Milk from dairies is known for their health benefits for centuries. Milk is considered rich in calcium and this fact have been used as a defense by all others to make their children a gulp a glass full daily, whether they like it or not. Rich in calcium, milk are seen as a bone building elixir which was essential for every kid while growing up.
This elixir however does not suit all. While some are lactose intolerant, some just cannot understand its taste. People who do not like milk for its taste take defense of researches made against use of milk which suggest various reasons why milk can be unhealthy for you. A similar articles issued by PETA on its website have suggested that studies have shown intake of regular/dairy milk increases the risk of broken bones, increases cholesterol, have saturated fat, cause acne and may even cause prostate and ovarian cancer.
If you are lactose intolerant or are having second thoughts about milk after reading a bunch of articles on internet which conclude that milk from dairies is bad for you, welcome to the healthier world of non-dairy milk.
What Is Non Dairy Milk?
Non dairy milk is, technically speaking plant-based milk, which is extracted from natural sources like fruits or grains rather than mammary glands of an animal. Non-dairy milk usually contains more than one ingredient which is blended well to extract a similar taste and consistency to dairy milk. Currently non dairy milk extracted from various ingredients are available. Nuts, soy, coconut, oats, you name them. If you are lactose intolerant or do not like the regular milk, you can go nuts over these milks which are extracted from nuts, Get it?
7 Best Healthiest Non-Dairy Milk Types
Various Non-Dairy Milk Substitute That Are Available
1- Milk from Nuts: Most of the Nut milk are made in the same way and needs almost the same ingredients; your preferred nuts, water and flavoring agent if you desire so. The process is also the same; soak the nuts overnight, puree them in the morning, strain the milk, dilute with water and add flavor of your choice. Salt is the most common flavoring agent used in nut milk.
Nut milk are light and easier to digest, taste great, are low on calories and contain no saturated fat or cholesterol. Most importantly nut milk is lactose free. Wait there is one more important thing, Nut milk need not to be refrigerated. Nut milk is also rich in Vitamin E, Vitamin D, magnesium, Zinc, Potassium and other vitamins and nutrients. Nut milk is beneficial for people with heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
Almond is the most used nut to make nut milk. Cashew, Macadamia Nuts, Brazil Nuts, Hazelnut, pecan and pistachios are also used to make milk. There are some changes in nutrient content with change in nuts.
2- Rice Milk: Rice milk is extracted from boiled rice which is mixed with brown rice starch and syrup. Sugar and vanilla as flavor agent can be used. Inclusion of vanilla gives more cow milk’s taste. As compared to dairy milk, rice milk is low on calcium but is light. No-cholesterol makes it good for your heart. Rice milk is full of antioxidants and Vitamin C. However high carbohydrate values make it a bad option for diabetic patients.
3- Quinoa Milk: Quinoa is a gluten free grain cultivated first in ancient Bolivia. The fact that it is organic and gluten free have made it famous among the health conscious circuit. This healthy grain is cholesterol free and packs a punch with iron. Milk extracted from boiled quinoa has same nutrient benefits as quinoa itself. Vitamin B, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Iron, Phosphorous, Potassium, Zinc, to name a few. This gluten free, low on carbohydrate milk is good for heart patients and diabetic patients.
4- Hemp Milk: Hemp belongs to the cannabis family and is close relative to marijuana, so do not confuse it with marijuana. Hemp seeds are used in different way in form of powder, milk, juice or eaten raw. Hemp milk is made by grounding hemp seeds (also known as hemp hearts) and straining the pulp with water. Hemp Milk has Vitamin B, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc and more. With no cholesterol, it is good for the heart and body.
5- Oat Milk: Soak, Blend, Strain! Making Oat milk is as simple as that. Once, used as animal fodder, Oats have found itself on the shelves of healthy dieters in no time. Milk extracted from oat is rich in calcium and no cholesterol. Low on fat, Oat milk has Vitamin A more than regular milk. Many B vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin A, potassium, phosphorus and more. Like oats, Oat milk is good for your heart and stomach.
6- Coconut Milk: Coconut Milk is rich in Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorous. Lauric acid is also found in coconut milk which has antibacterial and antiviral activities. Coconut milk is good for your heart as it lowers blood pressure; helps lose weight and keep you energized. Coconut milk is extracted from grated coconut. You can just blend the grated coconut in a blender (I use my Ninja Kitchen System) and then strain it using a fine cloth to get the extract.
7- Soy Milk: Making soy milk takes some time. Soybeans has to be soaked in boiling water for 6-7 hours and when it gets cooled down, the water is drained, beans are blended and strained to be mixed with water to get soy milk. Good for heart soy milk do not have cholesterol and helps reduce the overall cholesterol level. Soy Milk also contains Vitamin D, VItamin A, VItamin C, Vitamin B, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and more nutrients. After regular milk, soy milk is mostly preferred. However people who have soy allergy should avoid consuming soy milk.
There are many healthy and delicious substitutes out there for people who are not willing to consume regular/dairy milk. All options vary in taste and vary in nutritional values. So try as many as you can before deciding your preferable choice of non dairy milk or maybe you can just keep rotating as per your mood. Just make sure you watch out for nut or soy allergy before trying them out.