We spoke to Dina Cheney the author of a great new dairy free recipe book coming out in June! It has 100 recipes covering dairy free versions of ice cream, muffins and cakes, but it also shows you how to make your own dairy free milks! From cashew to rice, there are a lot more dairy free milks that you may realise, and they are easier to make than you might think.
Tell us a bit about yourself, who you are, your history etc.
I’m the author of six cookbooks, as well as a freelance writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Plus, I’m a mom! I discovered that I’m lactose intolerant about two years ago, and have been eating mostly dairy-free ever since. I prepare plant-based milks a few times a week and love playing around with varieties and dairy-free cooking, hence my writing this book.
What lead to you decide to make your own milks?
The above. Plus, I love playing around in the kitchen and being creative. I was also curious about types of plant-based milk that aren’t available packaged, such as pecan and millet.
How did you discover your own intolerances?
There isn’t a test for lactose intolerance (unlike dairy allergies). But, I noticed that when I avoided dairy, I became slimmer and my stomach always felt great! No discomfort. I also noticed that whenever I consumed dairy, I became congested (more of a concern, since I have sinus issues).
Why do you think there has been such a rise in lactose intolerance in recent years (or why are people now discovering their intolerance)?
65% of the population (above 2 or 3 years of age) is lactose intolerant. In certain populations, the percentages are much higher. For instance, it’s 90-95% in the Asian community and about 75% amongst those of African descent. It’s also highly prevalent amongst Native Americans, Jews, and Arabs. It’s just that people are becoming more aware of it now. Lactose intolerance is definitely real and not a mere trend/flash in the pan.
What are the benefits of making your own milk?
There are many! First, it’s the most fresh and delicious! It’s also healthiest, since the ingredients can be just the solid ingredient (such as brown rice) and water – no salt, sweetener, or additives, such as carrageenan (which has been correlated with gastric upset). Plus, you can customize the milk, choosing the exact flavor, ingredients, consistency, and more. Also, many types, such as millet, pecan, or walnut, are not commercially available. Making your own broadens the options. Finally, it’s fun! And, it’s convenient. As long as you keep nuts and seeds in the freezer and grains, dried legumes, and fresh coconuts in your pantry (which I do), you can make tons of varieties without going to the store.
What would you say to people who are worried about estrogen in Soya milk?
Multiple studies have shown that soy milk—which does not contain estrogen (as many believe), but rather phytoestrogen compounds—is healthy. Still, bias against soymilk, which has been drunk in Asia since the second century BC, persists. After doing my research, I’m a big soy milk advocate, and prepare and consume it on a regular basis.
What is your favourite milk for
Do you see other plant based milks becoming more popular in the coming years? We’ve seen Soy, Hazelnut, Almond, Rice and Coconut milk become very common, are there any we should be rushing out to try that we’re missing out on?
Absolutely, yes!! I can see more varieties of nut milks, such as walnut and pecan. I can also see more grain milks, such as millet or barley (some of my faves). I also think more legumes will be made into milk – one example is other types of beans, such as black beans. Peanut milk will probably become popular in the near future, especially since it’s incredibly high in protein.
Tell us about your book
The New Milks; 100-Plus Dairy-Free Recipes for Making and Cooking with Soy, Nut, Seed, Grain, and Coconut Milks (Atria/Simon & Schuster) is the first comprehensive book about dairy-free milk. In the book, I introduce readers to plant-based milk and provide an overview of the different types. Then I show them how to prepare these varieties, including nut, seed, grain, coconut, tuber, and legume. The bulk of the book consists of 113 recipes, for breakfast, lunch and dinner entrees, side dishes, sweets and breads, and drinks. The recipes are all kosher and dairy-free, and most are vegan. Many are gluten-free or paleo.
Tell us a bit about your work as a recipe developer, what does a typical day involve?
As a freelancer, my work schedule is incredibly erratic. When I am working on a recipe development project, I begin by conceptualizing recipes, or coming up with recipe concepts/titles. Then, I create “skeleton recipes,” in which I predict ingredient quantities and steps. Then, I make a grocery list and head to the grocery store. Next, I prepare the “skeleton recipe,” taking copious notes while cooking. Finally, after tasting the food/drink and doing the dishes (!!), I type up the recipe, updating my “skeleton” with my notes from the “lab test.” Finally, I edit my recipe. I will often photograph the dish as well. Creating just one recipe is a lot of work and costs money (in groceries).
What lactose free snack are you currently hooked on?
I love Coconut Grove coconut milk yogurt.
Any tips for taking pictures of food (We need it!)?
I invested in a really good camera, a few terrific photographic surfaces, and lots of props, which I purchase at vintage/antique shops. I also purchased a must: a light intended for photo shoots. So, I did make a sizable investment in my food photography. Other tips: Make sure the food looks good, and highlight it with props. But, the focus should always be on the food.
Dina’s books “The New Milks” is available on the 1st of June on amazon and other retailers you can find it on Kindle and Paperback.
We’re giving away one copy of her book! Enter below, let us know which recipe or milk you’re most looking forward to trying below. Competition ends on the 12th June, we will ship worldwide.
www.theprizefinder.com – See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/dairy-free-recipe-book#sthash.9T61qZMB.dpuf