Health

5 DIY Milk Alternative Recipes to Boost Your Probiotic Intake 

5 DIY Milk Alternative Recipes to Boost Your Probiotic Intake

Milk is supposed to do a body good, and while it is a potent source of many important nutrients like vitamins A, B, and D, along with essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and selenium, cow’s milk isn’t quite all it’s cracked up to be.There are plenty of other beverages you can drink that will keep your probiotic intake up without consuming milk from cows.
 

Today, it is estimated that the average American drinks a lot less milk than people used to. According to the U. S. Department of Agriculture, the average person drinks about 18 gallons every year, in contrast to what Americans used to drink back in the 1970s (about 30 gallons).2   

If you don’t want to give up your favorite beverage because you love the taste, you should know that there are plenty of alternatives to enjoy – and each offers super nutritional value in addition to a healthy dose of probiotics.    

probiotic
Kefir milk is high in probiotic content

Why Try Milk Alternatives?   

While cow’s milk is still one of America’s favorite beverages, there could be some very unappetizing things lurking in your glass of milk. Today, it is common for food-producing animals to consume feed that is loaded with antibiotics, to help reduce illness in the animals.3   

For this reason, traces of these medications may be found lingering in meat cuts as well as dairy products that make it to your table. This has led some health officials to warn against consuming too many animal products; they believe it may contribute to the development of “superbugs” or antibiotic-resistant bacteria.4   

For generations, Americans have been told to drink at least one large 8-ounce glass of milk a day for a healthy body and strong bones. Now, amid rising concerns about safety, cow’s milk may not be the best option – which is why people are looking for milk alternatives.   

What Are the Best Milk Alternatives?   

There is a new trend in the raw food movement that not only serves as a simple go-to replacement for dairy milk, but also supplies one of the most important nutrients you need for good health – beneficial bacteria that live inside your microbiome called probiotics. They can be found in the trillions inside your gastrointestinal tract, your mouth, and even on your skin.   

This enormous micro-ecosystem is so vast that scientists have labeled it a microbiome.5  Within your microbiome, there are plenty of helpful strains of bacteria, known as probiotics. Each of these beneficial bacteria, including strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteriumaims to keep you healthy by supporting proper digestion, immunity, energy, and overall good health.6,7   

However, there are also many different harmful strains of bacteria lurking in your gut that can become pathogenic. They include strains like Escherichia coli (Ecoli), which, if left to overgrow inside the microbiome, can cause harmful infections.8

Using any of your favorite nuts like almonds, cashews, or even decadent macadamias, you can create a probiotic-rich milk right at home. This is one way to avoid any potential toxins lurking in regular cow’s milk while boosting your health with beneficial probiotic bacteria.9   

If you are ready to trade in your glass of cow’s milk for a healthier alternative, try these five simple and easy DIY milk recipes. These are the ingredients you’ll need for each type:  

  1. Simply Soaked
  • 4 cups water   
  • 2 cups of rinsed almonds, cashews, or other nuts left to soak in water overnight inside a large glass jar with a closed lid  

Nuts contain enzyme inhibitors which prevent the nut from sprouting into a full-blown tree as it ferments. By starting the germination process, the nuts release these inhibitors to create a beverage filled with active helpful bacteria (probiotics) alongside other bioavailable nutrients like vitamins and essential minerals.    

  1. Ultra-Pure
  • 4 cups of steam distilled water (or otherwise filtered water) 
  • 2 cups of rinsed almonds, cashews, or other nuts left to soak in water overnight inside a large glass jar with a closed lid  

Using the cleanest water possible allows you to create a completely neutral environment to grow a farm of helpful probiotic bacteria. If you don’t have a home distillation system, you can use charcoal-filtered water or wild spring water bottled in glass to prevent any toxins from plastics.   

  1. Sweet as Honey
  • 4 cups of steam distilled water (or otherwise filtered water) 
  • 2 cups of rinsed almonds, cashews, or other nuts left to soak in water overnight inside a large glass jar with a closed lid  
  • 1 tbsp of local raw organic honey  

Raw local honey contains simple sugars that feed helpful probiotic bacteria which, along with the oils in the nuts, helps them proliferate in the recipe. Not only that, but honey is one of the best foods for immunity, as it offers naturally-occurring antibacterial effects on the body.10   

  1. Sugar and Spice
  • 4 cups of steam distilled water (or otherwise filtered water) 
  • 2 cups of rinsed almonds, cashews, or other nuts left to soak in water overnight inside a large glass jar with a closed lid  
  • 1 tbsp of local raw organic honey  
  • 1 tsp raw organic sugar (optional)   
  • 1 medium-sized cinnamon stick  

Since this recipe is light-years beyond your typical store-bought milk, don’t feel guilty for adding a little extra sweetener into the mix. Most conventional dairy milk is sweetened with artificial sweeteners, or contains added sugar anyway. And unless you purchase organic cow’s milk, it may also carry traces of pesticides and antibiotics as well.11   

Due to the metabolism-boosting compounds in cinnamon, this natural milk alternative may help to reduce unwanted weight gain.12  

 

  1. Nutrient Boosted
  • 4 cups of steam distilled water (or otherwise filtered water) 
  • 2 cups of rinsed almonds, cashews, or other nuts left to soak in water overnight inside a large glass jar with a closed lid  
  • 1 tbsp of local raw organic honey  
  • 1 tsp probiotic powder supplement or 2 capsules opened and added into the mix  

 

probiotic
Soaked almonds

Choosing a probiotic supplement may seem daunting, but as a general rule, the more comprehensive the formula is…the better!   

Note: For each of these recipes, you will also need a nut milk bag and a high-speed blender.   

 

Directions:  

Add the soaked nuts, water, honey, and optional sugar into a high-speed blender. Blend until the milk has a creamy texture. Pour the mixture into the nut milk bag. Squeeze the liquid contents of the milk bag into a mixing bowl and gently mix in any supplements with a spoon. Store this milk base in a cool, dark place overnight to allow the probiotics time to feed off of the honey and optional sugar in the recipes.

You can sip this milk straight or add it to drinks and smoothie recipes to boost the probiotic and nutritional content of your favorite beverages. Add it to homemade salad dressings or any other raw dipping sauces to boost the probiotic content of side dishes and spreads.  

Making DIY plant-based milk at home is simple, and it gets even easier once you get the hang of the process! Start with these five recipes, and you can start experimenting by adding fruit or spices like turmeric into the mix. Just remember: You’ll need a powerful, high-speed blender to get the job done. And that’s it. You’re already well on your way to better health with these simple DIY milk alternatives!
 

References  

  1. Milk whole, 3.25% milkfat. Nutrition Facts Calories. (http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/69/2)
  2. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Estimated Fluid Products Milk Sales.
  3. Timothy F. Landers, RN, CNP,PhD,aBevin Cohen, MPH. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Estimated Fluid Products Milk Sales. A Review of Antibiotic Use in Food Animals: Perspective, Policy, and Potential. Public Health Rep. 2012 Jan-Feb; 127(1): 4–22.  
  4. SuchayanChowdhury, Mohammad Mahmudul Hassan. Antibiotic residues in milk and eggs of commercial and local farms at Chittagong, Bangladesh. Vet World. 2015 Apr; 8(4): 467–471.  
  5. Luke KUrsell,Jessica L Metcalf. Defining the Human Microbiome. Nutr Rev. 2012 Aug; 70(Suppl 1): S38–S44.  
  6. Andrew L. Kau,Philip P. Ahern. Human nutrition, the gut microbiome, and immune system: envisioning the future. Nature. 2011 Jun 15; 474(7351): 327–336. 
  7. PeeraHemarajata, James Versalovic. Effects of probiotics on gut microbiota: mechanisms of intestinal immunomodulation and neuromodulation. Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2013 Jan; 6(1): 39–51.  
  8. Marie-Agnès Travers,Isabelle Florent. Probiotics for the Control of Parasites: An Overview. JParasitol Res. 2011; 2011: 610769.  
  9. Bernat N,CháferM. Development of a non-dairy probiotic fermented product based on almond milk and inulin. Food Sci Technol Int. 2015 Sep;21(6):440-53.  
  10. Manisha Deb Mandal,ShyamapadaMandal. Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2011 Apr; 1(2): 154–160.  
  11. MIChubirko, GMSmol’skiĭ, and GM Basova. The Effect of Pesticides on Dairy Product Quality. Gig Sanit. 1998 Mar-Apr; (2):23-5.  
  12. Gruenwald J,FrederJ. Cinnamon and health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2010 Oct;50(9):822-34. 

 

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