5 Reasons I Stopped Consuming Dairy Products
I want to start off by saying that before I went vegan, I LOVED dairy. Some of my favourite things included; sitting down with a tub of ice cream and a spoon and binge watching Netflix for a couple of hours; pouring milk on to said ice cream so it created a nice layer of milky ice; grating a block of cheese into a bowl and eating it as a snack; buying an extra large cheese pizza and a Venti Java Chip Frappuccino from Starbucks for dinner; my favourite meal - East Side Mario's Cheese Cappelletti. As you can see my choices were not the greatest but boy, did I suffer from them. This leads me to reason #1.
I could talk for days about why milk is horrible, but if you're here odds are you already know and are looking for some alternatives. In that case, my apologies, here are some types of dairy-free milks!
Soy Milk is healthy, cheap and easy to find - making it one of the most popular non-dairy milks. Derived from edamame, it is also the most protein rich of all plant milks. It has less fat than dairy milk, no cholesterol and is high in fortified calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. Soy milk is a great choice for someone who is new to veganism as it is so versatile! When choosing which soy milk to buy be sure to get one that is free of GMO. If you are someone who eats a lot of soy foods, I would recommend leaving this from your diet.
Best Uses: baking, cooking and drinking.
Almond, Cashew and Hazelnut Milks are sweet, nutty and lower in calories than soy milk. They are creamy in texture and very easy to make at home. Almond milk is high in vitamins A, D and E as well as antioxidants and healthy omega 6 fats. Hazelnut milk is high in vitamins B12, D and E and promotes healthy hair and skin.
Best Uses: baking, cooking, drinking, in hot drinks, in smoothies, on cereal, and in desserts. Very versatile!
Coconut Milk comes in two varieties - canned and boxed. Canned coconut milk is very high in calories and fat. It is ideal for cooking and baking as a condensed milk-type substitute but I would not recommend it for daily use. Boxed coconut milk
Best Uses: Canned - thick smoothies, in place of coffee creamer, curries, and ice creams. Boxed - drinking, on cereal, in hot drinks and smoothies.
Rice Milk is sweet with a thin, watery consistency. It has little nutritional value, protein and fat so is not ideal for everyday use. It is often cheaper than other non-dairy milks and is personally one of my favourite things to drink.
Best Uses: drinking, in smoothies, on cereal and in dessert recipes.
Hemp Milk is derived from the seeds of the hemp plant and probably the most nutritious of non-dairy milks. It contains 10 essential amino acids, omega fats, calcium and protein. It is known for it's earthy flavour and thick, creamy texture.
Best Uses: drinking, in hot drinks, in pancakes, in smoothies and on cereal.
Oat Milk is thick and grainy, low in fat and high in protein, calcium, fiber, iron, and vitamins A and E. It is immune system friendly but should be avoided by those who are Gluten Free/Gluten Intolerant.
Best Uses: drinking, cooking and for making hearty cookies.
Flax Milk is low in calories and high in omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins A, B12 and D. It is creamy, delicious and contains as much calcium as dairy milk.
Best Uses: drinking, in smoothies.