What’s the buzz with Plant Milk?

What’s the buzz with Plant Milk?

Part 1

Changing attitudes towards health and wellbeing together with a rise in veganism and allergies have had many people searching for alternatives to traditional cow’s milk. Supermarkets have plenty of offerings on the shelves, and you can have a flat white from your local café frothed with any number of plant-based milks. You will no doubt find oat, coconut, almond, cashew, and milk readily available. But there’s a new milk in town… hemp milk!

So why would you choose Hemp milk?

One of the main reasons hemp milk is so well-liked is that it’s one of the best sources of plant-based protein. Hemp seeds naturally contain more protein per gram than beef, are naturally high in omega 3 (ALA) and a type of anti-inflammatory omega 6 (GLA). Plus, hemp seeds are a good source of magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamin B1 and calcium. It’s an edestin-based protein which is great news for gut health.

Hemp milk has an earthy, nutty flavor and a creamy consistency. It can be used in place of your usual dairy milk in coffee, tea, cereal, smoothies, and any other recipe that calls for milk.

How does hemp milk compare to other non-dairy alternatives?

Nutritionally, what makes hemp a great non-dairy alternative is that it naturally contains calcium (more calcium than dairy milk!), protein, and has the added benefits of omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids in the ideal 1:3 ratio that promotes brain and heart health and is anti-inflammatory in the body.

Is it sustainable?

Yes! Hemp is a non-GMO plant that grows without depleting oil nutrients and with far less intervention than traditional crops to produce good yields. Hemp also takes less than 1/3 of the water almonds need to grow.

Advantages of using Hemp Milk
  •   Plant-based (non-dairy)
  •   Complete Protein – easy for the body to digest and use
  •   More protein and healthy fats than many other popular plant-based milks
  •   Optimal 1:3 balance of Omegas 3 to 6
  •   No known allergens
  •   Naturally free of soy, lactose, and gluten
  •   Sustainable – every part of the hemp plant can be used for something
  •   Hemp milk doesn’t split in hot drinks!
Part 2

Advantages to Making your own Hemp Milk

We’ve done the math for you and worked out how much it would cost to make a litre of unsweetened hemp milk. 

Description Price
70gms of hemp hearts $3.15
5ml vanilla extract $0.35
Total $3.50

 

 

Compare that with other popular plant milks available today!

Making your own home-made hemp milk ensures there are zero fillers, thickeners, preservatives, sugar, and any number of other ingredients you might find in store-bought milks. It is truly YOUR milk, YOUR way!

Hemp hearts are gluten-free, full of vitamins and minerals and are obviously plant-based making it perfect for those following a Vegan and Paleo lifestyle. Another great benefit of nut and seed milks, and why many turn to them, is their ability to replace traditional dairy milk. Lactose intolerance is an issue for many people, causing digestive distress and allergies.

No waste! – Ways to use your left-over pulp…

Once you’ve made your hemp milk, you are left with a good amount of pulp. Most of this is fibre, which is great fuel for your gut microbes. Don’t throw it away!! Here’s a few ideas…

  • Add to smoothies for extra creaminess
  • Add into bread or muffins
  • Stir into porridge or cereal
  • Add to pancake mix
  • Add to bliss balls
  • Or… freeze to use later!

 

Part 3

Why make your own Hemp Milk? – Environmental Benefits

No more packaging

Let’s say you turn your recently purchased 1kg of Hemp Hearts into 14 litres of Hemp Milk. Amazing! You have potentially saved 14 milk cartons from the landfill or a complicated recycling process! Oh really…? Well yes. It’s a form of packaging that cannot be completely recycled. A Tetra Pak, or similar, looks and feels like cardboard, albeit a waxy kind of cardboard. You will probably see a recycling symbol and toss it into your paper recycling bin without a second thought. What you have thrown away however also contains at least two layers of polyethylene, and potentially a layer of aluminium. That’s fantastic for the contents, which stay fresher longer, but not so great for a consumer who wants to reduce their carbon footprint.

Recycling a milk carton is a carbon-intensive process of separating the plastic, paper, and aluminium layers. Most of these cartons end up in landfill as per for example our own Recycling Guidelines here in Tauranga. And the same goes for many other cities around Aotearoa.

More recently and on a positive note though, there are businesses such as saveBoard who are making sustainable building materials from used Tetra Pak cartons and are working with local government and community groups to develop drop off points for used milk cartons.

Making your own hemp milk at home… zero waste!

Better for the environment

All non-dairy milks are better for the environment than cow’s milk. They use less land, less water and generate lower amounts of greenhouse gases.

Throughout history, hemp has been a valuable crop due to its resilience and adaptability. From the roots to the seeds, stem, oil, and leaves, every single part of the hemp plant can be used. Hemp offers numerous environmental advantages, including its ability to improve soil health and is naturally insect resistant and able to be grown successfully without the need for pesticides. Hemp is also extremely fast growing and its ability to cover the ground quickly means there is less room for weeds and therefore less harmful herbicides required.

One of the most amazing properties of hemp plants, however, is its ability to pull huge quantities of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. While most plants can do this as part of photosynthesis (turning it into glucose and oxygen), hemp – with its large amounts of lush foliage – works even harder. Scientists estimate that for every ton of hemp grown, 1.63 tons of carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere. This is more than trees or other plants of a comparable size.

While not yet as popular as oat, almond and other nut milks, hemp deserves more credit for needing less time and water to grow, for its plethora of environmental benefits, and for creating healthy, protein and nutrient-packed milk.

References:

 

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