The answer is, yeah, probably!
Because most milk-alternatives like those pictured above contain the food additives carrageenan or “natural flavors”, and in some cases both.
A quick search on Wiki shows that carrageenan undoubtedly causes inflammation, a biological process activated by harmful stimuli in the body’s attempt to rid itself of the irritant. And simply put, chronic inflammation causes disease. So, no, drinking a bit of carrageenan-laden-hippy-milk won’t give you cancer, but the cumulative effect of ingesting products with food-additives day-in-and-day-out (which, yes, you probably do!) can. And in the interim you may develop early warning signs like a food allergy or asthmatic symptoms. Wiki addresses carrageenan’s safety as controversial, yet suggests it more than likely induces gastrointestinal issues and disease.
Understanding “natural flavors” is next to impossible and I can only safely conclude that they are chemically processed (which I read as junk or Frankenfood) and, to me, if an ingredient is that curiously vague we probably shouldn’t be consuming it.
Have no fear. There is an alternative to the alternative!!!
Make your own. My favorite is…
Nut Free, Grain Free, Sugar Free, Vegan
This milk alternative is super easy to make, tastes great, and boasts around 7 grams of protein per cup!!! Hemp seed is low-carbohydrate and a complete protein with a perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids making it promote brain and heart health, lower triglycerides, boost the immune system, and (unlike those aforementioned processed milk alternatives) reduces inflammation.
As long as you stock up on maple syrup and hulled hemp seeds you’ll never be out of milk for your cereal again. Unfortunately, this milk does not heat up well and shouldn’t be used in recipes like my homemade hot chocolate. It does seem to do okay in small quantities for baking and is great for things like smoothies and iced coffee!
Yield: About 3x 1 cup servings
*You’ll need a cheese cloth or Nut Milk Bag* <-I use this because it’s super easy to use and clean! I throw mine right in the wash on a cool delicate cycle.
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 cup hulled/shelled hemp seeds (I stock up on Nutiva Organic Shelled Hemp Seed*)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
Simply throw all your ingredients into a high-powered blender. I
use am obsessed with my Vitamix*and use it every s-i-n-g-l-e day!
Whir it on high for about a minute-or so.
Then strain into a pitcher with a nut milk bag or cheese cloth.
Grab the milk bag with both hands and carefully squeeze out all the liquid. You’ll end up with hemp remnants that you can simply rinse down your garbage disposal or save to use for making dehydrated crackers or some other edible hippy thing. Eventually I’ll post something you can do with it <-Please hold me to this.
Refrigerate in a sealed container and enjoy for up to a week.
Shake well before using!!
Let me know in the comments what you think of the hemp flavor. What recipes have you tried with it?? I’d love to know, especially with a picture or two.
*I, Laura Decker, am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com (i.e. so I don’t starve to death.) That being said, I do personally use and LOVE this product!!