While alternative milks are becoming more and more available in stores, it can still be a challenge to find a version without gums or preservatives. Making your own “mylk” is easy, affordable, and fun to customize. Looking for some inspiration? Holistic nutritionist, wellness pro and founder of Women’s Wellness Collective, Kristin Dahl, shares her tips below.
Nut & Seed Mylk – 4 Ways
While most dairy in its raw form can be quite healing, many people have a strong aversion to lactose (the sugar found in dairy milk) or casein/whey (the proteins in milk). This contributes to digestive distress, respiratory conditions like asthma, and skin conditions, such as eczema and acne. Dairy also increases mucus in the body & is best to avoid if you’re having sinus congestion or healing a cold.
Many with an aversion to cow dairy have an easier time digesting goat milk and goat yogurt. Others opt for alternatives like coconut & almond milk. I never recommend soy milk because it is highly processed and is usually GMO. Also, too much soy can wreak havoc on your hormones.
While alternative milks are readily available for purchase, good quality “mylks” do not come cheap. Luckily, making your own is an easy and affordable alternative! They can generally be used in a 1:1 ratio in all your favorite baking or smoothie recipes and, as a side benefit, they add a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber to your diet.
If you’ve never enjoyed an almond milk latte, you’re missing out! Making your own mylk is pretty simple and takes less time than waiting in line at Starbucks. If you prefer to buy nut milk at the store, make sure to read the ingredients. Not all brands are the same. I generally go for a less is more approach – the fewer ingredients, the better. Avoid added sugars like cane syrup/cane sugar & fillers such as carrageenan or canola oil.
A FEW OF MY FAVORITE NUTS & SEEDS + 4 RECIPES YOU CAN MAKE AT HOME:
The Benefits: Almonds are nutrient dense stone fruits, containing significant amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, phytosterol antioxidants, and plant protein. They are low in saturated fatty acids and rich in unsaturated fatty acids, and also contain filling fiber, making them a satisfying snack option. Helps with: Almonds are a great source of good fats, which helps with weight loss, increasing energy levels, and reducing LDL cholesterol. The antioxidant content supports heart health and the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Vitamin E helps nourish the skin and reduces signs of aging.
The Benefits: Pumpkin seeds are high in manganese, magnesium, copper, and zinc. They are also a good source of healthy fats, fiber, protein, antioxidants, and folate. Helps with: Pumpkin seeds are one of the best sources of magnesium, which is important because magnesium deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in the US. Adequate levels of magnesium are important for controlling blood pressure, heart health, forming and maintaining healthy bones, managing blood sugar levels and about 600 other chemical reactions in the body. Additionally, pumpkin seeds help improve sperm quality, sleep, immune function and energy levels.
The Benefits: Cashews are packed with vitamins E, K, and B6, and contain minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, and selenium. Helps with: Cashews mainly improve digestive function, nutrient absorption, heart health, and help maintain bone health. Another major benefit is brain function support due to their healthy fat, zinc, iron, and copper content.
The Benefits: Hemp hearts contain an ideal balance of omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids. They are also rich in vitamin E and contain a more digestible protein than that from an animal source. They contain all 9 essential amino acids. Helps with: Hemp hearts are a great source of omegas, which are known to help those with asthma, arthritis and many other inflammatory ailments in the body. They also improve circulation, increase immune system functioning, and support brain health.
DIY MYLK RECIPES
With very few ingredients, a great blender, and a nut milk bag, you can easily make your own
mylk at home. Mix spices & sweeteners like Dates, raw honey, maple syrup or stevia + superfoods like Maca, Tocos or Chlorella/Spirulina.
Basic Almond Mylk
Optional Add-ins: 2-3 Dates or raw honey, ½ teaspoon cardamom, ½ teaspoon Cinnamon, 1 tablespoon Tocos, 1 teaspoon Maca, 1/2 teaspoon Chlorella or 1/2 teaspoon Spirulina (green
Basic Cashew Mylk
Optional Add-ins: 1-2 teaspoon maple syrup or 2-3 Dates or raw honey, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ½ teaspoon Cinnamon, 1 teaspoon Maca
Pumpkin Seed Mylk
Optional Add-ins: 2-3 Dates, ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
Kristin Dahl is a Los Angeles based, Author, Nutritionist, and Women’s Wellness educator who offers a fresh take on Holistic living in a modern world. Her teachings come from an extensive background in holistic health, herbal medicine, and functional nutrition. Kristin is the founder of The Women’s Wellness Collective & the holistic lifestyle hub, Dahl House Nutrition. Her book, The Art of Wellness, co-written with Olympic Gold Medalist Stephanie Rice, has gained global attention for its integrative guidance on health and wellness. Kristin’s creative and inspiring approach merges the practical and spiritual, educating and empowering individuals to take preventative steps and make lasting change. Get Inspired at Dahl House Nutrition.com
There are seemingly endless ways mylk alternatives can be used. Here are some yummy ideas:
- Soak nuts/seeds overnight in filtered water. (*no need to soak hemp hearts!)
- Strain & rinse
- Add nuts/seeds, filtered water, vanilla bean and a pinch of Himalayan sea salt to a high-speed blender
- Blend for up to 1 minute or until fully combined
- Grab a large bowl & strain milk into bowl or container. Once the milk has run through, squeeze gently to wring out the rest of the milk.
- Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week.
- Add to your favorite smoothie to replace milk/yogurt
- Pour over granola or oatmeal
- Drink on its own and enjoy the creamy goodness!
- Use as a direct replacement for milk in baking recipes
- Add to homemade soups for creaminess –the perfect complement to butternut squash soup!
- Put a splash in your coffee or tea or make a frothy latte.