Have you noticed how many plant milks are available on the market today? It’s no surprise – the demand for non-dairy milks is growing, with sales up more than 60% over the past five years.
Of course this is bad news for dairy farmers. According to this article in the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal, Wisconsin lost 500 dairy farms in 2017, and so far this year, nearly 350 have stopped milking cows. The American Dairy Coalition continue their lobby efforts to persuade the FDA to stop allowing the definition of “milk” to include plant-based beverages. The topic remains a contentious issue.
If you consume plant-based milks, such as almond, cashew, coconut, soy, rice, hemp, oat, and others, which are your healthiest options?
This article by Dr. Thomas Campbell lists the pros and cons of different varieties and offers advice about their use. We personally use plant milks on cereal, oatmeal, and in baking/cooking, with unsweetened almond milk being our preference. Because soy and coconut milks are higher in fat, they work better in “creamy” soup recipes; but if you do purchase soy milk, be sure it’s organic.
Of course, you can always make your own plant-based milks very easily in your blender – there are dozens of recipes online. This one has worked for us (when I’m in the mood to make it): 4-1/4 cups water, 2 TBS almond butter, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1/8 tsp. salt. Blend until smooth and drain through a paint strainer to remove the grit. Store in jars and shake before use.