You don't need to be a vegan or have a lactose intolerance to enjoy milk substitutes made from plants, seeds and nuts.
Perhaps you are seeking a cholesterol-free alternative to cow's milk or want to a way to increase your consumption of omega 3 fatty acids. Plant-based milks offer these benefits and more, depending on which one you choose.
Coconut milk and almond milk are two of the most popular vegan milk options and both are great for drinking, baking and cooking. However, there are plenty more milk substitutes that are also nutritious and tasty.
Let's take a look at some popular alternatives to dairy milk:
Packed with protein and vitamin D, soy makes a great milk substitute. Sold both sweetened and unsweetened, soy milk comes in a variety of flavors including chocolate and vanilla. It is excellent in your morning cereal or to make soups, sauces and desserts. However, keep an eye out when adding it to tea as cold soy milk tends to curdle.
A favorite of many this vegan milk is great in smoothies, coffee, desserts and savory dishes (if purchased unsweetened). Almond milk is incredibly addictive thanks to its enticing nutty flavor. Here is an easy recipe for almond milk you can make at home with just three ingredients.
This luxurious milk made from toasted hazelnuts is rich in vitamin E so it contributes to a healthy hair, skin and nails. Its pleasant nutty flavor is a nice way to kick up a cup of coffee or tea, as well as cereal, custards or baked goods.
One of the healthiest milk substitutes you'll ever consume. Hemp milk is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids and contains all 10 essential amino acids, making it a protein powerhouse. Use it to make desserts or cook up delicious stews, casseroles and such.
Rice milk is delicate, low in calories and mildly sweet. This easily digestible milk is ideal for whipping up smoothies and making oatmeal. It is also a healthy addition to cereal and baked goods.
The beauty of this tropical milk is that it lends itself to both savory and sweet preparations. Coconut milk makes a killer curry, can substitute milk in any baking recipe, is great in smoothies and can even be turned into vegan whipped cream. Here is everything you need to know about cooking with coconut milk.
Here is a visual guide to help you choose the plant-based milk that is right for you (click on the image to enlarge).