Six Do-It-Yourself “Milk” Recipes for Dairy Alternative Month

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Homemade Vegan Milk AlternativesLeave it to me, founder of the largest dairy-free site on the net, to almost forget about national dairy alternative month (June). Sure, I did coincidentally write several stories on cheese alternatives (Ten Vegan Hard Cheese Alternatives, Daiya "Cheese" Review, Three New Products from Tofutti). But since it is still in its infancy this "event" needs some more attention. Fortunately, Jeff of Go Frugal Blog, swooped in with an amazing article of milk alternative recipes to act as a grand finale to the month. Take it away Jeff

Lactose intolerance is more than just inconvenient and occasionally painful: It's also expensive. Milk alternatives are pricey and some don't really taste all that good. The best way to get around this problem is to make your own substitute.

The following milk alternatives must be refrigerated and tend to last from three to seven days. Fortunately, you can whip up another batch of most in less than 10 minutes …

1. Almond, Cashew or Sunflower Seed Milk
While almond is the most common nut used for this milk, you can substitute cashews or sunflower seeds. Of course, the more water you use the less flavor. The standard balance is one-part almonds to four-parts water.

Ingredients
4 ounces (1/2 cup) blanched almonds, cashews or sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup water
3 to 4 ice cubes

Directions
   1. Soak or blanch brown-skinned nuts.
   2. Rinse to bring out the strongest flavor.
   3. Blend ice, almonds and honey on medium until smooth.
   4. Slowly add water until mix is of a milky consistency.
   5. Strain through muslin or cheese cloth.
   6. Squeeze until no liquid remains.
   7. Store in refrigerator for up to three days.

2. Coconut Milk
You'll find coconut flesh at food co-ops or health-food stores. Alternately, you can crack a coconut and grate out the flesh yourself. Coconut contains 17 percent fat, so use judiciously.

Ingredients
1/2 cup coconut flesh
2 to 3 drops vanilla
1/2 cup boiling water

Directions
   1. Blend all ingredients on low for 20 seconds.
   2. Slowly increase speed to high for another 20-30 seconds, until smooth.
   3. Cool and refrigerate for up to three days.
   4. Shake before using.

3. Rice Milk
Rice milk contains more carbohydrates than cow's milk but doesn't have much calcium or protein, so you may wish to add protein powder during the blending process. Natural sweeteners are created during this process but you may want to add a touch of salt.

Ingredients
1 cup rice (brown or short grain)
4 cups hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla
Salt to taste

Directions
   1. Blend all ingredients on puree for about five minutes, until smooth.
   2. Add salt or sweeteners and blend for 30 seconds.
   3. Cool for 30 minutes.
   4. Strain through muslin or cheese cloth.
   5. Cool and refrigerate for up to three days.

4. Apricot, Date or Fig Milk
While fruit milks aren't truly milks, they're delicious and make great breakfast smoothies.

Ingredients
4 ounces (1/2 cup) chopped dried apricots
2 to 3 drops vanilla
2 cups boiling water

Directions:
   1. Blend apricots and boiling water on low for 30 seconds.
   2. Slowly increase speed to high for another 30 seconds.
   3. Blend in more boiling water until smooth.
   4. Add vanilla and blend another 20 seconds.
   5. Cool and refrigerate for up to one week.

5. Oat Milk
Oat Milk is light in texture and has a very mild flavor with just a hint of sweetness. It's high in fiber and contains vitamin E and folic acid, along with other trace elements and minerals.

Ingredients
4 cups cold water
1 ripe banana
2 cups cooked oatmeal
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Sweetener (to taste)

Directions
   1. Blend all ingredients for two to three minutes, until smooth.
   2. Refrigerate for up to seven days.
   3. Shake before using.

6. Soy Milk
If you don't mind the taste and work involved, soy milk is an excellent source of the same protein found in cow's milk.

Ingredients
4.5 ounces (1/2 cup) dry soy beans
4-1/4 cups water
1-2 teaspoons salt

Directions
   1. Place beans in a cloth bag and crack with blunt instrument.
   2. Clean and soak beans in water for six to eight hours.
   3. Rinse away hulls.
   4. Microwave beans in a container with loose lid for two minutes.
   5. Grind beans, salt and water in a blender.
   6. Strain mixture through muslin or cheese cloth.
   7. Boil milk for five to 10 minutes.
   8. Cool and store in fridge for up to three days.

Photo by Elana Amsterdam

 

Article and recipes by Jeff of Go Frugal Blog.

For more dairy alternative recipes, see Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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