When most people find out that the are either allergic to dairy or are lactose intolerant, it’s usually a big let down for them to hear that they’re going to have to let go of their turtle tracks ice cream and slurping up milk with their cereal. And let me tell you, I can completely empathize!
I remember the first time it dawned on me that cheese and milk were causing me to be all bloated and tootie and the first thing that came to mind was the fear of changing my routine. I put milk in my oatmeal every day, I ate mozzarella-tomato-basil sandwiches for lunch and downed my dinner with a nice big gulp of 2% or skim cow milk. It was the only thing that I knew so, heck ya, it was scary! Can you tell I’m not the biggest fan of change.
After I took the leap of faith and cut out all dairy from my diet, things starting to change and then it dawned on me that all those GI issues I suffered from as a child was primarily because I was severely lactose intolerant. Back in the 1980s, no one really talked about “lactose intolerance,” so my parents (bless their hearts) really had no clue. In fact, they were doing as good as any parents knew how to back then! Every Tom, Dick, and Harry medical doctor and TV personality were telling parents that “milk does a body good” and was needed to build healthy bones, so I really can’t blame my folks.
It’s been almost 7 years now since I kicked cow milk to the curb and I can tell you that I've never felt better! Today, I only eat raw cow cheese as I have found that the natural enzymes in unpasteurized milk make a big difference. Still, since we live in Georgia and raw cow milk is illegal to drink, I am quite intent with my coconut and almond milk!
Cow Milk Substitutes
Like many people fresh off of dairy, I went through the cycle of soy and rice milk thinking that they were good for me. After I discovered that unfermented soy is just as bad as diary, and rice milk is nothing more than sugar water, I finally found “home.” Coconut and almond milk! These two are absolutely my favorites and I use either one or a combination of the two in all of my dishes calling for milk. Both are extremely nutritious and super tasty and our kids just love them!
Getting Your Hands on Some Good Milk
When shopping for almond milk, make sure that it doesn’t add sugar, evaporated cane juice or “enhanced” flavorings. Our favorite is Blue Diamond Almond Breeze. It’s fortified with vitamins and minerals and is storage-shelf friendly. Just make sure to get the unsweetened one!
Of course, nothing is healthier or tastier than making your own! I highly recommend trying out this recipe created by my very talented little-sister-in-Christ, Kelcie Morgan. She has one of my favorite food blogs, Kelcie’s Kreations.
- 2 cups raw sprouted almonds
- 1 cup pitted dates (use more or less to control desired sweetness)
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup water
- 1½ cup raw coconut water
- Blend all ingredients in a vita mix or blender until thick and creamy.
- Line fine strainer with a “nut milk” bag or cheese cloth and strain.
- Put in refrigerator for several hours to cool and enjoy!