There are lots of options when it comes to milk substitutes. Here are 13 plant-based milks you might consider.
Milk provides essential vitamins and minerals like calcium and protein. However, with the rise of vegan diets, allergy concerns, and lactose intolerance, members and guests are increasingly looking for alternative dairy-free options. Consider these substitutes:
- Soy milk is made from whole soybeans or soy protein isolate. It has a creamy, mild taste and is the most similar in nutrition composition to cow milk. Soy milk is often seen as controversial, though drinking soy milk in moderation is unlikely to cause harm.
- Almond milk, made with either whole almonds or almond butter and water, has a light texture, a slightly sweet and nutty flavor and is low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates. Use in coffee and tea, mixed in smoothies and as a substitute for cow’s milk in desserts and baked goods.
- Cashew milk is made from a mixture of cashew nuts or cashew butter and water. It is rich and creamy and has a sweet and subtle nutty flavor. It’s great for thickening smoothies, as a creamer in coffee and as a substitute for cow milk in desserts.
- Macadamia milk has a richer, smoother and creamier flavor than most non-dairy milk, and tastes great on its own or in coffee and smoothies. It is high in monounsaturated fats and low in calories and carbohydrates.
- Walnut milk is a top pick if you’re looking to boost your intake of plant-based omega-3’s. It tastes a little more earthy than other types of nut milk, though.
- Peanut Milk has a similar creamy taste and texture of other tree-nut milk. The best thing about peanut-based products is they’re often more cost-effective than other dairy alternatives and are higher in protein.
- Coconut milk is made from water and the white flesh of brown coconuts. It has a creamy texture and a sweet but subtle coconut flavor.
- Pea milk is a plant-based milk made from pea protein isolate, water, and other emulsifiers. It’s as creamy as soy with a slightly less nutty taste. The unsweetened versions pack up to 8g of protein from a nutrient-dense source.
- Oat milk is made from a mixture of oats and water. It is naturally sweet and mild in flavor. It can be used in cooking in the same way as cow milk.
- Rice milk, made from milled white or brown rice and water, is mild in taste and naturally sweet in flavor. The least allergenic of the non-dairy milk makes it a safe option for those with allergies or intolerances to dairy, gluten, soy, or nuts.
- Hemp milk has a slightly sweet, nutty taste and a thin, watery texture. It works best as a substitute for skim milk. It’s a good option for vegetarians and vegans because it is a source of high-quality protein and two essential fatty acids.
- Quinoa milk has a distinct flavor and is slightly sweet and nutty. It contains a moderate number of calories, protein, and carbs compared to other non-dairy kinds of milk. It’s a good option for vegetarians and vegans since it contains high-quality protein.
- Flax milk is made from a combination of water, flaxseed oil, and pea protein, which makes it similar in nutrient composition to pea milk.
When choosing dairy substitutes, be sure they are fortified with calcium and vitamin B12 and are unsweetened. Also, choose certified organic non-dairy milk to ensure that you’re members are not getting a dose of unwanted chemicals or GMOs.