Making Your Own Vegan Milk
We are proud to launch a new line of kits to make all manner of vegan milks including Almond, Cashew, Oat, Coconut, Hemp, Flax & Rice. We have a great new nut milk bag, and several complete vegan milk kits. We have offered soymilk and tofu kits for several years. We hope you’ll check them out.
What Flavor is your Milk Mustache?
My milk mustache changes daily. A good glass of vanilla almond milk can be super delicious, but I have to have rice milk for my cereal and chocolate soy milk for a late night dessert. A creamy drink is something we learn to love as a newborn. I have a five-month-old nursing baby girl right now. She is getting all of her nutrients from breast milk. In another year or so, she will naturally wean away and eat more and more varieties of solid food. It is my belief that she won’t need the breast milk she needed as a baby anymore, but she still will need lots of fats, amino acids and vitamins to grow up big and strong. If she is anything like my other kids she won’t want breast milk anymore, but she will love a tall glass of vanilla or chocolate almond milk. We are making more and more of our own non-dairy milks around our house these days. Here are some of the advantages we have found so far!
Advantages of Making Your Own Preservative and Additive Free Vegan Milk
Almond, Soy, Oat, Flax, Coconut Milks and may other non-dairy milks have become extremely popular at almost every grocery store. They are delicious. They add a lot of sweeteners and flavorings to get them just right. Some of them are higher on sugars than others. I have had ones that taste like melted ice cream, and others that taste like cardboard.
One advantage we have noticed right off from making our own milk is that we are in complete control of what goes into our milk. It doesn’t take much sweetener to get it tasting just right. You can opt for sweeteners like Stevia and Agave instead of the less desirable cane sugar alternatives. Also when it comes to thickening the store brands often use Carrageenan which isn’t super great for you; instead you can use organic chia seed to thicken up your milk and make it creamy. More on that below.
Natural flavors is also a common ingredient found in almost every brand of non-dairy milk. In the Code of Federal Regulations Title 21, Natural Flavors are defined as: “the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional” In other words, you just don’t know what they are putting in your milk. I have wondered if maybe the milks are even vegan sometimes. There usually is no notation on the cartons of milk that say they are vegan. One really shocking thing that I learned was that Silk Brand Non-Dairy Milks are actually owned by Dean Foods, that is a big real dairy milk producer, with brand names like Meadow Gold, and Land O Lakes.
I still fully support all the companies that are making these wonderful alternatives to dairy milk. We still support them quite often when we just can’t keep up the demand for cereal milk and drinks for three toddlers. But recently we have found that making our own helps us to eliminate a lot of unknowns we are getting in our diet.
Advantages of Hormone Free Milk
If you still do drink dairy milk and are thinking of making your own nut and grain milks you are also going to see some big benefits right off. Modern Milk is full of engineered hormones and antibiotics.
As well as natural hormones that are perfect for a newborn calf. These nutrients and hormones are what changes a baby 60 lb calf into a several hundred-pound calf in just one year. Weight loss, and less mucus in your nose and throat are the most common benefits of giving up dairy.
Do it yourself Effect
Our family has gone through a transition lately. I call it the DIY Effect. If there is something we can do ourselves we are trying to do it. Why? We are making this transition because we have noticed this weird sense of accomplishment and pride that overcomes you when you figure something out and no longer have to rely on someone else to do it for you. I think that a lot of people have figured this out way before me! Making our own non-dairy milks has definitely given us the DIY Effect.
As a company that offers lots of do-it-yourself products and grow-your-own products, we wanted to add making nut milks to the mix. We have offered products to make your own soymilk and tofu for a few years, but we have found it is even easier and tastier to make your own almond and coconut milks. I know lots of you have been making your own milks for years, we have heard from you! Thank you so much for inspiring us to grow more, make more and do more ourselves!
Chia & Flax: The Vegan Milk Secret (and healthy!) Ingredient
One complaint some folks have about home-made vegan milks is that they can sometimes be thin, lacking body. This is especially true of coconut milk. Some people prefer their milks thin but if you prefer some thickness and body in your vegan milks, we have the secret! It’s adding some chia or flax in the mix (we prefer chia).
Chia and flax are both mucilaginous seeds. This means when they get wet they form a thick, jelly-like coating on the seed. There are tons of products that take advantage of this property like vegan egg substitute made from flax, and countless drinks and gelatin-like products made from chia. If you want to add body to your vegan milks include some chia or flax. A teaspoon of chia seeds added to the blender when you blend water and the main ingredient (coconut for example) will thicken the resulting milk. You can control the thickness by how much chia or flax you add.
We prefer chia because it doesn’t tend to alter the core flavor of the milk at all, where flax does change the flavor slightly. And of course both chia and flax are amazingly healthy.