Milk substitutes have become a hot topic of the world of health and wellness trends. Whether you suffer from a dairy allergy or have simply decided to drop dairy altogether, these seven milk substitutes taste so good you won’t even miss the cow’s milk you used to drink!
Almond milk is one of the most popular milk substitutes in the health world right now and for good reason! Almonds have an incredible amount of calcium, containing up to 45% RDA. That’s 15% more than skim milk, which at most has 30% of your daily calcium needs. There are plenty of ways to get calcium other than animal dairy products. Almond milk is a perfect example.
Rice milk is another great substitute because it works for a variety of allergies. Whether you have an allergy to soy, cow’s milk, or nut milks, most people can handle rice and rice-based products. Most rice milks you buy are fortified with vitamins A and D and minerals like calcium, so you won’t need to worry about nutritional deficiencies.
Hemp milk is one of the best, but often misunderstood milk substitutes. Hemp often gets a bad rep for being connected to the potent marijuana plant. But rest assured that hemp and hemp products won’t get you stoned! Hemp milk is actually a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, the kind of fatty acids that promote heart health, shiny hair, and clear skin.
Coconut products have become increasingly popular with eating regimes like the Paleo diet and the Primal diet. A natural fat burner and metabolism enhancer, coconut milk could kick start your weight loss efforts. Remember there are two types of coconut milk: the super thick and full-fat coconut milk that comes in a can, and the cartons of coconut milk you can find in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. I personally recommend canned coconut milk for soups and stews and carton coconut milk for everyday foods like cereal, smoothies, etc.
I know wheat/grains/carbs have gotten a bad rap lately, but that doesn’t mean you should completely eliminate them from your diet. Oats have incredible healing powers as they improve heart health and boost immunity. Oat milk is thus a great choice and milk substitute. Keep in mind that although oats are gluten-free, often they get contaminated with wheat in the processing. If you follow a gluten-free diet, look for gluten-free oat milk—or buy your own gluten free oats and make it yourself!
Macadamia nuts are no longer a decadent treat in your favorite cookie recipe. Macadamia nuts are actually very rich in omega 3s and trace minerals like copper, magnesium, and selenium. If you have trouble finding it at your local grocer or health food store, you can even make it yourself by soaking macadamia nuts overnight, then blending with a little water and straining through a cheese cloth.
I know this last one sounds kind of unconventional. This is a technique I learned from one of my favorite raw foodists Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram. Kristina makes her own raw and vegan banana milk by simply blending 1 banana with some water to make a creamy and frothy milk substitute for a variety of dishes. Use as much or as little water as you like to suit your tastes.
Milk substitutes are a lot more tasty and fun than you’d think! There are a ton of options, so pick what works for you! What are some of your favorite milk substitutes?
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