Different Types of Plant Based Milk
Growing awareness about the cruelty caused by the dairy industry, the impact on environment and health is making people switch to plant-based diet or at least have it more frequently. This trend has popularised different types of Plant based milk or now currently being called MYLK. People are making diary products like cheese etc also from plant-based ingredients. No, doubt that veganism is on the rise. In this blog, we would share the recipes of most popular plant based milk.
A decline in the consumption of animal milk is reported from around the world. It is reported that consumption of cow’s milk in the U.S. has fallen 40% since 1970, whereas U.S. sales of non-dairy milk alternatives have soared by 30% since 2011.
The shift is being seen around the world not just in America. According to Innova Market Insights, the global market for plant-based milk is expected to reach $16.3 billion in 2018. This is up from $7.4 billion in 2010.
According to PR Newswire, the global non-dairy milk market is projected to cross the revenue of $38 billion by 2024, growing at CAGR of over 14% during 2018–2024.
Even in India, Veganism has taken the health and fitness community by the storm. Ace athletes like Virat Kohli and Sunil Chettri have switched a completely plant-based diet.
There is a curiosity around veganism in India. And one of the biggest questions is around leaving dairy. And hence people are looking for different types of plant-based milk to replace their conventional milk. People don’t wanna leave milk mostly because they don’t know there are much healthier and delicious options of vegan milk. Vegan milk is a lot healthier, low fat and low cholesterol too compared to conventional animal milk. Vegan milk is a much better option if you want to lose weight, keep your heart healthy and boost your immunity as well. Not to mention it does not cause any cruelty to animals and damage to the planet.
You can extract them at home and hence be sure of the quality as well.
Let’s get to know about different types of plant based milk their benefits, nutrition and extractions process.
Coconut milk has a host of health benefits and that is why it is one of the most popular vegan milk available in the market. It has emerged as one of the most popular alternatives to dairy milk.
White juice extracted from a fresh coconut is called coconut milk. Coconut milk comes in broadly two varieties, thin or thick. Depending upon the different recipes you would need either thin or thick coconut milk.
Extracting Coconut Milk
Supplies: For extracting coconut milk, we need a coconut, knife, 1 cup Water, grater, blender and sieve/cheesecloth.
Process: Following is the process of Extraction of coconut milk
- Break the coconut collect the coconut water. Drink the water if you like. It is very healthy and refreshing.
2. Using a knife separate the pulp from the shell and remove the white coconut pulp.
3. Now grate the pieces of the coconut pulp.
4. Now, put the grated coconut in a blender and add water to it.
5. Keep blending on high until the mixture becomes thick and creamy.
6. Filter the coconut milk using a sieve/cheesecloth from the mixture. You can use a spoon to exert pressure to filter out as much milk as possible.
7. You can use coconut milk immediately or store in the fridge for future use.
Thick Coconut Milk: Thick coconut milk is the milk that is strained after grating or blending a coconut. Thick milk retains more fat than the thinner version.
Thin Coconut Milk: Thin coconut milk comes when the squeezed coconut flesh left inside the sieve/cheesecloth is mixed with warm water. Then it is strained through cheesecloth a second time. The resulting liquid is much thinner.
If you don’t want to have the pain of extracting it yourself. You can also order coconut milk powder from Plantmade.
Among all the different types of plant-based milk, soy milk is a really good source of protein and iron. It is made from pressing ground, cooked soybeans. Soy milk closely resembles cow’s milk. But it is different from cow milk in numerous ways. It has higher protein content, it is cholesterol-free, is low fat, and low sodium too.
Although, it contains a lower amount of calcium and that’s why most packaged soy milk is fortified with calcium and Vit D. Soy milk is probably the most popular vegan milk in the world.
It can be substituted for milk in almost any recipe. Soy milk is intentionally curdled is to make soy paneer called as tofu.
Now, let’s take a look at the process of soy milk extraction.
Extracting Soy Milk
Supplies: Container for soaking beans, Blender, Butter Muslin/sieve, heavy-bottom Pan, ½ cup white soybeans, 2–3 cups water for soaking, 4 cups water for blending, sugar to taste (optional)
Process: Following is the process of Extraction of Soy milk
- Soak soybeans in 2–3 cups of water overnight.
- Remove the water and rinse soybeans and put them in a bigger bowl.
- Put lukewarm water in the bowl containing soy.
- Rub the beans with your palms to remove the skin of the soybeans.
- Mix soybean with 4 cups of water to the blender and blend until smooth.
- Strain the blended mixture using butter muslin/sieve. (Keep twisting the top tightly enables you to continue squeezing out more milk. The solid residue after straining the milk is called Okara. It can also be used to make different dishes like filling for paranthas etc.
- Heat the strained milk in a heavy-bottom pan over medium heat else it would start sticking on the bottom of the pan.
- Hold this temperature for 20 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Cool the milk and store.
- Have it now or store it in refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Cashew milk is very creamy and delicious in taste. The nuts blend entirely into the water, and hence no nuts go wasted in the process of extracting milk from it. And hence, cashew milk retains all of the fibre and nutrients present in the cashews. The best part is it doesn’t require straining.
Cashew milk is full of redeeming nutrients, like magnesium, phosphorus, iron, potassium and zinc. The fat in cashews is mostly unsaturated and they are a good source of protein too. Now, let’s take a look at how to extract cashew milk.
Extracting Cashew Milk
Supplies: 1 cup of raw cashews, 4 cups water, divided, 1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey or agave nectar (optional)
Process: Following is the process of Extraction of Cashew milk
- Soak 1 cup of cashews overnight.
- Drain the water and rinse the cashews until water runs clear.
- Add the cashews and 4 cups of water (plus any sweeteners) to a high-powered blender
- Blend on high for a minute.
- Pour into a storage container and refrigerate or drink it up.
You can drink the cashew milk straight up or use it in a recipe just like dairy milk.
Almond is the most popular nut milk. Almond milk is also lighter and is low cholesterol. Almonds have even more calcium than cow’s milk.
Only two ingredients are needed to make almond milk, almonds and water. You can add sweetener of your choice like dates, jaggery etc.
Let’s learn how to extract almond milk.
Extracting Almond Milk
Supplies: 3/4 cup raw almonds (100 grams), 4 dates (optional), 2 cups water (500 millilitres)
Process: Following is the process of Extraction of Almond milk
- Soak the almonds in water overnight.
- Drain the water and rinse the almonds.
- Peel the almonds.
- Blend the almonds, dates and water until smooth.
- Strain the blended mixture using a cheesecloth or a strainer.
- Store the almond milk in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3–4 days.
Chickpea milk is relatively unknown and new to the market compared to other vegan milk like almond and soy. But chickpea milk is a really good alternative to conventional or other vegan milk.
It’s rich in protein, calcium, and omega-3s. It has fewer calories than cow’s milk. It is cost-effective too. As people are getting to know about it, it is becoming one of their favourite alternates to milk.
Now, let’s get to know how to extract chickpea milk.
Extracting Chickpea Milk
Supplies:3 cups dried chickpea beans, 4 large pitted dates (optional)
Process: Following is the process of Extraction of Chickpea milk
- Soak 2–3 cups of beans in a large container with enough water to expand the volume by 2–3 times for 24 hours (Chickpeas absorb a lot of water and expand a lot).
- Drain the water and rinse the beans.
- Place beans and dates in a blender or food processor and blend until creamy, adding as much water as needed making sure that no chunks are left.
- Boil 1 gallon of water in a large pot.
- Add the bean paste to it.
- Stir well, and let it simmer for 20–30 minutes, keep stirring occasionally.
- Let it cool and squeeze through cheesecloth or strain through a fine-mesh strainer.
The bean fibre is rich in dietary fibre. You can save it and use it to make chickpea pancakes, paranthas, hash browns, falafel, hamburger filler etc.
Hemp milk? What’s hemp milk? What’s hemp in the first place? Hempseeds are not popularly known but trust me they are a really good source of protein and Hemp milk is made from whole hemp seeds and is abundantly rich in high-quality plant proteins, healthy fats and essential minerals. This plant is also used to produce marijuana. But sorry to break it to you that hemp milk is not as exciting as marijuana as it doesn’t contain THC.
But it is sure, one hell of a replacement for conventional dairy milk.
Extracting Hemp Milk
Supplies: 1/2 cup hemp seeds, 3-4 cups water, 1 whole date, pitted (optional), cheesecloth or nut bag cloth.
Process: Following is the process of Extraction of Hemp milk
- Add hemp seeds, water, and dates to a high-speed blender.
- Cover the lid with a towel to avoid splashing.
- Blend for about 1 minute or until the mixture seems well combined.
- Pour the mixture directly into a serving container.
- You can strain it if you wish but more often than not, straining is not needed (For straining, pour the mixture over a large mixing bowl or covered with a nut milk bag and strain.)
- Transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate.
- Will keep in the refrigerator up to 5 days (sometimes more). Enjoy cold (and shake well) for best results.
Flax milk is the most recent one in the range of different types of plant-based milk products. It is rich in omega-3 and has no cholesterol. It has plenty of calcium too. Flax milk is an excellent alternative to milk in most ways. It is nutrient-rich and cost-effective.
Flax milk has many health benefits and that’s why it is slowly catching up with other vegan milk products.
Let’s see how we can prepare Flaxseeds milk for us at home.
Extracting flax Milk
Supplies: 1/2 cup flax seeds, 4 1/2 cups water, nut milk bag/cheesecloth
Process: Following is the process of Extraction of Flax milk
- Put flax seeds with 3 cups of water in a blender.
- Blend on high for 1 minute.
- Place a nut milk bag over a bowl.
- Pour the mixture in slowly, repeatedly squeezing the bag to extract all the milk.
- Rinse the blender and pour the milk back in.
- Blend again on low power while adding additional water.
- Pour into a glass jar and store in the fridge for 3–5 days.
These are the seven non-dairy milk options that you can easily try at home without needing anyone’s’ help or any cooking experience. These different types of plant-based milk can be used to drink, or make various vegan recipes like a smoothie, shake, sweets etc.
Give them a try at home and let’s know how did you find them. Write to us on [email protected], if you want us to write on some specific topics.
Happy Healthy Eating to All. 🙂