The most commonly used non-dairy milk is soya milk, but oat milk, almond milk and rice milk are also easily available. All may be used in cooking and in beverages. Non-dairy milks are sold in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores/supermarkets and in non-refrigerated, boxed forms on the shelves. Non-dairy milks are available in several different flavours; always check the package to be sure that the flavoured milk is vegan/vegetarian. Seek the advice of a health professional before using non-dairy milks for infants.

The most commonly used non-dairy milk is soya milk, but oat milk, almond milk and rice milk are also easily available. All may be used in cooking and in beverages. Non-dairy milks are sold in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores/supermarkets and in non-refrigerated, boxed forms on the shelves. Non-dairy milks are available in several different flavours; always check the package to be sure that the flavoured milk is vegan/vegetarian. Seek the advice of a health professional before using non-dairy milks for infants.

Homemade Milks last approx 1 week in fridge.

Almond Milk:

A lightly sweet milk for cereals and in beverages. A good choice for cooking desserts or in baking. It contains high levels of vitamin A, other vitamins, minerals and omega fatty acids, but it is lower in protein than soya milk. Most are not soya-free because they use soya lecithin. It is free of cholesterol and saturated fat.

Homemade Almond Milk

Ingredients

  • 150 g (5 oz) raw almonds
  • 1 tbsp brown rice syrup
  • 1 L (1 3/4 pt) water
  • pinch salt

Directions

  1. Blend the ingredients in a blender until creamy and smooth.
  2. Pour through a fine mesh bag or a muslin cloth into a bowl, squeezing the bag to force through the liquid.
  3. Chill.
  4. It makes 1 litre (1 3/4 pt)

Coconut Milk:

A sweet milk naturally found in the heart of the coconut. It is used in certain cuisines, such as Thai food and some desserts. Rarely available fresh, most varieties are made by squeezing the liquid out of coconut flesh and then adding water. It is high in saturated fats but low in calories and protein.

Homemade Coconut Milk

Ingredients

  • 125 g (4 oz) shredded coconut
  • 750 ml (1 1/3 pt) hot (not boiling) water

Directions

  1. Combine the coconut and water in a bowl; cool to room temperature.
  2. Pour through a fine mesh bag or muslin cloth into a bowl, squeezing the bag to force through all the liquid.
  3. Chill.
  4. Makes 625 ml (1 pt)

Oat Milk:

Of all the non-dairy milks, oat milk performs best at higher temperatures, especially in soups and stews where it will reduce and thicken slightly. It is cholesterol-free. Note that not all brands are gluten-free.

Homemade Oat Milk

Ingredients

  • 75 g (3 oz) porridge oats (not quick cooking)
  • 1.25 L (2 pt) water
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp raw sugar
  • pinch salt

Directions

  1. Combine the ingredients in a pan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce the heat, cover, simmer until the oats are well cooked, approx 10 minutes.
  3. Cool, then place in a blender and blend until smooth; allow to stand for 1 hour.
  4. Pour through a fine mesh bag or a muslin cloth into a bowl, squeezing the bag to force through the liquid.
  5. Chill.
  6. Makes 1 Litre (1 3/4 pints)

Rice Milk:

Thinner and sweeter than soya milk and higher in carbohydrates than cow’s milk. It is also cholesterol-free and saturated fat-free. Rice milk is good on cereals and in beverages. It don’t perform well in cooking without the use of stabilisers. Available fortified with calcium, niacin, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin D and iron.

Homemade Rice Milk

Ingredients

  • 1 L (1 3/4 pt) water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence/extract
  • 100 g (4 oz) brown rice

Directions

  1. Combine the ingredients in a pan.
  2. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the rice is very soft, about 25 minutes.
  3. Cool, then place in a blender until smooth; allow to stand for 1 hour.
  4. Pour through a fine mesh bag or a muslin cloth into a bowl, squeezing the bag to force through all the liquid.
  5. Chill.
  6. Makes 625 ml (1 pt)

Soya Milk:

Rich, higher in fat, fibre and protein than most non-dairy milks and probably the best milk substitute. It cooks well due to its sability at high temperatures. However, its taste is less successful in some delicate sweet dishes. It is cholesterol-free and saturated fat-free, but it has a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. It is commonly fortified with calcium.

Homemade Soya Milk

Ingredients

  • 1 cup or 160 g dry soy beans (organic if you can)
  • 6-8 cups of water (1.5 to 2 litres)
  • salt, to taste
  • sugar, to taste (optional for sweetness)
  • vanilla/cinnamon/chocolate for flavouring

Directions

  1. Wash and sort through all the soybeans before placing them in a large bowl/container filled with water. (Make sure that it is large enough to allow the beans to expand as they do when soaking overnight – 10 hours).
  2. Remember to check and change the water at least once (if needed add more water if beans soak it up).
  3. The beans should be doubled or more in size.
  4. Check that they are soft and can easily be cut through, if not they need to soak longer. Rinse thoroughly.
  5. Remove the outer shells/skins is optional. (This process helps to reduce the bean taste).
  6. Pour the soaked beans into a large bowl and cover with water.
  7. Grab some beans between your palms and start rubbing them together (it will loosen the shells), continue until they separate.
  8. Place the beans back into the water and give them a gentle stir with your hands.
  9. The shells should float to the top of the water/above the beans – scoop the shells out and rinse the soybeans.
  10. Place a cheese or muslin cloth over the strainer and set on top of a large pot.
  11. Blend the soybeans in the blender with water for 3 – 5 minutes / until beans have completely broken down.
  12. Pour liquid into the cloth covered strainer.
  13. Strain and squeeze through till all liquid is squeezed out.
  14.  Remove the ground soybean/okara that is left and set it aside.
  15. Place the pot on the stove over medium low heat and bring to a boil, stir from time to time.
  16. Keep an eye on the soya milk because it can bubble and over flow (you also don’t want it to burn at the base).
  17. Once the milk has boiled add the salt, flavouring and sweeteners that you may want to add.
  18. Turn the heat down to low and allow to cook for another 20 minutes, always keeping your eye on it.
  19. Turn the heat off and allow the milk to completely cool before you use it or store it.
  20. The boiling process causes a layer of “skin” to form on top, skim off  and either discard or save for cooking (don’t leave any that has formed on top).
  21. Once the soy milk has come to room temperature it can be stored in the fridge.

Buttermilk Substitute

  • Add 1 tbsp vinegar to 1 cup of non-dairy milk. Let it stand for 5 minutes. The milk curdles immediately. You can also use lemon juice if you don’t have vinegar.

When using buttermilk in leavened baked goods it is necessary to lower the amount of baking powder because buttermilk has more acid than regular milk. For example, for every cup of buttermilk used in place of regular milk, you reduce the amount of baking powder by 2 teaspoons and add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.

Note

  • You choose how thick you want the soy milk by either adding more or less water.
  • Tofu skin, yuba, bean curd skin, bean curd sheet, or bean curd robes, is a food product made from soybeans. During the boiling of soy milk, in an open shallow pan, a film or skin forms on the liquid surface. The films are collected and dried into yellowish sheets known as tofu skin. Since tofu skin is not produced using a coagulant, it is not technically a proper tofu, however it does have similar texture and flavour to some tofu products.
  • Okara or Soy Pulp is a pulp consisting of insoluble parts of the soybeanwhich remains after pureed soybeans are filtered in the production of soy milk and tofu.It is generally white or yellowish in colour. It is part of the traditional cuisines of Japan, Korea, and China, also been used in the vegetarian/vegan dishes. Okara is the oldest of three basic types of soy fibre. The other two are soy bran (finely ground soybean hulls), and soy cotyledon/isolate fibre (the fibre that remains after making isolated soy protein, also called “soy protein isolate”).
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