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  • Writer's pictureSanah Alban

Non-Dairy Milks

This week’s recipe was a non-dairy mango lassi made with almond milk yoghurt and almond milk, and so I wanted to touch on non-dairy milks/products.⁣

What is dairy and why try non-dairy?

Dairy products are foods produced from or containing the milk of mammals. People may decide to exclude dairy from their diet due to a dairy or lactose intolerance, or dietary restrictions or preference. For example I cut out dairy a few years back (before reducing meat actually!) after finding I had a dairy intolerance. Interestingly dairy intolerances are quite common in Asians, it's just so normal to drink cows milk and we don’t give much thought to it!⁣

What non-dairy options are there?

I’m glad that when I did switch, there was and still is an abundance of non-dairy options like soy, almond, coconut, oat, rice, cashew, macadamia, hemp and quinoa milk. I started with soy milk but didn’t really like the taste and texture and then tried nut milks which I definitely preferred. Almond milk is a staple in my kitchen now as well as canned coconut milk. Anywhere I'd normally use dairy milk (tea, coffee, cereals, smoothies, sauces, pancakes) I use non-dairy milk and it’s been fine so far! I especially love that almost all coffee places have non-dairy options; I’d urge you to try a hot chocolate with coconut milk if you haven’t already, it's ridiculously yummy!⁣

Dairy and Pakistani food

A lot of the desserts in Pakistani cuisine are milk based but opting for non-dairy milk has worked really well for me, especially because the desserts normally include nuts, almond or coconut milk complement and add to the flavors.⁣

Tips for buying non-dairy

If you do choose to have non-dairy milk, try and get unsweetened versions and avoid added sugars. You can also check that the non-dairy milk is fortified with calcium and vitamin B12. I haven’t tried it out yet but making your own nut milks at home is something you can do too! There is no one milk that’s ideal for everyone; the taste, nutrition and cost of these alternatives can vary considerably, so it might take a while to find the one that’s best for you!⁣

Do you have a favorite non-dairy milk or non-dairy milk product? Let me know!⁣

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