Today is world milk day, so I thought I would share our experiences with m!lk alternatives. Aars has been severely allergic to dairy milk since he was a tot. His first reaction was to formula milk when he was five months old when a drop fell on his arm and instantly a huge blister from his elbow crease to his wrist blew up.
Once he was weaned we used rice m!lk (before the studies and warnings about arsenic and organ damage were released) and soy m!lk. Rice m!lk was amazing for our paper thin crepes, but as soon as we learnt about the arsenic rice m!lk was abandoned, and we used soya m!lk in all our baking of cakes as we could curdle it with vinegar and it made the cakes über light and airy.
A few years ago, however, Aars went into anaphylactic shock from soy m!lk. It had been a staple in his diet, with soy yoghrts, soy based chese… I was at a loss as to what m!lk alternatives we could use. I went to health food shops and discovered the delights of the Swedish Oatly oat m!lk, and Rude Healths almond m!lk, hazelnut m!lk, pea protein-based che*ses. Back then I had to travel to Brighton or London to buy these rare dairy alternatives. Now, happily, even our little Tesco express supplies them.
Then two years ago Aars started to react to nuts, so the yummy almond m!lk, cashew m!lk and hazelnut m!lks all had to be abandoned! We also had to cut gluten out of his diet and so the lovely Oatly m!lk fell by the wayside too (Oatly in North America is made with gluten-free oats, but it’s European counterparts are not).
Thus we have come to rely on coconut m!lk. We can get KoKo coconut m!lk everywhere – from the tiny co-op in St Mawes to all our supermarkets in Dorking. They also do a KoKo yogh*rt, spread, and it is a staple in our house.
If you are looking to go dairy-free hopefully this will assure you that there are plenty of alternative m!lks out there for you to experiment with and enjoy. I love the nut milks but sadly we can no longer have them in our home. They are really easy to make, and totally worth it as homemade nut m!lks are more tasty and nutritious than their shop-bought counterparts and extra rich and creamy. Perfect for smoothies and they store in the fridge in an air tight jar for three days. There are instructions on how to make your own nut m!lks all over the web.
We are now totally dependent on coconut m!lk. The bonus of koko is that it doesn’t curdle when you use it in hot drinks which other m!lk alternatives can do. We also use coconut yogh*rt from KoKo, from KoYo and the coconut collaborative – depending on what it being stocked in our local shops. All of the websites I have linked to in this post have recipes to help you learn how to use their products in baking and cooking.
There are so many more resources available to you if you need or want to be dairy-free compared to thirteen years ago when we had to start our free-from adventure!
I thought I would share some of our fave recipes which use our alternative m!lks and yogh*rts. I tend to write that we use koko coconut milk – but that is because we have lost all the other m!lk alternatives. If you can use nut-m!lks go for it – they are full of fab protein and good fats! We also use cans of coconut m!lk for our caramel popcorn and chocolate caramel shortbread as with brown sugar it works as a pretty good substitute for condensed milk!
We wish you well on your dairy-free journey and hope that this little post inspires you to get playing in the kitchen this half-term. You can see that m!lk alternatives work well in smoothies, breads, cakes, curries, pancakes… you can basically make whatever you want dairy-free
Love, peace and smiles,