Dr. Michelle Cali, ND

Dairy intolerances are becoming increasingly prevalent in North Americans. Although we don’t know exactly why, it is most likely a combination of a few factors: overly abundant consumption; milk product additives; pasteurization processes; and changes in the way our dairy cows are raised.

A dairy intolerance (or sensitivity) is an immune system reaction creating antibodies to one or more constituents of milk. Most often, the reaction is to one or both of the key milk proteins – casein and whey. This causes an inflammatory influx, which can have a number of effects on the body.

almond-hemp-milk_1Symptoms can vary from person to person. Common symptoms include: digestive upset (ie. irritable bowel) , headaches, weight gain, joint pain, skin disorders (eczema, acne) just to name a few.

Asking people to give up dairy can be a major adjustment especially for those who consume one or more servings per meal. Finding sufficient alternatives are a must!

One of the most common and palatable dairy alternatives is a nut milk. Making your own nut milk is not only more satisfying to the palate but also can be easier on your pocketbook! Try this creamy, delicious milk with your favourite cereal, smoothie, coffee or on its own. You won’t go back to store bought! (If you are not a fan of hemp, lose the hemp seeds and enjoy the mild flavour of just almond milk).

What you need:

  • Nut bag (can buy at most health food stores)
  • High powered blender
  • Large bowl


  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 2 tbsp raw hemp seeds
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)


  1. Cover almonds in water and soak overnight (or for 6-8 hours). They should be plump.
  2. Rinse almonds.
  3. Add all ingredients to your blender and blend at highest speed for 1 minute. Almonds and hemp seeds should be a fine grain.
  4. Place your nut bag over a large bowl and pour contents of blender into the bag.
  5. With mild pressure, squeeze out the fluid from the almond pulp in the bag until the pulp is almost dry (if you squeeze too hard you may rip the nut bag).
  6. Pour the milk from the bowl into a milk bottle for storage. Can store for 5-7 days in the fridge.
  7. Save the pulp for baking or smoothies.


caliDr. Michelle Cali is a licensed and registered Naturopathic Doctor and graduate of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. In addition, she holds an Honours Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Waterloo.

Dr. Cali maintains a private practice in Guelph, Ontario. She is truly passionate about helping her patients develop and achieve their health goals. She implements patient-centred care utilizing a variety of treatment modalities including: clinical nutrition and diet counseling; acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine; herbal medicine; homeopathy; and lifestyle counseling. She has also received additional training in Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture, Natural Fertility and Applied Kinesiology. Her practice includes particular focus on women’s health, pediatrics and digestive health.

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