Everyone asks me, including her pediatrician’s office, if Maddie is drinking milk yet. First of all she has been drinking milk since day one, it’s called breast milk, and she still gets 15 or so ounces a day at 16 months, so I’m not worried about her nutrition. Second, we are dairy-free in our household.
Finally the conventional media is reporting the downside and possible ill health effects of drinking cow’s milk. When I asked if she could “cure” me of my milk and wheat sensitivity, my acupuncturist said to me once , “Milk is for baby cows and wheat is for mama cows. You are not a cow!” We are the only species that drinks the milk of another species after all.
If I can get Maddie to 2 years old breastfeeding, I question whether any “milk” is needed at all. She eats a balanced diet that contains healthy fats, protein, iron and takes cod liver oil for Vit D. Here is a good article from Wholesometoddlerfood.com that lists foods that contain all these essential nutrients and vitamins.
But I still like to have milk for cereal, hot chocolate, smoothies, cream sauces etc… I also like drinking it plain, especially with a side of dark chocolate. To accommodate the millions turning to plant based milk like me, there are a multitude of options like soy, almond, rice, hemp, flax and many others. However there are health consequences of drinking these commercially produced products too. To keep the milk from separating and maintain a creamy texture, producers add a variety of emulsifiers, many of which may be harmful to your gut flora. Also soy in particular is often genetically modified.
So I’ve been experimenting with making my own milk at home. I started with coconut, then tried quinoa, flax and finally hemp. Coconut and hemp are the clear winners for me due to the delicious taste and creamy texture. While she’s still skeptical of anything other than breast milk, Maddie seems to like the hemp milk the best.
The coconut is super yummy and has the fat you want if you are transitioning from breastmilk or formula. You can skim off the cream on the top to make whipped cream too if you want a thinner milk. I use shredded coconut from Let’s Do Organic. I order in bulk from Amazon Pantry.
Boil 8 cups filtered water
Add two 8 oz coconut packages
Turn off burner and let sit for 2 hours or until cool
Pour coconut mixture into high speed blender (I like to do half at a time to make it easier on my blender)
Blend on high for 1 minute
Pour through a nut milk bag or cheese cloth and squeeze out all the liquid
You can dehydrate the left over flakes in the oven to make flour or to add to cold cereal
*Note it will separate in the fridge. Just stir or shake to mix it back together.
This is the easier plant milk I’ve made! And it’s super yummy too. It produces no waste, looks like milk and has a creamy and mild nutty flavor. It is also easy to digest and super nutritious and so is a great option for the babes.
Place 3/4-1 cup raw hemp seeds in blender (depending on how creamy you want)
Add 8 cups of water
Blend on high for 1 minute
Pour through a nut bag or cheesecloth
*Let it settle and strain again if you want to reduce the sediment further, or just shake it up before serving.
Since the Hemp was the easiest with no prep, no waste and the cheapest by far, I’ll probably be making this the most for our family. If you are concerned with the nutrients I mentioned above because your babe is not breastfed or is younger and not eating a lot of solid foods yet, there are supplements you can add. Here is an article I found that talks about making fortified almond milk. There are also a lot of resources out there about homemade formula too.