How do you milk a plant?
Soybeans, almonds, coconuts and oats are all now available in their milked forms… But how do you get the milk out of them?
The beans, nuts, coconut or grains are soaked for a certain amount of time, blended with water and the ‘milk’ is strained away from the pulp.
Commercially bought plant milks are treated with Ultra High Pressure Homogenisation to extend their shelf life and commonly contain emulsifiers, sweeteners, vegetable gums and micronutrients.
For those who don't drink cows milk... ask yourself the question?
"Why am I avoiding it?" Cows milk is super nutritious and a wholefood. So unless you have a know allergy, intolerance or ethical value against it, why avoid it?
For those who do decide on an alternative plant milk, it is important to know how it stacks up nutritionally.
Plant milk // nutrition breakdown
Plant milks provide a similar, if not greater, amount of carbohydrates per serve when compared to cows milk. However, plant milks do not contain lactose (the milk sugar).
Most plant milks are very LOW in protein, with the exception of soy milk.
For example, one cup of cow’s milk provides ~8g of protein, one cup of soy milk ~8g, and one cup of almond milk a mere ~1.5g.
Plant milks are NATURALLY very low in calcium and cows milk is naturally rich in calcium. However, commercial plant milks that have been fortified with calcium can provide a comparable calcium content to dairy milk
(~300mg calcium per cup).
Before choosing your plant milk it is always important to check out what it actually contains, before pouring it down your mouth.
Fact - coconut milk contains 5 x the saturated fat content of almond milk and more than double the calories!
What plant milk do I choose?
If you do choose plant milks, consider both your calcium and protein requirements, as it has been found that those avoiding dairy may not be meeting their nutritional needs in these departments.
If we rate plant milks on a nutritional basis, fortified soy milks stack up 2nd to dairy milk, and if you are one who also needs to avoid soy, a different plant milk that has been fortified (with calcium) is your next best option.