Non-dairy milk has been all the rage in recent years. However, consumption of plant based milk is not a new thing. Out of the numerous plant based milk alternatives, here are 7 examples of non-dairy milk and their shelf life.
Almonds are seeds belonging to fruits of the almond tree. The earliest known types were found in China.
Traders carried them while traversing the Silk Road. They ended up in Middle East, Turkey and Greece.
Almond milk is derived from crushed almonds which are mixed in water. You can pulse them in a food processor or blender. The mixture is then drained, separating the solids from the creamy white liquid that is known as almond milk.
When making homemade almond milk, you can add additional ingredients to boost the flavor and texture.
Commercially made almond milk has additives such as thickening agents, flavorings and fortified vitamins.
Almond milk has gained popularity and is touted as a healthy dairy substitute. Its nutty, creamy flavor makes it a wonderful pantry item. In addition, almond milk is popular among vegetarians.
Use almond milk in baking, making savory sauces, ice creams, shakes and plant based dishes.
Shelf life of almond milk
Use homemade almond milk within 3 days after opening the bottles. Refrigerate after opening. Do not leave at room temperature as this promotes spoilage. Commercially made almond milk has a use by date. Refrigerate and consume within 1 week after opening. Always keep the lids tight to prevent entry of contaminants.
This is derived from grated mature coconut flesh, steeped in water and drained. Coconut flesh tends to be oily due to saturated fats, rich, creamy and busts with tropical freshness. Out of the 7 examples of non-dairy milk and their shelf life, coconut milk is the oiliest hence spoils faster.
The use of coconut became mainstream globally in recent decades. Coconuts are versatile. All parts have their own unique use, from the husks, flesh to the refreshing coconut water.
You can easily make coconut milk at home, though commercially made versions are readily available.
Coconut milk can have a thick or thin consistency. The difference stems from the number of ways it is strained and simmered in water.
Coconut milk has several uses. Use it in baking, making coconut rice, coconut flavored meat stews, ice creams, smoothies, oatmeal and shakes.
Shelf life of coconut milk
Homemade coconut milk has a short shelf life. Prepare small amounts that you can use within 1 week at most.
Commercially made coconut milk may have a longer shelf life, but you should still use it within the shortest time possible. Opened cans of store-bought coconut milk can stretch up to 10 days.
Soybeans are a member of the pea family. Cultivation and use of soybeans is synonymous with East Asia, although it became widespread in many other parts of the world. Therefore, soy based products are extensively used in Asian cuisine.
This milk is extracted from crushed soybeans which are soaked in filtered water, blended and strained.
Soy milk is considered fat-free, lactose-free and a great plant based food source. Soy milk and other soy products are valued for their high protein content.
Aside from proteins, it is rich in potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, energy, dietary fiber as well as vitamins. It is worth noting that soy milk serves numerous uses.
You can use it to make yoghurt, cream and fermented products like cheese, tofu and kefir.
Shelf life of soy milk
If you are using homemade soy milk, consume it as soon as possible or freeze gallons of unused quantities to serve you longer.
Store-bought soy milk can be processed to last without being refrigerated or it can have use by date for refrigeration purposes. Unopened cartons of soy milk can last up to 10 days in the fridge, or up to 1 month in the pantry – for unrefrigerated cartons.
Simply made from water and milled rice, this non-dairy alternative is considered the most non-allergenic compared to the others.
This is because some people have allergic reactions to nuts, hence other dairy-free milks like almond or cashew milk may still be inappropriate for them.
In order to reap substantial nutritional benefits from rice milk, opt for ones with fortified nutrients. This is because, rice is not a natural source of vitamins and minerals. It is sorely high in calories and carbohydrates.
Shelf life of rice milk
Store homemade rice milk in the refrigerator and consume within 4-7 days at most. Unopened store-bought options last longer, up to 10 days in the fridge.
Another popular non-dairy alternative, oats milk is made just like the others. Soaking oats – whether steel cut or whole groats in water, draining them before combining with water and blending. The blended mixture is then strained, leaving the solids behind.
When making homemade oats milk, you can enrich with other ingredients like vanilla for flavor or simply use as is.
Store-bought variety has fortified vitamins A and D, with unsweetened or sweetened options. Always go for unsweetened ones.
Use oats milk in coffee or any other recipe that calls for cow’s milk.
Shelf life of oats milk
Refrigerate any opened cartons. Use oats milk within 4-7 days to guarantee quality.
Did you know that the hemp plant is a family of cannabis sativa, the type used to make marijuana?
However, hemp has negligible traces of the compound (THC) that causes mind-distortion behavior as marijuana.
Hemp milk is obtained from blended hemp seeds and water. You can also use hemp seeds on salads, grind them into flour or throw in a few on drinks.
Hemp milk is highly nutritious, owing to its high levels of proteins, essential unsaturated fats, minerals and vitamins. Store-bought varieties contain added thickeners, sweeteners or salt.
Shelf life of hemp milk
Treat hemp milk just as you would other non-dairy milks. Refrigerate opened cartons and consume within 10 days.
Flax is considered one of the most nutritious plants available. It is also one of the earliest cultivated plant and served numerous uses, one of which was to produce clothing fiber.
Nutritionally, flaxseeds are touted for their hormone balancing properties as well as high omega-3 fatty acids.
Flaxseed milk is derived from either whole flaxseeds or flax meal mixed with water. Use flaxseed milk in recipes calling for dairy milk. You can also make yoghurt, ice creams and baked products using flax milk.
Shelf life of flax milk
Treat flax milk like the other mentioned types. Refrigerate and consume within 1 week after opening.
Welcome to the world of non-dairy milk alternatives. What better way than to read about the above 7 examples of non-dairy milk and their shelf life. Break the monotony of using dairy milk and try any of the above. Who knows, you might as well bid cow’s milk goodbye.