Most of us are creatures of habit, wary of trying new things, especially things we put in our bodies or the bodies of our kiddies. Milk, for example. It took me years to wriggle out from under the hoof of the dairy industry and I staunchly considered those who opted for soy lattes as yuppie scum.
But eventually, motivated by a desire for change and my own curiousity, I checked out the numerous alternatives to cow’s milk. They are plenty, and they are good. Obviously if you have dietary limitations such as a nut or soy or lactose intolerance, you have made your choices. But for those who can eat anything, you really should get out more and try some alternatives to cow’s milk.
Ounce for ounce, they are all roughly the same price. Some provide more protein, some more calcium, but by and large the nutrition is pretty much standard, as vitamins and minerals are added to make the beverage more nutritionally complete. You will add variety to your diet and experimenting with new flavours is fun.
In addition, you will be asserting yourself as an independent consumer who is not under the thumb of any one industry.
Indeed, supporting local farmers who produce goat’s milk, or smaller independent producers of organic soy or rice beverages can give you a sound mind as well as a sound body.
Here is a short list of options that are readily available at most grocery stores with some subjective observations. Try them all, and ascertain for yourself.
Tasty, creamy and delicious. Not hugely different in taste from organic cow’s milk and similar in nutritional content.
Opt for the organic, local and unsweetened varieties. You can always add your own sugar if you need to, right? The vanilla flavour and sweetened brands are kind of gross.
Nutty and refreshing, slightly gritty, even the unsweetened variety has a natural sweetness to it.
Ever see an udder on an almond? Me neither, but most folks refer to this beverage as milk, which is fine as it does have a surprisingly creamy mouth feel. Again, opt for the unsweetened flavours wherever possible. Surprisingly it does not possess an overwhelmly strong almond flavour, so you will not feel like you are drowning your granola with amaretto.
So Delicious Coconut milk
A drinkable version of coconut milk, that is the closest to full fat cow’s milk you’ll find in the non-dairy world. It has 5 grams of fat per serving and pours and drinks like a dream.
Other cow’s milk options
If you choose cow’s milk, give organic small farm cow’s milk a go. Buttermilk is surprisingly refreshing and despite the name, is not overpowering, and the 1% butterfat content is as low in calories as skim milk. It is also amazing in, go figure, buttermilk pancakes and biscuits.
Once you try all these “milks’ you will find yourself blathering about their virtues at the breakfast table. Mix it up and think outside the milk carton.