Healthier alternatives to milk are a huge deal right now. You can find several non-dairy alternatives to milk at any given grocery store! It’s a wonderful thing!
Why not REAL milk?
Cow’s milk is breast milk to grow baby cows into two-ton animals, It was never originally intended to be consumed by humans. I believe cutting dairy is one of the most important things people can do to feel better. It’s life changing! This article has more reasons why you should cut dairy, and it links to several more within it. In our own family, this has been the #1 biggest success story for each one of us, as is the case in many people’s homes! Maybe even yours!
And I wish we could all just go to the store and grab a carton of milk alternative and call it a day. But unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect system. These alternatives still contain many questionable added toxic ingredients.
I’ll briefly list them here…
Gums and Gelatins
These ingredients can have highly adverse effects on your gut over time.
But is making alternative milks yourself too much work?
Yes it is one extra thing you have to do. I’m not going to sit here and lie to you about that, it does take additional effort, and often I do wish I didn’t have to do ONE MORE THING! So I give myself grace. I will allow store-bought milks into the house, if you find them non-gmo and organic and purchase unsweetened versions – hey, there are ways to make that ingredients list look a little less offensive. So give yourself some grace.
But know this – the TINY bit of extra effort is so worth it. YOU are worth it! Your HEALTH is worth it! Never reach for the junk just because it’s “easy”. Show your body The respect it deserves.
But ultimately, the healthiest way to ensure you’re getting a good clean version of a milk alternative is to do it yourself.
Honestly, you can make “milk” out of anything. Blend it with water… it will probably turn creamy white…and there you have it. Crazy, right? It seems like the most popular “milks” are almond, soy, and coconut. We won’t dive into why one may be better than another, everyone has a preference.
But I typically choose a nut-free “milk” for myself and my family, especially for my kiddos.
So without further ado, these are my three current favorite milk DIYs! What makes these three even better, is that they’re safe for little toddlers! A great way to keep them hydrated and provide a little nutrient boost in the meantime.
- 1/4 c raw shelled hemp seeds
- 24oz filtered water
- 1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 Tbs maple syrup or a few drops of stevia (raw pure stevia, NOT Truvia or other store brand alternative)
Blend all ingredients together for about 30 seconds in a high-speed blender. Strain the seed pulp out with a cheesecloth or nut milk bag. Store in refrigerator – some sources say it’s good in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, I wouldn’t know because we always use it up in less time than that. Ha! But when you take it out of the fridge, give it a good shake before pouring.
Honestly, I usually just blend the hemp seeds and water, and that’s it! The other ingredients are just for fun, or if you need the extra sweetener. Hemp does have a strong seedy flavor. This recipe is awesome, and I use it so very often for most of my non-dairy needs. And it’s kid-safe! That’s the best part.
Hemp packs a big nutritional punch. They’re actually an excellent source of Omega 3s, and essential vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, folate, even B vitamins!… Hemp will ALSO probably promote good healthy bowel movements in your kids – just saying! But if you have a problem with this in your home, cutting out dairy may be your savior. That was the GAME CHANGER in our home, seriously.
Great for: baking, cooking, drinking, cereals, even in coffee and tea! Can be heated.
- 1 cup steel-cut oats
- 3 cups filtered water
- 1.5-2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener or pitted dates), to taste
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- scant 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt (enhances flavor)
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (optional, but nice)
This recipe is from Oh She Glows, Homemade Oat Milk, Easy fast cheap. This is my favorite recipe, and I love Angela Lidden’s blog and cookbooks and all things “Oh She Glows”, so I’ll promote her any day!
Great for: pretty much anything, but *Do not heat oat milk if you want it to stay liquid! It will goop up.
Literally, all this recipe is, is a ripe spotted banana and water.
1 Banana (quite ripe) per 8-10 oz of water, and blend in a high-speed blender. DONE.
This recipe is perfectly delicious poured over oatmeal or dry cereal. It’s also great to give to your toddler in a cup! A great way to sweeten the deal when keeping busy little ones hydrated. It obviously has a rich banana flavor, so not everyone will adore it as much as we do, but it’s seriously an awesome alternative for many things.
What is your favorite milk alternative?
Let me know in the comments below!