barley drink

3 Healthy Milk Alternatives That Are EASY To Make!

I just published my second book, yeah! Now I have a few more days to add all the content/posts that have been sitting around waiting to be read 🙂 You might notice that I post about 10 a day! Like I said, they have been ready to go for a while now but I got caught up in finishing the first 2 books, and now about to start another, so I will not post as much while I work on editing/formatting/writing the rest of the series A Nutritional Makeover. My goal is to get the whole series published by the end of July 2013. If there are any topics (health, mothering and natural living related) you can’t find here on my blog but would like to learn about, please let me know 🙂 I am working on them.

Now, on to the subject of milk alternatives…….

Whether you are lactose intolerant, can’t find good quality, or don’t/won’t drink cows or goat milk (even grass-fed and raw), there are other alternatives that can be simply created at home. Here are some alternatives.

Covered in this post are:

  1. Coconut
  2. Almond
  3. Grain – Barley, Oat, Buckwheat or Rice

1. COCONUT MILK

coconut-milk-150x150

Nutritional Benefits:

Vitamins C, E and many B vitamins are abundant in coconut milk. Vitamins C and E help to boost the immune system, and B vitamins are responsible for providing energy to the cells. Coconut milk is also rich in magnesium, potassium, phosphorous and iron. Magnesium is responsible for many biochemical functions in the body, including regulating the heart’s rhythm and supporting the function of nerve cells. Potassium maintains the tissues of the heart, kidneys, brain and muscles. Phosphorus keeps teeth and bones strong, and iron creates red blood cells and carries oxygen throughout your body. Also very low in carbs and sugar.

Caution: Unsafe for those with nut allergies

Ingredients:

2 cups unsweetened, dried coconut flakes
3 cups hot water (not boiling)
Flavorings and sweeteners, if desired (vanilla, cinnamon, fruit puree, honey, maple syrup, etc.)

Instructions:

  1. Put coconut flakes and hot water in a blender and blend for about 2-3 minutes or until thoroughly processed. Pour the mixture into a clean muslin or thin cotton towel (such as cheesecloth) that is over a bowl to catch the liquid and squeeze as much milk as you can from the towel.
  2. Put remaining solid coconut back into the blender with 1 cup of hot water. Process again, and squeeze more milk out
  3. Add sweeteners and flavorings if you like.

Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator, will last 4-5 days. Shake it  before each use.

NOTE:

If you’d like to use this as a drink, thin it out 1:1 with water or until it suits your taste.

Don’t throw out the leftover flakes, use it in place of coconut flakes in baked goods (cookies and muffins). Store in the refrigerator for about 5 days in an air tight container.

2. ALMOND MILK

almond milk

 Nutritional Benefits:

Very low in carbohydrates, with zero sugar in the unsweetened version

Almonds are naturally high in calcium but additional calcium is usually added along with Vitamin D to aid in absorption

High in Vitamin E

Caution: Unsafe for those with nut allergies

Ingredients:

1 cup raw almonds
A pinch of unrefined sea salt
1 tsp. whey (optional)
water for soaking nuts
3 cups filtered water
2 dates (optional)
½  tsp. vanilla extract (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Soak the almonds, sea salt and optional whey in water overnight or for at least 6 hours.
  2. Then strain the water from the almonds and discard.
  3. Blend the 3 cups of water, almonds and optional dates and vanilla until well blended and almost smooth.
  4. Pour the mixture into a clean muslin or thin cotton towel (such as cheesecloth) that is over a bowl to catch the liquid and squeeze as much milk as you can from the towel.

Store the almond “milk” in a glass jar in the refrigerator, will last 4-5 days. Shake it before each use.

NOTE:

You can use the almond “paste”  that’s left over for a tasty addition to baked goods, add it back into smoothies, or use it in anything you can think of. Store the unused portion in a container with a tight fitting lid in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

3. GRAIN “MILK ” (To make Gluten free you can use quinoa)

grain milk

Grain Milk can be made from any of the follwing whole grains – Rice, Barley, Buckwheat or Oats.

Benefits of eating whole grains (so make sure you eat the left over porridge from making this):

  • Women Who Eat Whole Grains Weigh Less
  • Lower Cholesterol
  • Significant Cardiovascular Benefits for Postmenopausal Women
  • Lignans Protect against Heart Disease
  • Reduce Your Risk of Metabolic Syndrome
  • Brown Rice and Other Whole Grains Substantially Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk
  • Fiber from Whole Grains Protective against Breast Cancer
  • Help Prevent Gallstones
  • Whole Grains are Highly Protective against Childhood Asthma

Caution: Although grains are the safest option for those with soy or nut allergies, caution should be taken if gluten intolerant when choosing grains with gluten.

Ingredients:

1  cup brown rice, hulled barley, whole buckwheat, whole oats, or other whole grain
1 Tbs. whey or fresh squeezed lemon juice
8  cups of water
½  tsp pure vanilla extract (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Soak the grain of choice in 2 times the volume of grains (if you have 1 Cup grains, use 2 cups water), and whey or lemon juice. Leave overnight or at least 8 hours. This is done to neutralize the acids for maximum digestion and make nutrients more available.
  2. After a good soaking discard water.
  3. In a saucepan, bring the grains and 8 cups of water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer -cover and cook for 45 minutes or longer if needed
  4. When grain is soft, strain through a thin cloth or cheese cloth into a mason jar or container that can handle heat

Will keep for about 5 days in the refrigerator.

Eat the soggy grains as a porridge, makes a great breakfast for kids, just add a little sweetener, butter or coconut oil and some fruits and nuts . They will keep for about 5 days in the refrigerator.

Brown Rice –

An excellent source of fiber and a good source of the minerals selenium, magnesium and manganese.

Barley –

Barley is a wonder grain which can trim your inches considerably! It is a unique grain filled with many benefits. Extremely low in calories and it acts as a wonderful diet supplement and helps maintain a slim physique.

Low in cholesterol and is known to reduce cholesterol levels.

The main ingredient in this highly useful grain is beta-glucan that is also found in oat bran. Barley is packed with insoluble fiber which retains water. So it flushes out intestinal contents with great speed.

It is also a good cure for digestive problems like constipation.

Shared with Gluten Free Wednesdays

B-Vitamin – Probiotic – All Around Health Drink; Rejuvelac

Rejuvelac

Rejuvelac

This recipe was taken from my book A Closer Look At Nutrition & Wellness – Handbook of Digestive Health for Well-being

Before anything else, this is a MUST have for anyone in there early months (and beyond) of pregnancy, it can help prevent morning sickness as well as provide calcium, B-vitamins, iron, and more beneficial nutrients. It is also great to help nursing women produce milk.

This Rejuvelac is made from fermented sprouted grains, it is tart, delicious, and has a lemonade-like taste. It is rich in enzymes, probiotics as well as B-Vitamins.

Benefits (to name a few):

  • Helps alleviate Urinary Tract Infection
  • Has cooling properties
  • Excellent for hydration
  • Helps with weight loss with regular consumption
  • Cleanses the kidneys
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Helps women prevent formation of gallstones
  • Reduces risk of Type-2 diabetes
  • The antioxidants in barley prevents cancerous growths
  • Great for digestion
  • Relieves constipation
  • Relieves nausea, great for pregnant women

*This recipe makes 2 quarts of Rejuvelac, you can multiply or divide as needed.

Equipment Needed:

Large glass jar

Thin cloth and rubber band

Large strainer or Sprouting bag

Ingredients:

½ Cup barley, soft wheat berries or rye (preferably organic)
7 Cups filtered water

Instructions:

 

  1. Soak the grain for 10-12 hours (overnight)
  2. Strain, rinse and place in either a sprouting bag or a large strainer

sprouts

  1. Rinse 2-3 times a day for about 3 days (or until you see the sprouts about ÂĽ inch long, or longer if you want).
  2. Next step is to pound the grains either with a mortar and pestle or in a food processor/blender (just to break it up, DO NOT over blend.)
  3. Place the sprouts in a larger glass jar, like a mason jar and fill to the top with 7 Cups filtered water (make sure sprouts are covered, add more water if needed).
  4. Place the jar on a counter top, cover with a thin cloth (cheesecloth, muslin cloth, or paper towel). Leave for 3 days
  5. Stir the mixture 3 times a day. It is done after 3 days!
  6. Strain and store in refrigerator. Will taste fresh up to 1 week.

Don’t throw out the sprouts, they can be used in cracker or other baking recipes, eaten as a breakfast porridge or fed to backyard chickens or farm animals. Be creative!