Cow-less Milk

Photo by: Tasty Yummies

Milk alternatives are on the up and up, and with them, our health. Here is a cool rundown of the main milk alternatives (almond, coconut, hemp, rice, and soy) and their pros and cons by dietitian Eliza Zied.

Personally, I like protein-rich unsweetened soy milk in my cereal and vanilla almond milk in my latte, and my kids down vanilla and chocolate versions of both like they’re going out of style. As for “too much soy”, up to 25 grams a day of soy protein is incredibly heart-healthy and wildly cancer-preventative. One cup of soymilk has 7 grams of soy protein. And if you’re wanting to replace buttermilk in a recipe, you must mix 1 cup soymilk with 1 Tbsp lemon juice until it curdles. Since protein is necessary for the desired curdling, it won’t happen with the lower protein milk alternatives.

While slightly harder to find (go to a health food store or Whole Foods Market), other great dairy alternatives include oat milk and hazelnut milk as well as multigrain milks. Oat milk is higher in calories (130 per cup of the Original variety), but moderate in protein (4 grams per cup) and fiber (2 grams per cup), and higher in sugar (19 grams per cup of the Original variety). Hazelnut milk has 110 calories, 2 grams protein, and 14 grams sugar per cup of the Original variety. And if you’re feeling extra daring, you can make your own non-dairy milks, which is far easier than trying to make your own dairy milk. Here’s a great step-by-step for homemade almond milk. Cheers to health and cheers to life!

Other whens and hows with dairy alternatives?

Fun Food Fact Friday: Greenwheat Freekeh

Pronounced “Freak-ah,” Greenwheat Freekeh is roasted green wheat that has been around for over 2000 years, and it may be the new quinoa. It’s basically wheat that’s picked early (when it’s green) and dried, burned, and smoked. Sounds violent! But, the result is a grain that has 4 times more fiber than rice, and is high in protein, calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc. Plus, it has a low Glycemic Index, meaning that it slowly turns into glucose in your bloodstream, thus preventing sugar spikes and insulin rushes, and is a good carbohydrate food for diabetics.

When I saw it in the bulk section of Whole Foods the other day, I couldn’t resist. A freaky grain, and this variety from Australia? Count me in! And now I’m realizing my favorite hideout–Trader Joe’s–may also have a version of Freekeh as well.

But don’t ancient grains take hours to cook?
Quinoa
 
(which is actually a seed that’s eaten like a grain, rich in protein and fiber, and wheat and gluten-free) only takes about 15 minutes to prepare. Greenwheat Freekeh takes 20-25 minutes to prepare the cracked version and 40-45 minutes to prepare the whole grain variety. Still faster than brown rice. Here’s a fun 2-minute how-to Australian Freekeh movie.

I cooked a pot last night and am enjoying Freekmeal Breakfast this morning. DEEE LISH. Nutty, sweet, and filling!

Bitchin' Dietitian's Freekmeal Breakfast

Freekmeal Breakfast
Serves 1

1/2 cup cooked Greenwheat Freekeh
2 Tbsp dried cranberries
2 Tbsp pepitas
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (the fridge version, not the canned version) 

Heat all ingredients on the stovetop or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. Mmm mm MMM!

Interested in more ways to get your Freekeh on? Check out this Freekeh with Chickpeas and Mushrooms and this Freekeh Salad with Beets, Cilantro, and Lime.

Consuming Hemp Protein Immediately after Workout Helps Build Muscle

Photo by: Bitchin' Dietitian

According to 2 new studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming 25 grams of protein immediately following a workout greatly improves the body’s ability to build muscle. The studies noted that muscle-building is mainly due to the amino acid leucine, which is especially high in Hemp Seed Protein. Where to get the stuff? Not the local frat house, just head to Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. I happen to LOVE the Trader Joe’s Vanilla Hemp Protein Powder. Not only does it have 18 g protein per 1/2 cup scoop, but it’s also high in fiber and the essential heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Can’t get those extra beauties in whey or even soy protein powders!