For the Love of Fresh Cream

Panna Cotta with Fresh Raw Cream

Panna Cotta with Fresh Raw Cream

Fresh cream.   Fresh raw cream.   I love it in all its thick, silky glory.   I love the taste, and the texture it lends to dishes – both savory and sweet.   There’s nothing quite like it, and when cream’s truly fresh – it borders on the divine.

We’re fortunate, after a year or two of developing our local foodshed, to have access to fresh cream from guernsey cows at an expansive Colorado ranch just a short drive away.   The cream is delivered in charming little pint-sized jam jars every Tuesday for $5.   What a delicious way to spend $5.

Many folks don’t consider fresh cream a seasonal food, but it is. Spring is calving season.   Grass is vibrantly green and rapidly growing.   And cream, real cream is flowing.   At this time, cream is plentiful and deeply nourishing.   Cows allowed to graze on fresh pasture – and rapidly growing green grass in particular – produce a cream that is as rich in flavor as it is in nutrients.   Indeed, fresh cream is one of springtime’s best foods.   Historically, spring’s fresh cream was prized for its unique properties and it was reserved for butter making and stored – often in peat – for use throughout the year.   Indeed, we’re still stumbling across forgotten parcels of bog butter including some that are 2,000 years old.

This cream is particularly dense in   fat soluble vitamins as well as conjugated linoleic acid and even coenzyme Q10.   Fat soluble vitamins, like all vitamins, are fragile and delicate nutrients.   Heat, like that required for pasteurization, destroys these delicate, natural and valuable nutrients.   Indeed, after pasteurization cream is no longer whole – it’s missing these natural vitamins.   Even worse, cream is often pasteurized at ultra-high temperatures which denatures the fats even further; the end result is a food that is differs dramatically from the nourishing food that nature intended.

Fresh, raw cream is a living food.   It contains beneficial bacteria and enzymes which are otherwise destroyed during pasteurization and it is precisely these components of living foods that make them so valuable to our overall health.   These enzymes enable better digestion of macronutrients and better absorption of micronutrients while the beneficial bacteria promotes intenstinal health and a well-functioning immune system.

To keep the beneficial bacteria, enzymes and delicate vitamins intact, keep the cream raw or just barely warm it.   In traditional societies studied by Weston A. Price and discussed in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, if dairy products like fresh cream and butter were consumed they were invariably consumed raw.   In essence, by consuming fresh cream in its freshest form you’re adhering to the same dietary principles that nourished your forebears.     Besides, it just tastes better.

Convinced?   Try these recipes which show off fresh, raw cream in its best form:

Learn to Cook Real Food

Inspired Recipes, Tips and Tutorials.

What people are saying

  1. Wardeh @ says

    Thank you for this awesome review of cream’s benefits! We are new to having dairy goats and still don’t get that much milk (but improving every day, so I have hope). I’m looking forward to more cream – but goat’s milk doesn’t separate like cow’s milk does. I hear that I can wait a few days for it separate and skim off what comes to the top, just building up a collection of it over the course of a few days. Also, I’ve seen manual or electric cream separators but they cost over $200 (on ebay) to almost $500 (retail). Do you have any suggestions or have you run across any make-do or make-at-home solutions for getting more cream from goat’s milk? Thanks if you can help and boy, what a beautiful picture of the Panna Cotta (even though I don’t know what it is!).


    Check out Wardeh @’s last post: Link Appeal.

  2. Wardeh @ says

    Jenny – thank you so much! I had a feeling there must be something old fashioned that doesn’t rely on a machine that costs as much as two goats. The panna cotta sounds delectable~ will try it (when I get cream, that is).


    Check out Wardeh @’s last post: Link Appeal.

  3. Jenny says

    Wardeh –
    I think I know exactly what you need! I’m going to have to look it up in an old text on food preservation and homesteading but there is a non-electrical and seemingly affordable device that should work for you.

    Panna cotta (or, more aptly for my recipe: panna cruda) is a mix of cream, gelatin and sweetener and it is SO delicious. In my version fresh cream and honey are blended together and gelatin sets them. It is one of my little guy’s favorite desserts and it’s a great way to get both fresh cream and good quality gelatin into your system.

    • Chelsea says

      I know I’m like 2 years late on this post…but what was this device that you are speaking of? I get raw milk from this lovely lady at my farmer’s market, but as Wardeh said there is a problem with getting enough cream. Could you please let me know? Thank you so much!!

  4. says

    I love to see anything you could find as well. What little cream separates from out goat milk is not even worth skimming. It would take forever to get one quart worth of cream. In the mean time I can get organic raw grass fed cream from Ayrshire cows less than 10 minutes away where I go to get our beef anyway. If I could get my own cream from the goats milk though that would be awesome!

    Check out Christy’s last post: Overflowing.

  5. says

    Hello ,
    Thanks for the gr8 article on cream .To be frank never had cream any time before so would love to eat and try it .Will let u know .You said that you have old butter in your house .What do you do of it .
    Clarified butter or Ghee if age old is used in Ayurveda to treat many health conditions ..Did you know that ?

    Check out Sudeep’s last post: Yama: First Limb of Yoga.

  6. Sarai Mermigas says

    Hi Jenny,

    Nothing makes my children happier then fresh homemade whiped cream w/ a bowel of fresh berries! I have to say, that I enjoy fresh raw cream over raw milk. Wonderful recipes. I can’t wait to try them!


  7. says

    Thanks for this post Jenny!

    I’m always baffled as to what do with cream so these are good ideas.

    I just made papaya ice cream with raw cream that was divine! It didn’t freeze well though. I think that’s why they use all of those chemicals in commerical ice cream.


  8. Jenny says

    Sudeep – We LOVE ghee in our home. I use it with some regularity. We really like it for its culinary properties. I’m not too familiar with ayurveda, though. The old butter I mentioned isn’t mine, though; rather, it was stored and forgotten by natives of Ireland anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand years ago. Kinda cool.

    Sarai – I here you. One of my son’s favorite dishes is fresh cream over fruit – especially peaches. There’s little better.

  9. Leanne says

    We have come to love raw cream as well. Recently we ran out of both raw cream and raw milk and bought an organic creamer to hold us through to our raw milk delivery. What a mistake that was. Our coffee was almost intolerable in taste. It just tasted WRONG. Even though it was organic it was just not good! We are seriously considering adding a cow and calf to our small hobby farm just so this won’t happen again. Thanks for your articles on raw milk,cream, and what pasteurization does to the milk.

  10. Luana Arnhold says

    I live in Brazil and here raw milk is prohibited. I managed to find a local producer that will sell me the raw milk, but he doesn’t sell the cream. Is it possible to make the cream at home using the raw milk?

    • Trevor says

      May be a little late on the response but I remember a suggestion to place milk in a gallon or half gallon jar with a spout at the bottom. If you don’t want to incorporate the cream into your milk, and do get your drinking milk out of the spout thingy at the bottom, when the jar is nearly empty, you will be left with all your cream in the jar.

      A turkey baster is the route I usually go with, only taking out enough for a few days worth of adding to coffee. MMMMmmmmmmmmm

  11. says

    All i can say is YUMMMMYYYY! I just started dabling in the raw dairy arena and I recently bought my first tub of raw cream and it is sooo good, creamy, and you can feel the nourishment going into yout every cell once you start consuming it.

    My two little boys loved it as well. We use it to top off fruits, in our coffee, to add creaminess to our mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and zucchini bake. (we always add it at the end after removing it from the heat.

    If you have never had the chance to taste ream raw cream you should add it to your bucket list at once!!

    With Love,


  12. Mary Lou Parker says

    I received fresh cream two days ago and want to make apple salad for Mother’s Day dinner with it but I can’t taste so don’t know if it has soured or not.. How long before fresh cream that has been in the refrigerator last before you should consider throwing i t away since I can’t taste.

    Mary Lou

  13. Alexandra says

    I too am excited about raw milk and raw cream. I got my second raw whole milk yesterday and I added an order of half gallon of cream. The cream is really thin, like MILK. I emailed the farmer and he said this time of year it is thin, that spring is the time for thick cream. OK. but what do I do with this “cream”? Use it like milk? I wanted to make butter. Anyone have any thoughts to share?

  14. Audry P says

    How long will fresh, raw cream keep in the fridge? If I’m using it in coffee, would that be heating it too much?

    • Mimi Johnson says

      I have read that if you add raw to hot coffee you are, in effect, pasturizing it. This is one of the main places I personally wanted to use it but guess I will have to wait for my coffee to cool a bit!

  15. Rameesha Fatima says

    Dear Jenny, I read this article 6 years late, looking for a way to make cream from scratch. Living on a farm with raw milk and raw cream being cheaper than store-bought cream and milk this was only inevitable, and the cream was the hands-down the best I had ever had. Except then I started reading about the health hazards of consuming raw milk and raw cream; there are almost all sorts of harmful bacteria living in raw dairy products that weigh down the good aspect. As a newbie to the cream making community I wanted to find out if there was a way that homemade cream could be made safer to consume. Thanks for the article!

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