Whether you want a healthier beverage to add to your cereal, tea, recipes, smoothies, or simply drink on its own, nondairy milks are definitely the way to go. Naturally cholesterol-free, lactose-free, and far more sustainable (as well as compassionate) than milks derived from animals there’s an abundance of nondairy milks to choose from.
Of course, as a Holistic Health Coach of many years I’ve noticed that most people go with store-bought almond milk over any other options. In fact, I was in the same habit until I had a baby. Suddenly I found I could no longer justify the packaging waste or the uninspired nutritional profile. Specifically, I looked for something wholesome and nourishing to transition my breastfeeding baby to and knowing what I know about cow’s milk it had to be plant-based. I felt frustrated because I wanted the absolute best for my family, but as a working mom I also didn’t want to take the time to deal with straining almond milk at home or the cleanup involved. Fresh, gourmet nondairy milks weren’t available yet (and even now they’re quite expensive). So, I got creative in the kitchen and have never looked back.
My goal was to cover all the bases by adding in clean proteins, nature-approved fats, Omega 3’s, highly bioavailable calcium, and skipping any kind of processed sugar (including evaporated cane juice.) Since low iron is the most common deficiency in the U.S. among women and children I also made a point to address that as well. The result? This delicious, easy to make recipe for what I affectionately call SuperMilk. Originally, I titled it Superfood Milk. What I’ve found is that adults seem to prefer the longer name, and kids like the shorter, more playful name, but whatever it’s called, everybody loves it.
- 3 cups water (1 extra cup if a lighter version is desired for adults)
- ½ cup of pepitas or raw cashews (use 1 cup for toddlers)
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp hemp seeds
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup lightly packed greens (optional for phytonutrients)
- Ideally, the night before, soak the nuts and seeds in a glass jar with just enough water to cover them and drain in the morning. This helps removes naturally occurring phytic acids and improves mineral absorption and digestibility.
- Blend all of the ingredients on high in a blender until creamy. A high-powered blender like a Vitamix works perfectly. You may need to strain the “milk” for kids if you’re using a basic blender.
- Regardless, store the Superfood Milk in a glass jar (with a lid) in the refrigerator and drink it within 3 days.
Here’s a glimpse at the powerful health benefits to Superfood Milk:
- Pepitas – antioxidants, minerals, restful sleep, and hormonal health
- Cashews -magnesium, copper, and heart-healthy oleic acid
- Hemp seeds -clean protein and EFA’s (essential fatty acids)
- Raisins –iron, boron, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants
- Sesame seeds – copper, calcium, manganese, and iron
Here are some optional ingredients to include in this recipe for flavor and added nutrition. Just know that the more ingredients you add, the more water you’ll need so the nondairy milk isn’t too thick.
- A dash of cinnamon -fat-burning and sugar-balancing
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract –calming the nervous system
- 1 teaspoon sunflower seeds -zinc (for immune function)
- ¼ cup almonds –calcium, clean protein, and fiber
- 1-2 tablespoons plant-based protein powder
- 1-2 dates –fiber, impressive source of minerals, and acts as an extra sweetener for kids
Did You Know?
Most ethnicities are lactose intolerant, whether we’re talking about milk, yogurt, butter, cheese, or any other form of dairy. For instance, according to PCRM, 60-80% of African Americans, 95% of Asian Americans, 50-80% of Hispanics, and 80-100% of Native Americans do not have the biological capacity to properly digest dairy whether it’s raw, organic, or factory farmed with artificial growth hormones and antibiotics. Even with a long history of using cow’s milk 15% of Caucasians are still in the same boat.
Of course, just because someone can seemingly tolerate dairy doesn’t mean it’s necessarily benign or beneficial. Despite relentless advertising from the dairy industry depicting a health-enhancing product, the countries that consume the most dairy have the highest rates of osteoporosis. Dairy has also been linked to acne, allergies, some forms of cancer (such as breast and prostate), heart disease, constipation, excessive weight, diabetes, migraines, and pain/inflammation. Whether you stick with store-bought nut or grain milks or give homemade superfood milk a try, I highly recommend ditching the dairy.
Your health, and the planet’s health, will thank you for it.