2.22.10 Got Milk?
If you do, you may also have gas, bloating, sour stomach or frequent breakouts, especially around your chin. This is another of my "alternative round-ups." I already raved about goat's milk to you here, but I'd like to tell you about some other options in case you've got the dairy blues. All four milks you see above—hemp, soy, rice and almond—are available in organic boxed versions that are conveniently shelf-stable and thus easy to keep on hand. (They are vegan, too, but don't let that put you off if it's something you equate with Birkenstock-wearing, hairy-armpitted hippies. I grew up in Santa Cruz, so I don't share your hang-ups, man.) I usually have one or all of these milks open at a time, and I rotate them and use them in different ways. Have I mentioned the important of consuming a rich diversity of foods? That habit of eating the same thing, day in and out, even if it's "healthy," is not smart. Variety in all things (except your sex partners, maybe) is optimal.
Here are some things to know about these other milks. I have not included coconut milk, although I love it and eat it from time to time, because it has a very pronounced flavor that is not as neutral as these others. It's also a bit higher in fat than these four.HEMP MILKI like the flavor, color and creaminess of hemp milk quite a bit. I use it to make masala chai and it’s delicious. Sadly, unlike marijuana, it doesn’t contain any THC. And since it’s still not legal to grow hemp in the U.S.—despite all of Woody Harrelson’s heroic efforts—the seeds from which this milk is made must be imported from farmers in Canada or Europe. Maybe this will change soon. (Could the fact that there are currently more “medical marijuana” shops than taco stands in LA be any indication?) Hemp milk is loaded with nutrition: omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids; potassium; riboflavin; vitamins A, E, B12, and D; magnesium; iron; zinc. 8 ounces contain no sugar, no cholesterol and only 6 grams of (unsaturated) fat. I like Living Harvest’s Tempt and I think you should give it a whirl.SOY MILKI’m sure you’ve all tried this. NO, it doesn’t taste like milk, but why is that a bad thing? Please do yourself a favor and get the unsweetened version. (That goes for all these milks.) None of us needs more sugar and you might as well take any opportunity to retrain your sweet-craving palate. Soy milk has the most protein of all these, around an impressive 9 grams per serving. It’s also got calcium, iron and potassium, and very little saturated fat. I’ve even used it to make a béchamel (alright, a white sauce) for macaroni and cheese.* Don’t turn your nose up until you’ve tasted it, beeatch.ALMOND MILKOriginal, unsweetened Almond Breeze (why don’t they hire me to come up with a better name?) is a good source of calcium and vitamins A, D and E. It’s got no saturated fat or cholesterol and it’s made from almonds, for god’s sake. What’s not to like? Stir it into your oatmeal, make a smoothie with it, or use it as the delectable base for ice cream. I promise to post a recipe for that soon.RICE MILKRice milk is processed from brown rice and even the unsweetened varieties contain more sugar that the other milks. It is typically fortified with calcium or vitamin D but otherwise is largely a source of carbohydrates without much protein or fat either. It tends to be a bit sweet and watery, but I will use it in a smoothie or maybe pour a little on my granola. It’s also fine for cooking.*Let me know if you're interested in seeing that recipe for macaroni and cheese made with soy milk, chickpea flour, rice and almond cheeses and brown rice pasta.