Vegetable drinks or milks are excellent alternatives to cow's milk, especially recommended to lactose intolerants, vegetarians or simply to those who prefer healthier alternatives to industrial milk.
When produced with high quality ingredients, these vegetable milks are very healthy, nutrient rich, low calorie, cholesterol free and low cost. For example, with a soy milk maker you can very easily make high quality additive free vegetable drinks for less than 0,20 cents a litre. To save even more, you can use the leftover cereals, legumes or nuts which are left at the bottom of the jar where you prepare your drinks to make rolls, burgers, veggie balls or add to soups and gravies. Besides being cheaper it is also environment friendlier because packaging is reduced.
You can make milk with several types of rice, including long or short grain, whole, wild, basmati, or use a mix of these or other varieties. There are many varieties and scents you can choose from; try adding a dash of cinnamon for a delicious combination.
By making your own drinks, you can control taste and add other ingredients such as 1 to 2 tablespoons chia, tukmaria or sesame seeds or even replace half the rice by almonds or other nuts to get a delicious taste and add nutrients.
Besides being a delicious drink, rice milk can be used instead of soy or cow's milk in cakes, cookies or smoothies.
Oat milk is a delicious and tasty alternative to cow's milk and also an option to soy intolerants.
Like rice milk, store bought oat milk is also more expensive than soy milk, but if you make them at home with a soya milk maker, both turn out very affordable; you can save a lot of money and give new life to your recipes.
Oat milk is usually made with pre-soaked oat grains (you shouldn't use oatmeal in the milk maker).
Oat milk has a smooth taste, lightly sweet, contains a bit more fat than soy milk, vitamin E and iron among other vitamins and minerals and is rich in fibres.
Although more expensive than soya or rice milk, delicious almond milk adds variety and nutrition to your menu.
Almonds are rich in protein, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, vitamin E—an excellent antioxidant—, contain minerals such as zinc, magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron. About 100g almonds contain 35% the daily recommended dose of calcium.
To prepare this drink, almonds just need to be ground and not boiled, unlike soy beans or rice. So in less than a minute your drink is ready to go.
To give your milk a creamy texture, choose peeled almonds. However, if you use cheaper unpeeled almonds soak them in boiling water and peel them at home.
The almond pulp left on the bottom of the jar is an excellent facial moisturising mask. You can replace almonds for hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, pine nuts and a mix of several nuts for different flavours.
Quinoa, also know as the rice of the Inca people, is a pseudo-cereal that comes from South America. It's a light, soft, pale yellow tiny and round grain that tastes like walnuts. It is 72% are carbohydrates in the form of starch and 18% are protein, more than most cereals. Quinoa drink contains plenty of lysine and methionine, two amino acids that many vegetable proteins lack.
This drink is also an excellent alternative for those who suffer from celiac disease because it's gluten free and very nutritious. It's low on fat (about 10%) and richer in minerals such as iron (9,5 mg/100 g), phosphorus (286 mg/100 g) and calcium (112 mg/100 g).
To prepare this drink, wash the quinoa thoroughly, otherwise it gets a resin taste. While the drink is still warm, add, for example, a cinnamon stick and star anise and... enjoy!
Give new life to you kitchen by preparing a range of different vegetable drinks. Your body and wallet will surely thank you!
Insert date: 2013-04-17 Last update: 2013-06-20
Authors > Contributor writers > Cristina Rodrigues
Authors > Translators > Ana Soares