Plants Do All The Work - Planut Goods

Plants Do All The Work

There’s a common misconception that we need to add to nature in order to make it better. Just look at the ingredients in plant-based food and drinks and you’ll see there’s a whole lotta isolates, binding agents and fillers. We’ve been seeing this in mass since the industrial revolution and now through a phrase that has been deemed “food tech.” We think nature is good as is. Smartphones and apps come from Silicon Valley. The food we eat comes from nature. We’d like to keep it that way.

Take plant milks for example. Whole plant ingredients are full of all the nutrients and key compounds that you will need to make tastier and healthier plant milks at home or on the go. It’s a myth to think that store bought ready-to-drink plant milks are the best version of what plant milks can be. On the contrary, most plant milks have to make up for their products typically containing no more than 2%-3% of plant content, 1%-2% gums, stabilisers and emulsifiers and the rest WATER (95%+). Low plant content means manufactures add cheap additives to restore functionality, maintain oil suspension, prevent separation, and aid in frothing when heated.

Bringing Plant Milk Back to Its Roots

Preparing Planut Milk, using 1-2 tbs Base per cup of water (6%-9% concentration) provides all the plant constituents necessary to create great tasting plant milks in seconds. It’s the shelf stable Planut Milk Base that allows you to make as little or as much as you want on demand…Just add water and BLEND FRESH.

It all starts with extra fine milling of our whole plant ingredients. Nothing added, nothing removed. To give you an idea, the particle size after milling is about 25% the diameter of a human hair. This ensures that our milks when blended provide excellent mouthfeel and texture.

For a Blender Life

As an example, let’s have a close look at Planut 100% Almond Milk Base. It’s the healthy fats, 50% in Almonds, that is largely responsible for imparting the milk with a natural white appearance. This is achieved with your trusty blender. The high speed of the blender creates a shearing or cutting action which breaks down the fats into microscopic globules, too small for the naked eye to see.

This process is commonly known as homogenization. The effect of these microscopic fat globules is reflectance of light which creates the whiteness in the milk. The smaller the globules the whiter the milk. And lastly, we shouldn’t forget that fat provides a creamy smooth body to the milk.

The Protein in Plant Milk

Next comes the Protein content of an Almond which is 21%. The protein component has an important role in coating the fat globules during blending. It is this process that stabilizes the fat/protein complex. And, with a relatively neutral pH 6.5 protein remains in suspension. Any unbound (free) protein chains may assist in stability by locating between fat globules and preventing them from coalescing.

This provides natural stabilization whilst homogenizing the fats (lipids). Note that many commercial plant milks have added Phosphates used to increase the natural pH of the milk to greater the 7.0. The Phosphates are added to allow for long term shelf-stability. Also, to stop proteins from precipitating out, fats separating and survive the harsh effects of UHT processing.

The Carbs in Plant Milk

Carbohydrates 22% are the next important macronutrient to look at and its role in producing fabulous plant milk. Of the 22% carbohydrates, 4% is sugar and just under 1% starch. The natural starch present assists in providing fullness and body to the milk by swelling and thickening. You see this effect more prominently when the milk is heated. The sugars provide natural sweetness and, also, contribute to body and mouthfeel to the milk. The remainder of the Carbs are a mix of natural dextrins, complex carbohydrates, lignins, pectic substances (gelling, stabilizing) and polysaccharides like cellulose. These compounds are naturally present to provide structure and food for a nut should it be sprouted.

The combination of these carbohydrates serves to provide natural emulsifying and stabilizing properties, by either coating the fat globules like protein, swelling and separating the fat globules, further reducing fat layering. Additionally, they form a matrix of hydrated simple and complex chains which suspend throughout the milk adding both body and mouthfeel, particularly when heated.

The Fibres in in Plant Milk

Next on our list is Fibre (12.5%) divided Soluble (16%) and (83%) Insoluble. Soluble fibre dissolves in the milk and adds to the milk’s viscosity. It joins starch and proteins in stabilizing fat globules. Soluble fibre includes naturally occurring pectins and polysaccharides. Insoluble fibre does not dissolve in the milk, but adds to the structure of the matrix of suspended components helping to stabilize the fats.

Finally, Almonds contain the mineral calcium and Vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects against rancidity.

Let Nature Lead The Way

We applaud the huge turn away from animal products and towards plants. But as companies are shouting the term “PLANT BASED!” from the rooftops, we need to look closely at the products they’re producing and the process with which they produce them to determine if they’re actually delivering a high concentration of healthy, functional and natural ingredients. More often than not, they’re formulated to function like dairy milk at a fraction of the cost. The emphasis is less on being plants and more on being an easy transitory food that tastes like its animal based predecessor. This is done as cheaply as possible.

We believe that this overcomplicates things and doesn’t offer up a healthy alternative. With just a few seconds of blending, we can achieve better quality and better tasting plant milk from the comfort of our own kitchen.

We hope this has demonstrated that with a high enough concentration of plant content, water and a blender, full flavoured, healthy plant milks are seconds away. So let’s keep technology out of the food we eat and bring plant milk and plant based foods back to their roots.

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