“We’re not having milk in our tea anymore,” I inform Daisy, my singing teacher. “I am!” she exclaims. “Well, today you’re not,” I reply, “I chucked all the milk down the sink.” I brew up two cups of Rooibos Earl Grey tea with rice milk. It is delicately fragrant and tastes slightly sweet.
Yesterday, in a quest to find yummy non-dairy alternatives, I emptied the shelves at Portobello Wholefoods. Since then I’ve been stuffing my face on your behalf. Here is what I’ve tried so far.
Plain Soya Yoghurt (Alpro brand - organic). This is surprisingly good. I added a few teaspoons of Tiptree Rhubarb & Ginger Conserve and it made a delicious breakfast. I also mixed a spoonful into scrambled eggs and they turned out light and creamy.
Almond Milk (EcoMil brand - organic). The Spanish drink almond milk by the bucket. I’ve tried several different brands. This is definitely the best. It is slightly sweetened with Agave syrup which makes it more palatable. Almond milk is delicious in porridge or poured over muesli. It also makes a really good chocolate drink. It's not great in tea because it leaves a grainy residue at the bottom of the cup but I imagine it might work well in coffee.
Rice Milk (Provamel brand - organic) I like it in Rooibos tea. It is much thinner than milk so one needs to use about double the amount.
Soya Milk (Alpro brand – organic) I can’t understand why anyone drinks this stuff.
Chocolate Soya Milk (Provamel brand - organic). Just divine. Better than the real thing.
Agave Syrup. There are two types, light (Crazy Jack brand - organic) and dark (The Groovy Food Company – organic). They pretty much equate to white and brown sugar. I’m not a sweet lover but my cousin Ben hoovers up the Agave Syrup in his coffee and on cereal, so it must be good.
Japanese Style Tofu Filets (Taifun brand - organic). These yellow, vacuum-packed cutlets looked bland and insipid. I did as suggested on the packet, i.e. fried them in olive oil and served them with brown rice and vegetables. I was uninspired by the look of them so I just cooked one. It was utterly delicious. I wolfed it down, along with the rice and veg and then sprang back into the kitchen to fry up the other one.
Marinated Tofu Pieces (Cauldron brand - organic). Quite nice. A bit salty. Good in a stir-fry.
Marinated Deep Fried Tempeh (Full of Beans brand - organic). I keep reading that Tempeh “tastes like veal” and so on. I’d never tried it. These dark brown slices were marked ‘ready to eat’ so I took a bite. Hmmm. Then I tried grilling a piece. I added some tomato relish. There’s no getting away from it. Tempeh tastes like deep fried stale chewy bread.