For the past couple of years I’ve been looking for something to replace the dairy in our fridge. Mainly because I haven’t been able to digest cow’s milk properly and my family aren’t big milk drinkers either. I’ve been on a mission looking for something that we all enjoy in our morning cereals, coffee and in our cooking. We’ve been exploring the options —Soy, Almond, Coconut, Rice, Oat, Cashew, Hemp, Pea, we’ve tried so many!

I was raised drinking more soy milk than cow’s milk but honestly, what I grew up with tasted much better than any carton I’ve found on the shelves at the well-known grocers. But recently my kids have been educating me on Soy and we are now steering away from that as well.

When it comes to plant-based milks there are many options and let’s be honest, they do not taste the same. Even flavours vary from brand to brand. While I’ve managed to find ones that I actually enjoy in my morning lattes, I’ve been also been interested in what could work in cooking and baking.

I found it. I was introduced to Elmhurst 1925 Milked Oats and have been working it into everything successfully from baking banana breads to everyday chocolate chip cookies to slow cooking curries and soups. It’s also good straight up and in my daily fuel (aka coffee).

Elmhurst 1925 recently arrived in Canada. It has cult-like following in the US and not just for their Milked Oats (yes, call it that and not Oat Milk), they have quite an extensive line — including almond, oat, cashew, walnut, hazelnut and hemp.

The brand started out as a New York-based dairy operation  that was in business for 90 years until 3rd generation owner, Henry Schwartz decided to stop production in 2016 as there was a steady decline in interest. Then in an unusual turn of events, Schwartz noticed a change in the American diet and decided to pivot the family business to focus on the production of plant-based milks after meeting with Dr. Cheryl Mitchell, a food scientist and plant-based milk pioneer.

What makes this line different is their special HydroRelease technology developed by Dr. Mitchell. Her patented method splits the core ingredient into its component fats, vitamins, and minerals and allows them re-bond as a “milk” with a creamier texture as well as retaining full nutritional value and flavour without added stabilizers, gums or emulsifiers that are commonly used in the industry. Check the labels next time you’re grocery shopping in this category. You can read more about their process here. 

When I read more about the brand, I found it refreshing to learn that the brand isn’t about plant-based milks trying to be “milk”. Admittedly, I would say you could definitely put me in that corner of thinking initially. But the more I read, the more I understand.  They’ve been educating the public on the benefits and nutritional value of plant-based whether it’s whole nut, grain or seed. Plant-based are deserving space in your fridge in their own right! They’re also made with six or fewer ingredients. Their unsweetened versions only contain two ingredients.

While I certainly wouldn’t profess to be a “health nut” I know that traditional dairy isn’t something our family enjoys nor does it agree with us all the time. Bloating? Cramps? Now that I’ve completely switched over to plant-based milks these symptoms are not noticeable anymore. So, it’s much more than about taste and we’ve switched for good.

Here’s a recipe I found on their site that’s delicious and perfect for our cooler weather these days! It says “cheesy” but there’s no dairy involved. I mean you could put some in, if you want,  but the soup’s cheesiness is in its creamy texture.

“CHEESY” CAULIFLOWER SOUP (serves 4)

INGREDIENTS

For the roasted vegetables:
1 medium head Cauliflower, cut
1 medium Red Onion, chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, peeled + chopped
1 tsp Dried Thyme
1 tsp Paprika
1 Tbsp Avocado Oil or Olive Oil
1 tsp Sea Salt

For the soup base:
1/2 cup Raw Cashews, soaked in hot water for 1 hour
1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
3 cups Vegetable Stock
1 cup Elmhurst 1925 Unsweetened Milked Cashews
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

METHOD:

1. Preheat oven to 425F

2. Place the cauliflower, red onion, garlic, thyme, paprika, sea salt and avocado oil in a baking tray. Mix well, then place in the oven for 40-50 minutes until cooked through and slightly charred. Remove from the oven and reserve 1 cup as garnish.

3.Place the roasted vegetables in a blender and add the soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, vegetable stock and cashew milk. Blend until smooth.

4.Pour the soup into a medium-sized pot and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the black pepper, salt, lemon juice and remove from heat.

5. Serve topped with remaining roasted cauliflower and chopped chives.

 

You can find Elmhurst 1925 products including their main flavours of unsweetened plant-based milks, along with chocolate milks, barista collection (smooth and creamy for your coffee!!!), creamers, and ready-to-drink beverages, on shelves at Whole Foods, Farm Boy, Pusateri’s Fine Foods, Healthy Planet and Eataly as well as online at well.ca. More info can be found on their site www.elmhurst1925.com