I’m not a fan of milk or anything that comes from a cow. I’ve written several posts on why I don’t recommend anyone consume dairy. Let’s look at the facts:
- We are the only being on the plant to drink the milk of another being.
- We are the only being on the plant to drink milk past infancy.
- Milk contains a protein called casein which is used in industrial glue and paint.
But don’t be downhearted – I’m going to give you plenty of options of what you can drink instead that are far healthier for you.
A word about casein
The micellar structure of casein protein is different in that when you disrupt it from its suspension in milk, it will clot together. This process occurs in cheese-making and in your intestines after you consume milk. (This is probably why eating cheese promotes the development of cellulite! Read the 2 secrets to getting rid of cellulite) The clotting of casein protein enables it to break down slowly in your body, releasing amino acids continuously into your bloodstream over several hours. Because of slow breakdown, your body retains a high amount of the nitrogen from the casein.
The cows are rarely left to graze in their natural environment of grass and instead kept in very small confined spaces making them more susceptible to developing mastitis which they are then given antibiotics for. They are also given hormones which make the cow produce more milk at a faster rate and sadly the growth hormone IGF-1 occurs that naturally in milk makes it very pro-inflammatory and encourages cancer cells to grow. Milk from cows is treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) which contains higher concentrations and can increase levels in the body. So you can see why I’m really not a fan at all!
Okay, so you know why dairy is scary, What about other milks like Soy, Oat, Rice milk?
Soy products (milk, soy sauce) and tofu have been touted as the healthy alternative for those that do not wish to eat meat but the truth is, soy is not good for you. The soybean contains aflatoxins, known to be carcinogenic and when soy is processed in the western world, the aflatoxin remains in tact, making it harmful to the body. It also contains a lot of phyoestrogens and antinutrients; the latter which prevents the body from absorbing nutrients. Some organic fermented soy products are fine in moderation, but beware 99% of soy is genetically modified. According to “The Whole Soy Story”, many studies link soy to cancer, malnutrition, thyroid dysfunction and more.
I love almond milk and it’s a great alternative to dairy and soy milk. But it’s the shop bought almond milk that can be problematic. Many ready-made almond milks contain carageenan – a derivative of seaweed which can cause problems in the body’s GI tract so if you have any problems such as bloating or IBS, stay away! (fyi carageenan is also used in some other products such as dairy, cottage cheese etc.) The alternative? Make nut milk at home. Find out how here.
Rice milk and Oat Milk
These milks can be difficult for people to digest thanks to their starch content and watch out for the use of carageenan.
What about Calcium?
The dairy industry are one of the smartest in the world as they have convinced nearly everyone that you need to drink dairy for calcium. They have created this irrational fear that if you don’t get enough calcium from consuming dairy, that you will develop osteoporosis. Interesting fact: as milk consumption is on the rise, so is the number of people suffering with osteoporosis.Oh and the dairy undustry is also the most finanically abundant in the world.
One of the reasons you put yourself more at risk of developing osteoporosis by drinking milk is because it is so acidic in your body that in order to neutralise it to make it more adaptable in the body, calcium is leached your bones for this process so rather than putting calcium in, you’re actually taking it out.
There are plenty of plant-food sources you can get your calcium from. These foods contain the highest amount of calcium:
- Sesame seeds
- Kale and leafy greens
- Boy choy
- Swiss chard
- Brazil nuts
I know what you’re thinking, so what milk can I drink? The answer: NUT MILK! See this infographic we made to help guide you through the process of making it.
A Variation on making
Many people like to put the sweetener in with the nuts at the beginning of the process so if you’d prefer to do this to save time, then you can. The reason I do it this way round where I put it back in the blender is that I like the vanilla to come through more as I find if I put it in first, I lose the flavour in the nuts which end up being discarded or used at a later date. Plus I also sometimes like to add a scoop of LucyBee coconut butter to it for a creamier milk. (but beware when you come to use it again out of the fridge it will be a little hard so take it out to “defrost” for 10 mins before using.)
Important note: Discard the soak water. As this contains the enzyme inhibitor that we are trying to remove, definitely do not use this as it will cause you stomach problems.
A word about soaking
Like any living thing, the nut has a protective shield to keep it safe in nature. This is called an enzyme inhibitor which protects the nut but it can cause some problems with digestion and assimilation in the body. So by soaking the nut, we can break down the inhibitor making it easier to digest and therefore more nutritious.
General rule: soak nuts by putting them in a bowl covering them with water and leave them on the counter or in the fridge:
Soaking times can vary:
- Almonds – 8-12 hours
- Brazil – 2 hours
- Cashews – 2 hours
- Hazelnuts – 2 hours
- Hemp seeds – no need to soak
- Pecans – 4-6 hours
- Pumpkins seeds – 4-6 hours
- Walnuts – 6-8 hours
I use milks as a way to load up on nutrients and as you will see from the bottom of the infographic, different milks are good for different things so if I feel like I need a top of zinc for example, I’ll make pumpkin seed milk.
Any milk can be used from any nut or seed.
What’s your favourite nut milk to make? Tell me in the comments below and do share this with your friends!