What is Your Milk Moustache Made Of?

by Dave on June 5, 2009

As first published in Coastal Sussex Weekly, May 21, 2009:

by Andy Meddick

With all due diligence, I recently branched out into non-dairy milks. The result is this, the
Good For Moo Milk Primer…
Dairy Milks – Cow, Goat (Fat Free, 2%, whole, whole chocolate):

Cow’s Milk – the best I’ve tasted is by Natural By Nature. Their milk is organic, 100% grass-fed and sourced from family dairy farms in Lancaster County, PA. Grass contains higher levels of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (an Omega-3), beta-carotene, Vitamins A and E. Hence the milk from grass-fed cows contains higher levels of these nutrients, and the milk is sweeter, and richer. Their cows are less stressed, are not pumped with drugs, and so happy, naturally healthy, cows do make better milk! Natural By Nature Milk is also a low-temperature pasteurization so it’s as close to raw as state laws allow. Store milk should not have several weeks shelf life – it is the high-heat pasteurization that allows this and affects the flavor and nutrition accordingly.

Goat Milk – I’ve tried Meyenberg, This Land is Your Land, and Albert’s Choice. Alberts Choice or Meyenberg are good, but Alberts Choice has better packaging. Goat milk is easier to digest than cow milk. Nutritionally, goat milk is much higher in calcium, vitamins B-6 and A, potassium, niacin, copper, and selenium. Goat milk is an acquired taste, a raw, earthy sweetness, which I think is better suited to baking. If you like goat cheese, you’ll like goat milk.

Non-dairy Milks (nut, seed, and grain) – great options for the lactose-intolerant. Be careful if considering these milks for infants – many are unsuitable for formula. Many of these milks are gluten-free, and Vegan. With the exception of Coconut Milk, do not expect the texture of dairy milk. Be prepared to throw your pre-conceptions out and enjoy these milks for what they are, as opposed to what they are not! Flavors are Plain (Original), Chocolate, Vanilla, and Maple Brown Sugar. Some varieties are available in unsweetened versions.

Almond – I love Blue Diamond, especially the fresh (refrigerated) varieties. Pacific also has organic varieties, but I think the fresh is a better flavor. Almond milk is naturally sweet, and has a reasonable thickness for drinking. It does not separate when heated making it a good choice for baking and cooking also. I think the fresh Chocolate Almond milk is a better flavor than the dairy or soy chocolate milks. I use the Vanilla Almond milk regularly for baking and in my bread machine. Substitute a cup or two of the water for the milk and you’ll get a great, sweet, dense teatime/brunch toasting bread.

Hazelnut – I love Pacific – they roast their hazelnuts to give a rich, smooth, creamy milk. It makes a good coffee creamer and is phenemoneal on breakfast cereals, or in muffins. It is gluten-free and low-sodium.

Soy – Many people are becoming concerned over the pervasiveness of soy in our diets, but there is conflicting information on the role of plant-based estrogens (phyto-estrogens) in our diet, versus animal or human-based estrogens. You either love, or hate soymilk. Vilified as, ‘beany’, and true for some varieties. I like Organic Valley – organic and a good, heavy, creamy milk.

Coconut – So Delicious is the first fresh (refrigerated) coconut milk I’ve found, and it really is, “So Delicious!” Made from non-GMO coconuts. This is the thick, white, coconut milk, not to be confused with thin, clear, coconut water. It has the same saturated fat content as whole cow milk. However, the fat is a medium chain fatty acid, a so-called, “good fat” and easier to digest for many people. The texture is very similar to full-fat, cow milk and heats well, making it a good drinking and cooking/baking milk. It is not overly coconut in flavor. The original is mildly sweet and the vanilla a rich, ice cream kind of flavor. It’s also gluten free and Vegan.

Hemp – always raises eyebrows since it is made from the edible seeds of the cannabis sativa L plant. Before the Feds swoop, let me assure you, it’s not that kind of cannabis plant! It’s a relative in the same family and only has trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. Hemp seeds have a delicious, rich, nutty sunflower-seed taste. Hemp seeds are a complete protein, containing all 10 essential amino acids, rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids, and are one of the few, plant-based sources of gamma-linolenic acid (GMA). It’s great on cereals, for beverages, smoothies, salad dressings and marinades, cooking or baking. It is a little thinner than cow milk. I favor the chocolate to drink, and the vanilla in scrambled eggs. It’s also gluten free and Vegan. Good brands are Living Harvest and Manitoba Harvest.

Oat  – I love Oat Dream, but Pacific also has great, organic variety. It has a unique flavor, and a thick, creamy consistency – a little thinner than dairy milks, but a good enough flavor and texture to drink by the glass. I think the Original is better than the Maple Brown Sugar. The Pacific Low-Fat Vanilla is delicious. They do not add any sugar, since they the starch in the oats is converted to glucose to naturally sweeten the milk. Great in smoothies.

Rice – an acquired taste since it is thinner than cow milk (closer to a fat-free milk consistency). It is a well-flavored drinking milk, however. I prefer the fresh (refrigerated) Rice Dream  – it is gluten free and Vegan. I love the slightly nutty, sweet flavor. It definitely tastes like rice.

Until next time, Whoop-di-doo, Andy.

Andy Meddick is the owner of the Good4U Orgainc Market on Rt. 9 outside of Lewes. He can be reached at goodforu@comcast.net.

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