A lot of my friends and clients tell me, that one of their biggest challenges in going vegan, is to find a good replacement for milk and coffee creamers. Other than ethical reasons, health reasons definitely justify why giving up dairy milk is a good idea: Did you know that dairy is actually causing osteoporosis and not protect us from it? Yep, it’s the acidity in milk, cheese and yogurt made from animal products that will leach the calcium off your bones. More on that topic, here.
The solutions are easy though. Today, you can find tons of milk substitutes in your local grocery stores. It ranges from soy and hemp milk to different nut milk options such as almond, cashew, pecan, hazelnut and even macadamia milk. The great things is that all these products are wonderful alternatives to dairy as they don’t contain the harmful animal protein, nor any animal fat.
The downside to store bought nut milk, can be additives, that might be harmful for your health down the line. A lot of processed vegan milk options contain for example a series of additives, such as carrageenan. This ingredient functions as an emulsifier, which can trigger an immune response in your digestive system. The consequence can be inflammation or even intestinal bleeding. Even though science isn’t 100% clear about this topic, I try to stay away from ingredients I can’t pronounce. I prefer going with minimally processed products, that contain a short list of ingredients. And there are definitely options out there, such as Malk milks, my recent discovery.
Alternatively, you can make your own nut milk. It’s really easy and doesn’t take too much time. The bonus is that you can control 100% what goes in it and you can customize it to your taste: thicker or thinner, sweetened or unsweetened, vanilla flavored or plain. The world is your (vegan) oyster! ;)
And this is how you do it:
1 cup of soaked nuts (you can use seeds too; most nuts need to soak at least for 6 to 8 hours)
3-4 cups of water
optional: salt, vanilla extract, dates, maple syrup, orange extract etc.
Blend nuts and water until smooth.
Strain your nut mixture through a nut milk or cheese bag. Make sure to strain well so the remaining nut pulp is really dry when you are done.
You can now add any other ingredients for flavoring and blend again.
Et voilà, there is your nut milk!
The nut pulp can be dehydrated in an oven or dehydrator and then you can make flour out of it.
Enjoy in your coffee, on top of cereal or just as is with some nice cookies!
Jenné & Isabelle
We're both passionate vegan foodies with backgrounds in nutrition. We decided to bridge our skills to create Buddhalicious; a program that guides members to find balance, excitement, and flavor on their plates, and in their lives.