula!
- Camel milk contains over 200 different proteins. This unique profile is different from cow or goat milk. As a result, this particular dairy milk is more easily tolerated for some who might otherwise exhibit an allergy to milk from hoofed animals.
If you would like to try some camel milk for yourself or to make homemade baby formula, click here if you live in the US or Canada. If you live in the UK or EU, click here. Use the code HEALING at checkout for a $20 discount on your first order!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
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