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Skip the Mooo– Delicious Non-dairy Milk

By Asha Kreiling

Whether you’re intolerant, allergic, or simply have grown averse to conventional dairy milk, there are plenty of delicious alternatives. Conventional cow’s milk stock-footage-close-up-portrait-of-smiling-girl-drinking-milk-outdoors-milk-mustachesold at grocery stores typically comes from industrialized dairy farms where cows are over-milked and live in crowded, stressful conditions. Inflamed udders, disease, infection, and a whole mess of artificial hormones and antibiotics are all unsettling but normal parts of the milk industry. I switched to non-dairy milk over three years ago, and now the thought of pouring regular cow’s milk over my breakfast cereal frankly grosses me out. Here are some plant-based “milks” that make delicious substitutes.

Soy

Made from soaked, ground soybeans, soy milk is the most common non-dairy milk. There are copious brands, flavors, tastes and viscosities to suit your palate. (My favorite brand is West Soy.) Soy milk has about the same amount of protein as cow’s milk but tends to have less fat and contains no cholesterol. Most soy milk is fortified with vitamins and minerals like calcium and vitamin B12, so it makes a perfectly good substitute for cow’s milk. Unsweetened varieties are good for cooking (for example, in vegan mashed potatoes) while sweetened or vanilla flavors are good for cereal and coffee.

Almondalmond-milk right

Almond milk might be my favorite non-dairy milk. It tastes like almonds! Blue Diamond’s Almond Breeze is pretty delectable. Almond milk is creamy and has a subtle nutty flavor.  It is low in calories and fat, but also has less protein than soy and cow’s milk. It is rich in essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. I like to drink it plain.

Hemp

Hemp milk is made from soaked, ground hemp seeds. It is less common at mainstream grocery stores, but you’ll likely find it at health food stores. Like almond milk, hemp milk contains lower amounts of protein in comparison to dairy and soy milk, but the protein it does have is more easily digestible. Hemp milk contains omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids in a healthy three-to-one ratio, as well as other nutrients like magnesium, calcium, fiber, phosphorus, and riboflavin. Living Harvest Tempt and Pacific Natural Foods are common hemp milk brands.

Grain

There are various milks made from different grains. Pacific Natural Foods brand carries an organic 7-grain milk made from oats, brown rice, wheat, barley, triticale, spelt, and millet. Plain rice and oat are the most common grain milks. Both are thin in consistency, sort of like non-fat cow’s milk, and have mild tastes. Grain milks have lower protein contents and higher carbohydrate contents than cow’s milk. Grain milks are often fortified with vitamins and minerals, as they are naturally low in essential nutrients.

Coconut

Often found in a can at Asian markets or most grocery stores, coconut milk is unlike these other milks. It is made from the grated coconut meat blended with water. Coconut milk has a thicker, smooth consistency, which can be attributed to its high saturated fat content. It is mildly sweet and is an essential for cooking ethnic dishes, such as curries, stews and desserts.

About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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