College Kitchen: Milk Alternatives

Blend, squeeze, store, repeat.

Quinoa, hemp and cashew milk make an easy and refreshing alternative to dairy while also adding a boost of protein to your diet.

Juliet Farmer

Quinoa, hemp and cashew milk make an easy and refreshing alternative to dairy while also adding a boost of protein to your diet.

Yena Lee

Telling people that you squeeze nut bags isn’t even the best part about making milk alternatives.

Non-dairy milks are on the rise and replacing the norm of cow’s milk, and they can be used as anything from a smoothie base to a cereal partner. While non-dairy milk sales are soaring, cow’s milk sales are decreasing.

Milk alternatives don’t have all the same nutritional values as cow’s milk, but they have their own redeeming healthy qualities.

Although non-dairy milk alternatives are readily available on the shelves of your local grocery stores, making them in the convenience of your home is both cost-effective and simple. All you really need is a blender and a nut bag, which is just a fancy strainer designed specifically for nut milks.

Homemade milk keeps fresh in the fridge for three days in an airtight container.

 

Hemp Milk

 

From omega-3 fatty acids to all 10 essential amino acids, hemp milk packs in a lot of nutrition. It’s a great alternative for those who have an allergy to dairy, tree nuts or soy. It only takes a few ingredients to make hemp milk.

 

1 cup hemp

3 cups water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

a dash of salt

optional: agave or pitted dates

 

1. Combine all the ingredients in the blender.

2. Blend for two minutes or until everything is well-combined.

3. Pour the milk through a nut bag, squeeze and store in a container.

 

Quinoa Milk

 

Quinoa is a great source of protein, and that rings true for the milk as well. Quinoa milk contains amino acids, and similar to cow’s milk, it’s high in calcium. It’s a great milk alternative because it is free of nuts, soy and dairy. Unlike the hemp milk recipe, the quinoa milk requires a bit more preparation.

 

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 1/2 cups water

 

1. Rinse the quinoa in water thoroughly.

2. Place both ingredients into a pot, and bring it to a boil.

3. Once at a boil, reduce the heat to low, lid the pot and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

4. After the 15 minutes, lift the pot from the heat and let it rest for five to seven minutes.

 

Cooked quinoa

3 cups water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

a dash of salt

optional: agave, cinnamon

 

1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender.

2. Blend for two minutes or until everything is well-combined.

3. Pour the milk through a nut bag, squeeze and store in a container.

 

Cashew milk

 

A well-blended cashew milk is a delicious milk alternative if you’re not allergic to tree nuts. Cashews are an ideal way to consume monounsaturated fats, and they even contain micronutrients, such as copper.

 

1 cup raw cashews

3 to 4 cups water

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons agave nectar (or maple syrup)

a dash of salt

optional: cinnamon

 

1. Soak the raw cashews in water for at least six hours (overnight if you can).

2. Rinse the cashews, and then blend with 2 cups of water for two minutes or until everything is well-combined.

3. Blend in 1 to 2 more cups of water (depending on preferred level of creaminess), with the rest of the ingredients.

4. Pour the milk through a nut bag*, squeeze and store in a container.

 

*Straining the cashew milk is a personal choice. Unstrained cashew milk has a nuttier and creamier taste.

 

Potential Smoothies:

 

Use the milk alternatives as the smoothie base for all your favorite smoothies. If you don’t have a favorite smoothie recipe, just build one. All you need is 1 cup milk, fruit (frozen or fresh), some sweetener, and a dash of spices (like turmeric, cinnamon or cacao).