Making The Dairy-Free Switch; Your Guide to Milk Alternatives
With the recent bankruptcy of large dairy companies, it’s apparent more people are going dairy-free, which is amazing news! With this wonderful and important rise in dairy-free alternatives, the options can seem overwhelming. One of the main benefits of drinking plant-based milk is that it is naturally packed with protein and nutrients from plants. I love drinking and using these different kinds of milk because there are so many different and wonderful options to choose from. I can also tailor how I make my meals to the different kinds of milk and the thickness of the different types. I personally get a small half-gallon carton of milk, as it just Emanuel and I consuming the milk. I like to also grab the unrefrigerated shelf version of dairy-free milk, which can sit on the shelf until I am ready to refrigerate and use.
The Calcium myth
When I was a kid, I was fully brought-into the Got Milk commercials. I was convinced that dairy milk gave me strong bones and that I needed to drink that in order to be strong. This was a myth, as calcium comes from plant nutrients, which is why it’s important for us to get calcium from the source, plants. A few calcium-containing foods are kale, cooked broccoli, almonds, soymilk, rice milk, and tofu.
Also if we do the right things for our body, we can have strong healthy bones. So keep your stress to a minimum and get some stress-relieving exercise. By walking, running, doing calisthenics, yoga or dancing, you can help strengthen your bones. I try to incorporate at least thirty minutes of daily activity, for me, this typically comes in the form of walking and I do more intense workouts three to four times a week, with rest days in between.
Check out the different types of plant-based milk on the market and hear about the ones I use in my everyday life.
I started drinking Soy Milk when I first went vegetarian about ten years ago. I love the consistency of it and I actually enjoyed it more than cows milk. My favorite brand is to use is Silk’s “Very Vanilla” soy milk. Though if you are planning to cook with it, I would suggest trying unsweetened. This milk is also a good source of Vitamin A, B12, and calcium.
For a slightly sweeter taste, check out coconut milk. This milk is fantastic in smoothies and in dishes such as curry. Coconut milk is also has a great source of minerals and vitamins such as iron, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and potassium.
This option has a thick consistency similar to Soy milk. Almond milk comes straight from nuts and is a good dairy alternative because of its rich texture. Almond milk also has a natural source of vitamin E, which is another vitamin that contributes to skin and eye health.
Rice milk is my personal favorite. I like it because it’s not too thick and it’s also a good consistency for cooking. I tend to use my rice milk when cooking, as it helps thin out any food I am mixing. Great source of Vitamins A and D.
I love to use cashew milk to add a nuttier flavor to my pasta sauces such as vegan alfredo sauce. You can also use this milk in your smoothies as it is also a thicker type of milk. Cashews are also good for your heart health. Just like the other awesome plant-based milk options, cashew milk is filled with iron, vitamins, protein, and calcium.
For a nut-free option, check out oat milk. Filled with Vitamins A and D, iron, potassium, and calcium. Oat milk also has a great source of Vitamin B, which gives us energy. This milk has been the new trend for baristas everywhere. I personally had the opportunity to try this milk out with an espresso machine and it was great for adding that essential froth to my coffee and it didn’t separate like soy milk or rice milk can. If you have an espresso machine and you love frothed cream in your coffee, I highly recommend you try oat milk. The texture is creamy with dairy milk, minus the cruelty!
Hemp comes from seeds and is does not contain THC. It has 4.7 grams of protein, it contains many healthy fats, such as omega-3 and Omega-6. These fats are essential for building new tissue and new membranes in the body. It is also free of soy and gluten, which is ideal for those who may choose to not drink soy or have a gluten intolerance. Hemp milk also has many vitamins stored in such as iron, vitamin D, A, and B12 it also has 2% of calcium.
More facts about Dairy milk
Whether the awesome dairy-free trend is related to more people switching to a vegan diet or not, the truth is clear cows are pumped with harmful chemicals and hormones so that they will produce more milk. The chemicals in milk are very harmful to your health. Cow's milk is led to a rise in women developing osteoporosis. It also leads to more allergies and intolerances, contributing to gas, bloating and rashes just to name a few of its unpleasant causes. It’s important for us to think about switching to more plant-based options for our health, the sake of animals and for our environment. Animal agriculture contributes to 14.5% of greenhouse gases and is 70% of the agricultural land.
No matter what dairy-free milk you choose, know that you have many options to try out and experiment with the meals you make. You also can be sure that by drinking dairy-free milk, you can help make a positive impact on our earth and the animals. So drink on, the cruelty-free way.
Peace and Love,