Whether you enjoy dairy-free milk products for health reasons or as a personal preference, these plant based options have greatly increased in popularity as of late. From nuts, to oats, and even peas, we’re here to give you the scoop on these milk alternatives.
- Nut Milks include almond, cashew, peanut, macadamia nut, and walnut – you can basically find any variety of nut in milk form. These milks can be found sweetened, unsweetened, original, vanilla, and chocolate flavors. Since this milk is nut based, it contains much less protein compared to dairy milk – but there is also a protein nut milk now available. They are typically fortified with calcium and vitamin D, making them a great source of both nutrients.
- Coconut Milk is made from the “meat” of a coconut, blended with water, which makes it a little higher in fat compared to other non-dairy milks. Use coconut milk found in a carton for everyday enjoyment, whereas coconut milk in a can is better used for cooking. Coconut milk is also lower in protein compared to dairy milks and is fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
- Rice Milk is…you guessed it…made from rice! Since it is made from rice, it is higher in carbohydrates than other dairy free milks. It is enriched with vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin D. It is cholesterol free, low in protein, and good for those with nut or soy allergies. Rice milk usually has the thinnest consistency when it comes to non-dairy milks.
- Oat Milk is yet another nut-free milk alternative made from oat groats. Groats are whole grains that come from the hulled kernels of cereal grains. Since it is made from whole grains, it tends to be higher in fiber than other dairy free milk options. It is a good source of a variety of vitamins and minerals – including calcium, vitamin A, and iron.
- Hemp Milk is made from hulled hemp seeds making it a great source of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. This dairy free milk is another alternative for those who are allergic to nuts, gluten, and soy. It is also a good source of magnesium, calcium, B vitamins, and vitamin D. Hemp milk not as high in protein as dairy milk, but contains essential amino acids, which means it’s a good vegetarian source of protein.
- Soy Milk is one of the thicker milk alternatives. It is has the most protein, since it is made from soybeans, which are a plant-based complete protein. Soy milk is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and is fortified with calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, and B vitamins.
- Pea Milk is probably the newest milk alternative out there. This plant-based milk is made from pea protein and has a similar amount of protein to dairy milks. It is fortified with calcium and vitamin D, and comes in unsweetened, sweetened, original, vanilla, and chocolate varieties.
These dairy free milk alternatives can typically substitute dairy milk in recipes with a 1:1 ratio. If using in savory dishes, go for the unsweetened, original, or plain varieties. Be sure to shake these beverages before consuming, since solids may settle at the bottom. Use these plant based milks in sauces, baked goods, in cereal, oatmeal, smoothies, and more – the options are endless! You can even make most of these milks at home!