The New Milky Way
Some of you may be too young to remember this, but there was a time when people drank milk… like from animals. Today, it’s venti half-caf soy milk this and caramel macchiato double sweet rice milk that.
I jest. I get that some people are lactose intolerant, vegan or simply don’t like the taste of dairy. If you fall into one of those categories, are seeking some variety, or are concerned about the treatment of dairy cows, I’ve recently tried a new brand of milks that I’m simply nuts for.
Nuez is a new Vancouver-based company that produces nut milks that are low on preservatives and high on quality and taste.
Model-esque foodie Lauren Elbe started the company after being inspired by farmers’ markets and the bountiful fresh produce she saw and tasted while traveling in Europe and Mexico. Once she came home, she found the milk selection lacking.
“I’ve never really been that big into milk, so whenever I want a milky substitute, boxed almond milk was always my go-to. I just assumed the boxed almond milks were good quality because they were organic but even the organic brands use fillers and preservatives,” says Elbe.
She decided to start Nuez Organic Nut Milks (nuez means nuts in Spanish) using high quality ingredients that are also organic, local, ethically sourced, have minimal impact on the environment and benefit the farmers and her own community.
Working out of a commercial kitchen in Delta, one thing Elbe says she does differently is she soaks the nuts. “This starts a sprouting process that removes the anti-nutrients and phytic acid (naturally occurring preservatives) and turns the nuts from dormant into a living food. This process also brings out more flavour in the milks and makes nutrients more bio-available, i.e. easier to digest,” she says.
She’s focusing on a few select flavours – I’ve tried the Almond, Honey Almond, Maple Hazelnut and Cacao Hazelnut. The almond milks are a great addition to coffee but the hazelnut milks are delicious on their own. I’m particularly addicted to the cacao hazelnut which tastes like a much less fatty and healthier chocolate milk.
They sell for $8-10 per litre and due to the absence of preservatives, are good for about 5 days.
Currently Nuez is available at a few locations in Vancouver including Culprit Coffee Co., Exile Bistro, the Lonsdale Farmers’ Market on Saturdays and the Oak Street Farmers’ Market. You can also keep track of Elbe’s whereabouts via social media @nuezmilk or through her website.
“I dream of a world where food can just be food. Where I don’t have to analyze the ingredients on a product to try to decipher if there are ingredients that aren’t going to serve my body and where foods are delicious because of the quality of ingredients, not the amount of additives… where food is made in kitchens and not laboratories. So I decided to start Nuez. “Be the change” right?” Elbe says.
I’ll drink to that.