Yes, the supermarket shelves are loaded with dairy-free milk options now, however, not only are they expensive, the main ingredient – like almond, is less than 10% of the total ingredients and mostly in a processed, not whole food form. There are also a lot of additives (like synthetic cheap vitamins), and even if it’s “sugar free” there are emulsifiers (often fats that need to be refrigerated, not left on the shelf to oxidise), sweeteners and unfermented soy that are shown to be inflammatory, allergenic and just totally unnecessary in our diet. Coconut milk seems to be the safest option. Ecomil seems to be one of the cleanest brands that I find here – but always read the labels!
Here are some quick and easy home-made recipes – you can flavour them, sweeten them, sieve them with muslin or milk bags, or enjoy the pulp. Note that nut and seed milks only last 2-3 days in the fridge, and the banana one will go brown if not used up asap! They are all bursting with nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, not like those in the supermarkets.
Excellent plant-based protein and rich in omega 3
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds
- 3-4 cups water (use less water for thicker, creamier milk)
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 whole date, pitted (or 1 Tbsp maple syrup) optional
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract optional
- Blend in high speed blender for about a minute, strain or pour directly into a container and refrigerate
Rich in Vitamin E, supporting the skin
- 1 cup almonds in skins or blanched, soaked overnight
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 1 tbsp lecithin granules (optional to emulsify)
- Strain and, rinse almonds. Put all ingredients in blender wiz for a few minutes then strain through fine sieve or a milk bag
Supporting cardiovascular health
- 1 cup of cashews, soaked overnight
- 4 cups of water (plus any sweeteners)
- 1tsp vanilla essence or a scraped vanilla pod
- Pinch of salt
- Drain and rinse cashews. Place into a high-speed blender and add the remaining ingredients. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes or until the milk is smooth and creamy.
- Place the cashew milk in a storage container and refrigerate. Option to sieve.
Post-workout, naturally sweet, rich in minerals. This is a nut-free option!
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup water
- Optional Ingredients: vanilla extract, chia or flax seeds, nut butter, cinnamon or nutmeg
- Pinch of sea salt
- Add bananas, water and any optional ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend for one minute. Serve immediately and enjoy.
Using gluten-free oats if needed, high in zinc, magnesium, iron, B vitamins and manganese
- 3 cups water
- 1 medjool date
- ½ cup organic rolled oats (or if using steel cut oats, they should be soaked), well rinsed
- Pinch of salt
- If using for your coffee add 1tsp coconut oil
- Add water and date to blender and blend until it is broken down.
- Add the oats, salt and coconut oil, blend until creamy, about 30 seconds
- Sieve through a milk bag or fine strainer.
Matcha Milk: Add 1 heaped tbsp matcha and 1 tbsp of maple syrup, honey or 3 dates
Chocolate Milk: Add 1 tbsp cacao powder and 1 tbsp of maple syrup, honey or 3 dates
About the author
Suzanne is a Nutritional Therapist trained in London at College of Naturopathic medicine. She has 25 years experience as a chef and recently trained in raw foods, at a gourmet level with Matthew Kenney.
Suzanne’s business is Vital Nutrition which she founded in 2008. She offers private consultancies focusing on diet and lifestyle improvements supporting patients on their journey to optimum health.
Her regular cookery workshops are delicious, fun and educational and her cooking skills are available to private clients, on retreats and for chef training.