The questions that I most often get asked when I put my clients on a dairy free, gluten free, and soy free eating plan for 30 days are, what am I to drink on my cereal, or use in my shakes? And how can I live without cheese or yogurt? What can I use instead of cows milk, if I can’t use soy milk.
Well, here are what I think are the best alternatives: Goats milk and cheeses and nut milk and cheeses. Trader Joe’s has quite a nice variety of goat’s and sheep cheese these days, so I hope you will check them out. Farmer’s Markets also have great cheeses but sometimes at pretty steep prices.
A little bit about goat’s milk. The protein in goat milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk protein, so easier on the stomach. The fat content is a little bit higher than whole milk but the type of fat mainly, CLA (Congugated Linoleic Acid) is very healing to the digestive system and may help ward off estrogen driven cancers as well.
If you don’t like the taste or the idea of goat’s milk then nut milks are a great alternative. Below are recipes for a quick 30 second version and then the more traditional version. I would recommend making your own nut milks, if possible, as the ones available in the stores are often full of sugar and chemicals and besides, it can be easy and fun too!
30 Second Nut Milk: Use this if you don’t have time or don’t feel like making the real McCoy.
2 heaping tablespoons raw almond or cashew butter
2 cups filtered water
Pinch of Real* Salt or sea salt
1 Tablespoon Sucanat** or raw honey (optional)
1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
The Real McCoy Almond Milk Recipe:
1 cup raw almonds, soaked 4 hours or more
4 cups filtered water
1-2 Tablespoons Sucanat** or raw honey (optional)
Pinch of Real Salt or sea salt
A few drops of natural almond or vanilla extract (optional)
In a high power blender, blend the nuts and water on high speed for about 2 minutes, to make sure the nuts are thoroughly blended. Strain the milk through a nut milk bag or multiple layers of cheesecloth twice for smoothness. Rinse the blender cup and place the milk back in it with the remaining ingredients. Blend to combine thoroughly and taste for sweetness.
**Sucanat is a sugar that has been very minimally processed. It is cane sugar that has been dehydrated, not heated and it maintains it’s molasses content, as well as vitamin and mineral content.