Got (Vegan) Milk?: A Plant-Based Milk Guide

Dairy?! Isn’t that so like, 2011? With so many new, modern vegan alternatives, dairy is on its way to be a thing of the past! The dairy industry hides that ethically, they are even worse to cows than the meat industry. Just like a baby zebra gets milk from their zebra momma and a baby giraffe gets milk from their giraffe momma, the only breast milk humans need to receive is from their same species, not a cow’s! Milk has additionally been proven to be linked to acne, ovarian cancer, bone fragility, and more (thanks for the links, PETA!) And can you just imagine that how that one milk-discovery dude even got to finding it? Talk about weird! There are so many non-cow milks these days that it’s almost overwhelming to pick just one. And even with all those vegan milks already out there, I feel like I hear of a new type just about every week! But don’t stress! I’ve done my fair share of experimenting, and will help you find the right plant-based milk for all your dairy-free needs!

  • Coconut milk: You can always find a few cans of coconut milk in my pantry! And if you’ve seen Chef Kristina’s episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, you know how dire coconut milk can be! Coconut milk is rich, thick and creamy. It makes a great homemade whipped cream, base of a rich soup, or can even be a good binder! It has a pretty strong taste on its own, but you can throw coconut milk and coconut oil into your coffee to make it extra foamy!
  • Cashew milk: Props to the vegans who lived through the grim times before cashew milk was known to human kind! Cashew milk is my absolute favorite in any plant-based alternative. Cashew milk ice cream and cheeses (*cough cough,* V-Grits cheeses 😉 ) are what I have found to be closest in taste to the harmful dairy products we grew up loving! The ice cream (SO Delicious is my favorite) is super creamy, and has even fooled my family of omnivores. Even on its own, cashew milk is delicious in a glass. A little maple syrup goes a long way to spice it up, though!

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  • Almond Milk: Almond milk is definitely the hippest milk out right now! Every coffee shop is carrying it, even Starbucks adapted to the trend and started selling it this year! Almond milk is a little sweeter and tends to be a little thinner than the other milks. It’s also yummy on its own, but especially with a chocolate chip cookie nearby! 😉
  • Soy Milk: Soy Milk is the OG milk!! It was every vegan’s go to for any dairy alternative back in the day. Soy milk still is great in coffee, and does well as an ice cream base! Soy milk also tends to work well as a dairy-milk replacement for recipes!
  • Banana Milk: Bananas are one of the most beneficial foods for your body! This milk typically isn’t found in stores, but throw some bananas and water in a blender, and you’ve got banana milk! Banana milk is a great drink on the go to get a little extra energy and potassium boost in!
  • Hemp Milk: Hemp milk is another super healthy milk worth trying! I’ve primarily used this milk for smoothies!
  • Rice Milk: Rice Milk is low in fat and one of the least allergenic milks out there!! I’ve had rice milk over fruit, and it is yummy in or as the base of desserts!
  • Ripple: One of the newest milks on the dairy-free block is Ripple, or pea milk. If you’re wondering why they call it ripple, maybe just say pea milk out loud! 😉 Ripple is getting trendy due to having high protein levels (one gram of protein per ounce!), just like peas. I have yet to try this milk, but I can’t wait to get my hands on some!

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As stated earlier, there are an endless number of milks out there! These days people make new vegan milks just to test if a food product can be turned into a milk! Other replacements out there include hazelnut milk, macadamia nut milk, quinoa milk, oat milk, flax milk, and more! So make an ethical and healthy turn into the dairy-alternative section next time you go grocery shopping, I promise you won’t regret it!

Signing off for the sentient,

Sammi

Seven Tips for a New Vegan

It could be pretty overwhelming for someone who is new to veganism, there’s so much to learn! Reconstucting unethical eating habits and ways of thinking does take effort, but it isn’t hard once you get your feet wet! Here are some tips for all you new vegans out there!

  1. Get your vegan radar on and locate some plant-eaters! Adapting this new ethical stance will be so much easier when you know other people who have adapted the lifestyle and ethics you are trying to achieve! Vegan friends can be super important resources to have just a text away! To meet new vegans, check if there is a local or worldwide community vegan page, or just hang around local vegan restaurants enough and you’re bound to meet someone new!

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2. Eat. a. lot! One of the most common problems new vegans seem to run into is not eating enough. Just like any other way of eating, food diversity is key to being healthy and meeting all your nutrition requirements. And if you continuously eat different foods such as fruit, grains, greens and beans, there’s no way the doctor will be able to find any deficiencies!

3. Let go of your fear for fruit! A huge myth in the food world is that eating a donut is practically the same thing as eating a banana! Fruit sugar is necessary and vital to keeping us alive, and sugars are definitely not all the same! A donut will leave you feeling sluggish, where as a banana fuels your body and keeps you feeling energized! Nothing is more nourishing or could be better for your body than fruits and vegetables.

4. Watch documentaries! Online movies have never been so easy to access, and have never been such a resource for vegan knowledge! Now, even Netflix has several movies that teach viewers about animal treatment in agriculture, and what animal products do to destroy our bodies and the environment. All benefits of veganism are not only important to learn as someone new to the lifestyle, but you’ll also find they’re important to be aware of when talking to others who challenge the movement! 😉

5. Plan out meals. Especially if you’re new to veganism, if you don’t know what food to buy, you might end up buying a lot of things all at once, and make a two dollar meal into a twenty dollar meal! Planning meals ahead of time can allow you to think of a filling meal that won’t break your budget! Want someone to do the meal planning for you? Grab a V-Box or a V-Card envelope and we’ll do the work for you!

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6. Seek out your veganized indulgences! Before I knew about the copious amounts of vegan options out there, I mostly ate a lot of vegetables drenched in Sriracha. Now I have all the same foods I had growing up like tacos, pasta, and pizza, just veganized! Living off roasted vegetables is honestly not super ideal for anyone, and probably not going to keep you loving vegan food as much as you could! Find your local vegan spots or head over to the frozen isle to grab yourself some cashew milk ice cream! I promise you won’t regret it!

7. Visit an animal sanctuary! Veganism had never been as close to my heart as it was after making a visit to local sanctuary Upland’s PEAK. Seeing the animals affected and saved from animal agriculture made practices of the industry much more real to me, and it also made me see how gentle these beautiful creatures are that the food industry is harming. Visiting and volunteering for sanctuaries can be a reminder that there is hope for our sweet, innocent, furry friends, and that as vegans, everything we do is to help those little fellas out!

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We hope these seven tips help you on your way to achieving a cruelty-free lifestyle! If you still find yourself struggling, send V-Grits an inbox and we’ll be happy to help with any and all questions that convert you to that word no vegan ever thought they would call themselves… Vegan!

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

“Soul of the Elephant” – An Intimate Look At One of the World’s Most Intelligent Animals

Listening to filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert talk about the elephants, you can almost feel how much they love these majestic animals. The Jouberts traveled to a remote corner of Botswana to learn more about the 7,000 elephants who call this area home. Their nonprofit, the Great Plains Foundation, is dedicated to conservation of the Great Plains of Africa.

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Continue reading ““Soul of the Elephant” – An Intimate Look At One of the World’s Most Intelligent Animals”