Never in human history there have been more choices in non-dairy "milks" than now. In fact, the proliferation of these alternatives has made choosing a "milk" more difficult than ever before! Each milk is different in nutrition content, consistency, price, and even the taste.
Jennifer Raymond, author of The Peaceful Palate Cookbook, reports that often someone will try one brand, dislike the taste, and decide that a milk alternative is not for them. She says, "People need to try many different brands, as they all taste different." Raymond recommends that you continue to try brands until you find one you like.
These milks are made from various sources, such as blends of almond, soy, rice, grains and beans, and tofu, in different flavors and with varying degrees of fat and enrichment. They come in powders, liquids, and liquid concentrates in sizes from snack packs to bulk, although most are liquids in quart or liter containers. They can be found plain, unsweetened or sweetened, or containing flavorings such as vanilla, chocolate, or carob. Most of these healthy alternatives are produced from organic grains or beans. They may be used as a beverage or snack or in cooking and baking.
Raymond says, "I tend to use soy milk when I want something thick and creamy. It thickens better than rice milk. If I want a true milk flavor I use rice milk."
Eric Tucker, the head chef at the highly acclaimed Millennium restaurant in San Francisco says, "I prefer rice milk as it has lighter flavors, although it is a bit sweeter. Also, soy milk tends to curdle when exposed to high heat."
When converting older recipes calling for dairy milk, always strive for consistency in flavorings, using sweeter products for desserts and plain or unsweetened milks in savory recipes.
Conveniently Vegan Recipes by Debra Wasserman
Vegetarian Journal -- May/June 1997
The following recipes are taken from The Vegetarian Resource Group's recently released cookbook entitled Conveniently Vegan. This new book, written by Debra Wasserman, is meant for experienced vegan cooks, as well as anyone interested in learning how to cook with all the new products found in supermarkets, gourmet shops, and natural and ethnic food stores. The cookbook contains over 150 recipes. You'll find recipes utilizing fresh vegetables, fruit, and herbs, along with packaged vegan products including beans, grains, pasta, seitan, soy products, and much more. Many of the recipes are quick and easy, and all have a nutritional breakdown. Conveniently Vegan also contains menus, a list of the manufacturers of each vegan product, a glossary, and general information on how to use all these different foods. Conveniently Vegan is available for $15. To request a copy, send payment to VRG, PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203.
These delicious biscuits make a perfect breakfast item. Leftovers can be re-heated in a toaster oven. (Makes 35)
3 small ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1 cup lite soyamilk or other milk alternative
2 Tablespoons oil
4-1/4 cups unbleached white flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix the mashed bananas, soyamilk, and oil together in a large bowl. Add the flour and baking powder and stir well. Place dough on a floured surface and knead for 3 minutes. Using a rolling pin, roll dough to a ½-inch thickness. Cut into 2-inch-wide circles using a cutter or tin can. Place biscuits on a lightly oiled cookie sheet, bake 20 minutes or until browned. Serve warm.
Total calories per biscuit: 72
Fat: 1 gram
Bulgur, Corn, And Greens
A colorful blend of ingredients, ready in under 25 minutes! (Serves 4)
1 cup bulgur
2 cups water
One 10-ounce box frozen corn kernels
½ pound greens (kale or collards), rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces ½
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Cook bulgur in water in a large covered pot for 10 minutes over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients. Heat 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Serve warm.
Total calories per serving: 193
Fat: 1 gram
Spicy Mandarin Chickpeas
Serve this tantalizing combination of ingredients over a bed of rice. (Serves 4)
Two 19-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Two 10.5-ounce cans mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup strawberry jam
2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
½ teaspoon cayenne
Heat all the ingredients in a medium-size pot over medium heat for 10 minutes. Serve warm.
Total calories per serving: 357
Fat: 6 grams
Pasta With Black Bean Sauce
Enjoy this delicious sauce. (Serves 4)
1 pound pasta, cooked and drained
One 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
One 10.5-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
2 large ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Heat beans, oranges, tomatoes, and cinnamon in a medium-size pot over medium heat for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over your favorite cooked pasta.
Total calories per serving: 603
Fat: 3 grams
Here's a beautiful looking dessert that both children and adults will enjoy.
1 large 12-inch-wide pita bread
1 cup unsweetened apple butter
1 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
6 large strawberries, sliced
1 apple or pear, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Spread apple butter over pita bread. Arrange slices of fruit on top of apple butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve as is or heat in 350-degree oven for 15 minutes and serve warm.
Total calories per serving: 269
Fat: 1 gram
Experiment with different types of dried fruit for variety. (Serves 4)
1-1/2 cups water
5 ounces couscous (a little less than 1 cup)
½ cup dried fruit (raisins, chopped figs, dates, etc.)
1-1/2 cups soyamilk or other milk alternative
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
Bring water to a boil in a small pot. Add couscous and dried fruit. Cover pot, remove from heat, and allow to sit 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate medium-size pot, heat remaining ingredients over medium-high heat until the pudding starts to thicken (about 3 minutes). While heating, stir often with a whisk. Once pudding thickens, remove from heat and add cooked couscous mixture. Mix well. Pour pudding into a serving dish and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
Total calories per serving: 319
Fat: 2 grams