With the growing trend in demand for plant based food and drinks, the industry is seeing significant growth in new products – which is fantastic news for those of us seeking great alternatives to dairy.
22 August 2017 saw the worlds first Plant Milk Day, which was splashed across social media to help raise awareness of the many choices of plant based milks that are now hitting our supermarket shelves including:
- Soya, sweetened, unsweetened, organic, toddler milk and even professional barista milk for coffee lovers
- Almond, organic and others
- With more coming or available in other countries such as Flax or Pea!
With this much choice, there is a plant based milk for everyone and every recipe or drink!
Which milk is best, in my opinion, will depend on what you want to use it for and personal taste so I would recommend trying a number of them to find your favourites.
For me, I like soya in a latte, hemp on my cereal or in tea, almond for a change, oat as a hot chocolate, rice in cooking and coconut in a beetroot or turmeric latte! but my favourite of all plant based milks are the ones I make myself.
Making plant milk is SO EASY as long as you have a powerful blender, making nut milks can be a super simple process. You can also use a food processor but you would need to blend a couple of times at least to get the same kind of results:
- You will need 1 cup of nuts, almond, cashew or brazil are great – but any will work
- Soak the nuts overnight or for at least a couple of hours in advance, then drain this water
- Add 2 cups of fresh water, 1/2 tsp of salt – himalayan would be my choice and a pitted date or two if you prefer it sweet
- Blend all together until it is a smooth liquid which is about 2 minutes, I use my Vitamix but any powerful blender will work
- It is likely you will have some small grains of nut in the milk, which you may prefer to remove by pouring the milk through a fine mesh ‘nut bag’ and then squeeze as much as possible to get all the milk out
- Top Tip: You can save the ‘nut meal’ which will be left in the bag, put in the freezer and use for other recipes
This milk will be utterly delicious, so its unlikely it will hang around in the fridge for long but it would keep for a couple of days.
To make a yogurt, its the same process but use half of the water in the recipe above too!
So buy or make? well it comes down to personal choice.
To make is very quick and easy to get amazing fresh milk and for me the significant advantages of this include:
- Knowing EXACTLY what goes into it, no preservatives, colours or funny stuff!
- Also, as long as I have a nuts in my cupboard – which I always do – then I can never run out of milk!
- You can make it in minutes. Although it is best to soak nuts overnight, it is also possible to make the milk using the dry nuts if you forget to soak. Soaking will help make better milk but isn’t essential
- Buying nuts in bulk, will make it inexpensive
To buy is very convenient and there is a wide choice of flavours and types, so you easily explore which you prefer.
Overall plant based milks are fantastic and with so many to choose from, you are sure to find which ones are right for you. Making your own soya or rice milk is easy enough, but from my experience it is just a lot easier to buy – whereas the nut milks are SO MUCH nicer fresh made. Whichever you choose, the best bit is no animals involved and much lower impact on the environment!
Which is your favourite?