When people start following a vegan or vegetarian diet they are concerned about some nutrients as calcium or protein. But dairy free options are rich in this nutrients if you know how to keep them.
Some people whose prefer lactose free options ask us about how to calcify homemade vegan milks, so we have made a list about which vegetables and seeds are rich in calcium, to help you improve the calcium content of your milk in a 100% natural way.
This is especially interesting for:
- Lactose intolerant people
- Pregnant women
- Adults over 40
We are not perfect, so we´ll complete this list with more information as we learn more about it.
(Calcium in miligrams per 100 grams of seeds)
- Almonds: 264 mg. (take care with “oxalates”. You can reduce them by soaking seeds for 7 to 24 hours. Maizan link)
- Hazelnuts: 140 mg.
- Pistachio: 136 mg (large amounts could be indigestible).
(Calcium miligrams per 100 grams of seeds)
- Sesame: 975mg
- Tahín o Sesame Cream: 60mg
- Linum/Flax: 264mg (it contains lot of mucilage and the milk becomes very thick, so we recommend using only a tablespoon of seeds and natural water instead of hot water)
- Amaranto: 182mg
(Calcium inmiligrams per 100 grams of fresh leaves)
- Dandelion: 187 mg (more calcium than cow´s milk and absorbed more easily)
- Beets, thistle, spinach and leek: 114-187 mg. (Take care with spinach as the raw product also contains anti-nutrients.*)
- Cabbage: 135 mg
(Calcium in miligrams per tablespoon)
- Thyme,dill, marjoram and rosemary: 40mg- 60mg
- Sage, oregano, mint, poppy seeds, chervil and basil: 20 mg
(Calcium in miligrams per 100 grams)
- Dates and sultanas: 70mg
- Olives: 63mg
- Chickpeas: 145mg
Mineral water also has lot of minerals including calcium. But the percentage is variable in each type of water.
As a general rule, keep in mind that each seed is similar to the other, but it is not an exact science. Two almonds never have the same amount of calcium. Nutrient values change depending on different factors like amount of absorbed water, sunlight hours e.t.c. so the values present are not exact and must be understood as an approximation.
Besides knowing the calcium content of each food, it is also important to know the level of anti-nutrients (Phytic acid and Oxalic acid) that each of them contain. These anti-nutrients have the ability to inhibit the absorption of calcium and other minerals. The key is to soak the seed to minimize the level of anti-nutrients beforehand. In this article of Eating it real you have a good explanation about how to resolve this problem.
Amongst foods that help in the assimilation of calcium, prunes deserve a special mention. To compensate for the excess of acid, our body draws calcium from the bones which is excreted in urine, and promotes the loss of bone calcium. Researchers believe that potassium and magnesium help neutralize this acid. These are available in many fruits, vegetables and nuts, and help maintain the acidic balance, and consequently bone health. Prunes neutralize acids created by digestion and are highly alkalizing.
Moreover, food from organic farming is “clean”. Free of toxins from industrial agro-treatments; whether fertilizer, unhealthy chemical stabilizers and/or preservatives, which cause accumulation of toxins in the body. So by eating organically, we don´t have to waste energy by processing and excreting these extra chemicals from the body.
Finally, we always recommend consuming local seeds, those that are grown closest to your land or your city. Eating locally helps your body assimilate the nutrients better and improve your immune system by building the defenses that you need in your own ecosystem.
Here you have some ideas about how to calcify your plant milk:
- Use dandelion (fresh or dry leaves) or aromatic herbs to mineralize and calcify vegan milks. You have some ideas on how to do it in this link about “Improving vegan milks with infusions” .
- Add 1 or 2 tablespoon of roasted sesame seeds to your plant milks.
- Use dates or dried prunes to sweeten plant milks.
We know that part of the seed´s nutrients remain in the pulp, so recycle the pulp of the vegan milks by making original healthy meals. Some options are; Almond or hazelnut paté with olives, add herbs and a tablespoon of tahin to flavour the pulp… Or you can also mix the pulp with chickpeas (high in calcium) and garlic to make hummus … Or something sweet like a dates cream …
You have some ideas on how to recycle pulps in this link.
It turns out that calcifying milks is a delicious culinary pleasure … uhmmmmmm !!