Milk Alternatives

MILK ALTERNATIVES

Soy Milk
Soy milk is made using a simple, centuries-old process of grinding soaked and cooked soybeans and pressing the dissolved soy milk out of the beans. With its unique nutty flavor and rich nutrition, Soy milk can be used in a variety of ways.

Buying & Storing Soy Milk:
It is most commonly found in aseptic (non-refrigerated) quart and 8-ounce containers, but is also sold refrigerated in quart and half-gallon containers.

Unopened, aseptically packaged soy milk can be stored at room temperature for several months. Once it is opened, it must be refrigerated. It will stay fresh for about 5 days.

Soy Milk is also sold as a powder, which must be mixed with water. Soy milk powder should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

Types of Soy Milk
Available in plain, flavored and enriched varieties. With the growing interest in lower-fat products, a number of “lite” soy milks, with reduced fat content, are appearing on the market.

Nutritional Value of Soy Milk – Plain, unfortified soy milk is an excellent source of high-quality protein, B- vitamins and iron. Some brands are fortified with vitamins and minerals and are good sources of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B-12. Soy milk is lactose-free and is a great choice for people who are lactose intolerant. Also, it is a good alternative for those who are allergic to cow’s milk. Children can enjoy homemade or commercially prepared soy milk after the age of 1 year.

Rice Milk
Has a slightly sweet flavor. Made from brown rice, filtered water, and a small amount of brown rice sweetener, rice milk has a light, slightly sweet flavor that substitutes well for low-fat or fat-free milk. Rice milks are lactose-free and are suitable for those with dairy sensitivities. However, rice milk is not a gluten- free product. It is processed using a barley enzyme. Even though the barley enzyme is discarded after use, the final beverage might contain a minute residual amount (less than .002%) of barley protein.

Types of Rice Milk
Rice milk is available in plain and flavored varieties, and in low-fat, fat-free, and fortified versions.

Buying and storing tips
Aseptic packaging allows rice milk to stay fresh for up to a year unopened without the use of preservatives or refrigeration. Refrigerated rice milk stays fresh for approximately 45 days from the date of manufacture. Even though the packaging is different, the rice milk in each is essentially the same.

Refrigerated rice milk is available in milk-style cartons in the dairy case. It has to be refrigerated at all times and has a shorter life span. However, once opened, each version will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 7-10 days.

Hemp Milk
Though its name might be a bit misleading, organic hemp milk is a perfectly legal, not to mention healthy, cow’s milk alternative. Produced from the seeds of the hemp plant, this milk has only begun to be sold in the United States within the past few years.

One concern that people have about organic hemp milk is that it might contain some of the chemical THC, which is found in marijuana. Rest assured that this ingredient is not present or associated with hemp milk.

Another concern is that the hemp seeds must be imported since it’s currently not legal to grow the hemp plant in the US. Some hemp milk producers have to rely on obtaining hemp seeds from farmers in Canada or Europe, where the growth of hemp plants for oil or milk is perfectly legal.

Organic hemp milk is also a great alternative to cow’s milk and those who cannot consume dairy because of dietary issues.

One 8-ounce glass contains 900 mg Omega-3 fatty acid, 2800 mg Omega-6 fatty acid, all 10 essential amino acids, 4 grams of protein, 46% of RDA of calcium, no cholesterol and a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals.

Plain organic hemp milk contains no sugar, no cholesterol, and is free of soy and gluten. For many people, these factors make it an obvious choice for an abundant source of vital nutrients. The essential fatty acids, vitamins & nutrients that are contained in organic hemp milk provide a wide variety of health benefits.

Benefits
Strengthened Immune System
Beneficial for Healthy Skin, Hair & Nails
Heart Health
Brain Health

Almond Milk
Made from ground almonds, filtered water, and a small amount of sweetener, usually brown rice syrup. Almond milk has a light, slightly nutty flavor that substitutes well for low-fat or fat-free milk. Almond milk is 100 percent lactose free and is suitable for those with dairy sensitivities.

In the Middle Ages, animal milk was, of course, not refrigerated, and fresh milk did not stay fresh for long. Most cooks did not use much milk as the short shelf-life made it a difficult ingredient to depend upon and so having milk in the kitchen was usually unheard of.

Medieval cooks found they could depend upon the milky liquid produced by grinding almonds or walnuts. This liquid, high in natural fats, could be prepared fresh whenever needed in whatever quantities. It also could be made well ahead of time and stored with no danger of degeneration. Because of its high fat content, it could be churned into butter, and because it was not animal milk, it could be used and consumed during designated meatless days. Today, almond milk is often used in refreshing smoothies, puréed with frozen berries or bananas.

Types of Almond Milk
Almond milk is available in plain, flavored, and enriched varieties.

Buying and storing tips
Look for almond milk in cartons, either on the shelves or in the refrigerated section of natural foods stores and grocery stores. Almond milk will keep for 7 to 10 days; refrigerate after opening. For an extended shelf life and optimal taste, refrigerate overnight before opening.

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