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THE NEW MILKY GOODNESS

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Some love it, others hate it; but the fact is that milk has a host of benefits. And, since flavoured milk is the next big thing, the Mumbai Mix Team tells you about the pros and cons of the drink

As we become increasingly westernised, we take up many of the habits, customs and culture of the west. And, among other things, flavoured drinks have started to make their mark here. Children and teenagers today like their milk with a little added flavour, but even though this may be a western influence, we’ve been having flavoured milk in India since time immemorial. Take turmeric milk for instance.

In its natural form, milk has been associated with good health as it contains calcium, which is good for our bones and heart health and it even contributes to healthy skin. And that is why parents encourage their children to drink milk. But, many parents are reluctant to serve their children flavoured milk drinks. However, it is still better than other drinks that are high in calories and are packed with preservatives. Here we’re telling you about the pros and cons of flavoured milk, and bringing you simple recipes to make it at home.

PROS OF FLAVOURED MILK
Here are a few reasons to pick flavoured milk over the regular kind.

  • Nutritionally dense: The healthfulness comes mostly from the milk, which contains all the essential amino acids needed by the body, but depending on the flavour, the added ingredients may be healthy too.
     
  • Full of flavour: Flavoured milk is a hit with children compared with plain milk, because it is sweet and has a less ‘milky’ flavour and odour. Those who don’t particularly like the taste of milk might like the flavoured varieties.
     
  • Substitute for unhealthy drinks: Flavoured milk, especially if it is prepared at home, is better than high-calorie and sugar-dense drinks like sodas. Flavoured milk can easily replace unhealthy drinks, making it a good choice if your child doesn’t like the taste of milk.
     
  • Some variants as recovery drinks: Chocolate milk specifically is a good recovery drink and is used for a boost of energy and as a post-workout drink.

CONS OF FLAVOURED MILK
If you’re drinking flavoured milk, watch out for these downsides.

  • Higher sugar content: Sonal Chowdhary, nutrition consultant and founder at Eatwise, says, “Even though flavoured milk is considered a healthy option, you shouldn’t have many servings a day as it contains processed sugar.” So, make sure that your child isn’t drinking too much.
     
  • Added preservatives: Store-bought flavoured milk may not be very healthy, especially if it contains added preservatives. So, it’s best to prepare your own version of flavoured milk, but if you must buy packaged drinks, check the label carefully.
     
  • Artificial flavouring: Packaged flavoured milk products may include artificial flavouring, which may not be very healthy. Choose those that are enriched with natural flavours.
     
  • Mislabelling: Many times, it’s argued, flavoured milk brands don’t do enough to label their products clearly. It is difficult to know what the product contains when complicated names are put on the label.

MAKE YOUR OWN

VANILLA CINNAMON ALMOND MILK
Ingredients
1 cup soaked raw almonds, muslin cloth, 3½ cups water, 2 to 4 pitted dates, ½ tsp vanilla extract, ¼ tsp cinnamon powder and a pinch of sea salt

Method

  • Soak the almonds overnight. Rinse and drain well.
     
  • Put the almonds into a blender with water, dates and vanilla extract. Blend on the highest speed for 1 minute to make the almond milk.
     
  • Place a muslin cloth in a bowl and pour the almond milk mixture in it carefully. Gently squeeze the bottom of the bag to strain and release the milk.
     
  • Rinse the blender and pour the milk back into it. Whisk in the cinnamon powder and sea salt.
     
  • Refrigerate and serve chilled. Mix well before serving.

GOLDEN MILK

Ingredients 1 cup skim milk, ½ tbsp honey, 1 tsp vanilla extract and ½ tsp cinnamon powder

Method

  • Put the honey, vanilla extract and cinnamon powder into a microwaveable mug.
     
  • In another microwaveable mug, warm up the milk for 2 minutes or until hot.
     
  • Pour the hot milk over the honey and spices, and stir until dissolved.
     
  • Add more honey if needed.
     
  • Before serving microwave for 1 minute or until desired temperature is reached.

HOT CHOCOLATE WITH CINNAMON AND NUTMEG

Ingredients ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup cocoa powder, a pinch of salt, ¾ tsp vanilla extract, 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg, 4 cups milk and 1/3 cup hot water

Method

  • Mix the sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a pan.
     
  • Add water and cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring continuously until it starts to boil.
     
  • Boil for 2 minutes while stirring continuously.
     
  • Add milk and heat the mixture to serving temperature, but do not boil.
     
  • Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg.
     
  • Beat until foamy and serve.

EXPERT SPEAK
Try these healthy variants of flavoured milk.

  • Cardamom milk: Sonal says, “Considered a sleep inducer, cardamom milk reduces stress, anxiety and gives you a good night’s sleep. Cardamom can also be used as an alternative for sugar, especially for diabetics. Cardamom milk was traditionally drunk to fight bad breath and aid digestion.”
     
  • Chocolate milk: Sonal tells us, “Athletes and gym-goers opt for this rich, delicious milk because it helps with post-workout recovery and also because it contains the perfect balance of protein and carbohydrate. It contains calcium, vitamin D, proteins and magnesium, all of which help in muscle repair, and it also has caffeine in small amounts.”
     
  • Almond milk: Sonal says, “A power-packed energy booster, this is one of the healthiest choices since it contains almost all of the essential nutrients that the body needs. Those suffering from lactose intolerance can also have this milk without a second thought as it is made from grinding almonds. Almonds are rich in protein, fibre, potassium, zinc, sodium, calcium, iron and vitamin E.”
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