“Milk” does not have to come from an animal. There are plants, seeds and grains that you can “milk” and transform into a tasty, creamy liquid. You’ve probably seen a handful or so of various nondairy milk options (almond, soy, coconut) at your local health-minded store. Milk alternatives are great and all, but did you know you could make your own, fresh plant-based milk at home? The process is rather simple. And one of the major benefits of milking plants, etc. at home? You are in control of all the ingredients you ingest.
Nuts, seeds and grains
You can milk most seeds, nuts and grains. Vegetarian Times recently published a simple recipe that’s applicable to most grains, nuts and seeds:
Basic Plant-Based “Milk” via Vegetarian Times
1 cup nuts, grains, or seeds
3 cups filtered water
3 tbs. sweetener (maple syrup, raw agave, raw honey, coconut sugar), or 3-4 pitted dates, or stevia to taste
1 tbs. coconut butter (optional, for texture
1 tbs. non-GM soy, or sunflower lecithin (optional, to emulsify and add creaminess
1 tsp. natural vanilla extract
Pinch of Celtic sea salt (optional, to bring out flavors)
1. Soak nuts, grains, or seeds (for detailed instructions, go here.)
2. Drain. Rinse, and place in blender with 3 cups filtered water. Add remaining ingredients. Blend on high until fully liquefied (about 1 minute).
3. If you want to drink the milk immediately, add ice cubes to cool the milk.
4. Strain the liquid with a nut milk bag (if desired). Milk will keep for two days stored in a sealed glass jar in the fridge.
Yield: makes 3-4 cups milk
Other types of plant-based milks to consider:
According to the FDA, 25 grams of soy protein (consumed every day) may decrease the risk of heart disease when combined with a low cholesterol and fat diet. If you do decide to make soy milk, make certain you use non-genetically modified soy, and consume in moderation.
If you’re lactose intolerant, coconut milk may be easier to digest. Also, coconut milk is pretty darn healthy: it contains low levels of sodium and cholesterol. It also contains 50 percent of the recommended daily dosage of vitamin B12, and medium-chain fatty acids.