Eight vegan alternatives to milk

Here are absolutely delicious and healthy plant-based alternatives to dairy milk

Plant-based milk: soy milk, rice milk, sunflower seeds milk, almond milk

Over the years, we have got used to consuming dairy milk in various forms, and it has become an intricate part of our cooking, baking and eating habits. So you’re probably wondering how will life go on if you do decide to stop using milk in your diet. Welcome to the world of plant-based milks. To distinguish cruelty-free milk from the animal milk, vegans have coined the term—mylk.

Here I am sharing a few ways to make your own plant-based vegan mylk.

Coconut mylk (raw)

Coconut Mylk - Vegan alternative to dairy milkThis mylk has been used traditionally in Indian and Thai cooking.  It is the easiest to make.

Ingredients

  • 1 scrapped coconut
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 date, deseeded if required for sweetening

Procedure

  1. Blend the scrapped coconut with the hot water in a blender. Hot water helps remove more mylk.
  2. Squeeze the mylk out. This is the first extract. It is thicker and cannot be heated directly. This can be used to make coconut butter or cream.
  3. Blend the residue with warm water.
  4. Once again squeeze the mylk out. You can do this once or twice to get the thinner, second and third extract. This can be heated directly without risking curdling.
  5. Mix both mylk [thick and thin] together or use it separately

Best used for

  • Curries, hot and cold beverages, baking, desserts.
  • It does not heat well over direct heat.  So a double cooker is advisable.  Also to avoid splitting add a pinch of corn flour, and mix in well, and then heat/boil.
  • Can ferment with yogurt starter to make delicious curd.

Soya  mylk

Soya Mylk - Vegan alternative to dairy milkThis is the most commonly available mylk.  You can buy it off the shelf but if you want to make it, here’s the recipe

Ingredients

  • 100 g soy bean, soaked over night
  • Water
  • Couple of dates
  • A pinch of rock salt

Procedure

  1. Blend the soy beans and other ingredients to a smooth paste with enough water to create a thick milk consistency.
  2. Strain with a muslin cloth or very fine sieve.
  3. Boil over low flame while stirring constantly.

Best used for

  • Coffee, hot chocolate, cold coffee, tea, baking, breakfast etc.
  • Can be made into curd, but makes for a bland curd.
  • There are soy milk maker machines available with select dealers which take care of the whole process.  But this is worth it only if you drink soy mylk regularly.

Almond mylk (raw)

Almond mylk - vegan alternative to dairy milkThis mylk is slowly gaining popularity and is easily available over the counter.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almonds, soaked for 5 hours
  • Water to blend

Procedure

  1. Blend to a smooth consistency.  Add water as required.  Strain and use.
  2. This mylk can also be boiled, or had just as it is!

Best used for

Tea coffee, hot and cold beverages, cooking baking etc.

Sesame mylk (raw)

Sesame mylk - vegan alternative to dairy milkThis is for those well into plant based since some time. This mylk has 10 times more calcium than 1 big cup of cows milk.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sesame seeds—preferably white-soaked for about 3 hours
  • Water as needed
  • 2 deseeded dates

Procedure

Blend with water and strain.

Best used for

Curries, cold beverages

Rice mylk

Rice mylk - vegan alternative to dairy milkThis is a tedious process and not my favorite.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice soaked for four hours—brown is better
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 date

Procedure

  1. Grind the soaked rice with date into smooth consistency.
  2. Strain it if you want smooth milk for beverages.  Do not strain if you are using for cooking purposes or making curd.
  3. Put in a double boiler and boil slowly with constant stirring.  Keep adding more water if required.  Be careful that lumps are not formed.

Best used for

Curds, baking, thickening curries, maybe in coffees.

Why you should switch to vegan mylk

Animal milk, be it from a cow, goat, buffalo or any other mammal, is made by Mother nature for the offspring of that particular animal. When humans consume it, we are literally stealing a child’s food and probably its only hope of survival in its first few years on Earth. Thus animal milk and dairy products are a result of cruelty, where the animals are subjected to unimaginable levels of violence and exploitation.

The other part of the story is that we humans not only don’t need animal milk, but it is actually harmful to us. In close to two decades of my medical practice, I have seen people’s health deteriorate as their consumption of dairy products increased. Now I help patients reverse their lifestyle illnesses without medicines and the first step is removal of animal products from their diet, especially dairy.

Peanut mylk

This is a popular plant-based alternative especially for making curds

Ingredients

  • 1 cup soaked peanuts
  • Water

Procedure

  1. Blend the peanuts with enough water to make milk consistency.  Sieve if smooth milk is required.
  2. Boil over low flame with constant stirring.
  3. If making curd, add a little bit of rice milk at the end of boiling and let simmer for a minute.  Cool and add starter.  Keep aside for 8 hours, lightly covered

Best used for

Curds, mylkshakes, coffee and tea, baking.

Cashew mylk (raw)

Cashew mylk - vegan alternative to dairy milkSimplest to make and tastes very similar to cow’s milk.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • Water

Procedure

  1. Soak for two hours
  2. Blend into milk consistency.

Best used for

Tea, coffee, cooking, baking, curds, etc

Sunflower mylk (raw)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • Water

Procedure

  1. Soak seeds overnight.
  2. Blend into milk consistency.

Best used for

Over cereals, cold drinks, baking.

Bonus recipe: Peanut Chocolate Drink

Peanut Chocolate Drink

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 5 dates—deseeded
  • Raw cacao powder
  • Pinch of black salt
  • Vanilla powder or extract

Preparation method

  1. Roast peanuts to brown, slightly overroasted.
  2. Blend into a thick paste with all other ingredients.
  3. For hot drink:  Pour hot water to consistency required.
  4. For cold drink: Pour cold water to consistency required.

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