When I was 13, I had the most intense abdominal pain. I thought it was appendicitis and my mom rushed me to our family doctor to find out what was going on. My doctor said I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and that it was probably triggered by the milk I had that day. From that point on I never drank milk again. Years later, I went totally vegan and my stomach has LOVED every minute of it.
I found tons of research out there about how milk is linked to lactose intolerance, allergies, IBS, other intestinal problems and much more. I also came across many people who asked where I would be getting calcium from? The myth out there is that we can only get it from milk, when in fact, as Dr. Barnard says, there are plenty of sources of calcium. Brazil nuts and almonds are high in calcium as well as legumes and green leafy vegetables (such as collards and kale).
I loved the comfort that milk products gave me and so I found ways to get the texture and taste with vegan options.
Here are My Top 3:
1. Nut Cheeses
The closest I have found to substitute mozzarella type cheese is the vegan cheese called Daiya. An even healthier option (and less processed) is cheese made from nuts. I tried the store-bought soy cream cheese and it tasted disgusting. I found making my own tasted better! To me, nut cheeses has the creamy texture of regular cream cheese. Add probiotics to it and it boosts the health of your gut with friendly bacteria.
2. Nut Milks
Great for cereals or a smoothie. Here’s a quick recipe:
- 1 cup almonds (soaked overnight)
- 3 pitted dates (for the sweetness)
- Pinch of salt
- 3 cups water
Combine the almonds, pitted dates, salt, and water in a blender and blend on high for a couple of minutes. Strain through a cheesecloth into a large bowl. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to three days.
3. Nut Butters
There are so many types and flavours you can make - almond butter, cashew butter or try a cacao hazelnut mixture as a substitute for Nutella.
Learn how to make all of these things in our workshop: All About Nuts! Have fun!
ACTION: Post any comments on your experiences with milk or using nuts as a substitute for milk. (In the spirit of creating a positive and harmonious community and learning environment, only positive comments are welcome!)