Can we really call soy milk and the likes dairy for vegans? And really, who even considers soy milk as dairy. But I don’t see why we couldn’t call soy milk manufacturers dairy. Dairy farmers for vegans perhaps!
You might think I’m joking and I’m only half joking. You see, if you take a look at the definition of the word “dairy” you’ll notice that it says nothing about cows. All it talks about is the production and storage of milk and milk based products like butter and cheese.
As an aside, for those of you who wonder why I don’t use The Oxford English Dictionary, well the answer to that is easy. Those pompous Brits charge you to access the OED. Btw, I joke… about the pompous Brits part (my heritage is British), but the fee they charge you is for reals.
Anyway, they do allow you to use Oxford Dictionaries, their free site. Anyway, they say basically the same thing about dairy. Nothing to do with Betsy the beautiful bovine.
Okay, where was I… right, how about we start talking about Silk as a dairy 😉 I’m only half joking.
I don’t know any vegans who talk about their nut milks as dairy at all. So the question is what about calling it milk? Can we really call almond milk and coconut milk etc. milk? I mean I know the dairy council – those bovine teat mother suckers – got all up in arms that we dared call our soya milk actually milk. To this day if you go to their site (and I’ll not link to the milk mafia) you’ll see they keep calling it soy beverage and almond beverage. P(l)us they lie through their milk mustaches about the inadequacy of milk alternatives.
Anyway, turning to the redheaded stepchild of the venarated OED – the ODO – we get and idea about the definition of “milk”. The first definition talks about the mammary gland secretions of mammals.
But it is in the second definition that we get to the seitan (meat) of the matter: “the white juice of certain plants:”
In yer milky face dairy council. Nah ne nah ne boo boo 🙂 Okay, I’m getting carried away but perhaps that is why they didn’t have a leg to stand on let alone 4 when it came to forcing the soy milk producers to stop calling their soy beverages milk.
Anyway, this is not a rant against the dairy machine, though God knows they deserve a rant. And soon enough I’ll likely offer one.
See it’s taking me half a page to get to the friggin’ crux of the matter which was to talk to you about my favorite kinds of milk for vegans. So let’s get to it shall we.
No word of a lie, but way back when I was knee high to a grasshopper I used to make my own almond milk. Nothing tasted so yummy as that. It wasn’t super cheap but you can make it comparable to the price of soy milks and other almond milks you find in the grocery stores. Keep your eyes peeled for that very same secret family almond milk recipe… to come.
Anyway, currently my favorite vegan milk is soy milk. Probably because it is so ubiquitous. However, I’ve been vegan for over 20 years and back in the day, soy milk was not what you young whipper snappers enjoy. You young vegans have it so easy. When I was your age I had to walk 5 miles to school uphill both ways 😉
Seriously though, 20 odd years ago the only type of soy milk was Chinese style that tasted like ground up edamame strained through a cheesecloth which is what it practically was. It tasted like drinking a glass full of soya beans.
I love soybeans and edamame but I don’t want my oatmeal or Cap’n Crunch tasting like soy beans. Needless to say I ate a lot of toast for brekkie back then or I poured apple juice on my cereal – the lesser of two evils!
So my current favorite of the vegan milks that are out there is Silk soy milk. I use the Silk plain organic soy milk. And I’ll be honest with you, I think it is well worth your trouble using organic soy milk because soya beans are one of the most horribly genetically engineered crops.
And not all Silk soy milks are organic so check the ingredients. Another thing I like about Silk is that they use whole soy beans rather than soy protein isolates as some others soy milk manufacturers do.
How big of a deal is this? I don’t know for sure. Dr. Greger seems to think that soy burgers are healthy and they mostly use soy protein isolate. But Dr. McDougall seems to think that soy protein isolate might have mild carcinogenic properties.
Listen, I enjoy my veggie burgers and veggie meats so I’m not that worried about it.
As far as the different kinds of vegan milks out there go, I’ve tried a lot of them. The almond milks are mostly high in sugar and don’t have very many almonds in them at all. I think they’re misrepresenting almond milk as something healthier than it is. Silk Pure Almond milk for example is over 40% calories from fat.
Yeah, low in overall calories and also low in protein. Eat your almonds or make your own almond milk if you want. The same can be said for coconut milk. Not that coconut milk and almond milk are not healthy, but I think that soy milks from organic soy beans are much healthier.
So Delicious Original Coconut milk has over 60% calories from fat. Low in calories true, but also low in protein and way too high in saturated fat at 5 grams per serving.
Okay, I get it. You don’t like soy milk. You’ve bought into the bullshit that soy is not good for you (totally false), or you maybe have an allergy to soy milk. Well, I think your best bet if you want a creamy milk is to make your own almond milk or alternatively choose rice milk or hemp milk for vegans and vegetarians too.
The original and in my opinion best rice milks are from the folks that bring us Rice Dream. They also have Almond Dream and Hemp Dream for those of you with picky taste buds 😉 Though folks at Amazon seem to rate the Pacific rice milks better than Rice Dream.
Hey, don’t just skip all the way down here, read all the juicyness up above 😉
Here is my top choices of vegan milks in order of my preference based on taste and health.
- Organic soy milks and home made almond milk
- Organic rice milks
- Organic hemp milks
- Organic almond milks
- Organic coconut milks
There you have it my good vegans and vegetarians, dairy alternative milks for the hipster and the kind. Don’t have a cow’s [milk] man.
Now you’re as guilty of coconut-bashing and all of the soy-bashers out there. (Just sayin’!) 🙂 I love So Delicious Coconut Milk, and more important, my kids love it, too. The modest 4.5 grams of fat per serving is comparable to the amount of fat found in soy milk and is less than what’s found in hemp milk, and it’s largely comprised of medium-chain fatty acids, which our bodies handle differently than other saturated fats. In other words, there’s growing evidence that MCFAs are actually good for you. Since my kids won’t touch rice milk or hemp milk, the coconut milk is a perfectly delicious solution for our vegan family.
Not bashing coconuts Edith, I just don’t think it is one of the healthy vegan milks out there.
Not sure about your coconut milk’s 4.5 grams. So Delicious has 5 grams of fat and that full 5 grams is saturated fat. That is by no means a modest amount. In fact it’s 1/3 of your sat fat intake for a day. Sorry, but that’s not a health food.
I’ve got nothing against coconuts, but I think they should be eaten whole. Coconut milk and coconut oil is bad for you. Yeah it sounds nice to think that MCFAs are somehow different… but they’re not. They’re saturated fat. And sat fat is no good. Doesn’t matter how you spin the science to make it seem otherwise.