Considered as a diet staple for most people, cow’s milk is enjoyed in many different forms such as a beverage, and mixed with tea and coffee. Milk may be a popular and common choice for a lot of people but some individuals choose not to consume milk and other dairy products due to preference, intolerances, certain allergies, and restrictions on the diet. Luckily, there are now some options in terms of cow’s milk substitutes, especially of the non-dairy kind. In this article, we will look at the top 10 non-dairy milk substitute and their possible benefits to individuals.
Why People May Want Or Need A Milk Substitute
Milk coming from cows is extremely nutritious and contains a number of critical minerals and vitamins to help individuals reach optimal health. These include B vitamins, phosphorus, and calcium. To be more specific, one (1) cup of milk can give individuals 13 grams of carbs, 8 grams of protein, 8 grams of fat, and 146 calories. However, milk isn’t for everyone due to a number of different factors. These factors include:
Allergies to milk
Around 2 to 3% of children have allergic reactions to cow’s milk. This can lead to anaphylaxis, diarrhea, vomiting, and rashes.
Around 75% of people the world over are lactose intolerant. Lactose is the type of sugar contained in milk which can only be broken down by an enzyme called lactase, an enzyme people with lactose intolerance are deficient with.
Vegans choose to remove all forms of animal-based food products from their diets. This form of dieting obviously involves the removal of cow’s milk from the menu
Possible health risks
There are some individuals who are concerned with the possible risks associated with cow’s milk such as hormones, pesticides, and antibiotics.
Top 10 Non-Dairy Milk Substitute
Fortunately, those who are unable to consume milk or those who choose not to can choose from other non-dairy products that can substitute these milk products. Listed below are some of the bests non-dairy milk substitutes:
1. Soy Milk
As the name implies, soy milk comes soybeans or isolates from soy protein and contains some vegetable oils and other thickeners to improve its consistency. Soy milk commonly has a flavor that is creamy but the flavor can be different among various brands. Soy milk is ideally used to replace cow’s milk in different dishes or as an add on to cereals and even coffee. A cup of soy milk has around 90 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbs and 9 grams of protein. Soy milk is very similar to cow’s milk in terms of nutrition as it almost has the same number of proteins but only half of the carbs, fats, and calories of regular milk.
2. Almond Milk
Almond milk is either made from almond butter and water or whole almonds. This cow’s milk substitute has a flavor that is nutty and is slightly sweet. Similar to that of soy milk, almond milk can also be added to teas and coffees and can also be added to smoothies, baked food items, and other desserts. Almond milk has less fat and fewer calories compared to cows milk. This milk substitute is also a good source of vitamin E.
3. Coconut Milk
This milk substitute comes from coconuts specifically from brown coconut’s white flesh. This milk substitute has a creamy texture to it but it still contains hints of its coconut flavor. Coconut milk also has less fat, calories, protein, and carbs compared to regular cow’s milk. This means that coconut milk is the best or ideal option for those looking to reduce their overall intake of carbs.
4. Oat milk
Prepared by mixing water and oats, oat milk has amazing texture and taste among the milk substitutes. It has a mild but naturally sweet flavor and has increased levels of beta-glucan and fiber which can help individuals in lowering LDL or bad cholesterol also linked with heart or cardiovascular disease.
5. Rice Milk
Rice milk is made from water mixed with milled brown rice or white rice. Similar to other non-dairy milk substitutes, it utilizes thickeners to enhance its taste and texture. Rice Milk also has a consistency that can be described as watery and as such, is ideal to drink as it is or mixed in with smoothies.
6. Cashew Milk
This milk substitute is composed of water mixed with either cashew butter or actual cashew nuts. It has a nutty and sweet flavor and can have a texture that is creamy and rich. Cashew milk also does not have that much protein and as such, may not be the best option for those wishing to increase their protein intake.
7. Macadamia Milk
Macadamia milk currently in the market is mostly from Australia. This Cow milk substitute is creamier and smoother than other milk substitutes on this list. Macadamia Milk is low on calories making it ideal for people who wish to lessen their caloric intake.
8. Hemp Milk
Hemp milk is produced using hemp plant seeds also known as Cannabis sativa. This milk substitute has a thin and watery texture and is also low on calories and carbs.
9. Quinoa Milk
This milk substitute is made from water mixed with quinoa and is best utilized in cereals and porridges. Quinoa Milk is fairly new to the market making it more expensive than other milk substitutes.
10. Pea Milk
This milk substitute has significant proteins in it and may have a mild aftertaste. It also has oils added to it.