While I don’t believe dairy is necessarily bad for everyone, there is an increasing number of people with dairy intolerances and allergies out there, myself included.
Dairy can cause excess mucous production and inflammation in the body, which can cause some serious tummy issues, exacerbate skin conditions (such as acne, psoriasis) and make you prone to infections (ear, throat, and sinus infections).
In many ways, removing dairy from your diet can be difficult, especially if you grew up drinking milk and eating cheese and ice cream, but going dairy free is not as hard as you may think, especially where milk is concerned.
Head to any grocery store and you’ll see loads of options on the shelf, rice milk, oat milk, almond milk, coconut milk. So which is best and which brands to choose?
Personally, I steer away from grain-based milk, because they’re basically sugary starch in a container. I consider almond milk or other nut milk, coconut milk and tigernut milk to be the best options, both for in taste and nutrition value. Here’s the scoop on each:
So is all almond milk created equal? Not exactly. Unfortunately, most of the stuff found on the shelf is loaded with preservatives such as carrageenan, but more importantly contain very little almonds at all. So if you must buy the store bought variety once in a while, that’s cool, but please try making our own at least once! It’s actually easier than you might think and the taste is really not comparable to the store bought stuff.
ALMOND MILK RECIPE
- 1 cup of Almonds
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt (plus ½ tsp for soaking)
- 4 cups of water ( + 2 more for soaking)
Place almonds, 2 cups of filtered water and a dash of sea salt in a medium bowl. Soak overnight to remove anti-nutrients.
Drain and rinse.
Place almonds, 4 cups of water, vanilla and sea salt in a blender. Blend for about 5 min minute, or until milky consistency. Strain milk through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth.
Voila, fresh almond milk! Lasts for up to 7 days.
Save the pulp to make healthy muffins!
PS – this recipe can also be used to make cashew milk! Yum!
Coconut milk is my personal favourite milk alternative. While there are many coconut milk brands out there, I think that most of the ‘pourable’ variety is terrible, so I go the canned or powdered coconut milk route. It’s so much creamier and delicious!
COCONUT MILK / CREAMER RECIPE:
- 1 cup organic powder coconut milk (wilderness family naturals is the brand to buy) or 1 can of full-fat canned coconut milk (choose a BPA Free can – Earth Choice is my favourite)
- 4 cups of water (1 cup for the canned coconut milk
- 1tsp sea salt
- 6 tbsp. Great Lakes Hydrolysate gelatin (optional)
In a med saucepan, mix coconut milk powder, water, and salt. Allow water to come to a low simmer, for about 5min. Once well incorporated take off heat, and add gelatin. Mix to incorporate.
Let cool and enjoy throughout the week!
Coconut milk is a great source of fiber as well as healthy fat.
A tigernut may sound like it comes from a nut, but it’s not a nut at all. It’s a root veggie, so it’s grain free, gluten free, dairy free and nut free.
This stuff is an awesome alternative because it has a very similar sweetness of milk with a slightly nuttier taste.
The great thing about this ‘milk’ is that it’s loaded with prebiotic fiber, making it very gut friendly and is also a great source of iron and magnesium.
It’s not readily available in all stores yet, but you can find it in many health food stores in the milk or Kombucha section.
Try these out for yourself and let me know which is your favourite!
Feeling lost when it comes to your health, weight loss, and your relationship to food? Daniela is a health coach & personal trainer, you can read more about her on her bio page, or reach out to her at [email protected]