Got Plant-Based Milk? Plant-Based Milk Varieties You Should Try
Milk, a staple of the American diet for centuries, has recently joined the plant-based arena. Dairy-free milk alternatives are widely available in stores, giving you choices for smoothies, recipes or drinking straight from the glass. Non-dairy milks are great for vegans or those with a dairy allergy or sensitivity. With so many flavors – plus nutritional benefits – they’re worth trying no matter your eating style! Find these alternatives in the dairy section and shelf-stable boxes in the grocery aisle for easy travel and storage. Use our guide to learn more about popular non-dairy milks and tips for enjoying them in everyday meals.
With a creamy texture and nutty flavor, almond milk is high in vitamin E and fortified with other key nutrients. Unsweetened almond milk is typically lower in calories than traditional dairy milk. This alternative is great for cooking and baking, as well as in coffee or cereal. You can also blend it into dishes such as soups, mashed cauliflower, overnight oats or curries.
Coconut milk is made by grating the flesh of a coconut and soaking it in hot water. After skimming off the coconut cream that rises to the top, the liquid that remains – the coconut milk – is squeezed through a cheesecloth. Coconut milk is high in good fats and rich in B vitamins and minerals. Also available are lower fat “lite” varieties for recipes such as curries and soups. For coconut milk whipped cream, place a can of the full-fat version in the refrigerator, then whip the solidified cream at the top.
Thinner in consistency than most dairy-free milks, rice milk has a milder, sweeter flavor than most nut or seed milks. Most rice milks are fortified with calcium, as well as vitamins and minerals. It’s a good substitute in low-fat baking like in pancakes or muffins. However, it’s not creamy enough on its own for making most sauces.
Dairy-free and nut-free, oat milk is one of the creamiest alternative milks. Prized for its nutritional profile and creamy texture, oat milk can lower cholesterol levels and provide a boost of B vitamins. Try to use varieties without any added sweeteners for the most benefits. Use oat milk to thicken soups or stews, for vegan mac and cheese, mix into coffee, or drink it straight up.