333 Bering Avenue
Book a class
Many of us have made the switch from dairy to nut milks for a host of reasons, from the cruelty of factory farming to realizing we just don’t need milk for health. We can find calcium in lots of other foods. If you are on the fence thinking about replacing milk with store bought nut or seed milks there are a few things to keep in mind. Most store bought nut milks contain a host of preservatives that extend shelf life, as well as chemical thickeners and emulsifiers. One of these additives, carrageenan, can be found in many commercial nut milks, as well as in baby formulas, ice cream, yogurt, even if these products are organic.
Carrageenan is derived from red seaweed. It can be classified as low molecular weight ‘degraded’ or high molecular weight ‘undegraded’. When scientists want to induce acute inflammation in lab animals to test anti-inflammatory drugs, they use the degraded version. It causes inflammation of the colon which resembles ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. Carrageenan producers claim food grade carrageenan sold to food processors falls in the undegraded category. Studies have shown that the food grade carrageenan is also linked to inflammation of the colon as well as colon cancer in animals.
Another common ingredient used is gellan gum. It is also associated with increased inflammation of the intestinal walls.
We don’t have to put these harmful additives into our bodies when nut ‘mylks’ can be made at home. Almond milk is less expensive and healthier when you make it yourself! The possibilities are endless as nut/seed mylks can be made from more than just almonds. Pecans, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds are just a few options. All kinds of extra yummy things can be added, from vanilla, to dates, to raw cacao and more.
I was a dairy milk addict for most of my life and I thought I could never give it up, especially after I tried just about every commercial nut milk available. They all seemed too sweet, thick and gooey and fake. Since I took the leap and started making my own, I’m hooked!