“Moo-ving on from Cow Milk in the Kitchen”

“Moo-ving on from Cow Milk in the Kitchen”

According to a recent study by the NIH that surveyed around 30 million to 50 million Americans, around 65% of U.S. citizens are lactose intolerant.  However, that percentage has been decreasing over time. Further studies by Mark Thomas, an evolutionary geneticist at University College London in the U.K, show the ability to digest the milk sugar lactose in adults requires a dominant Mendelian trait (Lactase persistence), which has only risen to high frequency within the last 20,000 years.   Most babies can digest milk easily because of an enzyme called lactase. Up until several thousand years ago, that enzyme’s activity would decrease as a person ages over time — meaning most adults were lactose intolerant (or “lactase nonpersistent,” as scientists call it).

Today, that doesn’t happen for most people and the enzyme is remaining active, thus allowing adults to consume milk without an issue. This development of lactose tolerance has been improving over time, yet it seems the culture today is choosing not to consume dairy anyway. Consumers are constantly altering their diets based on the latest food fads or nutrition trends. Research says that non-dairy milk sales have grown 61% over the last five years in the US, and was estimated to reach $2.11 billion in 2017. These jarring statistics suggest that as a food service provider, it may be an effective beverage profit to provide a healthy, non-dairy alternative to our customers in the menu items.

Non-Dairy Alternatives and the Health Benefits

Cashew milk

In its most basic form, this is made from filtered water and cashews. This particular form of milk is typically creamer that other non-dairy milks and therefore is a great substitute for recipes that require a creamier texture without affecting the flavor.

  • high in B vitamins, copper and magnesium
  • lower total fat content when compared with other nuts
  • About 75% of the fat in cashews is unsaturated fatty acids, primarily oleic acid, the same monounsaturated fat found in olive oil
  • Heart healthy
  • Can help lower your risk of stroke and heart disease.

Goat milk

Although this type of milk still contains lactose and is considered a dairy product, it is still a popular non-dairy alternative to cow’s milk. This is because goat’s milk has more health benefits and is easier on the gut than regular’s cow milk. Beyond consuming goat’s milk, it also has benefits far more versatile. Goat’s milk can be used in soap, face wash, body lotion, hair products, lip balm, and more.

  • Easier to digest (than cow’s milk)
  • Fewer allergens and less inflammatory
  • High in calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorous
  • Reduces cholesterol
  • Promotes healthy skin – right in vitamin A and helps prevent acne

Almond milk

Almond milk is made by blending almonds with water and then straining the mixture to remove the solids. It can also be made by adding water to almond butter. Almond milk is a great non-dairy alternative when you are looking to cut calories.

  • Naturally rich in vitamin E and healthy fats
  • Prevents vitamin D deficiency, lowering risk of fatigue or brittle bones
  • Low in calories
  • Helps with low blood sugar
  • Reduces risk of heart disease

Coconut milk

Coconut milk is a white, milky substance extracted from the flesh of mature coconuts. Coconut milk is a good choice when you want something creamy and sweet. If you’re looking to reduce your saturated fat intake, keep in mind that coconut milk is the only non-dairy alternative that contains as much saturated fat as whole cow’s milk.

  • Contains MCTs linked with weight loss
  • Boots immune system
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals

Oat milk

Free of lactose, nuts, soy, and gluten, this milk is made by soaking and blending steel-cut or rolled oats with water and then straining them through cheesecloth to separate the milk from the oats. For substituting, oat milk is very similar to a low-fat cow’s milk. It has a toasty flavor but would not work well if you need a creamy texture.

  • Sensible option for most dietary restrictions
  • Great source of B vitamins
  • Lowers blood cholesterol
  • Benefits your bones
  • Lactose-free, soy-free, gluten-fee, nut-free, sugar-free

Moon milk

Moon milk is a mixture of warm milk and spices such as: honey, adaptogens, cinnamon, ginger, lavender, turmeric, or others. It’s made to relax you and help you fall asleep. When done right, it can also be quite an aesthetic and pretty. Although it is cow’s milk that contains some natural substances known for inducing sleep, you can swap the milk with any of the above to add more nutritional benefits. Other health benefits would depend on which spices you choose to use…

  • Promotes relaxation
  • Various spices: improve digestion, anti-inflammatory, increase metabolism, stabilizes blood sugar, improves cognitive function