If you've been vegan for more than five minutes, have a lactose intolerance or have ever ordered a soy latte at Costa, you're probably all-too-familiar with the above misconception. It shouldn’t be news by now that human beings don’t need to drink cows’ milk anymore than we need to drink giraffes’ milk! And yet a few delusions surrounding nutrients we get from milk and where to find them in a plant-based diet persist. The truth is, there are so many other sources of calcium than milk, and – surprise surprise – many plant sources of calcium are actually better absorbed and utilized by the body.
Sesame seeds Sesame seeds are one of the richest sources of plant calcium. For anyone who loves Asian-inspired cooking, try sprinkling a handful of sesame seeds on your next stir-fry. Or make sure you include a generous serving of tahini (sesame seed paste) when making fresh hummus - like our Mexican inspired black bean hummus.
Chia seeds have been the star of the health food scene for years now and it’s no surprise – these tiny little seeds pack a serious nutritional punch. For an easy and delicious breakfast, check out our vanilla chia pudding recipe.
While lots of legumes are great calcium sources, none is more versatile, delicious and loved than the humble chickpea. Whether you want to sprinkle them whole onto a salad or mash them up with sweetcorn for veggie burgers, you’re getting a decent dose of calcium every time. Check out our hummus recipe round-up for some exciting ways to spice up everyone's favourite chickpea-based dip.
Coconut Milk From coconut oil to coconut water, the world has truly gone nuts for the health benefits of coconuts. And coconut milk, made from blending the flesh of coconuts with its water, is a delicious source of calcium and a whole host of other electrolytes. Use it as the liquid in your morning smoothie or as the base to a deliciously creamy Thai spiralised vegetable soup.
AlmondsThe healthiest of all tree nuts, almonds are the perfect mid-afternoon snack. To make the most out of raw almonds, soak them overnight prior to eating to help activate their nutrients and better boost their ability to be absorbed. You can even make your own raw almond milk by blending one cup of soaked almonds with two cups of water!