I have been wanting to go dairy-free for a while now and honestly, I’m finding it really hard. First of all, cheese. How am I supposed to give up cheese? I still haven’t sorted that one out and am putting that issue on the back burner for now. I guess you could say that I’m going to have to achieve my dairy-free goal in baby steps.
My first baby step is into the land of milk alternatives. There are so many brands available at the grocery store, but I wanted to try my hand at creating some delicious homemade versions. One reason was because I was never fully satisfied by the ones I tried from the store. And the other being, I have a wicked blender that practically begs for me to utilize him.
After some Pinterest digging I found two recipes that garnered some very tasty results. I adapted the recipe amounts and ingredients slightly for taste and for volume. I will link the original recipes below and then show you how I tweaked them!
I found this recipe on The Conscientious Eater website. I made a few little changes and the results were an extremely creamy, decadent kind of milk. Here’s what I did:
The first thing I changed about the recipe was to grind the oats in the blender first, before adding the water. I thought it would just make for easier blending in the long run. I also added a pinch of salt to balance out and enhance the flavours of the oat milk. Next I added 3 dates, 2 tsp vanilla extract and 3 cups water and blended.
The one piece of equipment you absolutely need for the oat milk (besides a blender) is a nut milk bag or a cheesecloth. I tried to use my fine mesh sieve to strain the milk after blending and the result was way too thick and gelatinous. Kinda slimy even. So I ran out to the store and grabbed myself this re-useable nut milk bag. Round two oat milk was so much better after straining and squeezing it through the bag. Creamy smooth deliciousness, definitely the way to go!
For me, oat milk is great on its own or poured over hot cereal. It’s almost like a dessert milk because of its creaminess. I find it a bit too rich for cereal or granola though and that’s where this next milk comes in!
I’ve been making this Mango Chia Pudding from Ashley Neese.com for about a year now. It’s so delicious and you have to try it if nothing else in this post. She makes the chia pudding with a hemp milk that is so easy to throw together, I thought it would be a great option for a standard milk alternative. It’s a lot lighter than the oat milk and works super well for my almost nightly late night cereal gorge.
I tripled the amount of water and hemp seeds in the recipe and added 3 dates to the whole thing for sweetness. No need to strain this one! It turned out be very mildly sweet, so you could add more or less depending on how you like it. Maple syrup or agave would also make a nice sweetener for either of these milks.
The coolest thing about both of these options is how easy they are. Not to mention the fact that a milk like substance is always available to you in your cupboard!
My main reason for going dairy-free is to see if it will have a positive impact on my skin. At 38, I’m still struggling with breakouts and I know that one of the first things to try omitting from your diet is dairy. I was resistant to changing my diet because I love food and I was holding out hope that this was not the reason. Plus, I don’t like to be restricted when it comes to food, I’ll eat what I want damn it! But with all that being said, if this is what it has to be then c’est la vie. Whatever it takes for clear skin!
Let me know if you want to stay updated on how my journey goes! xo