The power of potato milk

Let’s explore the new kid on the dairy-free milk block.

The humble potato strikes again! Just when we thought that we officially ran out of ways to prepare and consume spuds, we found another way to milk the potato of all its goodness. 

That’s right – potato milk is now the latest dairy alternative that you can use to top up your cup of coffee or pour into your bowl of cereal in the morning. Before you decide that it’s not for you, hear me out because this plant-based milk option has more benefits than you think. 

Why potatoes?

Yeah, I asked that question too. If your first thought is ‘Ew!’ I don’t blame you. While we know potatoes are delicious in all their forms, how could these spuds possibly work as milk?

After some serious digging, the recipe was developed (and perfected) for the Swedish brand Veg of Lund by Professor Eva Tornberg, a food scientist at Lund University in Sweden. The beverage, called DUG Drinks, hit Swedish shelves earlier this year and is believed to be one of the top 2022 food trends.

The fact is potatoes are much more affordable, sustainable and easier to grow. Besides that, they require way less water than your typical dairy alternatives, such as almond milk and oat milk. Plus, they’re free from gluten and allergens like nuts, lactose, and soy, making them one of the most versatile kinds of milk.

But that’s not all (it gets even better!). Spuds are packed with nutrients and minerals. They’re naturally low in fat and sugar and are packed with fibre and potassium. ‘Potatoes contain almost all the nutrients we humans need,’ DUG explains on their website. ‘That means you can almost live on potatoes alone! They’re a perfect mix of protein, vitamins, minerals, fibre and carbohydrates.’

How is potato milk made?

Potato milk is derived from potatoes, similarly to how milk is extracted from almonds or oats for their respective dairy alternatives. But to get that extra creamy milk consistency from potatoes, various processes need to happen, and additives need to be included.

Professor Tornberg developed a patented emulsion method for potatoes and rapeseed oil, which allows the potato milk to be used for baking and cooking and tea and coffee. Fat, sugar, vitamins, and minerals are also added to enhance the potato milk’s flavour, consistency, and profile.

Currently, DUG is the only commercially available potato milk, but I foresee this new food trend becoming a worldwide phenomenon. I can’t wait to see how competitor brands create and market their own potato milk.

Should you try it?

If you’re looking for a nutritious, affordable and sustainable dairy alternative, then absolutely! Potatoes require minimal effort to grow, are almost always in season and are much more drought-friendly than other crops used for dairy alternatives. 

Depending on the formula, potato milk can range from tasting sweet and creamy to floury or similar to pancake batter. Options are available in original, barista and unsweetened in the DUG range, offering different consistencies and fat content. Future competitor brands will likely offer sweetened and unsweetened products.

As for right now, potato milk is only available in Sweden and the wider UK. I don’t know about you, but I will keep a lookout for this innovative drink.

If you simply can’t wait for potato milk to become mainstream in South Africa, why not try making it yourself with a nifty recipe.

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