Hello & Gelukkig Nieuwjaar (Happy New Year) from the Netherlands! Sorry, I have neglected my blog over the past month due to the big move overseas and Christmas…but don’t fret, I am now here to write on a regular basis. It’s been an adventure so far and I can’t wait to share all my new Euro food discoveries with you!
the dark side of the moo
Dairy allergies, sensitivities and lactose intolerances are becoming increasingly common. In the western diet, dairy is often consumed at 3 meals a day, 7 days a week, similar to what’s happening with gluten. Many people are turning to substitutes, whether allergic or not, just to get a little variety in their diets…or perhaps their holistic nutritionist recommended it. Another reason for using milk substitutes is that dairy can be congesting to the gut, mucous forming (avoid when sick), and constipating (especially cheese).
The dairy industry has done an excellent job making us believe milk is THE ONLY source of calcium in our diets. Well, this couldn’t be further from the truth! There are lots of fantastic sources of calcium, my favorites include sesame seed, dark leafy greens and seaweeds. Not to mention, there have now been numerous studies showing dairy consumption does not protect against osteoporosis. In fact, there is higher incidence of osteoporosis in countries where dairy consumption is higher, and likewise less osteoporosis where dairy is consumed less. To top it off, dairy may also increase our risks of ovarian and prostate cancers.
That being said, total avoidance is not always necessary, as long as you dont have any allergies and are choosing high quality, organic dairy products. Just ease up a bit on your consumption.
the solution: make your own nut, seed or oat milk
This recipe is incredibly easy, and versatile! If you don’t like oat milk, use any nut or seed or a combination.
- 1 cup – nuts/seeds/whole oat groats/steel cut oats/old fashioned rolled oats of choice (try almonds, cashews, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seed, Brazil nut or any combinations)
- 4 cups – filtered or spring water
Soak nuts/seeds/oats overnight in a bowl with water & 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (or anything acidic – like apple cider vinegar) to break down enzyme inhibitors and make your milk easier to digest.
In the morning discard the soak water and rinse the nuts/seeds/oats. Place in a blender with just enough water to cover them so that the nuts are close to the blades, blend until creamy. Add the rest of the water (in general it’s 4:1 nuts:water) and continue to blend for a few minutes. Strain the mixture with a nut milk bag (you can buy one here) then add a little sweetener (optional) like unpasteurized honey, stevia or dates. Add vanilla if desired, or raw cacao powder for chocolate milk.
To make nut cream, use 2 cups of water instead of 4. This will have a thicker consistency and is great for nut milk tea lattes.
To make brown rice milk or quinoa milk, soak then cook the grains, then blend 1 cup cooked grain to 4 cups of water.
other stuff worth checking out:
- naughty nog - my version of a healthy egg nog with a baby makin’ twist (so what if it isn’t Christmas anymore!)
- stewed fruits – a warm, sweet treat on a cold winter’s day
- 3 big impact nutrition tips – if you are looking for some easy first step nutrition resolutions
- my favorite quinoa salad (from SLICE: Health Inspired Foods) was shared on this lovely vegetarian food and fashion blog.