Types of Vegan Milk [How To Prepare Them At Home]
Milk or Plant Based Milk Substitute? This is a topic that seems to become more and more popular every day. You can’t open an Instagram Page or a Facebook Post without reading something about Dairy and Non-Dairy products. But how many types of vegan Milk are really, what can be considered a substitute for the Cow Milk that we have known all our life?
Cow milk among the category of animal milks is probably the most consumed milk worldwide and also the milk that has long been considered one of the most complete foods for humans due to its high level of calcium and vitamins.
When we think of cow milk, we immediately think of strong bones and teeth, optimal growth in children, good brain development, among others.
But what if, just for a minute, we compare this cow milk to the benefits we can get from plant sources? Is cow milk really that good?
Cow Milk Vs. Plant Based Milk
Cow milk is rich in
- vitamins A, D, E, B2
- Promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria for the intestine
- Neutralizes heartburn
Almond is rich in
- vitamins A, E, B1 and B2
- Easy to digest
- Protects the intestine
- Lows calories
Sunflower seed is rich in :
- vitamin E
- healthy fats
- Helps the development and functions of the brain
Soy is rich in:
- amino acids
- vitamins B1, B2 and B3
Quinoa is rich in:
- essential amino acids
- helps the body eliminate toxins
These are only some of the vegetable alternatives that can be used for substituting milk.
In reality we can find a vegetable type of milk in coconut, oat, rice, and so many other plants mother nature has gifted us with.
Where to get Non Dairy Milk?
I know the easiest solution is to go to the store and just buy some; today almost literally any store offers a selection of Almond and Soy Milk, most of them will even have Rice and Oat Milk, at least around where I live these are the main selections that are available.
And they all come in different varieties, from their original flavors to the Chocolate, or Vanilla or Banana flavor, just to name a few. Unfortunately for me these milks are still much more expensive than the normal cow milk.
I can buy a carton of full milk for maybe 0.80 € but if I want a carton of Almond Milk which is one of my favorite the price is 2.85€ more than three times the price of the cow milk!!!!
Can you believe that?
Sometimes I feel it’s like a conspiracy from the dairy farm to make it really hard for those that don’t want to drink cow milk to have it available to the public for a normal and affordable price.
Then again if we look at MacDonald, around where I live I can get a Burger for about 1.00€ but if I want a vegan Burger to cook myself at home it costs me about 3.45€ (for a box with two burgers)
What if we make these products at home and fight the prices and conspiracy of the farm factories by showing them we don’t really need to go to the Store and we still won’t drink cow milk anyway!
So let’s see how to be fully independent.
What do we need
If you are ready for the task first of all you are going to need some equipment, nothing too complicated, basic equipment which we usually already have at home
We gonna need a blender, possibly a strong one with a power above 700W so that we can work with the hard ingredients such as almond, or nuts.
We are going to need a cotton cloth to filter the ingredients liquid once they have been blended or if you have it, a strainer will be good as well.
Every house has containers, we will use them to soak our seeds or nuts for their activation. (For those of you that don’t know here is a link to an article I wrote about how to activate seeds and nuts)
The containers can be of plastic or glass, and, as we all know, glass is certainly a better and more hygienic choice.
We are going to need some measuring cups, some glass bottles to store the milk we prepare.
Ideally you should always boil the glass before inserting the milk, so that you have the most germ free environment, and glass resists temperature changes very well and does not absorb odors, so we don’t have to worry about the milk getting an unpleasant or strange taste, thing that would more than likely happen with plastic.
Sweet milk or nor sweet
This is very much a personal choice and preference, I like the vegetable milk at their natural state; I bought some that had a sweeter taste but I found the sweetness to be overwhelming, but this is only , as I said, my personal opinion.
When you start a diet where you change your Dairy products for Non-Dairy alternatives, it is presumably done in the attempt of having healthier eating habits, so the less sugar, the better it is, but if you must add some sweetness to it I would suggest using something natural, like maple Syrup, or Stevia.
Maple syrup is considered as an alternative to honey bees, and it comes from the tree of the same name. Its
sweet and particular flavor will give a special flavor to the vegetable milk of your preference and will provide it with a greater energy contribution. The only down side of maple syrup is that it is again not very cheap!!!!
The Stevia, is a natural sweetener that replaces conventional sugar obtained from the leaves of the plant of the same name.
It is fairly known and used to sweeten beverages, etc. Its flavor can be somewhat strong and bitter especially if you’re not used to consuming it, so if you’re just going to try it I would try a small amount first to make sure you like its flavor.
Agave Syrup is also a good sugar alternative and natural as well. It provides less calories than conventional sugar.
The agave nectar is obtained from the agave plant. It is a delicious sweetener that not only will give a very good flavor to vegetable milks but also will provide an important caloric intake.
Here where I live a popular alternative to sugar is the sugar cane. It is the raw form of common sugar. It has an intense and particular taste similar to honey. Its texture is soft and it is dark in color.
So all you need to do is decide if you do want your milk to be sweet or at its natural original taste.
Cocoa Milk, Vanilla Milk…
As I mentioned before, Vegetable milks can be plain but you can also find them in the store in different flavors, and you can do the same if you decide to do your flavor milk at home.
You can add organic Cocoa powder, Coffee, Vanilla, Cinnamon, bananas, strawberries, blueberries and even raspberries.
Truthfully it is up to you whatever flavor you want to give to your milk.
Even though I do prefer my milk plain, I do have a favorite one, and it is the Cinnamon.
Cinnamon when added to your milk has excellent properties for the body and it makes the milk a bit more “sophisticated” or at least i like to think that.
Whatever flavor you decide to add just make sure you are drinking your milk fresh, especially when you have added a fruit flavor to it.
Can you preserve Homemade vegetable milk?
The homemade vegetable milks should be stored carefully and consumed quickly to ensure that they are a fresh beverage that feels good and gives us its benefits.
The ideal place to store the milk is in glass bottles with a lid that should be washed very well beforehand and boiled so that the milk keeps its goodness as long as possible.
In the case of the milks made from grains that have required cooking prior to the elaboration of the milk, it is important that the milk has cooled before packing it and refrigerating it.
The maximum time you will be able to store a vegetable milk is no longer than 3 days.
The best thing to do is to prepare small amounts so that nothing goes wasted and, use it all and then prepare a new batch.
Let’s prepare some milk now
After talking so much about milk it seems only fair to share a few recipes I have found and followed and that have helped me prepare my own homemade milk.
I will go with my three favorite milks which are Almond, Coconut and Soy.
- 40 almonds (activated) remember to read ho to activate it if you don’t know how to do it.
- 4 cups of water
- Agave (optional)
Place the activated almonds in a blender together with the water and blend for a few minutes until the almonds have been completely transformed into a powder.
Filter the powder using a very thin cloth
If you want to sweeten or flavor the milk you should return it to the blender, add the agave nectar or whatever flavor you are adding and blend it well
Once filtered, put the almond milk in a glass bottle and refrigerate. This milk can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 days
To prepare Coconut milk you can either use fresh coconut if it is easy for you to find or the dehydrated version.
This milk has a very white color, creamy texture and mild flavor. It is perfect for smoothies and even cakes.
- 1 Coconut
- Water (optional only if using dehydrated coconut)
This time it’s really easy and if you are using fresh coconut all you need is literally the coconut and the water inside the coconut.
The hard part will be to open the coconut and take the water out. Leave it in a glass container.
Scrape the pulp of the coconut from the inside of the fruit and put it inside the blender.
Blend it at maximum strength until it turn into a pulp.
Put the pulp into a strainer and pour the water of the coconut you have previously put aside. You will observe how the liquid coming down is of a whitish color. Keep repeating the same operation for a few times pouring the same water over and over again over the blended pulp and strain it some more until you get the desired consistency.
With Coconut milk after several hours of being in refrigeration, you will notice how a dense layer forms on the liquid, it is the coconut fat. With a spoon, remove it carefully and keep it in a glass jar, it is perfect to add flavor and texture to cookies, cakes, breads and yogurt. Coconut milk can be stored for 3 days in the fridge
- 1 cup of soy
- 4 cups of water
Place the soy in a saucepan, cover it with water and let it boil for 30 minutes.
Remove the skin of the soybeans. The easiest way to do that is by putting the beans in cold water and rub it firmly with your hand until the skin comes off.
Rinse the soybeans and let them cool completely. Put the beans and the water in a blender and mix it for a couple of minutes
Filter the milk using a very thin cloth or sieve. Repeat the procedure if necessary. If you want you can sweeten or flavor the soy milk and you can consume it cold or hot. Store the milk in a glass bottle in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Time to try it out
So I hope you have enjoyed this little post and I hope you feel inspired enough to try to make one of these milks. As you can see it is actually easier to prepare them than having to go to a farm and find a cow.
I know when I first thought about preparing the milk myself I thought it was gonna be an impossible and hard task to achieve but to my surprise , and I hope yours, it is easier than you think.
Till the next time
Let me know what you think of the milks in the comments below or if you have ever made one yourself. Love to hear your tips too!