Non Dairy Creams
The first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term non dairy creams is the powdered milk substitute used as creamer in tea and coffee. Nestle was the first company to introduce this product in 1961 – Nestle Coffee-Mate. Such creamers usually contain sodium caseinate, a milk protein derivative that does not contain lactate and therefore is not considered a dairy product.
There are other types of non dairy creams, which means they do not come from cow’s milk. One of the most well known of these is coconut milk, which comes from the coconut. There are two types of coconut milk – thick and thin. Thick coconut milk is made by squeezing grated coconut through cheesecloth and soaking it in warm water. To make thin cocoanut milk you soak the cocoanut a second time. The cream that rises to the top is coconut cream. You cannot buy fresh coconut milk or cream, which is why this cream is sold in cans.
Almond milk is made from ground almonds. This non dairy cream does not contain any cholesterol or lactose and can be substituted for milk in many recipes. Although you can buy it in containers, you can also make your own. Grind 1 cup of blanched almonds to a fine powder. Add 3 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup and t teaspoon of vanilla and place all the ingredients in a blender. Gradually add two cups of water to the mixture and then strain out the almond pulp.
Soy milk is made from soybeans. It is darker and sweeter than dairy milk. You have to shake it well before using. This milk is available in different flavors, but the unflavored variety is the best one to use for cooking.