Milk: the alternatives

Non-Dairy-Milks

After my post last week on the health, animal cruelty and environmental issues with dairy I wanted to focus on what alternatives are out there! AND THERE ARE LOADS – Yay!

I’ve been vegan for nearly 2 years now and have tried quite a few different non-dairy milks in that time and some have definitely come through as my firm favourites.

My advice

  • Try different types e.g. soy, almond or other nut, hemp, oat, rice, coconut etc.
  • Try different brands…. Alpro almond milk tastes pretty different from Rude Health almond milk. Don’t buy one brand and assume if you don’t like it you won’t like any other brands of that type of milk.
  • Watch out for added ingredients, especially sugar
  • If you want a naturally sweeter taste those with rice in them are good as the rice has natural sugars in it.
  • Different milks will work for different things. Some might be great with cereal, others in tea or coffee. Find what works for you.
  • Note: some non-dairy milks separate when added to hot drinks. If you let the drink cool down a bit this helps. I have found Rice Dream does not separate at all.
  • Although calcium is necessary for human health there are many plant based sources – see my blog here. So looking out for milks with added calcium isn’t entirely necessary. Some also add vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

My favourites

rudehealth

ricedream

alprococonut

Rude Health. I love this brand. I love the packaging, the ingredients they use, their ethos in general. They probably have the shortest ingredient list of most non dairy milks. They also have other products such as cereal, porridge, crackers and flour. Their milks do not have added sugar but they taste AMAZING. They get their natural sweetness from rice. The oat one is the least sweet as they do not add rice to this. These work well in things like cereal, smoothies, porridge but also work in tea too. They have occasionally separated for me so try and let the drink cool down a little first. Almond, Oat and Brown Rice are easily available. Coconut and Hazelnut are a little harder to find.

Rice Dream. Tastes great and works really well in tea and other hot drinks. If you want a froth on a cappuccino the best milk to use is soya milk though. The froth depends on the protein content of the milk and soya has the highest protein content.

Alpro Coconut. I pretty much love anything coconut and the flavour of this is delicious. I even quite like it in tea. Again this is sweetened with rice so no added sugar! Great for smoothies.

Those are my favourites but like I said, shop around, try different brands and types until you find the ones that work for you. Some people even make their own non dairy milks but I have not tried this yet. There are plenty of recipes online showing how to do this.

In terms of any rumours about soya milk being unhealthy – this is a topic I am currently researching as there seems to be a lot of misinformation flying around. Once I have put together more information I will write a separate post regarding this. For now, I will drink it occasionally as a lot of cafes will offer it as their non-dairy milk. But I do not buy it at home as I just prefer the taste of other milks.

I now cannot even imagine the taste of cow’s milk – the thought in fact makes me feel quite sick. I think it’s great how many products are available. This just goes to show that the demand is growing and more and more people are turning to alternatives to dairy.

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