Milk is such an important ingredient, at least in India that being vegan or lactose intolerant often raises eyebrows and several nutritional concerns. Here is your answer - Turns out you can get ‘milk’ out of a ton of plant based ingredients too. Albeit minus some of the calcium, but with loads of other nutrients to make up for it! Take a look
No pressure - Coconut Milk
Thick rich sweet delicious – coconut milk is not really a new concept in India. Great to use for desserts and smoothies as it is to use in a savory concoction. Consuming coconut milk also makes your body a recipient for minerals and antioxidants that help in controlling blood pressure, reducing joint inflammation and improving immunity. Plus your hair is shiny and skin glowing – it’s a win win!
Protein rich - Soy Milk
It is probably one of the most popular types of nondairy milk. Obtained from soy beans and water it is kind of thicker than cow’s milk in consistency with an initial sweetness, followed by a nutty-beany after taste. Talking about nutrition a glass of soy milk adds 11 grams of protein to your daily intake, clearly trumping the 8 grams found in a glass of skim milk. More good news is that it significantly reduces your cholesterol and saturated fat intake.
Heart healthy multi tasker - Flax Milk
Healthy omega 3 fatty acids, zero cholesterol, zero trans-fat, hints of calcium, no gluten and plenty of vitamins and minerals – all the benefits of flax seeds and more are transferred in the milk derived from it. Slightly thinner in texture, this milk is heart healthy because of the omega 3 fatty acids and can be used in multiple recipes right from baking to making a simple shake.
Allergy proof - Rice Milk
What do you do if you are lactose intolerant, have casein allergy or nut allergy? You drink rice milk which is the most hypoallergenic of all (relatively unlikely to cause an allergic reaction). Rice milk is much thinner and tastes almost like water, so commercial rice milk mostly comes in flavours like vanilla and chocolate to make up for it. Zero saturated fats, heart healthy rice bran, Vitamin B and plenty of anti-oxidants are amongst a few benefits of rice milk.
Nut case - Almond Milk
If you don’t like the taste of dairy milk then this tasty one makes a perfect substitute. It doesn’t contain lactose and instead has several nutrients that help boost brain power, improve skin health and promote weight loss. It is also said to slow down the growth of certain type’s cancer cells.
Just like almonds you can make nut milk with hazelnuts and cashewnuts too.
Higher than the rest - Hemp Milk
One of the newest entrants in the nondairy milk scene has a slight nutty chalky flavour and the thick creamy hemp derivative can often be kind of grainy in texture. The flip side is that along with high amounts of calcium, protein, and omega 3, hemp milk is fairly high in its calorie content too compared to other varieties. Also please note that it does come from the same plant as marijuana, but you will not get high, just really happy with all the delicious food you dish out with it!
Super milk - Quinoa Milk
This one is also something that hasn’t caught on yet, but is sure to. With the benefits of super food quinoa coming into light, its extract is soon to catch up. High in protein, with smart carbs and a brain power booster, it is also easy to digest but does not strike a chord when you want to drink it by its self. Use it in a recipe or add a hint of flavourings and you will be more than pleased.
When you buy nondairy milk outside you get an option to choose between several varieties – sweetened, unsweetened, calcium or protein fortified, natural and organic. So weigh the pros and the cons to pick what suits you best!
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Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.