I get asked all of the time, what about organic? Well, now you are doing a little bit better. The cows will not be treated with antibiotics or hormones. However, organic doesn't guarantee grass fed or necessarily that the cows are treated properly. It should, but it doesn't. If cows are not 100% grass fed atleast most of year outside of colder times when certain hays or other types of grasses can be given, then they are not healthy moo moos. It's the truth. Just like us, when we don't eat what we were intended to eat, and get sick, the same thing goes for the poor cows. In my article on my making ghee I discuss this in detail. Here it is for referencing.
So on to the world of non-dairy milks. The cool thing is a milk substitute can be made from several grains, seeds, and beans. The big question is: are they healthy? My answer is yes and no.
I think in general as a liquid substitute they are super! They taste good. They are easy to cook with as well. They do have nutritional value in general.
Cons or Things to Know
Non-dairy milks are NOT milk. These do not provide the same nutrition as gorgeous, lovely, organic, raw milk. They provide the same nutrition as the grain, nut, bean, or seed from what it was made. Please do not give these to babies under 1 year of age. Their digestive systems cannot handle them, nor could they ever be a substitute for breast milk.
Now if you buy store bought non-dairy milk, I hate to burst your healthy bubble, but they really aren't that healthy. Yes, I know....I felt the same way....WHAT DO YOU MEAN ITS NOT HEALTHY? Well, if you read the labels most of them have stabilizers, thickeners, sugar (except for unsweetened of course), preservatives, and are fortified with synthetic vitamins. Yes, even the organic non-dairy milks. So what you're drinking is mostly water (I have no idea if it's filtered) with chemicals and a little bit of whatever kind of nut, seed, grain, or bean it was in the beginning.
Our bodies do not accept synthetic vitamins. Often times our bodies reject them, and we get sick from the synthetics. So when you see a label that says vitamin C, D, or calcium on your almond milk, orange juice, cereal, or whatever, that's not a good thing. You cannot make something fake become real by adding fake vitamins. Fortified means fake. Oh and that vitamin E is most likely soy based unless your milk says soy free. The vitamin D that is being used is D2, not D3. D2 can actually cause toxic build ups in our bodies. The vitamin C is always going to be ascorbic acid. That's an isolate and not whole vitamin C. This form causes vitamin deficiencies in the body. Calcium should almost never, now I say almost not always, be a mineral you supplement or get put extra into your food. Too much calcium can be dangerous for the arteries and actually be bad for dental health. Calcium, if you ever need it in a supplement, it should be plant based from greens or algaes. Our bodies do not do much with calcium from rocks and shells, which is the form calcium is usually sold.
There is also the consideration of the types of containers these milks are sitting in day in and day out on the shelves. Those boxes are called tetra packs. They are made with plastic, paper, and aluminum. Please try not to buy foods and drinks in them. They are a toxin factory leaking in the liquid. Also it's been shown with pictures how there is mold inside a lot of them, especially juice boxes.
Please don't beat yourself up if you have a half gallon of almond milk in the fridge. That's not the point of my post. This is simply to inform. I want to give you the truth. You are doing the best you can to be a good steward. You just need to weigh out what's important in your house and what you can change today. If store bought almond milk is it because little Johnny vomits with processed cows milk, and he loves cereal, then so be it. Stay within your means, do what YOU personally can.
The cool part is that many non-dairy milks are easily made at home! No heat is involved, so enzymes remain in tact, and you know just what's in it! I personally love hemp and coconut milks. I also really like almond and cashew milks.
I don't cook with the hemp milk though because the healthy fat in the hempseeds turns toxic when heated. It's great for smoothies, raw desserts, gluten free oats, and homemade cereal.
I do not drink soy milk or eat unfermented soy foods. They are very rough on the digestive tract, and cause hormonal distress. If you have an autoimmune disorder, you shouldn't either.
I prefer the almond or coconut milk for cooking. They do great in soups and baking. If you have a good blender, you can make them too!
Be aware that depending on what food you use, you may or may not need to soak it overnight. I have videos available for tutorials here.
You will need what's called a nut milk bag. My business sells these. You can email Kingdom Health to place an order: firstname.lastname@example.org
Now as for cost effectiveness, I guess it really depends on how much milk you are using. I would research getting those foods in bulk. Also I'd look into ways to use the left over pulp. Yes, you usually have some type of fiber pulp left over when you make them. This can be put in quick breads, muffins, or dehydrated into crackers.
Here's a simple recipe for coconut milk:
4 Cups Filtered Water
3 Cups Organic Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
Put all in blender and blend very well. Get large bowl. Open your nut milk bag. Place it into the bowl. Pour a little blended milk into bag. Put the blender down. Pull draw string tightly on the bag. Hold the bag up over the bowl in one hand and pull or literally milk the bag. Continue this process until the blender is empty. Pour milk into a glass jar or carafe. Keep in the fridge for 4-6 days.
Be healthy, be blessed, and be a good steward!!!