True / false: Everything you need to know about plant-based milk

What is plant-based milk?

A plant-based milk is a preparation made from oilseeds, cereals, or legumes and water. Once mixed and filtered, the preparation takes on the appearance of milk, but is much lighter in the mouth, its texture approaching that of water.

The true/false nature of plant-based milks

Plant milk is “milk” in the strict sense of the term.

Fake. In the strict sense of the term, “milk” is an opaque white liquid secreted by the mammary glands of women and female mammals. Thus breast milk, cow's milk, goat's milk or even sheep's milk can be qualified as “milk”, plant milk cannot. In short, we can say that “milk” comes from an animal, whatever its species, and can never be vegetable.

Plant milk contains lactose

Fake. We must go beyond the name “milk” and only be interested in the word “vegetable”. Under no circumstances do plant milks contain lactose, and are therefore a perfect solution for all those with intolerances. Indeed, by definition, lactose is found in milk and dairy products.

Plant milk can replace cow's milk in cooking

TRUE. To prepare crepes or pancakes, yogurts, béchamel sauce, custard or even quiches, plant-based milks are a perfect substitute for cow's milk, often providing another flavor depending on the product used.

Plant-based milk is high in calories

Fake. Plant-based milk is low in calories when it is natural. For comparison, 100g of soy milk provides 38.5 kcal while 100g of semi-skimmed cow's milk provides 46.1 kcal (Table Ciqual 2017 data). Two products which are therefore equivalent from an energy point of view, their differences must therefore be sought at other levels.

Plant-based milk can replace breast milk or infant formula

False and extremely false. At no time does plant-based milk provide the resources necessary for the development of the newborn! Plant-based milk is NOT milk and therefore cannot replace breast milk or infant formula and can even lead to deficiencies depending on the age of the child. In all cases, it is better to get the advice of your pediatrician before giving your child plant-based milk.

What are the benefits of plant-based milk?

Rich in proteins, nutrients, essential fatty acids, low in lipids, and free of cholesterol and lactose, all part of a veggie or even vegan diet, plant-based milk has only advantages. Better still, soy milk even has a hypocholesterolemic action, which means that it reduces the level of “bad cholesterol”. To be enjoyed as is or to slip into any savory or sweet preparation.

How to prepare homemade vegetable milk?

The easiest milk to make and approach is almond milk. To prepare it, soak 100g of whole almonds in filtered water overnight. In the morning, drain the almonds, rinse them then mix them finely with 3 times their volume of filtered water. Filter through a fine sieve several times if necessary. The addition of sugar, agave or maple syrup, and/or vanilla is optional but makes the preparation ultra-gourmet.

The tip for upgrading a plant-based milk
To give maximum flavor to your drink, you can roast your oilseeds for a few minutes in the oven before soaking them. This way the drink will have much more intensity.

Why is it better to make your own plant-based milk?

As usual, industrial plant-based milks may have had thickeners and/or sugar added. By preparing your own drink, you can be sure to perfectly manage the quantity of sugar in your plant-based milk and be certain of its freshness. Also, oilseeds like almonds which are the base ingredient of almond milk for example, benefit from the soaking process. Once soaked, the almonds initiate the germination process and awaken their full nutritional potential (increased vitamin content, multiplication of proteins, more easily assimilated minerals, easier digestion). But from that moment on, they also become perishable (although they are not when they are dry), so it is best to consume them within 3 days. And from a more technical point of view, softened almonds mix much more easily than dry almonds.

The different plant milks

There are several plant-based milks available commercially: hemp, soy, quinoa, rice, oat, almond, hazelnut, coconut, chestnut, and many others.
But other recipes, more confidential, are not – for the moment – ​​marketed on a large scale, this is the case of peanut or pistachio milk, which allow you to add a touch of originality to the breakfast. lunch and snack.

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