Vegetable milks

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Cereal, Pulse, Oil-yelding plants, To buy, Home-made, Be careful, Animal’s milk, Calcium, Utilisation, Respect, Release 1

As you see from their name, these are milks derived not from animals, but from various types of plants and vegetables: cereals, pulses, and oil-yielding grains.

Cereal milks  These are made from oats, wheat, barley and rice. Cereal milks can also be made with quinoa, even though it isn’t a cereal but is used like one.

Pulse milk  Soya is useful for milk and for so many other things.

Milks from oil-yielding plants  Almonds, peanuts, nuts, different kind of walnuts, pine nuts, sesame and chestnuts can be used.

To buy vegetable milks  You can find them very easely in your organic products shop. They are in bottles or in cartons of different sizes. They are natural or flavored with chocolate or fruits…. Another possibility is to prepare them yourself.

Home-made vegetable milks  To start, the easiest to prepare are milks from oil-yielding grains. You can get these already mixed or mix them yourself. You can also use an oleaginous puree, available in organic shops. All you have to do is add water and mix. Vegetable milks can be consumed hot or cold, according to your taste.

Be careful  Some studies say that soy products can have some bad effects to the health. So it seems better to read the literature carefully and to eat soya with moderation. In some other studies, you read exactly the opposite, that soy is very good for your health. If you have difficulties breast-feeding or if you are intolerant of cow’s milk, ask a breastfeeding counselor or a health or nutrition professional. before using vegetable milks.

Animal’s milk or vegetable milks?  One of the mammalian characteristics is to produce milk for their babies. Nature does well. Each mother has enough to nourish her baby. For each species, the milk is suited exactly to the needs of the baby. For example, the calf, which stands up some hours after its birth gets a milk sufficiently rich to enable it to make such an effort. The human baby needs several months before being able to stand. No matter what the producers of industrial cow’s milk may think, cow’s milk isn’t good for the human baby’s body. After drinking it, some of the baby’s organs (liver, stomach) development are different from those of a baby drinking it’s mother’s milk.
If you read some rigourous studies, like the publications of th Leche League (an organization to support breastfeeding), you’ll get interesting information. Furthermore, it seems that milk isn’t necessary for grown ups, because all over the world, there are some people who don’t drink milk and feel very good. But, when they begin to eat and drink milky food, they begin to get some pathologies they didn’t experience before.

Milk and calcium  Milk isn’t the only food source for calcium. It also seems that the milk’s calcium isn’t well assimilated by the body. You can find good quantity calcium in leafy vegetables, dry fruits, pulses, and sprouts. Moreover, the intense consumption of milk and dairy products is mostly justified by commercial reasons rather than health reasons. Current production levels, so high that there is milk to spare, have only existed since World War II.

Utilisation  What to do with vegetable milks ? Some drinks, creams, spreads, cakes, soups, puree, sauces, sorbets, yogurts….

Milk and respect  Animal’s milk is produced by a female having had a baby: cows, donkeys, mares, water-buffaloes, ewes, goats, camels… The new born baby animal needs it’s mother’s milk and the contact given by breastfeeding. The human new born needs also his mother’s milk and his contact.
Nobody needs to see these poor animals, cows most of the time, but not exclusively, so inflated by hormones, that their udders explode, they ambulate with difficulty and suffer so much. If you want absolutely drink animal’s milk, at least be sure that the animal lives in good conditions, and don’t forget what it has eaten: transgenic food, hormones, antibiotics and other additives are contained into its milk and then ingested by you.

Release 1: Découvrez les laits végétaux (Discover the vegetable milks) by Chantal and Lionel Clergeaud, Les 3 Spirales Publishing House, 2001 – cost  7,50 euros
Chantal and Lionel Clergeaud wrote several books about health and food. This small book, which contains 90 pages, is a good introduction for beginners who would like to know more about vegetable milks.
It shows you the disadvantages of cow’s milk, the calcium myths, and the health advantages of eliminating cow’s milk entirely and drinking vegetable milks instead.
They present different kind of vegetable milks, their properties and nutritiional advantages
– milks from oil-producing nuts: almonds, arachids, nuts, walnuts, coconuts, cashew nuts, pine nuts, sesame
– cereal milks : wheat, oats, barley, rice
– pulse milks: soy milk.
How to prepare it at home is explained for all types.
About 40 pages of this book are full of various recipes : for breakfast, some sauces, soups, pancakes, vegetables, cereals, pulses, savory pies, sweets, custard-tarts, cakes and drinks.
This practical book finishes with the importance of milk for a little child, the superiority of mother’s milk, the disadvantages of cow’s milk and the different vegetable milks that are good for an infant, from 1 to 9 months old.