October 29, 2010

Dairy Free Milk - Which to Choose??

Trust me when I say that your dairy free milk options are good and
that the world has come a long way! When I was little there really
weren't any milk substitutes other than milk from another animal such
as goat (not the tastiest stuff in the world) and even that was hard to get, or at least that was the
case in Thunder Bay, my hometown. When I was older my mom read that
orange juice was a suitable dairy free option on cereal. This was
obviously a joke! I've never tasted anything worse in my life. Imagine
orange juice on weetabix - no thank you!
Now we can pick and choose from a whole range of milks but when the
choice is larger the choice becomes harder. Below I am going to list a few
of your dairy free milk options and their various attributes to clear up any wondering or confusion:

Rice Milk
My personal favourite. When truly dairy free options finally reared their head in Thunder Bay, Ontario (my home town) 'Rice Dream' rice milk was one of the first and how thankful we were. I love Rice Dream. There are a few rice milks on the market (Rice Dream is now available in most Dunne’s and Tesco supermarkets). Rice Dream brand is the thinnest of the available brands which differentiates it further from cow’s milk (my dairy free aunt describes it as coloured water!) and all are naturally quite sweet which can be a problem for some. To me, however, Rice Dream is light and refreshing. It might take a little ‘getting used to’ but the sweetness is perfect to my taste buds and I can genuinely say that even if I could tolerate cow’s milk I would never give up my Rice Dream rice milk on cereal, at least. Please note that yeast free diets may not be able to tolerate Rice Dream rice milk as the milk is fermented and likewise candida diets would not be advised due to the overall sweetness.

Soya Milk
The most popular substitute. It’s thicker than most of the substitutes and has a wholesome flavour. The major attribute of soya milk is its vast availability (almost all major supermarkets, health shops, gourmet grocers carry ‘Provamel’ or ‘Alpro’ brand soya milk at least. If you’re on a budget even Aldi and Lidl have soya milks which beat the rest on price by far!). The major downfall is that soya can be hard to digest and is subject to a lot of GM and chemical dealings (although organic soya milk is available at a slightly higher price). Some say that soya causes a cancer causing scum when it is not used in its traditional manner, such as miso or soya sauce, which only fish oils can cleanse. This, of course, makes soya milk a debatable option for vegetarians and vegans. All this aside Soya has been the father of dairy free creations be it milk, cheese, ice cream, butter, chocolate etc, etc, and the milk is wonderful for use in baking and cooking. Note that when taken straight (especially in warm beverages) it leaves a very slight ‘dryness’ in the mouth.

Coconut Milk
When I refer to coconut milk I am not referring to the thicker canned coconut milk which resembles a cream and is commonly found in Asian cooking. I am referring to a cow’s milk substitute which has become increasingly popular and can be found in a growing number of health food shops. The brand which is most available is ‘Kara’ and it is possibly the truest cow’s milk substitute that I have come across in my milk free life. The consistency is almost perfect and the taste is top quality. I was so impressed that I asked my milk drinking boyfriend to try it out (I can become disillusioned being so long away from some foods) and the verdict was yes - ‘It’s like milk with a faint hint of coconut’. So absolutely ideal for cooking and baking and even making hot chocolate that I find myself telling everyone I meet about it. The only problem is the fat content… If you are anyway concerned with waist lines you may be disappointed to note the 2% fat content But then again, milk isn’t the leanest thing in the world itself.

Oat Milk
I am new to Oat milk and despite my mom, sister and various shopkeepers being advocates I shied away for unknown reasons. However, after my food allergy blood test I was left with no other option (and only just barely allowed oat milk because I was only tested against gliadin gluten which is not the same gluten as found in oats and I showed no problems with oats themselves). Anyway, back to business: I am using oat milk quite a bit these days and find it purposeful but not overly noteworthy. It has a dull ‘oaty’ flavor in my opinion but it acts well as a substitute and is available in most health food shops in both regular and organic.

Almond Milk & Hazelnut Milk
I have coupled almond milk with hazelnut milk because they are a bit different than the rest. Being made from nuts it is no surprise that they are basically a quarter to twice the price as the other dairy free milk alternatives. The price, at approx. €4.15-€4.55 per litre is a bit exorbitant for baking and general purpose and although both the almond and the hazelnut milks taste lovely I feel that they are more suitable as a beverage. Please note that some of the additional sweetness is from the additional ingredient of corn maltodextrin.

Rice Dream + Calcium (Rice Drink)
Ingredients: Water, rice (14%), sunflower oil, calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, sea salt.
Nutritional Information per 100ml:
Energy 194kl/47kcal
Protein 0.1 g
Carbohydrates 9.4g
of which sugars 4.0g
Lactose 0.0g
Fat 1.0g
of which saturates 0.1g
Cholesterol 0.0mg
Fibre 0.1g
Sodium 0.05g
Calcium 120mg

Vitariz Organic (Rice Drink)
Ingredients: water, rice (14%), sunflower seed oil, sea salt
Nutritional Information per 100ml:
Energy 232 kj/55kcal
Protein 0.4g
Carbohydrates 10.5g
of which sugar 9.5g
Fat 1.1g
of which saturates 0.1g
Cholesterol 0.0g
Fibre 0.7g
Sodium 0.04g

Reis Natural Rice Drink
Ingredients: water, rice (13%), sunflower oil, sea salt
Nutritional Information per 100ml:
Energy 202kj/48kcal
Protein 0.1g
Carbohydrates 9.6g
of which sugars 6.5g
lactose 0.0g
Fat 1.0g
of which saturates 0.3g
cholesterol 0.0mg
Fibre 0.8g
Sodium 0.03g

Kara Original + Calcium (made from freshly pressed coconut milk)

Ingredients: filtered water, coconut milk (8.4%), fruit extract concentrate, calcium phosphate, emulsifier: sucrose ester, sea salt, colour: natural carotene
Nutritional Information per 100ml:
Energy 106kj/27kcal
Protein 0.2g
Carbohydrate 1.9g
of which sugars 1.6g
lactose 0.0g
Fat 2.0g
of which saturates 1.9g
cholesterol 0.0g
Fibre 0.1g
Sodium 0.04g
Calcium 120mg

Oatly Organic (Oat Milk)
Ingredients: oat base (water, oats 10%), sea salt
Nutritional Information per 100ml:
Energy 150kj/35kcal
Protein 1.0g
Carbohydrates 6.5g
of which sugars 4.0g
lactose 0.0g
Fat 0.7g
of which saturated 0.1g
cholesterol 0.0mg
Fibre 0.8g
of which beta-glucans 0.4g
Sodium 0.04g

Bonsoy Soya Milk
Ingredients: water, soybeans (15%), tapioca syrup, sea salt, job’s tears (Japanese barley), calcium carbonate (Note: Job's tears is an ancient annual grass and is suitable for a gluten free diet)
Nutritional Information per 100ml:
Energy 256kj/61kcal
Protein 4.1g
Carbohydrates 5.5g
of which sugars 2.2g
Fat 2.2g
of which saturates 0.3g
of which trans fats <0.01g Fibre 1.4g Sodium 0.05g Calcium 25mg Alpro Soya Milk Unsweetened + Calcium, Vitamin B2, B12, D2
Ingredients: water, hulled soya beans (6.5%), acidity regulators (monopotassium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate), calcium carbonate, maltodextrin, stabilizer (gellan gum), vitamins (riboflavin, B12, D2)
Nutritional Information per 100ml:
Energy 131kj/31kcal
Protein 3.3g
Carbohydrates 0.2g
of which sugars <0.1g lactose 0.0g Fat 1.8g of which saturates 0.3g cholesterol 0.0g Fibre 0.5g Sodium 0.01g equivalent as salt 0.03g Calcium 120mg Vitamins Riboflavin 0.21mg B12 0.38ug D 0.75ug Provamel Unsweetened Organic Soya Milk
Ingredients: water, hulled organic soya beans
Nutritional Information per 100ml:
Energy 147kj/35kcal
Protein 3.7g
Carbohydrates 0.1g
of which sugars 0.1g
lactose 0.0g
Fat 2.2g
of which saturates 0.4g
cholesterol 0.0g
Fibre 0.6g
Sodium 0.01g
equivalent as salt 0.03g

Avonmore Fresh Whole Milk
Ingredients: whole milk
Nutritional Information per 100ml:
Energy 269kj/64kcal
Protein 3.3g
Carbohydrate 4.9g
of which sugars 4.9g
Fat 3.5g
of which saturates 2.2g
Fibre trace
Sodium <0.1g Calcium 118mg Vitamin B12 0.4ug Avonmore Lactose Free Milk
Ingredients: milk, water, milk protein, calcium gluconate, lactase enzyme, riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12
Nutritional Information per 100ml:
Energy 174kj/42kcal
Protein 3.4g
Carbohydrate 3.6g
of which sugars 3.6g
lactose <0.01g
glucose 1.8g
galatose 1.8g
Fat 1.5g
of which saturates 0.9g
Fibre 0.0g
Sodium <0.1g
Calcium 117mg
B2 0.30mg
B12 0.16ug

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