An important staple in the plant-based diet is non-diary milk. Many such milks – made from almond, soy, coconut, flaxseed, rice, hemp, and more – are readily available from the supermarket. But while these products are convenient, they look a lot like the processed foods many plant-based eaters seek to avoid.
Take Blue Diamond’s popular brand Almond Breeze. It contains not only water and almonds, but also evaporated cane sugar, calcium carbonate, sea salt, potassium citrate, sunflower lecithin, gellan gum, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, and D-alpha-tocopherol.
And when it comes to the more nutritious elements in store-bought milk, it is hard to gauge them. You might think, for example, that almonds are a substantial part of almond milk, but a 2015 class action lawsuit alleges that that almonds make up a mere two percent of Almond Breeze.
That’s why I decided, three years ago, to make my own nondairy milk. I started with rice milk. When it turned out that rice was high in arsenic, I switched to millet milk.
Home-made millet milk doesn’t look quite as pretty as the milk you buy in the supermarket. Not held together by carrageenan or gellan gum, it has a tendency to separate. But that need not be a deal breaker. Before pouring, just give it a stir.
Like most other non-dairy milks, store-bought or not, millet milk won’t give your coffee the creaminess that cow’s milk imparts. But it will work beautifully where it matters: in smoothies, with muesli or granola, and with cooked recipes that call for non-dairy milk.
- 31% of your daily need of copper
- 25% of phosphorus
- 24% of manganese
- 19% of magnesium
- 15% of vitamin B1
- 14% of zinc
- 12% of protein
- 11% of both vitamin B2 and B6
- 9% of dietary fiber.
Add to that a wide range of important phytonutrients that are bound up in the cells of millet and serve as antioxidants.
The recipe below is made from three cups of cooked millet and yields 3.5 quarts of milk. It’s easy to make, too. Although it takes the millet thirty minutes to cook, the active time you spend making your milk is about fifteen minutes.