Milk from cows isn’t the only, well, “milk” we find on store shelves now. Discover the benefits of all kinds of best-tasting milk alternative or substitutes, like the ones from nuts, seeds, and beans—and learn how they stack up with the original.
Here are the five best milk alternatives that you’ll surely love!
1. Almond Milk
It’s made from ground, skinned almonds filtered with water to remove solids. It’s one of the least-expensive and more popular options, and it has a slightly nutty flavor that’s great for cereals, shakes, protein-heavy muffins and some soups or creams.
It’s typically high in vitamin E, both from what’s naturally present in almonds as well as what’s added by manufacturers. With just 30 to 60 calories per cup of unsweetened or original, It’s free of saturated fat and appealing to those counting their calories, as it has a low energy intake (30-60 calories per cup for unsweetened or original).
2. Soy Milk
Soymilk was the first non-dairy milk to become mainstream, and still perhaps the most controversial. The procedure takes time by soaking, crushing and cooking the soybeans. Then they extract the liquid. Although it began being popular because it was the only milk alternative in the market, few people were a fan of the taste until recently, when new procedures have been able to remove a lot of the chalky or “bean” taste from it.
- Nobody beats soy milk at the protein game. A cup has about the same amount of protein as one of regular milk or 6 to 8 grams per cup, so it leaves you feeling fuller than other milk substitutes.
- Soy protein may not promote the building of muscle, but it can still help you meet the overall protein needs for a leaner body mass. It’s also an excellent source of potassium that is necessary for muscle function and keeping your blood pressure at bay.
3. Cashew Milk
Cashew milk is the top of the line for non-dairy beverages. It has the creamy texture just like your good ol’ friend cow milk.
This milk usually comes with several vitamins not in regular milk, like vitamin D, calcium, vitamin B-12, and zinc. This last one is important for testosterone production and other chemical reactions in humans.
4. Hemp Milk
Hemp milk is made by blending hemp seeds with water to produce a drink with a distinctive earthy-nutty flavor. If you think you’ve heard “hemp” before, that’s probably because it comes from the same plant as marijuana. But don’t worry, hemp won’t get you into trouble. None of the psychoactive ingredients in marijuana are found in hemp seeds, which is why it’s legal for sale even in states where marijuana isn’t.
- While the omega-3s are more potent in fatty fish like salmon, plant-based omega-3 fats improve your health. It also makes hemp milk a good option for vegans looking for non-meat sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
- It is also a dietary source of iron, which is absent in cow’s milk. Iron is required for delivering oxygen to muscles and brain cells and is necessary to keep your energy levels up and prevent brain fog.
5. Coconut Milk
Coconut Milk is a low-fat, and if you purchase one in a tetra pack, it has a richer taste than the canned counterpart. It’s also versatile! You can use it for other food like oatmeal, soups, smoothies and even pancakes.
It’s better to choose the beverage version you get from a cartoon presentation, as they usually have less fat and calories per gram than the canned version of coconut milk you might find in some places.
These are often found in the non-dairy milk section in natural food or vegan stores, but they aren’t as healthy as nuts, seeds, vegetables, or even good old-fashioned milk and other milk alternatives for toddlers.
Each milk substitute serves a unique function, but due to the overall lack of protein, we’re still willing to cry over real spilled milk and hire a professional house cleaning service to clean it up!