A Dairy, Soy AND Nut Alternative

Filed under: Nutrition

Today at the grocery store I came across something new and interesting next to my unsweetened almond milk (in the refrigerated section). It was coconut milk in a carton!

This was a timely discovery as a friend of mine just learned that he has an intolerance to almonds and most tree nuts in general, and as such had to give up using almond milk in smoothies, cereal and oatmeal. This is rather unfortunate as he tries to keep his dairy intake minimal, and he obviously avoids soy milk (cause it sucks) and rice milk due to its fiber-less and unnecessary carbohydrate content.

Instead of those more common options, he made the transition to unsweetened vanilla hemp milk without complaint as it is quite good, as well as being nice and creamy. It also contains more fat than almond milk, so it not only replaces the fluid in his smoothies, it also replaces the healthy fat content provided by the nuts he can no longer consume. The only downside to hemp milk is the price!

Hemp milk is about twice as expensive as almond milk. Hemp milk provides a good dose of healthy fat, including almost a gram of omega-3′s (including the rare SDA) and the healthy omega-6 GLA, it also contains protein, vitamins and minerals. It is a high quality replacement for almond milk, but you pay for it for sure.

Fortunately this ready to drink coconut milk is very reasonable priced, about equal to almond milk. It is also low in calories at only 50 per serving for the unsweetened version. Coconut milk also contains a good amount of fat like hemp milk, so it also serves that dual purpose.

It’s fatty acid content is almost completely saturated, with most of that being made up of the unique medium chain fatty acids. These MCFA’s (or MCT’s if you like, more or less the same thing) do not require bile for digestion, have immune-boosting benefits and are more likely to be oxidized as energy than stored as fat.

While I still might place hemp milk above coconut milk, as I think its nutritional profile is superior, coconut milk does provides a wonderful alternative for those who are seeking dairy free, soy free, nut free “milk” at a reasonable price.

Enjoy!

Here is more fleshed out content on the health benefits of hemp and coconut.

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Posted on August 24th, 2010 by Brian St. Pierre

9 Comments

  1. joe Says:

    is this at the “Green” Hannaford?

  2. Brian St. Pierre Says:

    Yes it is

  3. joe Says:

    sweet. gotta stop by after work

  4. Jeff Brewster Says:

    Brian,

    This question is related more to hemp than coconut. I tried a hemp powder once, and it was like ingesting dirt, try as I might to like it. Do you find that hemp milk (or even hemp butter and seeds) are more palatable as far as hemp products go? Its nutritional bounty makes it difficult to willingly exclude from my diet, so ideally I’d like to find a way to include it that is, at worst, quite tolerable, and possibly even fairly tasty (by a general consensus).

    Thanks for sharing the heads up on this coconut product.

  5. Brian St. Pierre Says:

    Jeff,

    Yeah a lot of those “alternative” protein powders are an acquired taste, but I know that Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 70 is actually a decent tasting protein powder. While it isn’t comparable to a sweet tasting whey, it isn’t bad either. Unless you are a vegetarian though, I see no reason to give up whey anyway, since it has tons of health benefits on its own.

    As for other hemp products, the hemp milk I mentioned in the article is actually quite good, even in a glass by itself. It is every bit as good as unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and because of its higher fat content it is significantly creamier.

    The hemp seeds are fine, and the hemp butter is ok but also somewhat of an acquired taste.

    Hope that helps.

  6. Monty Lasane Says:

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  7. Bertram Remey Says:

    Hemp is also good for inflamation problems, in that it doesn’t cause it.

  8. claybrook Says:

    Holy crap, thank you so much for posting this! It is gonna help when I get Coconut Milk at the grocery store! So Fab!

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