Blue milk? LJ reached into the refrigerator and picked up the glass bottle. He looked at Annie, who was flipping a vegan pancake for breakfast. “Annie, do you remember watching Luke Skywalker in an early Star Wars movie drinking blue milk?”
Annie gave LJ the side-eye and smiled, “yes.”
“So why is there blue milk in our refrigerator?”
“I was wondering when you were going to notice it. I started adding a small amount of spirulina to the cashew milk when making it. Spirulina is an algae with antioxidant, anticancer, and antiviral properties. It is also known to combat obesity, diabetes, and allergic reactions. It is an excellent source of protein. So, if we are drinking plant-based milk, it is good to add spirulina because most plant-based milk (except soy) has little to no protein. Spirulina is also high in fiber and vitamin B12 which contributes to bone health.
“If plant-based milk lacks protein, what else do they lack, and why are we drinking them instead of regular cow’s milk?”
Annie sighed, “Sweetheart, plant-based milk, of which many are made from nuts, is a great lactose-free alternative. Yes, they are low in protein, but they are also low in saturated fat and calories. They are cholesterol-free, chock full of fiber, and provide many of the vitamins and minerals found in their plants. Plant-based milk is perfect for people with slow digestive systems.
Cashew milk is a good example. It is one reason you get compliments on your skin because it is high in vitamin E (protects against sun damage), iron, zinc, copper, phosphorus, and manganese. I like cashew milk because of its creaminess, and it has no natural sugars, which means no blood sugar spikes. An 8-ounce glass of homemade is 71 calories.
Soy is another good nut-based milk. It tastes the closest to cow’s milk with its creamy texture but without the fat. And unlike others, it is a good source of a complete plant-based protein. Soy milk contains omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fat our body cannot form on its own. Omega-3s are known to help lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Claims that soy amplifies and increases the risk of breast cancer have been disproven. Recent studies show soy may actually help reduce this risk. Soy milk helps with cholesterol and blood pressure levels. An 8-ounce glass is 80 calories
Oat milk is a good alternative for those allergic to nuts and soy. Though it is high in carbs and calories. Its soluble fiber content imparts a creamy quality and slows digestion contributing to a feeling of satiety, keeping you fuller longer, which helps stabilize blood-sugar levels. A study showed the fiber in Oat milk helped reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. An 8-ounce glass is 120 calories.
Almond milk is a low carb, low calorie, magnesium-rich (controls blood sugar levels) drink. It is high in antioxidants like vitamin E, known to lower dementia risk. And a good source of healthy fats. An 8-ounce glass is 41 calories.
Hemp milk is high in calcium and calories but low in carbs. It is gluten-free and one of the few kinds of milk that contain plant-based complete proteins, the essential amino acids humans need from food. It has more omega-3 and omega-6 unsaturated fats (heart-healthy) than other plant-based milk. It does not contain hormones and only traces of THC. An 8-ounce glass is 80 calories.
LJ poured two glasses of cashew milk, “I understand by making our milk, we control the quality and contents. And it’s less expensive. Are you adding anything else besides spirulina?”
“The ratio for making plant-based milk is 1 cup of the nuts/grain/seeds to 4 cups of filtered water. Soak them overnight with a natural sweetener like 2 pitted dates or 1 tablespoon of raisins, and ½ teaspoon of sea salt, which amplifies sweetness. Add one teaspoon of vanilla extract and blend for 30-60 seconds, and wonderfully, you have a deliciously nutritious, gut-friendly drink.”
Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.