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Milk Alternative

The milk isle in any supermarket is now filled with all different types of “milk”. Once upon a time there was maybe three different types, whole, skimmed and semi-skimmed now there’s a whole host of different options.

My family and I don’t have any dairy at all now, mainly down to my daughter having a lactose intolerance, so we have tried and tested quite a few different types, including almond, oat, rice, coconut and soy milk.

Almond milk is made from skinned almonds that are ground finely with water and then filtered to remove solids. Almond milk is free of saturated fat and great for the calorie-conscious of you for its low calorie count (30-60 calories per cup for unsweetened or original). It's also quite high in vitamin E, both from what's naturally present in almonds as well as what's added by manufacturers.

Soymilk was the first nondairy milk to become mainstream, and it's still perhaps the most controversial. It's produced by soaking, crushing, and cooking soybeans, and then extracting the liquid. Of all the nondairy alternatives, soy is still the highest in protein. Each cup delivers protein levels almost the same as regular milk. Some brands add cheap oils that can unnecessarily drive up total calories and soy beans are mainly genetically engineered so not the most “natural” of products.

Carton or Tetra Pak coconut milk is gleaned by blending together filtered water and the coconut liquid squeezed from grated coconut flesh. Compared to full-fat canned coconut milk, the beverage version has about 365 fewer calories and 43 fewer grams of fat for each one-cup serving.

Rice milk is made by blending together cooked rice with water and then adding enzymes to convert starches to sugars. Rice milk's sweetness make it a popular nondairy option for coffee, smoothies, and desserts. Since rice is considered hypoallergenic, the drink it produces is a safe option for those with food sensitivities to dairy, nuts, or soy. As with other nondairy alternatives, rice milk is now often fortified with calcium and vitamin D to help maintain strong bones. For those who are watching their carbohydrate intake you should be aware that rice milk tends to have higher levels of carbs than other types of milk.

I am not telling anyone to stop drinking cow’s milk, and personally if I was to start drinking it again I would always go to my local farm for fresh farm milk, but for those that feel they may have an intolerance then do try these alternatives as it has made a huge difference to us as a family and also it’s nice to have a change of flavours in my porridge!!

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