Milk does not just have to be cow’s milk. There are lots of other milk extracts and milk alternatives that can easily replace cow’s milk in our diet. Coconut milk, for instance, is thicker and much more nutritious than cow’s milk.
There are tastier alternatives that can replace dairy on your kitchen shelves, such as the nutty and mild milk from nuts and seeds or tangy camel’s milk. These can also be easily used in most recipes and are creamier and thicker, adding their distinct taste and lusciousness to the recipe.1
Options That Can Replace Cow’s Milk
1. Nut And Seed Milk Is Packed With Nutrients
Milk extracted from nuts like almond, cashew, hazelnut, pistachio or even hemp is a very rich alternative to milk. Milk from any nut can be easily extracted at home, keeping all the nutrients intact. Making this milk at home involves soaking the nuts, blending them with water, and then draining the pulp to get a thick milk extract.
Nut milk is much milder and makes a perfect base for most milkshakes and smoothies. When baking, a thicker and creamier nut milk like cashew milk or almond milk is much easier to use and preserves the texture. These kinds of milk also taste good with breakfast cereal or as a medium for desserts.2
2. Coconut Milk Has Healthy Saturated Fats
Coconut milk is an incredibly nutrient-dense milk alternative for many who are on a diet. With nearly 92 percent saturated fat content and a high level of medium-chain triglycerides, coconut milk is easily metabolized by the body for energy as the medium chain fatty acids do not undergo degradation and re-esterification processes.
Easily extracted from a coconut, coconut milk contains a higher ratio of coconut meat to coconut water, making it thicker, richer and more luscious with all the nutrients intact. Though ready made options are available, they might contain added sugar and water. Coconut milk is an ideal thickener for soups, curries, and desserts. It gives a creamy finish to any dish it is added to. It can also be consumed as it is or used in ice creams or even in baking recipes.3
3. Camel Milk Is Low In Fat
Camel milk is said to be gluten-free, casein-free, lower in fat and anti-diabetic with immunity boosters similar to those of human breast milk. Camel milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk because of its lower lactose content and is a very good alternative for those looking at avoiding cow’s milk altogether. It also lacks casein protein and lactoglobulin that is found in cow’s milk, both compounds that cause protein intolerance in susceptible people. It is a rich source of essential fatty acids, vitamin B1, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium.
There is a slight variation in taste as it could be slightly tart, something like salty goat milk, but it is also sweet enough to take the place of cow’s milk.4 If camel milk is available, make sure that it is obtained from pasture-raised camels that have been fed a soy-free, corn-free diet. Also, check that there are no added hormones or antibiotics. If you’re looking for a safe, healthy option, camel milk powder is available in the market or online too.5
Cooking with camel milk is easy, as it has the same properties as cow’s milk. The only difference is that it is thicker and creamier with a hint of a salty aftertaste. But it is great to use in chocolates, ice creams, and cakes too. Camel milk is also very rich in probiotics and hence can be made into thicker yogurt, the time taken for which is slightly longer.
So go ahead, let these alternatives replace cow milk in your diet and add their distinct flavor and nutrients to your food too.
|↑1, ↑2||Edwards. V. Edith, Milk Recipes from Nuts & Seeds, TEACH Services, Inc., 1998.|
|↑3||Fife Bruce, Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut, Piccadilly Books Ltd, 2005.|
|↑4||Watson Ross Ronald, Collier J Robert, Preedy R Victor, Nutrients in Dairy and Their Implications for Health and Disease, Academic Press, 2017.|
|↑5||Noor, Issack Mohamed, et al. “Assessment of camel and camel milk marketing practices in an emerging peri-urban production system in Isiolo County, Kenya.” Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice 3.1 (2013): 28.|