The Best Nondairy Alternatives for Milk
Dairy-free alternatives have been on the rise for a while now, with many turning to healthier, plant-based choices. Whether you’re lactose-intolerant, vegan, or just want to expand your dairy-free choices in your diet, there are plenty of alternatives to cow’s milk that just taste just as good, and dare we say, better!
Most would consider soy the original non-dairy milk substitute, but soy continues to claim one of the top spots amongst dairy-free alternatives. Unsweetened soy milk packs a ton of protein, and is filled with antioxidants, fiber, and key polyunsaturated fats.
Made from water and coconut cream, coconut milk has a wonderful tropical taste that is good enough to sip on its own. It has a higher fat content than most nut-based milk, but it is lower in carbohydrates. It has a nice creamy consistency and can be used as a meal-replacement drink thanks to its higher calorie count and its ability to satiate. It also makes for a great additive to your coffee or tea.
Similar to soy, almond milk has been around for ages and is considered to be one of the most popular non-dairy milk available. Most almond milk servings are in the range of 35-90 calories per cup, but there is a wide variety of sweetened and unsweetened versions. It is made from almonds and water, with additional nutrients added in. Some almond milk can be low in protein, but on the flip side, they are relatively low in calories.
Pea milk is a newer addition to the ever-expanding nondairy milk selection. Made from pea protein isolate, water, and other emulsifiers, it has a creamy mess similar to soy with a less nutty flavor. It provides key nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and a dense serving of protein up to 8g.
In its simplest form, oat milk is made from oats and water, though you will often find other ingredients added in, including gums, oils, and salt to give it an appreciable taste and texture. It is naturally sweet in flavor and can be used in cooking the same way a cow’s milk. It is high in fiber and carbohydrates, but also rich in beta-glucans, a special substance that can help lower LDL cholesterol.
Made from the seeds of the hemp plant, hemp milk has a slightly sweet, nutty taste and is relatively thin in consistency when compared to other milk. It contains a similar amount of fat to cow’s milk, but half the calories and protein. It does, however, provide a good source of essential fatty acids which can be beneficial for your cardiovascular health.
Made from a mixture of cashew nuts or butter and water, cashew milk is rich with a creamy, sweet flavor. It makes for an excellent addition to a cup of coffee or smoothies, and can even be used in cooking to substitute cow’s milk. It is relatively low in fat, protein, and carbs, making it a good choice if you’re watching your daily caloric intake.