Traditional Nata

Posted · 22 Comments

Traditional Nata

One of the best things to come from raw milk is nata.  Nata is the cream that thickens and congeals from boiling raw milk.  It’s naturally sweet, creamy, silky, and tastes absolutely fabulous dolloped on top of toasted homemade, European style bread.

Today, many people that drink raw milk are under the assumption that its a traditional practice.  Really, the way its gone mainstream specifically within various health groups is quite modern.

Traditionally, the people that drank raw milk were farmers – those that owned their own dairy cows.

In most other countries and cultures, raw milk has always been boiled first to kill off any pathogens or bacteria before being consumed.  This is true for my family in Spain as well as my cultural friends that have come to live in the United States from various locations throughout the world.  They have each grown up drinking raw milk; however, it has always been boiled before being consumed.

One of the things that brings the biggest smiles to their faces is when I mention raw milk.  Not for the milk, but for the nata. It’s one of those treasured flavors that can only come from boiling milk with cream.  Either raw or non-homogenized pasteurized milk.

Many people would never think to boil their raw milk; however, one thing to note is that when most people boiled their milk at home, they would only bring it just to a boil – A temperature of about 110F – 120F.  At that temperature, although some of the beneficial bacteria and enzymes are destroyed, many are still preserved and the danger of any pathogens present in the milk are destroyed. 

Today, the lowest temperature of pasteurized milk that we can find at the market is VAT at 185F.  As you can see, raw milk boiled over the stove top at home is a more nourishing alternative with the added benefit of being able to enjoy nata.

My family currently drinks raw milk, but in truly learning what has been traditional to my family I am thinking about starting to boil our milk before consuming it.  Although I completely endorse anyone that makes the decision to feed their family raw milk, stories like this help me understand why my family in Spain took the time to boil their milk first.

Currently, I boil VAT pasteurized, non homogenized milk when I make my families homemade yogurt.

Traditional Nata

We go through about a gallon a week of yogurt that all of my children enjoy to eat plain with a drizzle of honey.  I raise the temperature to 185F using a culture from plain, organic, whole milk yogurt I buy at Trader Joes.  Once the temperature reaches 185F, I turn off the heat and allow the milk to cool down on the stovetop.

While it starts to cool, a thick, congealed, cream will start to form on the top of the milk.

Traditional Nata

This is the nata.

With a spoon, you can scoop it out.

Traditional Nata

It tastes absolutely best, freshly scooped, nice and warm, spread on toasted bread.

I think this is why most mothers enjoy nata.  Because it was she who would boil the milk for her family and indulge in the nata 😉

Traditional Nata

Traditional Nata

Traditional Nata

Nata is the cream that thickens and congeals from boiling raw milk. Its naturally sweet, creamy, silky, and tastes absolutely fabulous dolloped on top of toasted homemade, European style bread.


  • Vat pasteurized, non-homogenized milk or raw milk


  1. Bring non-homogenized milk or raw milk to a boil.
  2. Turn off the heat and allow to cool on the stove top.
  3. While it starts to cool, a thick, congealed, cream will start to form on the top of the milk.
  4. Scoop it off with a spoon and dollop onto toasted bread.

Have you had nata?  I’d love to hear your stories.

22 Responses to "Traditional Nata"
  1. Danielle B says:

    When I make yogurt I stir it while it’s cooling down. I’m assuming that you DON’T stir if you want to get nata? I’m excited to try it.

  2. Jill says:

    First, let me start out by saying the nata looks wonderful and it’s something I haven’t seen before so I’m excited to try it. Secondly, I have to voice my opinion about this article you linked to with the woman whose child got sick from the raw milk… and I don’t mean to sound angry, because I truly am not, but I believe there are always many sides to an issue and this article is almost bordering on propaganda.

    I didn’t really like this article, even though I really feel for the woman and her family. There are a lot of variables that factor into a situation like that. These kinds of articles lead to people being scared often for no good reason other than being uninformed. It sounds like this woman bought her milk from a very large raw milk dairy which in my opinion is a problem in itself. I would never buy raw milk from a store. Whenever bigger businesses and big money is part of the picture, corners are going to be cut and caring about peoples health is going to be one of the first ones. Part of what we want to encourage is small local dairies like the one I buy my raw milk from who has only 15 cows pastured on grass and sells to people in the immediate area. While it’s true that not everyone has access to this type of situation, we want to encourage small local farmers by creating a demand for them, not run them out of business by making everyone terrified of their products by promoting articles such as this one.

    In addition, this is the type of thing that the government will use to get people upset about raw milk and pass legislation controlling even more of our food than they already do…is that what we really want? I really don’t…I want to retain the personal choice of what I feed my family and not be told what they may or may not eat by the ever encroaching arm of the government. Maybe it is better to boil the milk before you drink it, maybe it’s not? My point is that everyone should have the option to choose what is best for them. There are certainly a lot of differing opinions and I respect everyone’s right to choose… but the more we scare people… the more the only choice we have will be what’s in plastic jugs at the super mega mart.

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Hi Jill, thanks for your comment and definitely your concern. I to buy my milk from a small homesteader. She pastures her 6 cows and every week I pick mine up and it’s even labeled with the name of the cow from whom she hand milked it. I trust her and we’ve been drinking her milk for some time. As I wrote on the post, I completely endorse anyone whom chooses to drink raw milk and I absolutely agree with you that we need to have the choice to consume whichever we so choose. Our government is currently involved in every aspect of our lives and it’s scary. I do not like it one bit. However, this article was just to inform people on both sides. Really, just thoughts that go through my own head from time to time. Above anything else, my children are my number one priority and soft boiling milk at home is not written about often and something I am more and more intrigued about. I wonder the nutrient count is in soft boiled milk. I’m starting to think about seeing if I can get it tested and compare that to raw and then vat pasteurized. You know, we should have many options. Not just one way or the other. Unfortunately, we as a society are easily swayed. We are sheep after all and too many people out there are buying milk from large dairies without thinking about what can happen. Please know I am 100% about small family farms. I have been since I’ve started blogging and will always support them with my money and my voice.

      • Diana Bauman says:

        And one other thing, Jill. In this article I’m still talking about purchasing raw milk and soft boiling it at home. So of course, I will still need my family farmer of whom I trust ;D

  3. Claudia Campa says:

    Hi Diana! I love your blog.
    I like this post very much,it brought so many memories back. I was born and Mexico and we always had raw milk at home,and the first thing my mom will do with the milk was to soft boil it and we will always be waiting for the nata to eat with a warm tortilla or bread, my mom will also save the nata to use instead of butter in her pound bread recipe DELICIOSO! I live in Idaho now and I am bless to be able to get raw milk and today when I got my milk I really wanted to be able to get some nata so my milk is cooling right now and I am very patiently wainting. Thank you, Claudia

  4. Alaina says:

    Thank you so much for this information. Honestly, I have been struggling. Between you post today and Stephanie’s post on Keeper of the Home I feel some reassurance. It is ok that the best access I have to milk is low temp pastuerized non-homogenized. I am doing the best I can. I have long struggled with the notion of raw milk curing any and all ills as well as the idea that it is always safe. It is not always safe, as nothing is, and the sicknesses that stem from it are typically quite terrible. I do think the risks are more than comparable to eating processed junk, but the flip side of the argument is extremely important.

    Thanks for the nata recipe…it sounds fabulous!

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Alaina, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I was able to read Stephanie’s post today and I absolutely agree with everything she’s written. There are always two sides, trust in the Lord and do the best that YOU can do 😀

  5. Patricia says:

    So, what do you do with the leftover milk that you’ve simmered to get the Nata from? How do you use the leftover? Does the Nata keep long?

  6. Amy D. says:

    I can’t get raw milk easily (the closest place to get it is a 4 hour round trip for me), but I can get low-vat pasteurized non-homogenized milk locally. Can I make this from that or does absolutely have to be raw? Thanks!

  7. Linda says:

    Oh my goodness! Thank you for info on how to make nata, My mom and Aunt were born and raised in Mexico and they constantly talk about how my grandmother used to make them nata all the time and how much they miss eating it. Now I can surprise both of them! THanks again!!

  8. Jo Ann Bazar says:

    I love your blog for the information you give. I’m 75 and still learning. I wanted to be healthier, quickly made the switch to a Palieo Diet and after a few weeks I am still learning . We have 3 large raised
    bed gardens , so fresh is no problem since we grow year round. The info on oils was a wake up for me. Thank you

  9. celita whittington says:

    My family and I are from Brasil and my father would tell me how his mother always gave him the nata to eat when he was a child. I need to get raw milk and try it now. I never new that is where it came from and my parents are both gone so thank you for this post.

  10. Danya says:

    Hi, I would love to make natas at home – hard to find here where I live in the US. However, I do not have access to a farm like you. Do you know if I can make natas from whole milk? You mentioned a yogurt from trader Joes. Is that needed to make natas? I am not a milk drinker so I am not in favor or against that, but I love NATAS and would love to be able to make them at home. Any advice, I would appreciate it! thank you for your post!

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