Milk and cookies are as iconic a duo as peanut butter and jelly or Hall and Oates. But by now, we all know the horrors of dairy milk. So what are you supposed to dunk your cookie in??
Luckily, there are many milk alternatives out there now: almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, coconut milk etc.
Unfortunately, many of them aren’t that great either. They may be cruelty-free, but many brands include additives like carageenan, and not a whole lot of nutrition. We believe that everything you eat should have simple, pure ingredients and contain vitamins and minerals that fuel your body. Here are a few suggestions for satisfying your cookies and milk craving without forgoing healthy nutrients!
Suggestion #1: Make Your Own Almond Milk (the slightly more difficult way)
When Maxine’s Co-Founder Robert makes almond milk, he puts almonds, water, dates, a little cardamom, and some sea salt into a Vitamix. Once blended, he puts the mixture in a nut milk bag and captures the “milk” that drains through. You can play with the recipe a bit, adding more almonds for a nuttier taste or adding flaxseed to thicken it. Once you’ve strained the mixture you have delicious almond milk, but also leftover almond pulp. This can be used to make almond pulp cookies (yes – there is a milk that produces cookies!). Here is a recipe to start with. Play with it to make it your own!
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1-2 cardamom pods OR 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 4-6 seeded dates
- Soak the almonds for about 8 hours.
- Drain them and then put them in a high powered blender
- Add 3 cups of water, the cardamom, and the dates
- Blend until you have a nice mush
- Put the mush into a nut milk bag and bring up the corners until you have a squeezable ball
Voila! Almond milk.
Suggestion #2: Make Your Own Nut/Seed Milk (the slightly easier way)
When I make almond milk, I don’t want to mess around with straining and I don’t want to lose nutrients. I toss almonds, as well as other nuts and seeds like pecans, cashews, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds, into a NutriBullet container. Then I add a little bit of maple syrup for added sweetness.
Top it all off with some water, give it a whirl in the NutriBullet, and you’ve got yourself some delicious milk that includes all of the nuts and seeds (and their nutrients) that you started with.
While the NutriBullet really goes to town on the nuts, there is still some sediment in it. If you want an experience that is most similar to dairy milk, you’ll have to strain it (see suggestion #1).
- Nuts and seeds (about a cups worth)
- Maple syrup to taste
- Add your desired nuts and seeds to fill about ⅓ of a NutriBullet container
- Add about half again as much water
- Add a little maple syrup – how much is up to you
- Whir! Stop when the whole thing is liquid
Voila! Nut milk.
Be advised that the friction from the NutriBullet makes this concoction a little warm. You might want to add ice cubes or put it in the fridge for a while before you drink it.
Suggestion #3: Buy It
It is really, really difficult to find a milk alternative that doesn’t add a bunch of chemicals to preserve and fortify. In general, we like the ingredients list of our packaged foods to include real nutrient-dense foods.
One brand we’ve found that does a good job of this is Malk. Their Unsweetened Almond Malk contains Organic Almonds, Himalayan Salt, and Filtered Water.
Not everyone can eat nuts, and if you’re one of those people – finding a milk alternative is going to be difficult for you. Like we said, pretty much all of the big name brand rice, coconut, soy, etc. milks have some dubious ingredients and more water than nutrients. If you absolutely must have a non-nut milk alternative, pick your favorite, but be sure to look at the ingredients and do your homework.
Many people drink milk for its calcium. No milk alternative really packs much of a punch there (although almonds aren’t half bad). But there are plenty of other nutrients you can get from them:
- Walnuts. Excellent source of Omega 3’s, Vitamin E
- Pecans. Excellent source of Vitamin E
- Almonds. Good source of calcium and magnesium
- Flaxseed. Excellent source of Omega 3’s, Vitamin E, and Thiamin
- Rice. Great source of manganese
- Coconut. Fiber! But also more calories and fat
- Soybeans. In general, we suggest staying away from soy products. While soybeans are an excellent source of nutrients (and on par with dairy milk in regards to protein), most of them are now genetically modified. They are also a big strain on the environment, not to mention a top allergen.
If you’re looking for calcium, eat some dark leafy greens along with your milk and cookies. Let us know what you try! Snap a pic and share with us on social media.