It is hard to remember the precise moment when this has happened but it, surprisingly, did.
It is not a secret that my children are constantly sick and, by that, I don’t mean a simple (but still horrible, I know) cold or light flu, I mean weeks with temperatures, or lungs infections, or allergy to oxygen* as I (and Woody Allen) calls it, and so on.
Mostly of our problems were affecting the respiratory system (I’m giving myself a bit of optimism here, writing as in the past 🙂
I saw a few otolaryngologists during the years and most of them mentioned the fact that avoiding dairy would have helped to reduce the production of secretion.
And that I and my sinusitis too would have benefited from the cut.
It was clearly something I had to at least try but of course, there were some things that I struggled to drop:
+ I have been enjoying a good cup of warm, white milk since when I was a child; + when sick in bed, I still remember my mom saying the old 3 L saying lana, latte, letto (wool, milk, bed) when bringing my mug to the couch;
+ my favourite colour is white so also my faculty of sight has always been satisfied (;
+ I was born in Verona and grew up with milk and pandoro – and ragù but this is not relevant here;
+ I drink espresso macchiato, where will I get my beautiful foam for my coffee??
That sums up the situation and don’t get me started with cheese, whipped cream, nocciola ice cream at Gelateria Savoia…disaster.
I took the path of vegetable milk one day and decided to give it a go. In the meantime, I have started reading more about milk, its production, its benefits, its industry, the supply chain. I have tested many brands and experimented all different types of vegetable milk.
The thing that probably shocked me the most is how the cows are treated in order to produce milk. It is almost unbearable to watch how the industry treats these animals and how unfortunate it is that also most of the organic farms go through the same procedures of industrial production.
I won’t post any link of any video here but if you’re interested please google “cow’s natural lifespan”, for example, you will discover that cows used by the dairy industry are dead after only four or five years instead of 25. And how they live is probably the worst news.
As a mother, all the information I read and retrieved around (at farms, talking to nutritionists) gave me the strength and the will to stop drinking milk, or at least reducing its consumption to an espresso per week. That is all.
Kids are enjoying their rice milk and I have discovered that oat milk makes the best foam for my coffee! Of course, vegetable milk has not the same taste of regular milk, that goes without saying.
For the first two weeks, I drank my espresso with alternative milk…well, I wanted to give up on my espresso!! Which is not the best idea having a blog that talks about coffee, eh?
Then I started to look at the bright side of the situation: it seemed like an excellent option to any breakfast drink and a great way to drink less coffee, less tea and to try new flavors!
At the beginning, I have not enjoyed soya milk at all and I preferred rice milk. None of the vegetable milks I tried ever produced a decent foam and those containing additional calcium made the worst froth (plant milks don’t have the make up of fat and protein of casein which are the factors that help to make the foam).
Then I found oat milk, which is a little lighter than the other milks, in my opinion, but it is great when it comes to spuming!
There are many brands out there but my favourite one for the coffee (and not only for that) is the Swedish Oatly: best ever so far.
Even the one with the addition of calcium, which generally prevents a good foam, in my opinion.
As of today, fresh plant milks are more expensive than the packaged ones: fortunately, there is a growing demand for alternative milk in the world so I believe the situation will change soon.
In the meantime, also remember that plant milk is easy and affordable to make at home. And it will also help you control the ingredients of your daily drink which is great.
There are hundreds of recipes you can find online and the one I personally prefer is from the book Gwyneth Paltrow, It’s All Good.
I write the recipe for you here below:
For each serving, place has a cup of soaked raw almonds in a blender.
You can keep the almonds in a container of fresh water in the fridge up to a week for snacks and smoothies.
Why: almonds are great for your health, they are full of omegas, protein, magnesium, vitamin E, zinc. But like oats and other nutrients, almonds contain an enzyme that slow down your digestion. If you soak them in water, the enzyme breaks down and you are good to go.
Add cold water to cover the almonds and blend until pureed. Pass the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl or pitcher. Drink or keep it in the fridge up to 3 days.
And you, have you tried some of these milks already or want to share your personal experience?