15 Alternatives to dairy milk – Cynergie Style

15 Alternatives to dairy milk

Reposted with permission from CarleeBusby.com. Originally, "Dairy Milk Alternatives 101."

By Carlee Busby, M.S. Human Nutrition & Functional Medicine

Now is a better time than ever to try switching from dairy milk to non-dairy milk. There are so many different types of non-dairy milk (soy, coconut, almond, rice, oat, hemp, pea, macadamia, cashew, hazelnut, even tiger nut) and plenty of brands to choose from (including store brands)! Each one tastes a little different and some are better for baking, in your cereal, as a creamer, in your smoothie, or for drinking, so it’s worth trying different varieties to see which one you like! Who knows, you might even find a new non-dairy beverage that you like more than dairy milk. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Personally, I love oat milk in my lattes, coconut milk in my breakfast cereal, pea or soy milk in my smoothies for the extra protein boost, and almond milk when I’m looking for a low-calorie option. I’m always careful to buy the “unsweetened” versions for day-to-day use to avoid the added sugar and calories (if I do want some sweetness I add a little maple syrup on my own). I’m always trying new things, though, and still need to try this new tiger nut milk and the hazelnut chocolate milk looks deliciously reminiscent of Nutella!

To help inspire your journey into non-dairy milks I’ve put together a list of all the different types, why you might want to choose one over the other, and which brands to try. Which ones have you tried? Do you have a favorite? Any that you’re inspired to try next? Let me know!

SOY MILK OPTIONS

DREAM - http://www.dreamplantbased.com/product-category/beverage/

EdenSoy - https://www.edenfoods.com/store/edensoy.html

Pacific Foods - https://shop.pacificfoods.com/our-products/plant-based-beverages

Silk - https://silk.com/products

Trader Joe’s - https://www.traderjoes.com/dietary-lists/vegan

WestSoy - http://www.westsoymilk.com/products/

Wildwood - http://www.wildwoodfoods.com/products/dairy-alternatives

Soy milk is like the “original” non-dairy milk. Soy is actually a legume, not a nut, so it doesn’t fit into that “nut milk” category. Soy milk is generally much higher in protein (7-12 g/cup) than other nut milk, making it a good option if you’re trying to boost your protein intake. Taste-wise, it has a sort of distinct creamy flavor that I personally think goes well in granola and smoothies, but you should try it for yourself!  

ALMOND MILK

Almond Breeze - https://www.bluediamond.com/brand/almond-breeze

Califia Farms - https://www.califiafarms.com/collections/plant-milks

DREAM - http://www.dreamplantbased.com/product-category/beverage/

Elmhurst - https://elmhurst1925.com/shop.html

MALK  http://malkorganics.com/products/

Pacific Foods - https://shop.pacificfoods.com/our-products/plant-based-beverages

Rude Health - https://rudehealth.com/product-category/drinks/

So Delicious - http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/product_groups/dairy-free-beverages

Silk - https://silk.com/products

The New Barn - http://www.thenewbarn.com/products/

Three Trees - http://threetrees.com/shop/

Trader Joe’s - https://www.traderjoes.com/dietary-lists/vegan

The nut milk you’ve probably tried already is almond milk, one of the most popular non-dairy milk on the market right now. The way almond milk is produced means it’s one of the lowest calorie options (usually around 30-50 calories per cup, unsweetened). This also means it’s mostly water and not the creamiest. I’ve tried many different brands and have to say they vary significantly. Some have an almost watery consistency while others taste strongly of almond flavor, which personally I love to drink straight out of the bottle!

OAT MILK

Califia Farms - https://www.califiafarms.com/collections/plant-milks

Elmhurst - https://elmhurst1925.com/shop.html

Minor Figures - https://www.minorfigures.com/store/oat

Oatly - https://us.oatly.com/collections/all

Pacific Foods - https://shop.pacificfoods.com/our-products/plant-based-beverages

Rude Health - https://rudehealth.com/product-category/drinks/

Silk - https://silk.com/products

Tons of brands are rushing to market with their version of an oat milk these days. Probably because it is so creamy and love by baristas! I even heard the original oat brand, Quaker Oats, is coming out with an oat milk this year. I’ve only tried the Oatly brand so far myself, but guys, it is delicious! Demand has increased for their oat milk so quickly they completely ran out of stock and people have been buying wholesale boxes of this stuff from Canada to get their hands on it. Cult following? Obviously, since it’s oat-based I don’t use this in my oatmeal, but it’s really upped my matcha latte game. I just put some hot oat milk, matcha powder, and maple syrup in my blender and YUM matcha latte!

COCONUT MILK

Califia Farms - https://www.califiafarms.com/collections/plant-milks

DREAM - http://www.dreamplantbased.com/product-category/beverage/

Pacific Foods - https://shop.pacificfoods.com/our-products/plant-based-beverages

Rebel Kitchen - https://rebel-kitchen.com/products/mylk/

Rude Health - https://rudehealth.com/product-category/drinks/

So Delicious - http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/product_groups/dairy-free-beverages

Silk - https://silk.com/products

Trader Joe’s - https://www.traderjoes.com/dietary-lists/vegan

Another pretty popular nut milk in just about every grocery in the world… coconut milk. Here I’m talking about the boxed stuff, not the canned coconut milk, but honestly, both are good. If you’ve ever had a good coconut curry, you know how creamy this stuff is. Nutritionally, most of that cream is coming from coconut fat, so just beware if you’re on a low-saturated fat diet (1 cup has 3-44 g saturated fat, 15-20% DV). That said, it can be a great option if you’re following a low-carb diet. When you need a non-dairy milk with a little more fat and flavor than almond milk, this is your go-to. I use coconut milk in my overnight oats, which combines the grains and fruit well (sort of like a replacement for yogurt).

CASHEW MILK

Califia Farms - https://www.califiafarms.com/collections/plant-milks

DREAM - http://www.dreamplantbased.com/product-category/beverage/

Elmhurst - https://elmhurst1925.com/shop.html

Forager Project - https://www.foragerproject.com/cashewmilk

MALK  http://malkorganics.com/products/

Pacific Foods - https://shop.pacificfoods.com/our-products/plant-based-beverages

Rebel Kitchen - https://rebel-kitchen.com/products/mylk/

So Delicious - http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/product_groups/dairy-free-beverages

Silk - https://silk.com/products

Cashews are one of my favorite nuts to eat raw and I use them in the kitchen liberally. That’s partly because they’re such creamy nuts to start from. Secret: cashews are the most important ingredient in a non-dairy cheese sauce--they’re what make the cheese sauce so thick and creamy! So you can imagine how they make for a creamy nut milk. Forager Project is currently one of my favorite brands, but that might be because they’re also local here in San Francisco :) Try it!

RICE MILK

DREAM - http://www.dreamplantbased.com/product-category/beverage/

Pacific Foods - https://shop.pacificfoods.com/our-products/plant-based-beverages

Rebel Kitchen - https://rebel-kitchen.com/products/mylk/

Rude Health - https://rudehealth.com/product-category/drinks/

Trader Joe’s - https://www.traderjoes.com/dietary-lists/vegan

Rice milk is an option, too. It’s not my favorite because it tends to be a little more watery than other options and is high in carbohydrate. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to eat my rice over drinking it.

HAZELNUT MILK

Elmhurst - https://elmhurst1925.com/shop.html

Pacific Foods - https://shop.pacificfoods.com/our-products/plant-based-beverages

Rude Health - https://rudehealth.com/product-category/drinks/

I haven’t tried this stuff, but as far as a dessert goes I would be willing to try the chocolate hazelnut beverage by Pacific Foods or Rude Health. They say it tastes like Nutella… so I’m sold. But only as a treat--this stuff is also high in fat calories!

HEMP MILK

Pacific Foods - https://shop.pacificfoods.com/our-products/plant-based-beverages

Tempt - https://hudsonriverfoods.com/collections/tempt-hemp

PEA MILK

Ripple - https://www.ripplefoods.com/products/

This one deserves a shout-out for being the only pea protein milk on the market that I’m aware of! It’s an amazing high-protein option (similar to soy milk), but with none of the carbohydrate. Compared to dairy milk, there are fewer calories, none of the carbs or sugar, ⅙ of the saturated fat, and more calcium, vitamin D, and iron--wow, right?!? The only con I’ve found is that it’s more expensive than most of the other options. But hey, you get what you pay for, right?

MACADAMIA NUT MILK

Milkadamia - http://www.milkadamia.com/#products

PECAN NUT MILK

MALK  http://malkorganics.com/products/

WALNUT MILK

Elmhurst - https://elmhurst1925.com/shop.html

PEANUT MILK

Elmhurst - https://elmhurst1925.com/shop.html

FLAX SEED MILK

Good Karma Foods - https://goodkarmafoods.com/products/

I haven’t tried this one myself either, but for 8 grams of protein per cup, maybe I should! Flax seeds are a nutritional powerhouse, which you won’t benefit at all from by eating whole. So if you do eat flax seeds I recommend ground or in a beverage like this.

TIGER NUT MILK

Rude Health - https://rudehealth.com/product-category/drinks/

Can’t live without dairy creamer in your coffee or tea? Well you’re in luck because you can find tons of great creamers, half & half, and “barista blend” beverages now. In addition to the store brand versions, these brands sell some great options:

Almond Breeze

Califia Farms

Elmhurst

Milkadamia

Oatly

Ripple

Silk

So Delicious

Wildwood

Trader Joe’s - Soy creamer

So which are your favorites? Try some and let me know in the comments.

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