There was a time I swore that I would never give up my chocolate milk. That was until I found a worthy substitute.
Compiled by the Mayo Clinic staff
Dairy allergy symptoms, which differ from person to person, occur a few minutes to a few hours after drinking milk or eating milk products.
Immediately after consuming milk, signs and symptoms of a milk allergy might include:
Signs and symptoms that may take more time to develop include:
• Loose stools, which may contain blood
• Abdominal cramps
• Coughing or wheezing
• Runny nose
• Watery eyes
• Itchy skin rash, often around the mouth
What could replace such a classic dairy treat? Nut and seed milks are a great alternative.
There are many reasons to choose not to drink dairy milk. One of those reasons might be that there are 50 million Americans who are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy.
The difference between intolerance and an allergy is that intolerance causes adverse reactions to the food, in this case dairy products, but does not affect the immune system directly. An allergy is something that affects the immune system directly.
Dairy is listed as the number one allergy on the common allergy lists. When people are allergic to dairy they are allergic to the proteins it contains. If they are intolerant they cannot digest the lactose, which is a sugar found in dairy.
If you choose not to drink dairy there are options available. Many types of non-dairy milk substitutes are available on the market such as rice, soy, coconut, almond and other nut milks.
Almond milk is one of the better substitutes for dairy milk. It is lower in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. It is also lactose, gluten and cholesterol free. Some of my other favorite milks are hempseed, sesame seed and pumpkin seed milk.
Cheese, yogurt and ice cream
• 1 cup almonds, soaked overnight
• 2 cups pure water
Soak the sesame seeds overnight. Drain off the water and place into a blender with two cups of pure freshwater. Blend for a minute or two.
Using a milk bag, clean nylon sock or cheesecloth over a big bowl pour the contents of the blender into the bag.
Squeeze the liquid out of the milk bag. That liquid is now your sesame milk. Use the pulp that is left over and in your bag for cookies, crackers or bread.
Some people enjoy sweetening their milk with raw agave.
This milk can be made with any nut or seed that you can imagine, examples include Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds and hazelnuts just name a few.
This is the drink that made it possible for me to give up chocolate milk.
• 2 cups sesame seed milk
• 2 to 4 bananas, frozen
• 1/4 cup raw honey or raw agave
• 4 tablespoons raw carob powder
• 5 strawberries or cherries (optional)
Peel the bananas and place on a cookie sheet or in plastic bags and freeze. Note: it is very important to peel the bananas before freezing.
Place the frozen bananas in a blender along with the sesame milk, honey, carob and strawberries. Blend until it is thick and smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy.
For a strawberry frosty – omit the carob.
For a vanilla frosty – omit the carob. Add 2 inches of vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons of raw vanilla powder.
Now that the milk has been discussed, what about cheese? There are a variety of different vegan cheeses to purchase on the market, many of which are soy based. There are also different ways to make simple nut or seed cheese. Most of these types of cheeses require soaking, blending and fermenting of the nuts.
One of the things that I really missed when I decided to stop eating dairy was yogurt. There are many recipes that derive yogurt from nuts and seeds. Fortunately, there are dairy-free yogurts on the market. My favorite happens to be coconut yogurt.
Ice cream is another big item that most people miss when they are trying to eliminate dairy from their diet. There are many dairy-free ice cream options on the market, but they tend to be high in fat and sugar. I choose coconut ice creams over the soy based ones. Ice cream can also be made using nut milks. The higher the fat content of the nut, the better tasting the ice cream.
Nuts and seeds can be used to make almost any type of dairy that a person may want to consume. Personally, I use them to make mayonnaise, cheeses, milk and ice cream.
One simple way to have dairy and nut free ice cream is to peel and freeze bananas. After the bananas have been frozen, place them in either a blender or food processor and mix until they are smooth and creamy. Or better yet run them through a juicer, such as a Champion Juicer. There are now machines on the market designed specifically to make banana ice cream.
Finally, a word of caution: be careful not to consume too much soy, such as from soy milk. Not only is it also a high allergen, but in my opinion it should be used sparingly because the body has a hard time digesting too much of it.
There are warnings for pregnant and nursing women that advise them to not use soy products, along with warnings for men with prostate cancer, women with certain types of tumors. In some cases, hyperthyroidism has been associated with soy consumption.