Milk the American dream, And The Best Milk Alternative
Ask anyone and they will tell you that milk has been a part of their diet from birth. Why, because the American culture has adapted to this lifestyle. But is a milk alternative, such as coconut milk better?
“Back in the day” when a cow produced milk it was intended for its young.
The farmer would allow the calf three months without any milking from the farmer. After that three months, the farmer would only milk the additional milk. This was possible due to the calf weaning off of its mothers milk, and supplementing with gain, feed, and grass. Back then a typical cow would produce approx. 1 gallon of milk a day, just enough for that growing calf. The farmer would use the additional milk for making cheese, butter, and maybe a glass or 2 of milk. The process was done from 3 months until the calf was completely weaned. Once the calf was weaned, the mamma no longer needed to produce milk, and her body stoppped producing. The farmer milked the cow until she had stopped completely. Sounds a lot like the human body, doesn’t it?
Fast forward 20 to 30 years…..
The average milking cow now is producing approx 6-7 gallons a day, and milked 2 times a day… According to the USDA statistics “Farmers are producing almost three times more milk with about half of the number of cows compared to the 1960s. This is reducing the total amount of feed, water, space needed, and resulting in less manure.” hmmm……. My question is what changed, how is this possible?? Whether natural, or unnatural something changed; and I have a feeling it was unnatural. In addition to this, I ask the question, was the human body designed to digest animal milk?
Therefore, with all of the controversy on milk … Right, wrong, or indifferent.. We try to minimize our milk intake… and unfortunately the deliciousness things that come from milk, such as cheese, and butter… Yes, we still have cheese, but we are learning to use it sparingly.
Now, when it comes to milk, I have been playing around with plant based, milk alternatives for quite some time now. I have tried rice, almond, cashew, and coconut..
So far, coconut has been the healthiest milk alternative.
Coconut Milk Benefits: Coconuts contain vitamins such as C, E, B1, B2, B3. Iron, magnesium, and calcium. Coconuts also contain lauric acid which is one of the best supplements you can provide for you body. Another benefit is that coconuts are lactose free, making it easy for individuals who are lactose intolerant in still have to option to enjoy a glass of milk.
I’ve tired fresh, canned, flakes, shavings, and now butter. All are good methods. However ,the family prefers the canned.. I cant blame them, it is the smoothest texture and creamiest. I do not live by a Trader Joes (crying) but, when I do make the hour drive I like to stock up on their organic canned coconut milk. Its less that 2 dollars a can, no additives, or fillers.. Just coconut and water. I usually do 2 cups of water to 1 can of milk..
When it comes to the fresh coconut, it does make a thick coconut milk, but I will tell ya, it’s a lot of work, and for me it gives me slight heart palpitations.
The first time I brought a coconut home and asked the hubby to crack it open, I thought I would be taking a trip to the nearest ER. So, until I find a way to open a coconut that doesn’t involve a rather large and sharp item, I will stay clear.. With the flakes and or shavings, this method works, it only requires a high speed blender, water, and a cheese cloth. Sometimes I do add a date or two, even some vanilla extract on occasion. Its quite delish.
My most recent experiment was with something I had not heard of …Coconut butter. Basically, coconuts are shredded up, beyond flakes unto pulp,then into butter… kind of like when you take peanuts and turn them into peanut butter;same concept. I have to say it was super easy to make coconut milk using this method. Here is how I did it…
Fill a pan with water and place the Jar of coconut butter in it (remove the lid). Heat the water till it reaches a slow boil. Remove of the heat, and let sit. The coconut butter will start to melt. You will need to have the butter completely melted. Sometimes, to speed the process up a little I give the butter a stir, when it is on heating up
Once the butter has reached a smooth consistency place 1-2 tablespoons of the melted butter in a large mason jar. Fill the Jar up with water.. Optional: you can add additional things such as honey, vanilla extract, just make sure that you only add things that can dissolve in water. Now, SHAKE, and SHAKE, AND SHAKE some more. Do a little dance, really mix it up. One thing I do like about this method is you do not need a blender. This works out well, when I forget to make milk at 10 pm with a house full of sleeping children. Not like that’s ever happened before ;).
Optional step: Once the milk has been mixed up, you can run the milk though a very fine mesh strainer, or cheese cloth. I don’t mind the extra coconut, but for my kids, they tend to like the smoother version.
My next go around I’m going to break out the blender and try to do a strawberry milk using the coconut butter. I will let you know how it turns out.
So the next time you go to pour yourself a glass of milk, ask yourself. Is this the healthiest milk to drink?
Stay Healthy Friends