Dairy-free Milks of our Mother Earth

Dairy free milks
Hemp Seed Milk

Pam Brynes: I had no idea you could milk a cat!

Greg Focker: Oh, you can milk just about anything with nipples.

Jack Brynes: I have nipples, Greg, could you milk me?


I thought an excerpt from the movie Meet the Parents would be appropriate for this article, because who doesn’t love the combination of Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro. Although it has been proven that anything with a bosom cannot in fact be milked (sorry, Greg), what if I told you that you could milk a hemp seed….right? Mind=blown.

I moved to Toronto just over a year ago. I was a young lassie, fresh out of Windsor, Ont. with three years of vegetarianism behind me. With a new apartment conveniently located on Church and Carlton, the Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens caught my eye immediately. Its shining light ignited the beast of my inner foodie. It took all but one venture into the organic section until I was instantly hooked into the world of veganism. At that moment, the days of running to the corner store for that Neilson 2% milk had long passed.

Dairy free milk

I found myself spending way too much time staring blankly at the cartons that sat in the refrigerated section, picking out words like “Omega-3!” and “As much nutritious calcium as dairy milk!”. After countless accumulated minutes spent glaring at ingredient lists and researching milk-free brands, I think it’s safe to say that I am now graduated from the sampling phase of dairy-free milks. I can now zip past the crowds of gawking cupcake enthusiasts and screaming children, parade by the deli section, and approach those vegan friendly cartons with a sophisticated mindset- I know what I’m consuming and how it benefits my health.

Controversies over the health effects of soy have been exhausting, but thanks to new advancements in the veg society, kickin’ soy to the curb is far from the sacrifice that it once was. Any veteran of the dairy-free community knows that today the possibilities are endless when it comes to milk substitutes.

Most dairy-free milks can be purchased infused with flavour, however if trying to mind your sugar intake, opting for an unsweetened or original taste could be your best bet. Nonetheless, the nutrients that are derived from them are most important. Supplements are often added to ensure that the same amount of vitamins and minerals found in cow’s milk are consumed.

Although soy, almond, and rice milks are still very popular, new dairy-free options have hit grocery stores and are equipped with substantial health benefits…

  • Flax seeds are the best plant source for omega-3 fatty acids, and while sipping its milk you can be assured that you’re consuming no GMO, while fighting depression and reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • Coconut milk is famed for its hefty amount of calcium (50% more than cows milk) and is easily digested by the body. It’s high content of medium-chain fatty acids is a great source of energy, helping the body to metabolize more quickly and efficiently.
  • Hemp milk contains loads of protein as well as ten essential amino acids. It’s thicker than most dairy-free milks, and has a taste that can be compared to soy or cow’s milk.
Dairy free milks
Milk info chart by QMI Agency Graphics Dept.

Dairy-free milks differ in natural sweetness and texture, and can be used in accordance to the preferred beverages and recipes of ones choice. Whether used as an ingredient to your favourite baking dish, an accompaniment to dinner, or the base of your favourite breakfast cereal. Dairy-free milks go beyond serving people with dietary allergens and vegans – its fresh and hearty taste can be enjoyed by all.

My nightly regime consists of heating up a mug full of Earths Own Almond Fresh vanilla with a pinch of cinnamon on top…and occasionally I’ll toss in the perfect snack to complement it. But most of the time, a good read and that steaming cup of gold truly is the best combination (sorry Ben and Rob).