5 Milk Alternatives That You Need to Try ASAP

5 Milk Alternatives That You Need to Try ASAP

September 28, 2020

GUYS. Walking down the dairy aisle at grocery stores has gotten ~extremely complicated~, hasn't it??? There are SO MANY OPTIONS. It feels like every time we just need to grab some creamer for our coffee, there's a new dairy-free milk on the shelf. 🤷‍♀️
 
Considering going non-dairy? For some people, non-dairy options might be less inflammatory or simply more comfortable to consume. For others, non-dairy might be a more sustainable option for their diet! Whether you're interested for health reasons or are just curious about the benefits of different alternative milks, we wanted to dig in to see what each type brought to the table!!! 🤓
 
Not all dairy-free alternatives will work for everyone, but there are plenty of options to choose from - you'll definitely be able to find one that works well for you! 😍
 

1. Coconut milk

coconut milk

If you like pina coladas...you might just love the tropical vibes that slightly-sweet coconut milk can give your everyday! 🌴 There are two basic kinds of coconut beverages: Thick cream, made of actual coconut flesh, and thinner, more drinkable milk. 

Why you want it: Coconut cream has TONS of healthy fats that are good for the heart! ♥️ This type of non-dairy milk is naturally low-carb, and is very sustainably farmed. We love coconut cream and milk because of its incredible texture, which can be used to thicken delicious soups and stews to your heart's content! 
 
How best to use it: Thickening curries, stews, and other hearty meals; sweet treats like coconut-based yogurt or nice cream; or, if you like the taste of coconut, drink it on its own for a naturally-sweet refreshing drink!!!
 

2. Cashew milk

cashew milk 

Cashew milk is made from whole cashews soaked in water - then blended very finely for a smooth nondairy beverage. 
 
Why you want it: Cashew milk is low-calorie, full of protein, and INCREDIBLY creamy!!! 😍 Cashews are often used in vegan recipes for cheesecakes and sour cream, so it's a good option when you're looking for something a lil more substantive than, say, almond milk. 
 
How best to use it: This is a good choice for any more involved dairy applications, like yogurt or decadent desserts. It's smooth, it's got a neutral taste, and it's JUST creamy enough to add something *extra* to your recipes. However, it's also good to drink by itself - you do you! 💁‍♀️
 

3. Almond milk

almond milk

Almond milk is usually a mixture of almonds, water, and maybe some vanilla or sweetener (but you can definitely find unsweetened or plain varieties). It's neutral, nutty, and a bit naturally sweet!  

Why you want it: This type of nondairy milk's easy to find, which makes it a winner in our book!! 🏆 It's also low-calorie, and a good source of vitamin D, E, and calcium. 
  
How best to use it: Almond milk isn't very fatty, so don't substitute it for coconut milk! 🙅‍♀️ Otherwise, almond milk plays nicely with most other recipes. (We love this cardamom quinoa porridge for breakfast, or this savory alfredo option for dinner!!) It's great for nondairy lattes and other coffee drinks!! (Our pick?? Make some dark chocolate almond milk!! Don't walk, run!!!)  
 

4. Soy milk

 soy milk

Here we are: Soy milk is *the* OG dairy-free alternative - it's been on the market for a very long time. It's made with soaked, ground, and filtered soybeans. 🥛💛

Why you want it: Antioxidants and high protein in soy milk make for a filling, healthy option!! It's also got more of a distinctive nutty taste, which can be SO delicious. ✌️
 
How best to use it: Soy milk is rich and creamy, so it can be a good choice for your savory recipes - including this FANTASTIC curry sauce that you could make and put on ANYTHING. It also teams very well for specialty drinks like cappuccinos!!! ☕️
 

5. Oat milk

oat milk

Oat milk is definitely the new kid on the block in the non-dairy world!! 😅 Its recipe is simple: Oats blended with water. Because of this, it's often very cost-effective to make at home, but is popping up in coffeehouses everywhere, too! 

Why you want it: This is a sustainable and fibrous option!! Most people don't get nearly enough fiber in their diet, so if you can drink your fiber, that's a good place to be! 🤩
 
How best to use it: It's got a very neutral taste and texture very similar to 2% dairy milk, so this is a familiar substitute for many. It's an easy one to pour into coffee, frothed or not, and it can be used in any recipe that doesn't specify a need for coconut cream. 
 
OMG that was a lot!!! If you're just in need of a quick pick, here are our faves for some real-life dairy needs...
 

Dairy-Free Milk Lightning Round: 

Craving some creaminess? Coconut cream is very thick, so it's a good choice if you're looking for texture. Cashew milk and oat milk are our faves for sipping because they're smooth and creamy!!!
 
Searching for sweetness? Coconut milk is naturally sweet, so that's a good way to go! Vanilla almond milk is also widely available, and is JUST *chef's kiss*!!
 
milk and cookies
 
Want a great option for baking? For baking, almond milk tends to be a good choice because it's so versatile. 
 
Wondering which to add to your morning latte? Soy milk and oat milk steam up splendidly, so if you're looking for that distinctive foamy top for your coffee or hot chocolate, they're both good picks! 😍
 
Feeling adventurous? We've covered the most common dairy-free alternatives, but there are sooooooo many out there (like, literally as many as there are plants, it seems!!). Try macadamia nut milk for TK, rice milk for a gluten-free drink, hemp milk for a calcium-infused cappuccino, or even pea milk for that protein!!!
 
And, as always, remember that if you aren't lactose-intolerant, regular cow or goat milk provide tons of benefits as well. Remember to do what works best for you!!! 💛 ✌️
 
Okay. After alllllll that research, we're feeling excited about our options!!! Are you feeling it, too?? Which one do you want to try first??


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