Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Does a Body Good?

Dairy can be hard to digest, especially with all the processing that goes on from the point in time when the milk comes out of the cow until the time that it hits the table. As a matter of fact, 30 to 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant, meaning they are missing the enzyme in their digestive tract that breaks down the sugars in milk products. Sometimes when milk products are cultured or fermented like yogurt, cheese, and kefir, they can be easier to digest. However, with so many people having a hard time with milk and milk products, it’s no wonder that there is a plethora of milk alternative products on the market today. Just like most overly processed foods, many of these products are high in sugar, expeller pressed oils, and other additives. We need to be careful reading labels when we choose alternative dairy products so we can choose the products that have clean ingredients and leave those with all the additives on the shelves.

Milks: I like Pacific Brand organic non-dairy beverages. They have a whole line of different nut and grain milks and each has its own unique taste. I really like the Organic Unsweetened Almond. Its ingredients are simple, and it is quite tasty. It does not taste like milk, but it does have a nice hint of almond flavor and is delicious on cereal or in your latté. Edensoy unsweetened organic soymilk is also a good option if you are okay with soy products. The only ingredients on the label are soybeans and water!

Personally I am not so into the dairy alternatives in the “ice cream” and fake cheese categories. These products are overly processed and most that start with soy as a base are missing all the beneficial properties of the soy and are loaded with sugar and other additives. One ice cream product that I do like is Coconut Bliss. It is made with delicious coconut milk and sweetened with agave nectar. As far as cheese products go, I haven’t found one with clean ingredients. Here is a recipe for a creamy sauce with cheese like consistency and flavor that is made with whole food ingredients! Try this tossed in pasta, over broccoli and potatoes, or on a pizza crust with tomato sauce for a delicious dairy free treat!

Nut Cheese

1 cup water

1 tsp onion powder

½ cup raw cashews

¼ cup nutritional yeast

1 ½ tsp sea salt

2 cloves of garlic

1 Tbsp of lemon juice

1 Tbsp sesame tahini

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Add a little more water if necessary. Pour mixture into a saucepan and simmer over low heat, stirring until desired thickness. Sun dried tomatoes, olives, pimentos, or fresh herbs are some delicious ingredients that you could add for different flavor variations.


  1. I love both the pacific milks and coconut bliss ice cream! Both are great products! We didn't do any cow's milk for a long time but even now that we have some I still like to use alternative milks in addition to get the benefits of each. And we only do coconut bliss ice cream at home, its our favorite!
    I'm going to check out that nut cheese recipe too. I think the kids would love it.

  2. I love Rice Dream on my breakfast cereal. So does my dog Bucky, but then again he'll eat anything...

  3. Coconut Bliss ice "cream" is very dangerous, particularly the chocolate version.... It tastes even creamier than the real thing! That recipe looks interesting, too, btw.

  4. What a great week to tackle dairy! I'm curious about your thoughts on non-dairy yogurts...they seem to be very processed. Any thoughts on their probiotics value?

  5. I acgree about alternative milk products like cheese, etc. I feel similarly about alternative meat products - fake chicken nuggets and bacon - scary! and super processed...

  6. Rebecca,
    Those soy and coconut milk yogurts sure are loaded with sugar and are quite processed! I have yet to see a good clean product. Maybe we should get into product development together after graduation? I need to learn how to make yogurt so I can make my own with coconut milk or get some kefir berries and make coconut kefir, which I have also seen recently in the market and unfortunately it is loaded with sugar.