I won’t lie, dairy products taste wonderful. I don’t consume them anymore but as a child my favorite food on the planet was vanilla pudding. Lucky for me, there are plenty of yummy dairy free alternatives available today. At home I love to drink nut and seed milk I make from scratch. It’s super simple and fun: blend 1/2 cup of nuts or seeds of your choice with 2 cups of water and a couple of dates or a few drops of stevia until smooth. Strain the blended mixture through a nut milk bag. I’m especially fond of using almonds, macadamia nuts, cashews, sunflower, hemp and sesame seeds. Also delish: banana milk! Simply take a slightly green banana and blend it with 1 cup of water. Depending on the desired consistency, just add more water. The same works really well with oats: blend a handful of oats and a date with water, strain and done!
Here are my thoughts on dairy: cow’s milk provides perfect nutrition. For calves. With regard to humans there are multiple reasons to delete dairy from our daily diet. Some of the most compelling ones are the large scale animal suffering and the damage to the environment caused by the dairy industry. When eaten regularly, dairy can have detrimental and even devastating long term effects on our health. This is especially true when it comes to so called “conventional” milk from mass production which often contains a toxic cocktail of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides. Dairy consumption has been linked to many afflictions including acne, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
When it comes to store bought non-dairy yogurt, make sure to check out which probiotics have been added to the product. Amongst the most beneficial for your health are B. bifidum, L. acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, L. plantarum and S. thermophilus. If you’d like to experiment with making yogurt from scratch you can try my favorite recipe: blend 3/4 cups meat of a young coconut with two teaspoons coconut water and one teaspoon lemon juice. Pour the coconut mixture into a glass jar, add the content of two probiotic capsules and stir. Cover tightly with the lid and allow the coconut yogurt to ferment for 24 hours in a cool, dark spot.
Tip: If you want to reduce your dairy intake, start slow and find your own pace. Perhaps the first week (or the first month) you replace cow milk with a delicious non-dairy alternative. Experiment with different products and find out what tastes and feels best to you. The next step could be cutting out yogurt. Once you are comfortable with these changes you could go for the pièces de resistance: cheese and butter.
In Joy, Ariane