The World of Plant Milks – Dairy Alternatives for Everyone

There is a huge variety of different plant milks out there. They don’t just vary by ingredients, but also the taste varies from brand to brand. You can have two oat milks from two different brands and one of them tastes amazing and the other one just doesn’t taste good. You really have to try different brands to find the one that tastes best.

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New plant milks are showing up on the market all the time, as veganism is becoming a worldwide trend and a lot of people are willing to try dairy alternatives, maybe they all realized that dairy milk isn’t good for them.

Food intolerances are on the rise, maybe it’s our new highly bred animals and crops, or food intolerances have existed before, but remained undiagnosed.

In these days they make milk out of so many different grains, nuts and other seeds, it takes a while to try them all.

These are some of the plant milks that I have seen so far:

  • Almond – some brands add almond flavouring, which makes it taste like marzipan, check the ingredient list! Unsweetened almond milk is great for cooking and baking and you could also use it for hot chocolate.
  • Buckwheat – haven’t tried it, buckwheat is not related to wheat and should be gluten free.
  • Cashew – tried it once, it did taste nice drinking it pure, but it is a little where I live.
  • Coconut – there are the traditional canned ones with a lot of coconut content and now you can also find a light version as dairy milk alternative, it is very versatile and great for baking and cooking.
  • Hazelnut – haven’t tried it, it is a little expensive where I live.
  • Hemp – made from hemp seeds, haven’t tried it.
  • Lupin – haven’t tried it, be careful if you’re intolerant to soy.
  • Oat – there are so many of them, sugar quantity varies, some of them are gluten free,
  • Pea protein – I saw some in a conventional food store, not gonna try it (pea intolerance…, also peas are high in FODMAPs)
  • Rice – nut free, soy free and gluten free, it is rather sweet, I like to mix it with oat for an ‘unsweetened’ hot chocolate or with maca powder, for cereal I add a little bit of it to my unsweetened almond milk.
  • Soy – one of the first dairy milk alternatives, very versatile, be careful if intolerant to milk protein (not lactose).
  • Spelt – haven’t tried it, is closely related to wheat and contains gluten.
  • Tiger Nut – tried it once, but wasn’t a fan, tastes a little bit like rice milk, but with an earthy note.

Every one of these can taste better or worse, depending on the brand, sometimes I wonder why they keep producing horrible tasting products and who keeps buying them?!

A lot of plant milks are sweetened or sweet from fermentation, always check the sugar content to get one that suits you. But be aware some plant milks might taste sweeter than what is written on the label, I’m not sure why, maybe they wrote it wrong on the label. Full fat dairy milk has 4g of sugar per 100ml/g, I personally prefer my plant milks to not be sweeter than dairy milk, the only exception is rice milk, this one is always sweeter. Although I just found a zero sugar rice milk, could be an alternative to almond, if intolerant or allergic, but I think almond works best for cooking. In general, I think it’s better to not get used to overly sweet products, as this makes your cravings for sweet food grow stronger.

Non barista milks, can produce some foam, but non barista oat usually doesn’t produce a very good one, with almond and soy you can get a good foam. Rice never produces any foam and mixing it with other plant milks also might worsens the foam. Non barista milks might not taste good with coffee as they aren’t specially formulated, the coffee might taste bitter and unpleasant.

The barista versions are a must for tea and coffee, but as always you need to try a few to find a good one. My favourite is oat barista versions, check the ingredients some of them contain soy and only a few of them are gluten free. My favourite is oatly at the moment (not gluten free in Europe, gluten free in the US and Canada). Try glebe farm gf pure oaty, if you’re in the UK!

I need to try alpro barista for professional oat, which is gluten free, but only available online, not in the shops, I have high hopes, I’ve heard good things about it. Not to be confused with alpro oat barista, this one contains gluten, also the new version contains pea protein, it was not very good when I tried, the foam started to disappear before I could even add the coffee. Crossing my fingers that the one for professionals is gonna be amazing, I want to find an alternative for my non gluten free oatly. Oatly and alpro are not organic (organic but not gf here), I just can’t find an organic one that tastes great, just not worth it, this is my one exception, I’m 99% organic.

For all the chocolate fans out there, there are oat chocolate, soy chocolate and rice chocolate milks available!

I hope you find nice tasting plant milks that suits your dietary requirements, there is no one alternative for dairy milk, there is a whole bunch of them.

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