Recently, nut milks have become all the rage and you may be wondering if you should jump on the bandwagon?
You may have questions like, is dairy bad for me? How else do I get my calcium? But my mom says it builds strong bones!
These are all great questions and is reflective of the noise and confusion we have around health in the United States. In the last 50 years, our food practices have been greatly influenced by marketing campaigns to promote big industries. This includes the world’s most effective marketing campaign of all time: got milk? Through this campaign they focused on one nutritional element “calcium” and they targeted mothers with children to sell a whole generation on their products. You can read more about this in my Meat Should Be Rare article.
But this marketing campaign was not started with a group of nutritionists nor health professionals. Rather, it was the dairy council who wanted to solidify their presence in the homes of every American household.
Now milk, is not a bad food. In fact it’s really incredible- it grows babies! But should it be consumed everyday and is it the best way for us to absorb calcium?
Energetically, milk is a builder, so if you are not looking to build or grow anything on your body (tumors, cysts, rashes, extra weight, etc) then dairy is probably not the right food for you. And although milk seems to be a base, it’s actually extremely acidic! So if you are trying to lower inflammation in the body, balance your gut, clear your skin, or reduce heart burn, eliminate dairy.
And finally, is milk the only way we can absorb calcium? NO! In fact, calcium in dairy cannot be absorbed because other nutrients and digestive enzymes have been killed off during pasteurization. Milk was meant to be consumed in it’s raw form. Due to decades of pasteurizing dairy, we now have difficulty digesting dairy with modern conditions like lactose intolerance, allergies, and malabsorption.
The best way consume calcium is through dark leafy greens! Yes that’s right! Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collards actually contain more calcium than diary in addition to magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and vitamins K, D, & C, which are all equally responsible for bone structure. And when it comes to bone health, reducing inflammatory foods (aka dairy) and increasing vegetables is a must!
So if you’re still not sure if eliminating dairy is right for you and your family, start by supporting your local farmers markets and buying grass-fed pasture raised dairy that has all the fat, digestive enzymes, and nutrients our bodies need to digest it.
And if you think you would benefit from eliminating diary, here is a great recipe for nut milk that you can use as a substitute!
P.S. Please make your own nut milk or purchase it from a local maker. ALL nut milks in the aisles of the grocery store are packed with preservatives and sweeteners. A good nut milk brand should be refrigerated and contain only what is in this recipe.
Soak… Blend… Squeeze!
- 1 cup nuts or seeds, soaked overnight (almonds, cashews, walnuts, hemp, etc)
- 4 cups filtered water
- pinch of Himalayan salt
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- The night before, soak nuts or seeds in a bowl of water.
- The next day, drain and rinse the nuts and seeds. The soaking process creates a much softer nut or seed which will blend smoother and eliminates digestive blocking enzymes. *Almonds: after your almonds are soaked, take each one and squeeze it between your fingers. The skin of the nut will slide off! Doing this ensures a perfectly white milk as well as discarding the skin which can inhibit enzyme digestion.
- Add the nuts or seeds into a blender with filtered water. Optional to add salt, honey or maple syrup, and vanilla.
- Blend on high for 1 minute until it resembles milk.
- Lay a large piece of cheese cloth over a strainer and lay it in a large bowl. Carefully pour nut milk over the cheese cloth and gather all corners and edges in your hands. Allow the milk to drain of out the cheese cloth and over time you can squeeze it until you are left with ball of pulp.
- Store your milk in a jar or bottle and keep in your refrigerator for 5 days.
If you enjoyed this recipe I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below and be sure to share with family and friends.