My husband and I had a fantastic Saturday. We spent the morning at a new coffee shop in Denver called Federal Coffee (organic coffee WIN!), went to the Museum of Contemporary Art, went out for lunch at Milk Market , and stopped by to see a friend’s new house. We ended the day with homemade burgers, sweet potato fries, asparagus spears, and watched the movie Black Klansman. We’ve been trying to watch more movies that shine a light on social issues in our country and really enjoyed this film by Spike Lee.
I love a creamy beverage first thing in the morning, but once I started my journey towards healing I realized the milks I had been adding to my coffee and tea had sneaky ingredients. Just because it said “coconut milk” on the bottle didn’t mean coconuts and water were the only ingredients. Oftentimes alternative milks from our favorite brands are filled with sugars, emulsifiers and preservatives. That’s why I try to bring my own when I know I know I’m going to be hanging out at a coffee shop.
EXAMPLES OF COMMON NON-DAIRY MILKS AND THEIR INGREDIENTS
Whole Foods Unsweetened Almond Milk: Organic almondmilk (filtered water, organic almonds), tricalcium phosphate, sea salt, xanthan gum, potassium citrate, sunflower lecithin, vitamin a palmitate, ergocalciferol (vitamin d2), dl-alpha tocopherol acetate (vitamin e).
Pacific Organic Hemp Milk: Water, brown rice syrup, hulled hemp seed, contains 1% or less of: disodium phosphate, tricalcium phosphate, vitamin D2, xanthan gum.
Califia Farms Unsweetened Almond Milk: Almondmilk (Water, Almonds), Calcium Carbonate, Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Potassium Citrate, Natural Flavors, Locust Bean Gum, Gellan Gum
Milkadamia Unsweetened Macadamia Milk: Macadamia Milk (Filtered Water, Macadamias), Calcium Phosphate, Pea Protein, Natural Flavors, Locust Bean Gum, Sea Salt, Sunflower Lecithin, Gellan Gum, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, Vitamin B12.
There’s a lot going on in alternative milks to keep them shelf stable. Some of the ingredients listed above can contribute to gut permeability, so they’re best to avoid for those of us with digestive issues and autoimmune disease (learn more about how these contribute to gut permeability here from the Paleo Mom).
All it takes to make nut/seed milk is nuts or seeds and water. Seriously, that’s it. The only brand I’ve found with that limited of a list on their bottles is MALK organics.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
You can start by making nut and seed milk at home. When I realized I tolerated nuts after the reintroduction part of AIP, I started trying to make my own almond milk in order to avoid the long list of ingredients I didn’t recognize in the store bought versions. Turns out making almond milk at home is kind of a process. While it doesn’t have that many steps (soak over night, blend, strain, sip), it takes a long time from start to finish. I never wanted to waste the ground almonds that were left after straining the milk, so I would dehydrate the meal on low heat for several hours. By the time I finished about 12-24 hours had passed since I started. Oof!
GOOD NEWS! I’ve figured out a way to make alternative milk in two minutes. Yes, you read that right… TWO minutes. I’m sharing that recipe with you today.. enjoy!
1 cup of hemp hearts
4 cups of water
Put all ingredients into a magic bullet or blender and blend for 45-60 seconds
Strain liquid through a reusable nut milk bag and into mason jars (optional)
Notes: Hemp milk is a tiny bit bitter and will separate in the refrigerator. Simply shake it up before you’re ready to serve it. You can also add a tsp of maple syrup and a splash of vanilla to add flavor, if you like. When you don’t strain it there are small ground up bits of hemp seed in there (I personally love the added fiber). This lasts in the refrigerator for approximately 4-5 days.