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Millet Milk – Introduction
Millet milk is gaining popularity in India as a healthy and sustainable alternative to traditional dairy milk. Millets are a group of small-seeded grasses that have been cultivated in India for thousands of years. They are known for their high nutritional value, being gluten-free, and their ability to grow in harsh environments with minimal water.
Millet milk is a creamy and nutritious dairy-free milk made from millet grains. It is lactose-free, low in fat, and high in fiber, making it an excellent alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or have dairy allergies. Moreover, millet milk is easy to digest, making it a great option for people with digestive issues.
How to Make Millet Milk at Home: Ragi Milk
Making millet milk at home is easy and requires only a few ingredients. You will need:
- 1 cup of millet grains (Ragi/Finger Millet)
- 4 cups of water
- Sweetener of your choice (Honey)
Steps to Make Millet Milk:
- Rinse the millet grains and soak them in water for at least 6-8 hours or overnight.
- Drain the water and rinse the millet grains again.
- Add the soaked millet grains and 4 cups of water to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Strain the blended mixture through a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer to remove any solids.
- Add sweetener and flavorings of your choice, and mix well.
- Your millet milk is ready to be served.
Benefits of Millet Milk:
Millet milk is a healthy alternative to dairy milk, with several benefits. Here are some of the advantages of millet milk:
- Lactose-free: Millet milk is lactose-free, making it an excellent option for those who are lactose intolerant or have dairy allergies.
- Easy to digest: Millet milk is easy to digest and does not cause digestive issues.
- Nutritious: Millet milk is rich in vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, and vitamin B.
- Low in fat: Millet milk is low in fat, making it a great option for people who want to reduce their fat intake.
- Gluten-free: Millet milk is gluten-free, making it an excellent option for people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
Milk and other dairy products have been a major source of calcium for vegetarians but nowadays people are completely giving up animal products to turn into vegans. It is found that milk and dairy products are becoming harmful since commercialization. It has been reported that there is a rise in lactose intolerance in India and also abroad. People turn vegans out of choice and not because they are lactose intolerant.
The inability to digest the sugar in milk is called milk intolerance. With the help of an enzyme, lactase, lactose is broken into simple sugar in our body. But due to low levels of lactase in the body, the problem arises. The symptoms generally start 30 minutes to two hours after consuming milk. The symptoms are in the form of bloating, pain, cramps, gas, vomiting, and foamy stools.
The arising problem of milk tolerance gave birth to plant-based milk and that too from the ancient grains, millets. The process of extraction of milk from the millet is very simple and easy. In the ancient and today’s world, most of us know the process of soaking and sprouting as we do with pulses. Soaking and Sprouting aid in easy digestion and simultaneously improve the availability of nutrients to be absorbed in the body.
Millet Milk Startups in India:
Struggling to find plant-based milk for them and understanding the pain points of the consumers, Alt Foods developed plant-based milk made from grains and sprouted millets. The startup was founded by three family members Aman, Sweta, and Pavitra Khandelwal, who are on a mission to create easy-to-switch to plant-based products that are nutritious, great in taste, and accessible. India has the largest dairy consumption in the world and there is a tremendous market potential for plant-based alternatives in the country.
With the thought of taking plant-based alternatives to the masses, Alt Foods fills the appropriate gap and aims to make plant-based food more accessible to everyone.
While starting the startup they faced a lot of challenges as they were not having any prior experience. One of the biggest challenges was to create a novel dairy alternative without any benchmark product. The other thing was the scalability as the product was to be eventually affordable as dairy. But persistence and clarity helped them to achieve the right product.
Moving ahead with the right momentum and by putting in efforts, they launched plant-based milk products in two variants – original milk and chocolate-flavored milk. They could do it faster by participating in the ProVeg Incubator. It gave them more opportunities to connect with the right mentors, industry experts, and investors in one place.
Now their products are easily available on their own website and online aggregators and some retail stores in the Delhi NCR region. They are also planning to come with more plant-based milk flavors in the future as they see a huge shift in consumption where people have started rejecting the animal source food and are openly accepting plant-based products.
Nourish You was set up in the year 2013 at Hyderabad by two classmates, Rakesh K, and Rakesh C. A delicious blend of locally cultivated millets (Ragi, Jowar, and Bajra) and oats is used to make vegan milk. Milk is given a healthy boost of nutrition from the millets, and the oats give it a rich, creamy texture.
Millet Milk is showing a good response in the market and investors are coming to invest in these startups. I see millet milk as new sustainable milk as this can address nutrition and climate change. Millet is good for you, good for the planet, and good for the farmers. What is your thought about Millet Milk? Please let me know in the comment below, I will be happy to hear from you. This much for today and see you soon with another interesting blog.
Author: Tapas Chandra Roy, A Certified Farm Advisor on Millets, ‘Promoting Millets from Farm to Plate’ and an Author of the book -” Millet Business Ideas-Empowering Millet Startups”. In a mission to take the forgotten grains- Millets to Millions. To remain updated on my blogs on Millets please subscribe to my newsletter and for any queries please feel free to write to [email protected]