This post is also available in: Hindi
While many of us relish dairy milk, there are some who dislike the taste and others who are either lactose intolerant or follow a vegan diet. If you are looking for better or equally healthier milk substitutes, then you may find this post useful.
Soy milk,a plant milk obtained by soaking dry soy beans overnight and grinding them later with added water,is one of the best substitutes to milk. Soy milk has less fat, zero cholesterol and the same amount of proteins as your regular milk. It is also a good source of potassium, a mineral that builds muscles, contributes in maintaining normal body growth, controls the acid base balance, plays an important part in regulating blood pressure and offers a host of other health benefits.
Soy milk is also used in smoothies, cereals and savory dishes to add nutrition to them.
Soy milk is available from a number of brands. Though the ingredients included in almost all of these are more or less the same it is recommended to have a look at the same before you choose one. It is best to go for the one prepared from organic soy beans and fortified with Vitamin B12. Soy milk can also be prepared at home by using soy milk machine.
Almond milk, another super substitute for milk, is not only loved for its nutritional value but also for its unique flavour. The nutty taste of this light beige colored milk is especially a favourite among the kids. Made from ground almonds, this milk is cholesterol free and rich in nutrients such as calcium, iron, potassium,vitamin E, selenium, fiber and zinc.A study conducted at the UK Institute of Food Research confirmed that almond milk also boosts the digestive system by increasing the amount of beneficial bacteria in our stomach. However, the downside to almond milk is that it is comparatively lower in proteins.
Almond milk is usually available in plain, vanilla or chocolate flavours. You may even prepare almond milk at home by soaking almonds in water for 8-12 hours and then blending them with water and honey later. The milk is obtained by separating the pulp from the liquid.. The pulp can be used elsewhere or consumed in its raw form. Almond milk also enhances the taste of coffee, smoothies, oatmeal and other food items.If required, you may add vanilla or chocolate essence to make it flavoursome.
Rice milk as the name suggests, is made from rice. It is mostly obtained from brown rice, which is considered healthier than its whiter variety. Because of its higher carbohydrate content and cholesterol free property, rice milk has an edge over the regular milk. However, do note that rice milk lacks in enough proteins and calcium.
Many brands provide rice milk fortified with various essential minerals and vitamins including iron, calcium, vitamin B3 and B12. While some brand sell sweetened rice milk, a few others may add sweetness by breaking carbohydrates into sugars or flavouring with sugarcane syrup. You can make rice milk at home by boiling brown flour in water, followed by blending the rice and then straining the mixture.
Coconut milk,obtained from fresh shredded coconut, is another alternative for dairy milk. It tastes similar to cow’s milk and offers a good nutritional value.It is a rich source of Vitamin B 3 also known as niacin and other B-complex vitamins that metabolize the nutrients present in the food to help you use them as energy. It also contains more iron and copper as compared to dairy milk. Though it is comparatively higher in fats, however, most of the fat it contains is saturated fat.
Coconut milk can work wonders for heart patients. This is because it is rich in lauric acid, which is considered heart healthy as it augments HDL – the good cholesterol.
This milk is readily available in the market,however you can also prepare it at home by blending freshly cut coconut with warm water and squeezing it through a sieve.
Coconut milk is used in a variety of South-east Asian recipes, especially in the Indian and Thai cuisines. It is also a preferred ingredient for soups, stews, curries and baked goods.
Hemp, a variety of cannabis plant, also yields milk. A rich source of proteins and fatty acids, hemp milk is a great energy booster drink and contains essential micronutrients including magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, fiber, phytosterols, beta carotene, potassium, niacin and thiamine.It is considered good for heart as well as skin.
Hemp milk is prepared by soaking and grinding hemp seeds in water. Sweeteners are also added to it to enhance its taste.This creamy, nutty drink is used in puddings and smoothies to add taste as well as nutritional value.
Some of the other alternate options are:
- wholesome 7-Grain milk which is obtained from wheat, rice, oats, millet, barley, spelt and triticale
- peanut milk
- sunflower milk
- Potato milk
- quinoa milk
- cashew milk
- hazelnut milk
- pumpkin seed milk
- oat milk
Each of the milk alternatives mentioned above are loaded with several micronutrients that are essential for our proper growth and development. Most of these milk substitutes are available in supermarkets and speciality stores in India. However, if you aren’t able to find one in the market then you can even prepare these at home.
Pin this image to your board