GOT MILK? ME NEITHER. 4 MILK ALTERNATIVES YOU HAVE TO TRY
For being your average morning beverage, milk has quiet the controversy behind it. Maybe you are avoiding milk for animal cruelty purposes, maybe because dairy messes with your gut health, or maybe you have a loved one who avoids it and you just want to learn more to support! Whatever your reason may be, you’ve stumbled upon the right article to find 4 milk alternatives that you won’t even realize isn’t milk. These are my go-to’s when I’m cooking, baking, drinking cereal, or in my morning cup-o-joe.
Almond milk is one of the more popular dairy free milk alternatives on the market. You can usually find many brands across the shelves of your local grocery store - it doesn’t have to be in the refrigerated section! While almonds are usually high in fiber and protein, the almond milk looses some of those nutrients during the milk process - aka if this is your favorite milk alternative, you should start planning on making up those nutrients somewhere else in your diet.
The milk process is relatively simple and can be done at home if you’re looking for a fun project! First, you blend almonds with water and then strain the water into a jar using a cheesecloth to get all of the solid particles out. Voila! You have almond milk.
Most brands add sugars to give it a dairy-like flavor and mask the nutty taste. These added sugars are not always clearly visible on the front label so look at the ingredients on the back of the box to make sure your milk doesn’t have tons of added sugars.
Keep in mind that the health benefits we all know and love about our beloved almonds are not always found in the almond milk we buy at the store. Most companies use skinless almonds which can take away a lot of the nutrients we love - like fiber and protein.
Almond milk is not my favorite milk alternative to drink by itself. I use my almond milk for baking and cooking purposes but I rarely drink it as a drink alone - I don’t enjoy the nutty vibes and the watery texture. In my opinion if you’re looking for a milk alternative to cook with and you don’t need much flavor then this is your best choice! But if you’re looking for a daily morning drink or a thick consistency then read on.
Cashew milk on the other hand is a bit - in my opinion - creamier than almond milk! Made in nearly the same way as almond milk, cashew milk is a combination of cashews and water blended up and strained into a jar. One difference between the two milks is that the cashews don’t loose as much nutrients through out the milking process.
Cashew milk has been linked to health benefits like promoting eye health, heart health, and increased control of blood sugar levels. You should still be aware of the nutrition label at the grocery stores though, as there are two types of cashew milks: sweetened and unsweetened.
I use cashew milk in my dairy free cheeses. From sauces to cheese recipes, cashew milk gives a creamy consistency and taste where I feel like its the closes thing to dairy cheese that i’ve got!
Oat milk is my personal favorite when it comes to my morning drinks. I use oat milk daily in things like my lattes. The consistency is thick and I can’t taste any oat-y flavors.
Oat milk is made similarly to both almond and cashew milk - blended oats and water strained with a cheesecloth. One of the differences between these milks are the fact that oat milk can be a good alternative for those who have allergies to nuts or gluten - make sure y
ou read the label! There are alot of oat milk brands that are classified as gluten-free so don’t worry!
Oat milk has more fiber, protein, and carbohydrates than the other dairy free milk alternatives. I like this aspect of oat milk because I feel like I am getting more nutrients and energy throughout my day. Oat milk is clearly my favorite choice for morning and daily drinks but when it comes to baking, there’s another milk alternative that I love to use.
Without a doubt, coconut milk has a coconut-y taste to it. I use coconut milk a lot in my baking and while the taste doesn’t always bother me, my sister - who despises coconuts with a passion - will always point out that it tastes like coconut.
Coconut milk is made again in the same way as the others - shredded coconut flesh blended with water and strained to create the milky texture. It’s also important to note that there is such a thing as coconut cream - I use this for baking and homemade ice creams. To make a thick coconut cream it’s created the same way as above but instead of straining out the coconut flesh, the mixture is blended consistently until it provides a thicker creamy texture.
Coconut milk is full of nutrients like copper and manganese which in small amounts can provide benefits in your health - like your heart health!
For me, I use coconut milk when baking and creating homemade ice cream recipes. I love the thick coconut cream constancy and I have yet to find any other milk alternative that offers this - with baking the thick consistency can often times be important!
Blends of any of these
These are the 4 milk alternatives that I use - and have fallen in love with - in my diet for all of these different reasons. Another thing to note is that there are many different types of blends of each of these milk alternatives together - cashew coconut milk blend, cashew oat milk blend, etc… So if you find that you like two different milk alternatives and you can’t decide which is your favorite, try them both!
Don’t forget to let me know which milk alternatives you use in your diet below!