Dairy Free Milks 101

There is something fascinating about our obsession with milk. I vividly remember the big plastic containers filled with plastic bags of milk being brought to our school, each with an orange plastic straw. No questions asked, everyone had to drink it!

Well, the sad truth is, that these bags might have caused more harm than good. According to the statistics, approximately 65% of the world's population is unable to efficiently digest lactose, the main sugar found in milk, after infancy. Lactose intolerance in adulthood is most prevalent in people of East Asian descent, affecting more than 90 percent of adults in some of these communities, it is also very common in people of West African, Arab, Jewish, Greek, and Italian descent but only about 5 percent of people of Northern European descent are lactose intolerant (a lactose intolerance is the inability to break down a type of natural sugar found in milk called lactose by a reduced production of the enzyme lactase after infancy). [1]

Even if there are so many people who can't digest milk products, dairy industry tries to persuade us that every human should drink cow's milk whatever his descent or genetics. Fortunately, there are numerous choices for those who experience digestive issues after eating dairy products such as bloating, stomach pain, gas or diarrhea. Also, dairy products are not the only source of calcium - greens such as kale or collard greens, dried figs, almond butter or tahini are very good and tasty options.

A Guide To Non Dairy Milks

If you've been following me for a while, you've surely noticed I don't use dairy products in my recipes except kefir and butter. Some people with lactose intolerance have no problem digesting cheese, butter or fermented products. The offer of non dairy milks is wast these days and in this article I'm going to talk about some options that I use daily.

The problem with most of the store bought options is the amount of sugar and additives. Yes, the presence of sugar creates that beautiful foam in your latte but sugar is sugar is sugar. Always check the ingredients label for a sugar free, additive free option. Sometimes, manufacturers use tapioca or other starches to create the creaminess typical in dairy milk.

Coconut milk has a distinctive flavor not liked by everyone but it has a nice amount of healthy fats. Make sure, the can contains only coconut and water. I use this one. Coconut milk creates a nice thick foam and it can be used as a substitute for whipped cream when frozen.

Oat milk is a nice option if you tolerate grains. However,oats are not always gluten free. I make my own oat milk from gluten free oats as this process is very quick and simple. Mix 1 cup gluten free oats with four cups of filtered water. Use a nut milk bag to strain the liquid. Compost the rest. Oat milk is creamy but does not create a thick foam for your lattes.

Almond milk - Recipe for Homemade Almond Milk

When soaked, nuts are a perfect option for non dairy milks - I especially like macadamia nut milk as it is creamy and rich. Soaking time varies - from 4 hours for cashew nuts to overnight for almonds.

Recipe for Cashew Hemp Milk

What is your favorite kind of non dairy milk? Let me know in the comments!

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