Plant-based milk – worth the switch?

soy milk, almond milk, Free Spirited SistersSome of you might see that words “plant-based milk” and balk, and believe me, I get it! I used to be the person that said “milk from a plant? You can’t be serious?”. It just seemed weird and not right. Milk comes from cows….end of story.

But, the fact is, there are many alternatives to cow’s milk that are very healthy and for some people a much better option. Almond, cashew, coconut, hemp, rice, soy, flax, the options are definitely there.

My story

It was a bit of a process for me to switch to almond milk (about 4 years ago). I did it because I was having stomach sensitivities and the doc suggested I skip dairy for a while. Even though I can now tolerate all dairy, except yogurt, I never went back. It feels better for my body, and now that I’m plant-based, it just makes sense.

It’s a transition

I started out by trying the sugar-free variety and basically spat it right out. It tasted awful after the sweetness of cow’s milk that I’d been consuming for so many years. So the transition started…I tried a few different brands and settled on Blue Diamond Almond Breeze original, then later transitioned to the Vanilla Unsweetened variety, then the original unsweetened (the original one I tried!). After that, I came upon the amazing Moon Juice Cookbook from the creator of Moon Juice, Amanda Chantal Bacon. She had recipes for various plant-based milks and it sounded pretty easy. So I gave it a shot.

Too easy!

Now, once or twice a week, I make my own almond milk. It’s super easy and I even dry out the pulp and grind it into almond flour – who is this pioneer woman I have become?! Check out this post for the recipe and process. It’s worth it. You know exactly what is going into your body every day, and you are your own quality control! So that’s why I started plant-based milk. Next, some of the reasons it may be a good choice for you.

Why people choose plant-based milk

  • They’re free from antibiotics and hormones. Cow’s milk is created for baby cows for the purposes of growing them into adult cows. It’s cow growth fluid and not really meant for humans…
  • Animal-cruelty free. Sadly, some of the cows are so poorly treated they can be sick, and you can end up with pus in your milk. Sorry, it’s gross but true.
  • Plant and nut-based milks contain less sugar than dairy milk.
  • They also contain more omega 3 fatty acids, but don’t contain cholesterol – yay heart!
  • They are lower in calories than dairy milk.

Addressing the Concerns

  • Plant-based milks contain less protein than cow’s milk. It’s true, so they may not be suitable for younger children. Adults can get all the protein they need from a balanced diet with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Yes, even vegans. 😛
  • Calcium – some plant-based milks are actually higher in calcium and the vitamins in the milk help the body absorb it more readily.

Obviously, I’m team plant milk all the way! It’s a personal choice, of course. My family doesn’t enjoy plant-based milk, so I make sure I buy the best organic dairy milk I can for them without breaking the bank. I do encourage you (and my family…often) to give them a try though and why not have a go at the almond milk recipe here.

Love, health, and happiness,

Claire.

 



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