We have previously discussed the difference between lactose-free and dairy-free on our last blog. Choosing non-dairy milk is a good choice if you are lactose intolerant and you can still get the nutrition you need. Whether you're dairy-free for allergy, health, or just a personal preference, we've put together a list of our top non-dairy milk choices for those looking to transition from dairy.
1) Almond milk: The good transition milk
Back in the day, there were not many choices when it comes to plant-based milk substitutes other than soy milk. This has changed now though, with so many options to choose from lining up the entire shelves at local supermarkets. While any kind of plant-based milk achieves the goal of eliminating dairy, these dairy substitutes still have varying distinctions from one another. According to Medical News Today, a cup of almond milk roughly has 1 g of protein, 2.5 g of fat, and 39 calories. Besides being a popular milk alternative for its delicious taste, affordability, and easy-to-produce quality, experts recommend it as a good choice for those who are initially transitioning from dairy as it does not have a strong taste unlike other kinds of plant-based milk. If you are looking for something specific, try Malk Unsweetened Pure Almond Milk. Cold-pressed and made only from three simple ingredients of organic sprouted almonds, filtered water, and Himalayan salt. With nothing artificial, each cup has 5 g of protein more than other brands, and you are guaranteed of its smooth and deliciously creamy taste.
2) The creamy texture of coconut milk
Those wanting the same creamy texture of cow’s milk or skim milk can opt for coconut milk. Coconut milk is great whether in your coffee or mixed with cocoa powder for luscious hot cocoa. It contains less than 1 g of protein, 5 g of fat, and 74 calories. While some people may shy away from coconut milk due to its strong coconut flavor, others may find it a welcome addition to their favorite meals and beverages. When used for cereals, oats, or any dish, Califia Farms Go Coconuts Coconut Milk is different for its refreshingly light flavor that is just the perfect match to your recipes or breakfast oats and cereals.
3) Soy milk: One of the first plant-based milk substitutes
Most brands of soy milk contain 7 g of protein, 4 g of fat, and 80 calories making soy milk your best bet when it comes to protein—nearly the same as that of whole milk. With sweetened and unsweetened varieties, it is even recommended for those aiming to reduce calorie intake. Using only filtered water, non-GMO, organic, and whole soybeans, try Westsoy Organic Unsweetened Soymilk Plain that is even more enriched with the nutrients of calcium, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin A.
4) Oat milk: Great for lowering cholesterol
Made from oats, one of the most nutritious foods providing carbohydrates, unsaturated fats, fiber, and protein, oat milk is another excellent non-dairy milk alternative. It is also a great source of more antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins B and E, iron, and calcium. Known for their many oat-based products, try Oatly Original Oat Drink that is made from certified gluten-free oats and enriched with vitamins B12, A, and D and with only 1.5 % of fat content. It is also rich in soluble oat fibers which can help reduce raised cholesterol levels and support better digestion.
5) Rich and decadent cashew milk
A great low-calorie milk option and with low carbohydrate and sugar content, cashew milk is the most suitable choice for those with diabetes or trying to cut daily calorie intake. With its creamy texture and sweet, slightly nutty flavor, it also works great when added to desserts, coffee, or smoothies. Try cashew milk with Elmhurst Unsweetened Milked Cashew that comes with 5 times more nuts per serving than others while only being made from two simple ingredients of just nuts and water. Made through the HydroRelease method, all components of the nut are utilized during production for that superior creaminess, nutrition, and flavor.
6) Simple goodness in banana milk
Made with organic bananas, sunflower seeds, and cinnamon, banana milk is another milk substitute that is worth trying. With the wonderful blending of cinnamon taste, thickness, and pure sweetness, banana milk is great added with cereal, smoothie, oats, protein shakes, or chia seed pudding for that perfect banana goodness. For those allergic to nuts, try it with Mooala Organic Original Banana Milk that is Whole30 friendly and with only 60 calories, no added sugar, gluten-free, and a good source of calcium and potassium.
7) Hemp milk: High protein option with extra benefits
Known for its slightly nutty taste, hemp milk is another allergen-friendly milk alternative but comes with a higher protein, fewer carbohydrates, half calories, and the added benefits of two essential fatty acids—Omega-3 and Omega-6. For those looking to add more protein or cut carb intake, try hemp milk with Pacific Foods Hemp Original Unsweetened Milk with each cup containing 3 g of complete protein, 0-1 g of carbohydrates, 4.5 – 8 g of fat, and 60-80 calories.
8) Protein milk blend: With higher protein than cow’s milk
Need an extra push for crunch time at work, then you need this perfect protein milk blend of Silk Unsweet Protein Milk. Made from the combination of pea protein, almond milk, and cashew milk, this delicious milk blend is your perfect partner for busy days giving you that much-needed power to amp up your performance all day long. Besides its lusciously creamy taste that is sure to satisfy your taste buds, this protein blend is also powered up with 10 g of protein per serving—toppling the 8 g of protein from cow’s milk and answering the low protein issue when it comes to non-dairy milk substitutes. Other alternatives worth considering also include tiger nut milk, flax milk, macadamia milk, and quinoa milk. When choosing, it is also helpful to be guided by these important considerations such as added sugar, additives, vitamin B12, calcium content, and dietary needs.
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