I have absolutely loved writing these Q & A’s and they are turning into what appears to be regular glowing additions to the blog! Thank you for all the questions I receive- please keep them coming by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This next question is a BIG one, so I have decided to answer it in two bits. I hope you find this post helpful, especially next time you’re in the supermarket weighing up the choice of nut milks!
Ask me anything: Q & A #3
1. What are some good non- dairy alternatives?
To eat dairy or not to eat dairy? For many is an obvious decision, especially if your body isn’t tolerating dairy too well. For others it is an extremely difficult decision to make- especially given the conflicting health advice (and let’s not even dive into the ‘raw’ milk debate either!).
Rather than present cases for and against I’m going to assume that by reading this post you have a curious mind to try non dairy milks or you are currently trying them and are interested in my opinion on which I love to use and some brands I whole heartedly love.
** By the way: I’m not sponsored to share brands I love. When I do occasionally share brands and products with you I do it out of the goodness of my heart. It is my mission to help you all to glow and if I know there are great products out there to support you, I sure as hell won’t with hold giving you that information! With love. Always. **
Whatever leads you to trying non dairy milks there are some fabulous options out there, that are super tasty and creamy. I personally love almond milk because it tastes amazing, subtly sweeter than rice or oat milk, along with oat milk because in my opinion it is creamier than most non dairy milks and coconut milk. Coconut milk is hands down my favourite for its natural sweetness and creaminess. I also drink rice milk as well, and I will occasionally make cashew milk or a milk like hazelnut milk if I want something very creamy for say a latte (these milks are quite expensive to make, hence I rarely make them and to be honest I’d much rather turn a bag of cashew nuts into a raw cheesecake or a nut butter!).
Here’s how I generally use nut milks:
Almond milk: I love using it in pancakes, smoothies, chia pudding (I usually add half coconut milk, half almond to naturally sweeten the chia pudd) and in porridge. I love using almond milk for my chocolate self saucing pudding dessert too.
Oat milk: I use this pretty much as I do almond milk but I often use oat milk for savoury recipes such as adding liquid to fritters/patties to help the mixture to bind. I find when using it for chia pudding or porridge I need to sweeten the milk a little with some rice syrup.
Rice milk: Rice milk isn’t my favourite as it is quite watery. I generally use it in the event I haven’t got any other milks left in the house. When I do use it I sweeten it with some rice syrup as it is rather bland tasting. I often use some rice milk to thin out coconut milk, especially if using coconut milk from a can which is incredibly thick.
Coconut milk: I love Rude Health coconut milk and Pure Harvest coco quench for chia puddings, smoothies and pancakes. The coconut adds such a lovely natural sweetness, that I find I don’t need to sweeten it further.
Tinned coconut milk: I often use coconut milk from a tin and to thin it down (it is super ceamy and thick), I use rice milk. I love tinned coconut milk for curries and for frostings (keep a can in the fridge to thicken up, drain the remaining liquid and off you go). To thicken up a porridge I will add a few tablespoons of tinned coconut milk to give it incredibly creaminess.
When looking for a nut milks here are my tips:
// Look for nut milks with a short list of ingredients- the shorter the list the closer it is to being home made
// Bonus points if the nut milk uses activated nuts, which for many (including me) can make them a lot easier to digest
// Please buy a nut milk that doesn’t have carrageenan in the ingredients list, which though naturally deprived from red seaweed, carrageenan appears to be particularly destructive to the digestive system, triggering an immune response similar to that your body has when invaded by pathogens like Salmonella. The result is carrageenan can cause inflammation, which can lead to ulcerations and bleeding (taken from here)
// Adele from Vegie Head wrote a brilliant post recently about Nut Milks and included great detail about what you don’t want lurking in your milk. Find that post here
And of course if you want to try making your own almond milk click here for my delicious recipe. To make cashew milk simply follow the recipe for my almond milk, but the good news is you don’t need to strain the milk through a fine sieve- just simply blend the soaked nuts and off you go! So easy.
2. Is soy milk ok?
I personally don’t drink soy milk often. If I’m craving a coffee with ‘milk’ and soy is the only option available then exercising ‘food flexibility’ I might have a drop, but infrequently. I find soy heavy and am very weary of the conflicting research around how soy impacts women’s hormones and the high chance GMO soy beans have been used. If I do drink soy I politely (and with a smile- I know cafes are busy places!) ask to see the soy milk they use- taking note to see if the package says ‘non GMO’. When in doubt I err on the side of caution and either stick to a decaf-long black (if you ever see me out and feel compelled to perform a random act of gratitude- there’s my coffee order *wink*), or if I’m in the supermarket I will select something that isn’t clouded by a whole lot of doubt such as an almond milk.
And lastly brands I definitely love and look out for are: Rude Health and Pure Harvest milks. Personally I don’t want my milks sweetened with cane sugar, or agave because they just taste too sweet. Rice syrup tends to suit my pallet better, but see what you think. You might really want a sweeter milk.
I hope that this post helps you to decide what nut milk might be best for you. I would love to know any brands and milks you love. Comment below!
Cover image via @pureharvest