Why Plant Milks
As we do our best to cause least harm to ourselves, other living beings and the planet through our dietary and lifestyles choices, it makes sense to start with daily choices that can make the transition to more conscious living gentle and enjoyable. Replacing dairy milk for a plant based alternative is a simple step that has far reaching impact.
At current estimates, it takes 1020 litres of water to produce one litre of cow’s milk. In certain parts of the world, dairy farmers are given license to kill endangered wildlife that are native to their allocated land and biodiversity, ecology and natural balance are destroyed. Conventional milk is produced by cows fed an unnatural diet of pesticide laden crops which transfer heavy metals into the milk, cause damage to the environment and agricultural workers and are harvested in place of naturally growing forests. As the dairy industry grows, the demand for grain and soy increases and over twice as much of these products are grown per year to be fed to cows than could feed the entire world over.
Cow’s only produce milk for their young so in order for humans to have access to it, cows need to be constantly impregnated and their calves taken from them within a few days of birth when they are either killed, sold for veal or raised for dairy. These cows are often dealing with mastitis due to over milking and the inflammatory immune cells that form pus are passed into the milk that reaches the consumer at about 1,120,000 cells per spoonful. On top of this it is claimed by many physicians that dairy causes disease in humans who are inclined towards lactose intolerance from the age of two years old and up as the need for breast milk wanes. This is aside from the damage done to the human body by consistently consuming animal hormones.
It also pays to question the knowledge that reaches us in the form of government funded health advice. Billions of dollars are spent every year in the Western world on studies and research proving the benefits of animals products that we know by now the body cannot deal with in large or frequent quantities. The meat and dairy, diet and pharmaceutical industries make vast profits from confused and unwell societies struggling to live healthy lives on the advice of the marketing information that reaches them every day.
Equipment and Ingredients
Luckily, seeking out alternatives and making them at home are easier than ever. To make dairy free homemade milks that can be used in hot drinks, smoothies, breakfasts, baking and more, all that’s needed are:
- A nut milk bag
- A blender
- Nuts, seeds or grains of choice
- Filtered water
Milks can be sweetened and flavoured to taste and the base recipes are quick and simple to make and will last refrigerated in airtight containers for 3-5 days, only requiring a good shake before use.
Blend nuts/ seeds/ grains with water in a blender for 30-60 seconds. Soaking nuts, seeds and grains for at least 8 hours beforehand will make them easier to blend and more digestible but this is not an essential step and store bought plant milks are not made from pre-soaked ingredients. It is important to rinse any pre-soaked ingredients before blending.
If you want to sweeten or flavour the milk, also add a pinch of Himalayan salt, 2-3 pitted medjool dates, vanilla bean or cinnamon.
Once blended, strain into a large bowl or jug through a nut milk bag, a third or half at a time. This is the milking process and removes fibre to render a smooth and filtered milk.
This decadent creamy milk is perfect for smoothies, porridge, chia pudding and baking.
Blend 1 cup almonds with 3 cups water.
This light, subtly flavoured milk is ideal for use in tea and coffee and on cereal.
Blend ⅓ cup oats with 4 cups water.
This surprisingly creamy and nutty milk is delicious as a nut milk replacement, particularly when used in place of almond milk.
Blend ½ cup sunflower seeds with 3 cups water.
Brazil Nut Milk
This flavoursome milk is extremely creamy and adds a great depth of flavour to lattes, hot chocolates and baked goods.
Blend 1 cup brazil nuts with 5 cups water.
Macadamia Nut Milk
This is a brilliant all round milk, that tastes delicious, is light yet creamy and naturally sweet.
Blend 1 cup macadamia nuts with 3½ cups water.