Milk Alternatives-Hemp,nuts, rice etc…

In my cookbook, No Wheat No Dairy No Problem, the recipes contain milk alternatives such as  Almond Milk. I decided to try all the various milk alternatives such as Hemp, quinoa/millet/amaranth, soy, rice, various nuts, and I found that I really like most of them, but some I like better than others.

I am not a big fan of soy for many reasons-mostly because we get too much of it. If you do choose soy, it is best in its natural form-Organic Edamame beans. Be sure that you purchase Non-GMO or Organic soy. If you want to know more see the film Food Inc.

My new favorite milk alternative is Hemp byTempt Living Harvest. Why? It tastes good and is very high in Omega 3 and 6. Hemp has no known allergens, and is a valuable source of calcium(40%),  protein, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin E, iron and zinc. It is FREE of dairy,nuts, soy, gluten and cholesterol. It has no trans fats, is low in sodium and is vegan, Kosher and Non-GMO! I buy the Unsweetened Original, but it also comes in vanilla and chocolate. It is not inexpensive, so I buy it on sale and stock up. You can find it in health food stores.

Tempt now makes Ice “Cream”-a non-dairy frozen dessert, but I have yet to try it. I am parital to my Ice “Cream” recipes because I have found the texture of my recipes to be closer to that of the real thing than other alternatives. I do buy Coconut Bliss when I don’t have time to make my own. Yesterday, I made a batch of Vanilla Ice “Cream” and it only took me 1 hour and 4-8hours to set-well worth it!

I alternate each week with a different alternative for economic reasons and health reasons. I developed my wheat allergy due to overexposure, and the last thing I want to do is become allergic/sensitive to any of my alternatives! So I alternate between Almond, Hemp, and Hazelnut. Occasionally I will drink rice milk or non-GMO soy milk when nothing else is available when I am out.

Hazelnut is so delicious plain or chocolate! Try it in my Hot Chocolate recipe for an Italian version-Che buono! Hazelnuts are very anti-inflammatory-Dr. Perricone and many others recommend them. Hazelnut milk is high in calcium(30%), vitamin D, riboflavin and vitamin E. You can make your own Hazelnut or Almond Milk from my cookbook too-use organic nuts to avoid pesticides. Pacific Natural Foods makes it and it is Kosher and Gluten Free.

You can find these alternatives in boxes on the store shelves. They do not need to be refrigerated until opened, and last 7-10 days once opened and kept in the refrigerator. I take the individual ones on the road-great for vacation or when I only need a small amount in a recipe. I have been using these alternatives in my breakfast smoothies with a small amount of coconut milk for the creamy mouth feel. A sure way to loose weight is to drink an 8 oz smoothie in place of breakfast or lunch with the soy lecithin(see blog post) which breaks down stored fat-especially in the belly!

Do not use these alternatives for infants because their is not enough of the proper balance of nutrition for them, but it’s great for kids and adults. So, go buy some boxes of these Unsweetened versions of milk alternatives and find your own favorites-chill them and do a taste comparison both alone and in smoothies. See Recipe of the Week for my smoothie. Come back next week to read about my favorite new cream alternative!

Have fun and Be Well,  Chef Lauren