Our favourite easy dairy alternative
Clients often ask me for an alternative to cows milk. Home made almond milk is my favourite easy, affordable (and yummy!) solution. It costs a fraction of the price of the shop bought stuff and tastes amazing.
Why look twice at Dairy?
As more of us are becoming aware of intolerances to dairy, there is a real shift to healthy cost effective alternatives.
Dairy products contain a protein called casein. Casein in cow’s milk is 300 times higher than in human milk. By the age of 2-3 years old our ability to break down the lactose in milk decreases. As we are one of the only creatures on earth that continue to consume milk into adulthood this is where problems arise for many of us. Bloating, abdominal pain, gas, loose bowels, eczema, acne, sinus and respiratory issues have all been linked to lactose intolerance.
Other factors begin at the farming and production level with the hormones and anitbiotics that are given to cows finding their way into our food. Pasteurisation of milk destroys various important enzymes and the removal of the fat to produce skimmed, low fat products then reduces the ability of the body to absorb the nutrients in the milk.
A2 milks can help if you do feel any of the issues mentioned above but again you need to trust the source and how the animals are treated and kept to ensure there aren’t any hidden nasties lurking.
Goat products are also available and, as they are closer in make up to human milk, they can cause less of an issue for our bodies.
I remember hearing a story of cows kept by Hare Krishnas. The cows were groomed and sung to every day, lived in a wonderful natural pasture and roamed practically free. The ‘non-violent’ milk from these cows tasted noticeably creamier and more delicious than milk from mass milking industry practices. Happy cow = happy milk.
The search for milky perfection
In our pursuit of cowless happiness, we have tried and tested it all! Raw milk (also called bath milk or cleopatras milk), illegal to sell here in NSW, can cause less of an issues to our bodies as it’s in its more natural state. Soy should be avoided as it’s highly processed, can inhibit mineral absorption, and disrupt the function of your endocrine system. Quinoa milk is ok if you can handle the smell of errr, quinoa on your cereal. Oat milk is great if you aren’t gluten free. Coconut milk, yummy but too sweet for some. Rice milk works well and we use it in cooking as well as in tea and on cereals, but yet more processed grains which can lead to inflammation in our bodies so not ideal.
One of our favourites has to be Almond Milk, preferably home made to save on the price tag compared to high-almond content commercial varieties! If you don’t have time to make your own then a guide to shop bought is to look at the ingredients: most on the shelf have around 2% almonds listed. Some brands have 10% but if you shop around you can find them in the fridge at health food and whole food cafes with up to 50%. The higher the real almond percentage, the better the taste.
Almond milk recipe
I’ve just whipped up 2 litres of lovely almond milk in around 20 minutes and it’s chilling in my fridge ready for breakfast tomorrow and for me to share with friends. Yummy!
Here’s the recipe to make around 1 litre:
2 cups raw almonds
4 cups water
1tsp vanilla extract
1.5tbsp 100% real maple syrup or raw honey – you can leave this out if you like it non sweetened
1/2 tsp cinnamon – or more if you love it!
Blend the almonds with around 1.5 cups of water for 1-2 minutes until it forms a yummy looking paste.
Add the cinnamon, maple syrup, cinnamon and the rest of the water and continue to blend for another 2-3 minutes.
Strain through a muslin cloth and transfer to a glass bottle.
Stores in the fridge for around 5 days.
Don’t throw away the remains of the almonds. Crumble the mixture into a baking tray and dry in a low oven (100degrees) for around 1 hour. It makes perfect almond meal for cooking or if you cook it a bit longer until it browns, a brilliant cereal topping.
So enjoy experimenting with other milk alternatives, or go out and buy a cow, sing to it and get your own happy milk!!