For years various vegan milk options such as almond milk, soy milk, cashew milk have been available in the market. However, recently, plant-based milk has again made a super entry in the nutrition industry. Fitness enthusiasts and lifestyle and nutrition bloggers have been raving on the internet about plant-based milk. Therefore, due to the growing popularity and trend, people are shifting from conventional dairy options to plant-based milk dynamically. Plant milk or vegan milk is nothing but alternatives to dairy milk that are prepared through suspensions of plant-based sources and extracts in watery forms. That is why you can now easily find milk alternatives that are extracts of seeds, grains, nuts, or legumes.
While the milk nutrition facts may enchant you, people switch to plant-based milk because of various reasons. It can be the cruelty-free aspect of vegan milk or because they are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy milk. Many people also believe that plant-based milk is more nutritious than dairy-based milk. However, the basis of selection of the type and variety of plant-based milk may differ depending on the manufacturing process that varies in plant-based milk as per the raw materials used. Though the reasons for consumption may vary from person to person, the way of consumption is similar. With this said, let us now explore the various plant-based milk alternatives available for consumption.
Table of Contents
- The Top Plant-Based Milk Alternatives
- 1. Soy Milk- The Classic Plant-Based Milk
- 2. Oat Milk- An Excellent Plant-Based Milk to Prepare Teas and Lattes!
- 3. Almond Milk- A Nutrient-Dense Plant-Based Milk
- 4. Flaxseed Milk- Suitable For People With Dairy or Nut Allergies
- 5. Coconut Milk- Ideal Plant-Based Milk For Cooking
- 6. Cashew Milk- Plant-Based Milk Suitable For Beverages
- 7. Hemp Milk- A Healthy Plant-Based Milk
- 8. Macadamia Nut Milk- The Plant-Based Milk That Fits The Dieting Routine
- 9. Rice Milk- Suitable For Allergy-Prone People
- 10. Hazelnut Milk- Exquisitely flavored Plant-Based Milk
The Top Plant-Based Milk Alternatives
All the plant-based milk categories hold a wide array of nutritional benefits. In addition, these options have made nutrition reachable for people who lack proper nutrition due to their specific dietary needs. On top of it, they are considered safer as they are vegan, lactose-free, and allergen-free. Moreover, plant-based milk can help reduce belly fat and assist you in achieving a toned body. Impressed already? Try any of the below given plant-based milk alternatives to ditch dairy and widen your nutrition base!
1. Soy Milk- The Classic Plant-Based Milk
Soy milk is by far the most common plant-based milk. This alternative to dairy milk belongs to the legume-based category. Surprisingly, soy milk is the only plant-based milk that naturally contains the equivalent protein present in cow’s milk. Although many manufacturers now fortify soy milk with additional calcium and other vitamins, such as vitamin D, A, B12, and B2, nutrition experts still believe that soy milk is nutritionally an adequate alternative to cow’s milk. Not only this, soy milk has almost the same properties as cow’s milk when consumed as an alternative while cooking, baking, etc. Also, as soy milk has taken over the vegan milk market, there are multiple delicious flavors available in it, such as vanilla, chocolate, or banana.
2. Oat Milk- An Excellent Plant-Based Milk to Prepare Teas and Lattes!
Oat is an energy-giving food, a classic vegan protein source, and a popular healthy breakfast. Oat milk falls in the sweet options for plant-based milk. It contains a thin consistency that is identical to low-fat milk. In addition, oats have a high dietary fiber content with a decent amount of phytochemicals, and antioxidants, making them a promising healthy food. Studies even show that adding oats to the diet can calm gastrointestinal problems and have some cholesterol-lowering properties as they supply natural potassium and boast beta-glucan. With these ample health benefits and additional fortified nutrients, oat milk is also excellent plant-based milk that is sweet and creamy enough to prepare the perfect cup of tea or latte! It also serves as a great base for smoothies and, of course, cereals.
3. Almond Milk- A Nutrient-Dense Plant-Based Milk
Almond milk contains a mild but delicious nutty flavor naturally. It also finds a reputable place among home remedies for acidity. This plant-based milk is ideal for morning cereals as it is fulfilling and highly nutritious. Nutritionally, almond milk is quite remarkable in comparison to soy or dairy milk. It has less complex protein and fewer calories. Even the fat content in almond milk is unsaturated fat, which you should prefer from a health perspective. However, most manufactured almond milk options sold in the name of plant-based milk are strongly diluted with water, making them comparatively low in calories and much lower in nutrients than the unprocessed almonds. However, homemade almond milk can be a rich source of plant-based milk, truly high in calcium as almonds are.
4. Flaxseed Milk- Suitable For People With Dairy or Nut Allergies
Flaxseed milk is a growingly dapper plant-based milk! Like the flaxseeds benefits for glowing skin and beautiful hair are getting popular, the nutritional benefits of flaxseed milk are also catching the pace. Although this plant-based milk is nut-free, it has a rusty nutty flavor. Moreover, the nutritional reputation of flaxseeds is decent as it is a natural source of protein and fiber. Therefore, many people consider how to eat flaxseed for weight loss for its rich digestive properties. Although naturally unsweetened, many manufactures tend to add some sugar to flaxseed milk. So, the calorie content of the plant-based milk may vary depending on the sugar content in the flaxseed milk. Typically, flaxseeds milk is fortified and contains additional nutrients such as calcium, vitamin A, D, B12, etc.
5. Coconut Milk- Ideal Plant-Based Milk For Cooking
Coconut milk is now easily available in cans or tetra packs for cooking. The plant-based milk is ideal for cooking and baking, adding to the food a delicious aroma. Coconut milk adds taste and flavor to various recipes, from vegetable soups, curries, smoothies, chia seed pudding, and even ice cream. The thin or skimmed coconut milk is suitable for drinking and also great for beverages and cereals.
6. Cashew Milk- Plant-Based Milk Suitable For Beverages
Cashew milk has a somewhat nutty taste and is suitable for cooking and baking purposes. This plant-based milk option is suitable for people with high cholesterol issues as it only contains mostly unsaturated fats. In addition to this, it contains only 2 grams of carbs per cup. The rich, thick texture of cashew milk makes it suitable for beverages such as lattes and teas.
7. Hemp Milk- A Healthy Plant-Based Milk
Be it flaxseeds, sesame seeds, or hemp seeds; even these tiny foods have a lot to offer from a nutritional point of view. As the name suggests, hemp milk is prepared from the seeds of the hemp plant. This plant-based milk contains low carbohydrates and high fats– most of which are unsaturated fats. Therefore it will not promote weight gain. In addition, only one glass of hemp milk can offer 50% of the daily recommended value of alpha-linolenic acid. What’s more? Hemp milk is that type of plant-based milk that contains an excellent quantity of omega 3 fatty acids. Due to its slightly nutty taste, hemp milk is suitable for cooking and baking purposes and goes well with cereals.
8. Macadamia Nut Milk- The Plant-Based Milk That Fits The Dieting Routine
Macadamia milk landed in the lives of vegans much more recently than the other nut-based milk. This vegan milk is popular and easily accessible these days. Although it is low in calories, the only downside is that it is also very low in nutrients like protein and carbohydrates. On the brighter side, it tastes pleasant without any additives and is particularly suitable for desserts.
9. Rice Milk- Suitable For Allergy-Prone People
Rice is a staple Indian food, and even the rare rice varieties such as bamboo rice offer plenty of nutrients. However, from a health and fitness perspective, rice milk offers no striking benefits over other plant-based milk. But, you should also know that rice milk is the most hypoallergenic milk available and therefore becomes particularly suitable for people with allergies and intolerances. In addition, rice milk is relatively high in carbs but low in protein, fats, and other nutrients. Although like other plant-based milk, it can also be fortified. When it undergoes processing, much of the carbs turn into sugar and add a typical sweet taste to the milk; therefore, most manufacturers do not add any extra sugar.
10. Hazelnut Milk- Exquisitely flavored Plant-Based Milk
Hazelnut milk has a distinctive nutty flavor, making it an excellent choice for coffee, hot chocolate, desserts, and baked goods or adding to coffee. Hazelnut milk contains monosaturated fats, but most of its varieties are fortified with vital nutrients such as iron, potassium, and calcium.
The Bottom Line
Although plant-based milk has been consumed for years in various cultures, its popularity has skyrocketed over the past few years. People are now shifting towards plant-based milk instead of regular dairy milk for a variety of reasons. Whether it is for adding extra nutritional value, preaching veganism, lowering environmental impact, avoiding lactose or dairy milk allergens, or simply out of choice, plant-based milk is not available in many options. You just need to ensure if it complements and promotes your health condition and you are good to go! If you have already tried any of the plant-based milk, share your experience with us in the comments section below.