Health Approach
Go Dairy-Free With These Plant-Based Milk Substitutes

Go Dairy-Free With These Plant-Based Milk Substitutes

For years, alternative dairy products, such as almonds, soy, and even cashew milk, have been readily available. But within overnight, the plant-based milk category has suddenly exploded and now offers more alternative milk than ever. While the many plant milks have a wide range of nutritional offerings, one thing is certain when you select one. Choose the one that cater to your preference and if you have a specific dietary need, for example if you have a nut allergy, you will see that some of the new milks will be a better choice than others.

What do all these milks have in common? They are all dairy-free, lactose-free and vegan, although you should check the label to see if they have been processed in a facility that also processes dairy if that worries you. So which milk should you try and how do you choose it? Below are top 8 plant-based alternatives to dairy milk that are making an impact now.


Oats are everywhere these days, so why not also in milk?

A cup of unsweetened oat milk in full fat from a brand, Oatly, contains 160 calories, 3 grams (g) of protein and 2 g of fiber. You can also try newer barista milk, which is designed to create a frothy effect and to combine with hot liquid without separating, and contains about the same amount of calories and fat. This is according to nutrient comparisons between Elmhurst (milked oats versus barista oats) and Oatly products (chilled oat milk versus barista version oat milk).If you watching your fat intake, choose low-fat garden milk from Oatly, which contains 90 calories and the same amount of protein and fiber per serving cup.

Oats provide natural nutrients such as potassium, which help promote healthy blood pressure levels and iron, which is important in preventing anemia – two benefits that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) notes. Still not convinced? In addition, oats boast beta-glucan, previous studies show.

Labels vary, so you may want to check your oatmeal package to see what’s inside, but some varieties may contain up to 6 percent of your daily value (DV) of iron, as is the case with oat milk from Pacific Foods Organic Oats Original. Many of these products, including Oatly’s unsweetened milk, are also enriched with nutrients such as calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

Example, a cup of Oatlys unsweetened oat milk offers:

  • 25 percent of DV for calcium
  • 20 percent of DV for vitamin A
  • 50 percent of DV for vitamin B12
  • 20 percent of DV for vitamin D

In Brief, if you follow a gluten-free diet, many adhere to oat milk – including those from Oatly and Elmhurst – making them safe for people who manage celiac disease or have a gluten sensitivity. Whichever variety that you choose, you can definitely add oat milk to hot drinks like coffee and tea.


No doubt you have seen hemp used everywhere these days, from CBD everything to hemp seeds and hemp seed butter. Add hemp milk to this list, which is typically made from hemp seeds and sometimes with extra ingredients like oats.

Nutritionally wise, a cup of hemp milk typically contains 130 to 140 calories, 3 to 4 g of protein, and 1 to 2 g of fiber according to data from Pacific Foods, Fresh Direct, and Elmhurst. , which all offer hemp milk. You would like to look at the nutrition declaration of a particular product, but as some of the milk is fortified and can contain up to 20% DV for potassium, 20% DV for calcium, 15% DV for magnesium, and 10% DV for iron and vitamin D. Hemp milk has other benefits as well. It contains a specific amino acid called arginine, as confirmed by previous research. It is also able to help relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure.

When it comes to cooking with hemp milk, it is naturally thick and creamy with a slightly nutty flavor. For this reason, it’s best to use it in savory dishes like casserole and slow-cooked meals rather than baking with it. Thanks to its creaminess, hemp milk is also a wonderful addition to lattes, cappuccinos and other coffee drinks, as well as smoothies.

  • Hazelnut Milk

You are definitely missing out if you have not tried hazelnut milk yet as it has a good nutty taste.

One cup of unsweetened hazelnut milk ranges from 30 to 90 calories, 1 to 2g of protein, and up to 1g of fiber, according to information from Elmhurst and Pacific Foods. Keep in mind that good quality hazelnut milk will contain a higher concentration of hazelnuts, which makes it higher in calories and fat, though the fat is mostly in the form of healthy monounsaturated fats. Hazelnut milk is generally not fortified and therefore contains small amounts of potassium, iron and calcium.

Try adding hazelnut milk to your favorite cupcake or pudding recipe. A good hazelnut milk has a creamy and rich taste that it can replace whole milk, making it suitable to use in desserts, smoothies and not forgetting in coffee.

  • Sesame Milk

Are you allergic to nuts and avoiding dairy products too? Well, sesame milk could be your new BFF! In terms of taste, sesame milk has a toasty and nutty taste, even though it is not categorized as a nut.

In addition to its sesame seed base, this milk can include ingredients such as pea protein, as is the case with Hope & Sesame Original Unsweetened Sesame Milk or as with Three Trees’ organic black sesame nut and seed milk, it may contain almonds (although this variety is not advisable for those allergic to nuts). One cup of Hope & Sesame unsweetened sesame milk contains 90 calories, 8g of protein and less than 1g of fiber. Sesame milk is typically minimally enriched. With Hope & Sesame milk, you get half the DV of vitamin D per Serving, as well as 10 percent of the DV for calcium.

Many sesame milks are made with white sesame seeds, but some come from black sesame seeds, such as with Three Trees milk and a black sesame milk from SesaMilk. It is a good option for a latte or as a base for a smoothie, overnight oats or breakfast cereal. It can also be used in baked goods recipes that require any other type of milk.

  • Banana Milk

Banana milk? Yes, it is a craze now! Banana milk isn’t made with nuts like other plant-based milks, so it might be a safe choice for people with allergies if the brand says it’s nut-free. Some banana milks, such as Mooala’s BananaMilk, are naturally sweetened with just fruits and spices like cinnamon. Other does contain a good amount of added sugar. It is best to read the content of the ingredients to determine if it fits your diet. This also means that the calorie content can vary greatly from 60 to 80 calories per serving cup.

Since there are other ingredients included ranging from sunflower butter to soybeans and oatmeal, the nutrient profiles also have a wide range. Therefore, 1 cup of enriched banana milk can provide up to 1g of protein, 1g of fiber, 15% DV for vitamin A, 60% DV for vitamin B12 and 20% DV for vitamin vitamin D. The best way to use banana milk is by substituting it cup per cup as needed for smoothies, cereals, pastries and coffees. Keep in mind that the milk tastes like banana. Some brands of banana milk are sweeter than others, so always be mindful of this when adding it to savory dishes.

  • Pistachio Milk

Previously sold primarily in pistachio paste form, to which water is added to make your own milk, pistachio milk is now available bottled and ready to drink.

Pistachio milk is normally a mixture of pistachios and other nuts. A popular pistachio milk, Three Threes, contains pistachios and almonds. This milk comes unsweetened and 1 cup contains 100 calories, 4g of protein and 2g of fiber. Another pistachio milk, from the brand Mandor, is made with pistachios, almonds and hazelnuts.

Pistachio milk is generally not fortified. But in the Three Trees product, for example, you get small amounts of potassium, calcium and iron, as well as help with the heart-healthy monounsaturated fats found in pistachios. According to the USDA, 1 ounce of unsalted pistachios produces 7.1 grams of monounsaturated fat.

This milk is a good choice for people with diabetes who avoid milk or follow the keto diet because you can find milk blends with few ingredients and no added sugar. It tastes delicious on its own, and you can also use pistachio milk in place of traditional milk in a quick muffin or bread recipe or mix it into a smoothie.

  • Flaxseed Milk

You have known about milk derive from nuts for quite a while, how about trying your hand at milk from seeds? Although this milk is nut-free, it does have a nutty flavor. Made from flaxseed, this is a good choice for people with a nut or dairy allergy. Some flaxseed milks are unsweetened, while others contain added sugar, hence calories for a cup may range from 70 to 120. Flaxseed is a natural source of protein and fiber per the USDA database. A tablespoon of whole flaxseeds will get you  2 g of protein and 3 g of fiber.

A popular brand of flaxseed milk, Good Karma, provides 8g of protein and no fiber, while another, Manitoba Flax offers 4g of protein and 3g of fiber. Flaxseed milk is typically fortified therefore a cup of Good Karma may give you, for example; 25% DV for calcium, 15% DV for vitamin A, 60% DV for vitamin B12 and 10% DV for vitamin D. Blend flaxseed milk into a smoothie or add it to your cup of coffee.

  • Macadamia Milk

Sweet enough with no added sugar needed, a cup of Milkadamia macadamia milk typically contains only 50 calories per serving cup with only 1g of protein and less than 1g of fiber. Only some varieties are fortified. The Milkadamia product, for example has 35% DV for calcium, 25% DV for vitamin A and 20% DV for vitamin D.

Macadamia nuts are a good source of monounsaturated fat and low in carbohydrates. This carbohydrate trait makes this milk a particularly good choice for people with diabetes who are avoiding dairy milk or are following a ketogenic diet. According to the USDA, one ounce of macadamia nuts contains 3.64 grams of carbs. It also contains magnesium and a good source of iron and zinc. Due to its creaminess, it is susceptible for many culinary uses. Macadamia milk is also a good substitute for coconut milk in recipes such as golden milk, curry sauce, and piña colada. It is also good to blend with frozen bananas or strawberries. There are many variations to experiment with and it all depends on your creativity and preference.

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