The 5 Ingredients To Avoid In Store Bought Nut Milks
I don’t personally believe there is any one right or wrong answer for which ‘milk’ is the perfect choice, as we are all biochemically unique and thrive on different things. I do, however, believe in rotation. If you eat or drink the same thing everyday, it is going to get boring and you are limiting the variety of nutrients available to you. So go “nuts” and mix it up!
Homemade is always the best option in my opinion! At the bottom of this page is a super simple recipe for a coconut, oat & almond milk.
The grocery store aisles are filled with alternative milk options, which is great because it is believed that 65% of the worlds population has difficulty metabolizing dairy. The majority of people on the planet do not have the enzyme lactase needed to digest lactose, the sugar found in diary. When you are not able to metabolize lactose, but continue to eat it, you may experience diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, increased gas, nausea, joint & muscle pain, headaches, fatigue, and skin conditions.
Like most foods, not all nut milks are created equal. Sometimes, during processing, things are done to cut production costs, prolong shelf life, and improve texture and taste, at the expense of nutritional value.
Many nut milks on the market contain a measly 2% nuts! Instead, their thick, creamy, texture is coming from gums, carrageenan, and other additives that are cheaper to produce and easy to incorporate as fillers.
Ingredients To Avoid:
Gums are used as a binding and thickening agent. Gums are believed to cause inflammation along the GI tract.
Carrageenan is a common additive found in deli meats, ice creams, yoghurts, and nut milks. It is derived from seaweed and has been known to cause gastrointestinal issues and promote inflammation in the body. It is used as a gelling, thickening and stabilizing agent and helps to keep nut milks from separating. A simple solution, when natural nut milk is separating, is to simply shake the thing!
Many nut milks on the market have as much as 20g (or 4 tsp!) of sugar per serving. Always buy unsweetened or aim for 4g or less per serve.
Flavouring, even when deemed natural, is made in a laboratory. The singular ingredient of ‘flavour’ listed on your nut milk can contain as many as 100 ingredients! They are used to enhance the flavours in foods and provide no nutritional value.
* Fortified and/or Enriched Foods
It is believed that the body doesn’t assimilate nutrients added to foods in the same way as it absorbs the nutrients naturally present in food. Be mindful of fortified products. Often times, companies use synthetic vitamins and minerals that our bodies process differently. They put these ingredients in processed foods so that it still has a nutritional value. For example, white bread that has been striped of its nutrients during milling, returns them back to the bread during processing. You should always aim to get your nutrients naturally, from the foods you eat, vs the synthetic versions added back to processed products.
1 cup nuts: 3 - 4 cups water
You can use peas, rice, soy beans, oats, seeds, or pretty much anything to make a milk alternative.
If you prefer a creamier consistency, use less water.
7 cups water + more for soaking
1 cup almonds - soaked overnight
1/2 cup coconut - soaked overnight
1/2 cut rolled oats
1 tbsp hemp hearts
a pinch of sea salt
1 tsp ground vanilla bean or vanilla extract - optional
sweetener - optional
a couple of dates, maple syrup, honey
cinnamon, goji berries, turmeric, cacao, maca, carob, etc. to mix things up
You Will Need
measuring cups & spoons
nut milk bag or cheese cloth
glass bottles or food storage container
in your blender, add 7 cups of water, 2 pitted dates, 1 tbsp hemp hearts, and a pinch of sea salt. Process until the dates and hemp hearts are completely broken down
using your sieve, drain your soaked almonds and coconut and give them a quick rinse
add them to the blender and process until the oats, almonds, and coconut are broken down, roughly 1 minute
place your fine mesh sieve on top of a glass bowl with a pouring spout
pour mixture through the nut milk bag and sieve over the bowl, if you have 2 nut milk bags, double up to ensure no pulp gets through
squeeze the liquids through the nut milk bag and strain any pulp
store in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 - 7 days. Remember to shake before use
alternatively, freeze in cubes or silicone muffin liners and use as needed