Over the past 40 years, the number of people choosing to drink milk made from nuts, soy milk, and even vegetables such as peas has increased dramatically in all markets. Consumers are looking for an alternative to cow’s milk that tastes just as good, can be used to make different foods, is lactose-free, and does not raise the ethical and environmental concerns of cow’s milk.
The market for plant-based drinks varies from country to country, but it is a fact that the consumption of plant-based alternatives is growing all over the world. There is even a world day dedicated to plant-based milk! World Plant Milk Day is normally celebrated in August to celebrate a healthy, ecological and sustainable alternative to cow’s milk.
In the market there is milk made with almost any nut you can think of: almond, walnut, hazelnut, oatmeal, peanut, cashew, and even tiger drinks are already common in supermarkets. It has never been so easy and convenient to find alternatives to cow’s milk (especially dried fruit) anywhere. Plus, it’s easy to make your nut milk at home.
Personal preferences can be quite varied and some people do not like the taste of cow’s milk or other dairy products.
Those who are against the dairy industry say that it is an unethical option and therefore seek an alternative that fits their values and beliefs.
Commercial farming can have a huge environmental impact, which is why some people concerned about global warming or who want to reduce their environmental footprint choose to give up cow’s milk. A glass of cow’s milk produces almost three times more greenhouse gases than vegetable alternatives.
Many people are lactose intolerant (up to 75% of the world’s population, reaching 90% in certain countries) and therefore seek alternatives to cow’s milk.
Cow’s milk is not a healthy option for some, so they prefer nut drinks.
Veganism is on the rise, as is the number of vegan products on the market and people wanting to cut back on meat and dairy.
Unsweetened almond and cashew milk have almost half the calories of skim milk. They can be a good alternative for those who want to control or reduce their calorie intake. It also helps reduce your intake of sugar from lactose, which in turn reduces your calorie intake.
Plant-based drinks are also a good source of vitamin E and are often fortified with vitamin D. Fortified plant-based drinks offer nutritional benefits similar to those of cow’s milk, so from a dietary perspective they do their job; however, their phosphorus content is quite low, so they are not the ideal choice if you suffer from heart disease or bone disease. Vegetable drinks are not recommended for children and babies, since they need the nutrients and calories than cow’s milk provides.
One of the weak points of vegetable drinks is the price. Supermarket vegetable drinks can cost twice as much as cow’s milk. Even if you have a coffee in a bar with vegetable drinks it will usually cost more. Making your plant-based drink at home can be cheaper than buying it ready-made, and you don’t need any special tools.
But how do you make plant milk at home? It is much easier than you think.
It’s perfect if you want to reduce the number of processed foods in your diet but also make it convenient for your lifestyle. That way you’ll know exactly what it’s made of because you made it.
Almond milk is a very popular choice. It is relatively easy to find in the supermarket and many people like its taste. It contains about 1 g of protein per glass compared to 8 g of cow’s milk. Also, the fat in almond milk is considered healthy.
Making vegetable milk with raw vegetable cream is very easy: you just have to add water to the vegetable cream and beat it until it acquires the desired consistency. This saves you the process of soaking the nuts and filtering them, but it can be a bit more expensive. This method will give you tastier milk, so be aware that it may not go well with cereal. If you feel like it, add a touch of flavor (such as vanilla, maple syrup, or salt) to the almond milk and mix it in.
In addition to being a basic in any fridge to get out of a pinch, it will also help you make many recipes if you prepare enough quantity. We tell you how to make buttermilk with almond milk, that is, vegan buttermilk.
Pour the lemon juice into a jug and add 250 ml of soy milk.
Let it rest for a minute so that the vegan buttermilk thickens and sets. You can also make a fluffy almond milk dessert cream: there are several different methods of making almond milk whipped cream to your liking. You can mix it with milk or coconut cream, add sugar and vanilla flavoring or thicken it with agar and cornstarch.
Although almond milk is probably one of the most popular plant-based drinks that can be made at home, many other less popular types can be made as well. There are many recipes to make milk from macadamia nuts, peanuts, and even tiger nuts.
You can store it in the fridge for 4-5 days or up to a month in the freezer. Although we are talking about drinks with nuts, did you know that it is also very easy to make your soy milk? It can be frozen and stored in the same way (in case you are interested, homemade soy milk lasts the same as almond milk). Homemade almond milk tastes best fresh and may need to be shaken before drinking if the ingredients separate a bit.
If you are interested in knowing how to make walnut, hazelnut, or cashew milk, know that the method is the same. All you have to do is soak the nuts, shake them and filter them to obtain a delicious homemade vegetable drink. Did you know that you can make almond milk with almond cream? In this way, you will reduce a laborious process to a few minutes. The great thing about making your homemade almond milk is that while it will probably take you a whole day (taking into account filtration time, etc.), you don’t have to do anything so you don’t have to worry about it.
Coconut milk is slightly sweeter and more liquid than cow’s milk, but it provides many nutrients. It contains fiber and vitamins C, E, and B along with magnesium and calcium. It does not have lactose, but it does not contain many proteins either. If you usually get your protein intake from milk, you may need to consider increasing your protein intake from other sources.
Cashew milk contains calcium and vitamins A, E, and D. It is very low in calories, but also relatively low in nutrients and protein. Keep in mind that cashew milk is often sweetened, so if you want to control your calorie and/or sugar intake, you’ll be better off looking for another type of non-dairy milk or a sugar-free version.
It is one of the types of vegetable milk that we most like to drink and prepare. It’s super creamy and, like many other plant-based drinks available, can be mixed with many different flavors.
So how do you make cashew milk? Very easy, the steps are the same as for almond milk. And, how long does homemade cashew milk last? It lasts 3-4 days in the fridge and about a month if you freeze it.
Finally, let’s talk about the tiger nut. For starters, it’s not a nut. It is a tuber (like the sweet potato), but smaller and with stripes. It comes from a plant called hazelnut sedge (Cyperus esculentus). Tigernuts are the size of a marble and quite hard; their flavor is reminiscent of almond or walnut.
If you don’t know what tiger nuts are, you should know that their popularity grew a couple of years ago when it became known that they are a superfood rich in magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin E. In addition, they are full of starch fiber, It helps you feel full for longer, which is why tiger nuts are said to help maintain a healthy weight. There are even those who say that they are an aphrodisiac if they are drunk and there are numerous articles on the Internet about how to make a drink from tiger nuts with dates. Tigernut milk can also be prepared at home.
In summary, plant milk is beneficial for health, it is easy to find in supermarkets and can be made at home. It is not surprising that its consumption is increasing now that people are looking for alternatives to cow’s milk, be it for health, ethical, or personal choice reasons.