By Irene Hayton
We often have patients who are sensitive to dairy or who want to limit or eliminate their intake of cow’s milk. Their biggest concern is what they can use instead of milk. Fortunately, there are a lot of alternatives available now and, in most areas, you don’t have to go to a health food store to purchase them; they’re available on the shelves and in the refrigerated sections of most grocery stores.
You can substitute rice milk, almond milk, goat’s milk, coconut milk, or hemp milk (this one doesn’t taste very good, in my opinion) for cow’s milk. It’s best to choose the unsweetened varieties, if possible. Some of these may have sweeteners added to them to improve their taste but they are typically natural ones.
My favourites include vanilla flavoured, unsweetened almond milk (such as the Blue Diamond brand) and coconut milk. And now you don’t have to get your coconut milk from a can; So Delicious brand makes a variety of Coconut Milk Beverages from organic coconut milk. They’re packaged in 1.89 liter cartons and can be found in the refrigerated section of some grocery stores, either with the other non-dairy alternatives or in the organics/natural foods section. There are probably other brands out there other than So Delicious, I just haven’t seen them yet. Use coconut milk in cereals, baked goods, soups, and smoothies such as in this month’s recipe for Coconut Almond Smoothie.