The Nut-Free & Dairy-Free Milk You Should Be Using

Holisticole - Dairy-Free Milk - Hemp Milk

Many are making the switch from cows milk to non-dairy plant milks. For those with a dairy intolerance or allergy, this would be a no brainer, and for everyone else it should be something to consider, as conventional cows milk raises many digestive issues as it is filled with inflammatory compounds and hard to digest proteins such as casein. 

While these "plant" milks are excellent for a large part of the population who avoids the dairy - What are these pre-made, pre-packaged dairy free milks made from? While we may be familiar with the infamous ingredient carageenan by now (the not so innocent seaweed extract which is destructive to the digestive system, triggering an immune response, similar to what happens when your body has been invaded by pathogens such as Salmonella, which can lead to ulcerations and bleeding) - say that five times fast... But what else are in these "plant" milks? 

Almond milk, is touted as a health beverage, and while it does not contain a cocktail of antibiotics, growth hormones, nor is it the result of factory farming, these boxed plant milks offer very little nutritional value. It turns out those little half gallon cartons of almond milk specifically, contains less than handful of almonds and it is estimated that almonds make up only 2% of the total drink. 

Luckily it's fairly simple to make almond milk at home, however I raise a new issue with the trend... Due to the drought in California, the price of everything almond has skyrocketed! California is the worlds top producer of the nut, contributing to 90% of the world's supply of almonds, and get this - it takes over 1 gallon of water (which they don't have) to produce ONE, yes one, almond!

While almond milk is by far, the most well known milk alternative, there are other plant milks! Almond milk is simple to make at home, this way you can avoid the additives and synthetic vitamins and minerals but making almond milk at home doesn't mean that the almonds you are using still aren't coming from California. I should also mention, tree nuts are a top allergen and this plant milk is not safe for schools, so you can't send it with your child as a dairy alternative.

Luckily there is option that is both sustainable, school-safe and super easy to make (no tedious soaking required), this being HEMP milk!

If you aren't using hemp yet, I encourage you to start! 

Hemp is a crop which can be grown in a wide variety of conditions around the world. I call hemp "the way of the future" as the entire plant can be used from seed, stalk to root for making food, clothing, rope, paper, building materials, animal bedding, eco-friendly "plastic", paint and fuel! Another interesting point is that hemp has never been genetically modified and does not require synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fungicides to grow - it is not a picky plant and grows well in a large variety of environmental conditions.

So as you can see the potential for hemp goes beyond using it for our nutrition, however I have a few points to make that get you on the path to being "fueled by hemp"! This oil seed can be used to make hemp oil, hemp "hearts", hemp milk and hemp flour. Since hemp is a seed, not a nut, is naturally gluten-free and has a very low case of allergies or intolerance, a great choice for many, and it is school safe and allergen-free. 

Hemp is an excellent source of plant based proteins, it contains all of the essential amino acids, making it a perfect source of complete protein for those who follow a plant-based, vegan/vegetarian lifestyle, but also for those who like to add in a good quality plant protein with an animal protein. In only 3 tablespoons of hemp you get a mighty 10g of protein! Hemp is a simple addition to any meal for a protein boost.

That's not it though... Hemp contains more than just protein, since this is an oil seed it is also an excellent source of healthy fats and more specifically, plant-based omega-3. Hemp is made up of about two thirds linoleic acid, an omega-6 essential fatty acid and one third is alpha linoleic acid (ALA), the omega-3 that can be converted into EPA, for pain and inflammation and DHA for the brain! Essential fatty acids must obtained through the diet as the body cannot create these essential fats. In just 3 tbsp of hemp you get 10.5g of omegas, and hemp is also unique for containing the perfect ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, in a 3:1 ratio. While many foods contain omega-3, such as walnuts and flax - typically the ratio is more like 6:1. 

We need to maintain a balance of omega-3 to omega-6 as too much omega-6 is a contributor of inflammation. While we do need omega-6 to some degree for our health, the ratio is key, omega-3 is anti-inflammatory and benefits everything from the skin, eyes, brain, digestive system and heart. It is estimated that the standard american diet consists of an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 50:1, that's nowhere near 3:1, and can explain why we have so cases many inflammatory diseases.

Last but not least, before I share with you the simplest recipe in the world for HEMP milk.. In 3 tbsp of hemp, not only are you getting 10g of protein and 10.5g of omega's, but you are also getting 2g of fibre, and all of the carbs in hemp are fibre. Making this a low-carb, high-protein, high-fat, ketogenic and low-glycemic power seed!

Now that you are a hemp master, and have been somewhat convinced that almond milk is so 2015, here is the recipe for the simplest hemp milk to replace all other plant milks. This is without doubt one of my essentials.
 

Simple Hemp Milk Recipe

Makes 2 1/2 - 3 cups

What you need:
1 cup raw hemp hearts (I use Manitoba Harvest)
3 cups filtered water

What to do:
-Add your hemp hearts and water to a blender. Blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds until creamy and combined
-Consume un-strained for the most nutritional benefit (protein, omega-3 & fibre) or strain with a nut milk bag for a smoother milk. If straining, please save your hemp pulp and make some delicious raw cookies to limit treasured waste.
-& that's it! A protein filled, omega-3 packed and fibre containing plant milk! 
-Lasts 2-3 days when refrigerated

NOTES:
You can also make this milk fancy! Depending on your time frame. Here is another option for Hemp Milk


Fancy Hemp Seed Milk

Makes 2 1/2 - 3 cups

What you need:
1 cup raw hemp hearts (I use Manitoba Harvest)
3 cups filtered water
2 pitted dates soaked, or 1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon raw coconut butter or oil (optional for a richer milk)
1 tablespoon non-GMO sunflower seed lecithin (for added brain benefits and for obtaining a a smooth consistency)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of himalayan salt

What to do:
-Add all of your ingredients to the blender. Blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds until creamy and combined
-Again, consume un-strained for the most nutritional benefit or strain with a nut milk bag for a smoother milk. 
-Lasts 2-3 days when refrigerated

NOTES:
You could flavour this milk with raw cacao, cinnamon or berries!
 

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