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Why potato milk is good for you, and how do you make it

First, we had coconut, soy and nut milk. Then came oat, rice and hemp. Time to welcome the plant-based milk on the block--potato milk.

Potato milk is the next big dairy alternative
Potato milk is the next big dairy alternative (Unsplash)

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If you, like nearly 70% of people on this planet, are lactose intolerant and haven't yet found plant-based milk that tastes good, here's another option for you. And this one comes from the potato: a vegetable as ubiquitous to the sabzi on your dinner plate as it was to an Irish tenant farmer two hundred years ago or to French cuisine, which has countless dishes starring this humble, brown tuber.

Also read: What you need to know before switching to plant-based milk

While certainly, deep-fried finger chips, butter-laced mashes or thick, crispy latkes are the best things you can do with a potato, its high starch content also offers immense possibility as a dairy alternative. According to an article published in the New York-based food site, The Spruce Eats, potato milk is currently being sold all across Europe by a Swedish company named DUG. "There are several good reasons for making the switch to potato milk. It's affordable—much cheaper to make than buying dairy milk, and much cheaper than buying or making your own nut milk," says the website, pointing out that it is also sustainable with a carbon footprint that is 75% smaller than dairy milk. It also requires 56 times less water to grow when compared to another non-dairy milk crops such as almonds, adds the 21 February article.

Potatoes--despite their recent bad rap as being "fattening" (mostly because of what you make out of it, rather than the vegetable itself)-- are full of some great micronutrients, including Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, potassium, choline and are a great source of resistant starch, the stuff that keeps your gut and colon in great order, and encourages insulin sensitivity. So lots of good stuff in your potato milk as well as fewer anti-nutrients than dairy, soy, oat or almond milk. As this February 19 article published by Insider points out, potato milk is free from lactose, milk, soy, gluten, and nuts, so it could be an attractive option for allergy sufferers. “It contains more protein than some dairy-free milks: per 100ml, unsweetened potato milk contains 1.3g, compared to unsweetened almond milk's 0.4g, and unsweetened oat milk's 0.2g,” points out health writer, Rachel Hosie, who also tasted the milk. She describes it as being “mild and creamy”, tasting like “any generic non-dairy milk." 

Also read: Vegan? Try plant-based supplements to meet your protein needs

While DUG isn't yet in India, you can make potato milk at home very easily. Most recipes online suggest peeling and boiling the potatoes till tender before draining them. Add the boiled potatoes to a blender, along with a few nuts, healthy sweetener, flavourings such as vanilla or cinnamon and a few cups of water. Blend till very smooth, strain and adjust thickness or sweetness, depending on your taste. If protein is an issue, throwing some vegan protein powder into the mix may not be a bad idea. And voila, homemade potato milk perfect for your smoothies and cereals. Avoid adding it to hot tea or coffee, though, as it is reported to curdle.

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