Thursday, November 21, 2013

Caleb's Corner: Got Hemp Milk?

A few weeks ago a mother of a 12 month old who was recently diagnosed with dairy and nut allergies asked me about milk alternatives.   Caleb is allergic to dairy, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, wheat, rye and barley (The Alternative Child).  When he was six months old after consuming my breast milk, soy and dairy formulas, we found out that his little body didn't like any of it!

Most infants consume milk as their main source of nutrition.  To find out that your baby cannot have the "normal" fare is overwhelming.  We began to investigate and almond milk wasn't even an option.  Some allergists say that if a person has an allergy or intolerance to nuts they may also have adverse reactions if seeds are consumed.  For Caleb, thankfully this was not the case.  Seeds in general are packed with nutrition and are great additions to any diet.  Hemp seed milk in particular, is a staple in our home.  I sometimes make pumpkin seed milk and have supplemented the hemp seed milk with coconut products for a caloric boost.

Hemp seeds

If you or your child has allergies to nuts, soy and dairy try seed milk.  They are rich in nutrients and can be used in all sorts of dishes just like you would dairy milk.

How we use hemp seed milk:
1. To make macaroni and cheese (the vegan version)
2. To make mashed potatoes
3. In smoothies
4. For chia pudding
5. I personally like to add it to my chai and nettle tea
6. With cold cereal

How do you make seed milk:
1. add seeds to blender
2. add water
3. blend until smooth
Note: you can add any other ingredient you wish such as dates, honey or vanilla

Fresh glass of hemp seed milk

Whole Dairy Milk vs Seed Milk: 
The table below shows a comparison between whole milk and hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and coconut milk.  You can see that the negative nutrients (saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium are higher in whole milk).  The positive nutrients are in abundance in the seed alternatives which makes them a great alternative.

Although the caloric content for most seeds are high,  once diluted with water and other seeds you can get a very balanced nutritional profile. Plus...I like to say...it's the good calories.  I'd rather consume healthy nutrient dense high calorie foods than empty calories like potato chips cookies and sweet pastries.
 
 
Nutritional Comparison of Whole Milk vs.  plant based milk
Nutritional Data
Whole Milk
Hemp Seeds
Pumpkin/Squash Seeds
Coconut Milk
Calories
146
174
747
552
Total Fat (g)
8
14
63
57
Saturated Fat (g)
5
1
12
51
Cholesterol (g)
24
0
0
0
Sodium (mg)
98
0
25
36
Total Carbs (g)
13
2
25
13
Dietary Fiber (g)
0
1
5
5
Sugar (g)
13
0
1
0
Protein (g)
8
11
34
5
Vitamin A (%)
0
0
10
0
Vitamin C (%)
0
0
4
11
Calcium (%)
28
0
6
4
Iron (%)
8
16
115
22
Resource: NutritionData.com