cows milk alternatives

A complete guide to plant-based alternatives to dairy milk

Dairy milk alternatives are the new up and coming thing in both this New Age and modern world. There is a reason why they are referred to as “up” (and coming!) too. Many people are awakening to the saddening and lower vibrational reality of dairy milk and the milk industry in general. Unfortunately, we do not live in small communities where we raise our own goats, cows or cattle, for the most part. We are not (yet?) at the stage where every household has a small- hold farm or outdoor environment for the compassionate and humane keeping of cows, and further subsequent extracting of their milk. Dairy milk has become an industry.

The other perspective and reality in play is that some of us are allergic to dairy, or are lactose intolerant. This means that we don’t have a choice, and, like with those who are educated as to the treatment of beautiful animals on a larger scale, we need to seek out plant- based alternatives to dairy milk.

So, without further ado, here are the top plant- based and dairy- free milk alternatives with a guide on how they taste, what they work well with, and their effect on the environment. Remember that the whole intention for any healing or well- being retreat is to detox and cleanse your mind, body and spirit. This can only be achieved with conscious eating and drinking and an awareness of the impact of the foods we consume. In short, both our bodies and planet earth are beautiful and wonderful (“full of wonder”)- they deserve to be kept this way.

Almond milk

Almond milk is one of the most popular non- dairy milks available today. You can get it organic, non organic, sweetened or non- sweetened and it works well in coffees and smoothies! You can also add it to your porridge or muesli breakfast. If you are feeling adventurous, you can add a splash into your favorite chai tea or tea.

Almond milk contains a good amount of Vitamin E and the B Vitamins many vegans and vegetarians need. With a high calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc content, almond milk is sure to keep you feeling both full of energy, health and vitality and in loving service to the planet. It’s a win- win!

One thing you need to be careful of with almond milk (and the other nut milks explained below) is their effect on carbon footprint. On the whole, almond and other nut milks are good for us and certainly don’t negatively contribute to a failing ecosystem when animals are not being harmed or used en- mass. However, it is always beneficial to check the specific brand of milk and make sure that the ones you choose are eco- friendly. Not each type or brand is identical so make sure the plant- based milks you choose are good for the planet as well as our bodies.

Soya milk

Soya or soy milk is an interesting one. This is because a lot of soya is processed in large quantities nowadays, meaning that it has a much higher carbon footprint than what any of us earth- loving spiritualists or Mother Earth supporters may like. In saying this, organic of whole- bean soya milks are still good for us, so from a health perspective soya is a great dairy- free milk alternative.

Furthermore, soya milk tastes a lot nicer in coffees to many than other plant- based milk alternatives. Personally, I strongly dislike the taste of almond milk in coffee and can only have my coffee with soya, or sometimes hazelnut milk. It is an interesting one which does come up to personal taste!

Soybeans are also phytoestrogens, a plant- based type of estrogen. Essentially, this signifies that females need to be careful if at least not mindful of the amount of soya milk they consume. As soy mimics estrogen, this can have either a positive or negative effect on your hormonal system. It is something to definitely research if you are feeling drawn to soya milk as a long term dairy- free milk replacement.

Hemp milk

If you know anything about hemp then you are already aware, hemp is one of the most versatile and eco- friendly plants around today. The brilliance of this is that it tastes amazing with, well- virtually everything!

Smoothies, coffee, porridge, cereal, chai tea and as a bedtime ‘milk before sleep’ can all be wonderful with hemp milk. It has a sweet but not too sweet taste and it just makes you feel good when drinking or consuming it. It is also quite nutty!

Hemp milk is full of protein, vitamins and minerals and further has a number of health benefits. Hemp milk can help strengthen your immune system, clear skin, strengthen the heart, and lead to the growth of nails and hair. You will also find a lot of omega- 3 and 6 in hemp, something which is essential for the vegans and vegetarians amongst us. The human body cannot make amino acids or these essential omegas, therefore hemp is ultimately one of the best milks out there, for so many reasons.

Nut Milks (Cashew/ Hazelnut/ Walnut/ Macadamia)

These four milks- cashew, hazelnut, walnut and macadamia, are also becoming increasingly more popular. Your like for each will depend on your personal taste buds and preferences, so it wouldn’t be effective to comment on taste here. However, it is useful to point out that all of these unique nut milks are basically a combination of the specific nut and water, so they are very good for you.

Walnut is one of the best nuts in terms of antioxidant content and all of these nut milks have a creamy taste and texture. Hazelnut is specifically good in a coffee and it can also be merged and combined with soya for those who want a true “hazelnut soya latte” coffee taste and experience!

When choosing a nut milk it is always beneficial to look at the nut content or percentage. All of the nutrition content described in almond milk can be applied to these four milks.

Rice and Oat Milk

Rice milk is a slightly watery, yet tasty dairy milk alternative. It can be added to any of the things already mentioned so far and is a great substitute for anyone with a nut allergy. However, it does have the highest carbohydrate content in any and all plant- based milks. Furthermore, rice milk is not particularly good for someone with diabetes due to the effect it has on blood sugar levels.

If you are looking for a plant- based alternative inharmony with respect and care for the planet, however, rice milk as a good choice. It also has a high fibre content! Because of its high protein this milk may be more suited to growing children or adults who require a high protein milk substitute. In terms of taste? It can be slightly bland, unfortunately. The best way to counter this is to add delicious and nutritious herbs and spices if using it in savory cooking, or to add healthy sweeteners like honey and superfood blends when using it to make smoothies.

Oat milk is also healthy and has a slightly better taste than rice milk, in my personal opinion, for smoothies and breakfast meals. It contains a good amount of vitamins and minerals, although not as much as hemp or some of the nut milks, and can be a good starting choice for anyone who is “less experimental.” There are a lot of different nut and dairy- free milks available today, so oat is something you may already be familiar with!

Coconut

Coconut milk is possibly one of the most versatile milks around due to its use in traditional cooking. Soups, curries, vegetable stews and any other savory meal can all be made with coconut milk. So can porridge, muesli, cereals, smoothies, teas and coffee! Coconut is one of the most healthiest foods available to us and one of the few food sources containing the beneficial lauric acid. Combined with it’s high levels of healthy saturated fat, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and B12’s, coconut milk is a very healthy and animal- friendly dairy- milk alternative.

Quite simply, coconut milk is an all- rounder and very tasty plant- based milk alternative for those who love the taste of coconut.

Now you have a better understanding of each of the plant- based and dairy- free milks, here are some interesting facts for anyone health conscious or loving on nature!

  • Around 70- 75% of the earth’s population is lactose intolerant. Does this signify that we are naturally gravitating towards plant- based alternatives and a world where we don’t take so inconsiderably from the animals of this planet?
  • A small percentage of children are allergic to cow’s milk, meaning they require dairy- free alternatives regardless of personal choice or morality. Negative and harmful symptoms of dairy consumption include rashes, vomiting, diarrhea and other ailments.
  • Unfortunately, a lot of the cow milk industry is deeply harmful to our health. The use of antibiotics and other chemicals pumped into the animals before milk extraction means that we ourselves are absorbing these chemicals. The health impacts are many.

Source reference: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/best-milk-substitutes#section1