Plant milks are the non-frightening, yummy alternative to dairy milk. They’re often fortified with calcium and B12 among other things and have none of the horrid qualities of dairy, such as pus, growth hormones, antibiotics, cancer promoting animal protein and cholesterol. Also, milk from cows is supposed to feed their calves, not us. The same goes for goat’s milk, which is just as cruel an industry. The separating of mothers from their newborns just so humans can steal their sustenance is an inhumane and totally unnecessary practice. For health, the environment and of course animal welfare, it’s best to go with plant milks.
So, what kind of plant milks are there? Loads! In your local supermarket you will find a huge variety including: coconut milk (regular, low fat and chocolate flavour) almond milk (sweetened, unsweetened and vanilla flavour) hazelnut milk, oat milk (various kinds) and of course soya milk. You may even find hemp milk and rice milk in there somewhere. As you can see, the choice is extensive.
I used to drink quite a lot of milk in my pre-vegan days and, even though I’m not much of a tea or coffee drinker, I couldn’t imagine doing without cereal in the morning. I use almond milk for that these days and also for making porridge. My other half prefers coconut milk in his muesli and if you’ve got a sweet tooth, that could be the one for you. Soya milk is great for baking, and my cousin swears by oat milk as her daughter has an intolerance for both dairy and soya. My advice is to try each one that’s available to you easily till you find a taste you enjoy. Some people are really fancy and make their own milks using fantastic machines, but I’m a bit lazy for that.
Milk isn’t a tough thing to replace in your diet at all. Other products that are traditionally dairy or egg based, such as yoghurt, mayonnaise, ice cream, custard, chocolate, cream and margarine or butter have many alternatives too and they only get more numerous as time goes on. There’s even a dairy free creme fraiche!
Now I know what you’re thinking, what about cheese. Well that is a subject best covered in a whole separate post, but let’s just say for now that there are many superb cheese alternatives. One of the main reasons many people feel they can’t go fully vegan is because of cheese, so I’m glad the dairy free times are a’changing.
The fabulous charity Viva! is a great resource and they have a whole booklet dedicated to the dairy free switch. You can download it or order a paper copy and it’s a great place to start. Giving up dairy milk is one of the best things you can do when it comes to altering your diet. If you’ve already given it up, well done! Do let me know if you spot any new vegan milk products, as I say, they’re springing up all the time!