Let’s talk milks.
About a year before my brief vegetarian adventure, I made the switch to soy milk. Looking back on it, I feel like I made the switch just to be trendy, but I soon got wrapped into the milk debate and was hooked. Should we be drinking cow’s milk? Why are we the only species who so intently drinks milk from other species long after childhood? Why do milk-drinking cultures have weaker bones when dairy-less cultures suffer less fractures in old age? There are many parts of the world that still thrive on dairy, though I do believe western diets indulge in it too much.
I sometimes indulged in a little cow’s milk if a cafe had no other alternative for my mocha lattes, but I cannot have it anymore. Stomach cramps, poor digestion, everything else you would see in lactose intolerance. I can still have cheese and yogurt, though plain cow’s milk is now gross to me. Perhaps my body was never meant to have it at all.
During my year as a vegetarian, I explored milks outside of soy. I avoid soy when I can, for potential future health problems that run in the family to avoiding any chance of having Monsanto-bred seeds. Moderation is key, but I’ve found other fine alternatives to keep me happy. Here’s my thoughts on all the ones I’ve tried!
Soy: The basic that most people start on. Soy has a good texture, good protein, and works well for espresso drinks because it froths nicely like cow’s milk. I would only recommend soy milk if it’s the only option available, and in extreme moderation. Too much can mess with estrogen/thyroid/hormone levels (my heart races if I have too much), and with the monopoly Monsanto has on soy seeds, it’s an extra step to find GMO-free versions. Avoid big brands like Silk.
Rice: I find rice to be the closest to soy but with less worries. Simple and light, it’s a nice refreshing touch for smoothies, though it’s too watery and flat for my tastes, and with fewer nutrients. It doesn’t froth in espresso drinks, so skip it in your next cappuccino. Again, avoid the big brand names if possible.
Oat: Along with other grains like hemp and quinoa milk, oat milk is one of my favorites. Think, creamy, and a fun way to get fiber, you can make the most delicious chocolate milk out of it. The brand I listed in the picture made chocolate versions and I drank right out of the carton!
Almond: My personal favorite and go-to for everything, from cereal to smoothies to baking to coffee. Almond boasts more natural nutrients than many other milk types and is incredibly easy to make in your home. It froths nicely for espresso drinks and makes the perfect vegan smoothie to keep you going throughout the day. Califia, the brand in the picture, is the one I always choose - the bottle is even BPA free!
Hope that helps anyone who’s been curious about other milks. What’s your favorite?