Milk: a controversial food. A few years ago, I stopped drinking milk and as time as gone on, I find myself consuming less and less traditional milk. Sure, I still have dairy and am by no means vegan. But something has put me off milk in recent years and I thought it was time to discuss.
Why I substitute milk
Before we get to the point, I would like to say that I did not stop drinking milk for ethical reasons. Yes, I care about animals, which is why the dairy I do consume is mostly organic, but I did not stop my milk consumption because I saw how badly milk cows are treated. It played a part in my overall continuation of not consuming milk though, but it has never been the most important reason.
I used to be a milk lover all my life in fact. I loved drinking milk and went through cartons of the stuff for years. Till suddenly, one day, my taste buds changed and I hated it. In exchange I stopped hating OJ and now love having that from time to time. I can still pretty much pin point the day it happened. I had just recovered after being sick for some time and I just didn’t care for it anymore. The taste, the texture, the weird aftertaste it left in my mouth: it suddenly just didn’t work anymore.
Because of that, I have been experimenting loads with plantbased ‘milk’ and have found that they work as good, if not better than the regular stuff. The only time I now use regular milk is if a recipe I’m making absolutely calls for it, but 9 out of 10 times I can even substitute that. There are just so many different milks on the market today that make it super easy to make do without milk and, additionally, it most often packs so much more flavor and a better texture when you do.
My favorite substitutes are coconut milk and almond milk. I prefer natural kinds that are mostly just almonds and water and with as few additives as possible. So the kinds without added sugars and flavorings are my favorite as they are the most versatile. Coconut milk I like to buy not only organic but also fair trade: there is simply less in that product that isn’t as great and I find with milk substitutes that it pays off to pay a little more. You get more flavor and a better texture than the cheaper more mass produced brands you find at a regular supermarket. But that may just be me.
I never drink milk straight up anymore though. I will sometimes buy buttermilk or chocolate milk, but those are only there for the occasional treat. So when do I use milk? I love coconut milk for cooking and smoothies! Want to sweeten up a sauce? Make a stellar pumpkin soup: add coconut milk! Smoothies become sweeter and a lot better balanced when using coconut milk to make them too.
Almond milk I used to use all the time, but I use it less now. I used to use it for smoothies, but it is also great as a coffee creamer, or in tea. Almond milk is also great for making porridge and that is possibly my favorite way to have it. I simply put some almond milk with some oats and frozen berries into a bowl and heat it up in the microwave. That is a quick and easy, yet healthy breakfast that will get you through the day just fine!
Do you drink milk?