Answer: No. Even if processed to lessen the fat, milk is still an animal product. Skim milk is non-vegan, stating this fact as plainly as possible.
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Is Skim Milk Vegan?
While passing through the grocery aisle of milk selections, you stop in front of the wide selection of milk and wonder, can I take skim milk if I am vegan? The answer is a straight-up sorry, no.
Many commercial brands claim they have nothing to do with animal cruelty or animal products. But milk produced by a cow is an animal product.
There is no such thing as a lacto-vegan. A vegan strictly follows the lifestyle and diet philosophy of avoiding any form of animal exploitation and animal-free alternatives.
Is There Skim Milk in Vegan Food?
Interestingly, milk in dried or powdered form becomes a food additive. The change of appearance or texture can mislead vegans who ignore the stated ingredients in a product. Sometimes, milk is added to the product to bring out the flavor, texture, and nutritional value of processed foods.
Vegans buy many processed foods that seem vegan but have milk components in one form or another. Some examples of processed foods you should keep a healthy distance from are margarine, imitation cheese, and low-fat foods.
In the past, margarine came from animal fat. But in recent years, margarine has been a non-dairy substitute for butter. Margarine is 80% fat, 16% water, and 4% milk solids or cultured skim milk disguised as emulsifiers.
Imitation cheese is a favorite vegan food and is present in many recipes. You must be careful in reading the label as it can print as a non-dairy plant-based product. Some may be true, but others have the protein casein that comes from dairy protein.
Low-fat foods have flavor and a nice smooth texture. The reduced or low-fat foods sold in the groceries have skim milk, emulsifiers, stabilizers, and fat substitutes or vegetable gums.
Can Vegans Use Skim Milk in Their Diet?
You may have come across a term that can be confusing. A lacto-vegetarian has a diet that embraces plant food but mixes dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese, ghee, butter, cream, and kefir.
But a vegan will avoid the whole dairy rack, even the skim milk section. They will use other alternatives to supplement their plant-based diets. No need to worry; Vegans have other milk options to choose from and discuss further.
Skim Milk Alternatives for Vegans
Vegans will not miss out on skim milk’s taste and creamy flavor. There are many replacements that you can choose from the many plant-based options. Skim milk has about 0.1% fat, and the alternative should be low in fat, with a thin and watery texture.
When mixed with other beverages and recipes, it should have the pleasant and neutral taste of skim milk. Depending on your taste preference and health restrictions, the list below shows vegans’ many skim milk alternatives.
Soy Milk from soybeans comes from China and East Asia. The soybeans are soaked overnight and then ground together with water. The liquid is mixed with the grits and boiled to inactivate the lipoxygenase, stabilize the off-flavor compounds, and reduce the soy milk’s microbial load.
Soy milk, before packaging, is pasteurized, homogenized, or sterilized. Fortified soy milk has vitamin D, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and flavonoids. It has a higher fat content, calories, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cardioprotective properties.
Soymilk is an intermediate product to make tofu, which is a staple for vegans. It benefits vegans with heart disease by reducing cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, and lowering blood sugar. Findings show it boosts fertility for those trying to conceive and lessens menopause symptoms for the female vegan.
Almond Milk made from raw almonds is blended with water and strained for the mixture to extract the liquid almond milk. Almonds are grown in the farm industry of California.
Rich in minerals enriched with calcium and vitamin E and fortified with vitamin D. It has a moderate amount of potassium, is low in phosphorus, and lacks protein due to the dilution. It has a nutty and creamy flavor that is high in fat and low-calorie content and will not cause any sugar spike.
Vegans with diabetes can take unsweetened almond milk because it will not raise sugar levels. Those with kidney problems or prone to the kidney with a strict renal diet will benefit from the low phosphorus, potassium, and protein. Add almond milk to the different beverages and meals without packing the calories for vegans on a low-carb diet and lactose intolerance.
Coconut milk comes from the white flesh of mature coconut fruit commonly found in Southeast Asia, Hawaii, India, South America, and Caribbean countries. The white flesh is grated from the cracked nut and boiled with water. It is squeezed to produce the juice, strained in cheesecloth for thicker milk, and a second strain for a thinner milk texture.
Coconut milk is high-calorie, with nutrients of manganese and copper, and medium-chain triglycerides saturated fats that can contribute to weight loss. Studies show the effect of coconut milk on cholesterol and triglyceride levels that improve bad LDL levels and good HDL cholesterol levels.
There are findings that coconut milk reduces inflammation, fights viruses or bacteria, and decreases ulcer size. Vegans with irritable bowel syndrome should not drink coconut milk because it can cause diarrhea or constipation. Those with tree nut allergies should avoid it as well.
Flax milk is made from flaxseed and cultivated in Canada, the US, China, India, and Ethiopia. Formerly used as a medicine and fiber for clothing, flaxseed is a food grain. Flax Milk is made by a cold-pressed method of flaxseed oil mixed with water, producing a sweet, nutty, and milky flavor.
It has vitamins A, B12, and D and is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. It is rich in protein and has soluble and insoluble fiber for digestion. Flaxseed is free from allergens such as lactose, soy, gluten, and nuts and has estrogenic properties for balancing hormones.
Considered a medicine supplement, it helps with cancer, diabetes, and stroke while supporting the immune system. Flaxseed milk helps nursing vegan mothers boost milk production due to its estrogenic properties. Vegans will like the prebiotics component that allows friendly bacteria to thrive in the body.
Rice milk made from whole grain white rice comes from different parts of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America, North America, the Caribbean, and Oceania. To make rice milk, you soak the whole grain rice in hot water for two hours to soften the rice grain. Drain and blend in fresh water and salt to a fine texture. Strain the solid until you can extract the rice liquid.
Rice has little nutrients on its own and contains more carbohydrates. The raw form of rice milk does not contain calcium and protein. It uses a fortifying process to add vitamins B12, B3, and iron.
It has niacin and vitamin B6, and magnesium that controls blood pressure.
Vegans who are particular about their cardiovascular health can use rice bran oil which lowers blood cholesterol. Those highly allergenic to lactose and nut allergies are safe with this. But for diabetic vegans, best to avoid rice milk for its high glycemic index and starchy component.
Alternative Choices For Vegans
Enjoying your food and beverages as a vegan will not leave you missing out on the joys of taking skim milk. It’s become a popular choice even for non-vegans to skip the milk and opt for plant-based milk alternatives. Below are some suggestions on pairing alternative milk with everyday dishes and drinks.
Drinks & Beverages
It’s no surprise that you would hear coffee orders using almond milk, oat milk, or soy milk, whether from a vegan or non-vegan. Having your cold tea or hot tea paired with almond milk or coconut milk is an ideal combination. A smoothie will use soy, almond, flax, or coconut milk. Hot chocolate will taste good with almond milk, oat milk, or flax milk.
You’ll want to use almond, flax, coconut, and rice milk to thicken the consistency and make soups creamier. Sauces can use almond, coconut, and flax milk to add creamy flavor. Quiche and crepes will use almond and oat milk.
Ice cream, gelato, or yogurt with a base of almond milk, coconut milk, and oat milk will taste as good as whole milk. Cookies and cakes often use almonds, oat, rice, and soy milk in the recipes. Rice puddings will use rice milk, coconut milk, and oat milk.
Having a bowl of cereal with almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk will start your day full of energy. Oatmeal or porridge will pair nicely with coconut, almond, and rice. Pancakes and muffins can use almond, oat, or coconut milk.
Eliminating skim milk is not difficult because of the many alternatives you can use. When you choose a plant-based milk substitute for your daily use, you make a wise and health-conscious decision for yourself. With so many options, you can choose low-calorie, low-cholesterol, and low-sugar.