Non-Crappy Alternatives To Milk

So, let’s admit it, how many of you want to find dairy alternatives but hate the taste of soy?

When I first started trying to get animal products out of my diet, on my first attempt years ago, I thought soy was the only alternative to milk that there was. So all gung ho, I bought some soy milk, and started drinking it and putting it on my cereal very enthusiastically. Well that enthusiasm lasted maybe a week or more, before I just couldn’t handle it anymore. It was slightly bearable on my cereal than straight, but in the end…yuck.

I tried many times over the years to experiment with different brands, to no avail. I then discovered that the way soy is cultivated is not necessarily brilliant for the environment either, despite soy milk’s positive image. Fortunately, it was around this time that I found other alternatives such as rice milk, almond milk, cashew milk, and now oat milk.

So far, I have to say, that without a doubt, oat milk is my favourite. It tastes slightly like muesli or cereal, which therefore makes it the perfect milk to use at breakfast time, when a lot of people consume a lot of milk. You don’t have to go far to find the best tasting brands, as they will be down in your local supermarket. Also, because of its nice taste it’s pleasant to drink straight. My fiancé, who loves his meat and dairy products, even drinks it straight instead of dairy milk.

Rice milk is alright as well, and almond and cashew milks I enjoy as additives. (My favourite chocolate shop uses cashew milk instead of dairy milk in their hot chocolates as part of an old Egyptian family recipe – yum). Rice milk would be second place in terms of my favourite milk alternatives, but it’s really up to you in terms of what you prefer.

There is also the nutritional aspect to keep in mind as well. So here are a few pointers to help you make your mind up:

Oat milk:

–          Higher in fibre than most milks

–          Good serving of protein

–          Cholesterol free

–          Contains folic acid

–          Many brands say gluten free but some do contain gluten so beware

–          Higher in sugar and calories than most milks

Rice milk:

–          Higher in sugars and calories

–          No cholesterol

–          Gluten free

–          Low in fat

–          Non-allergenic

–          Low amounts of calcium and protein

–          Some contain added sugars, so look for the kind with no added sugar.

Almond milk:

–          Lower in sugar and calories than most milks

–          Contains the same healthy fats found in olive oil

–          Low in protein

–          Good source of magnesium

Cashew milk:

–          Low in fat

–          Contains magnesium

–          Good serving of copper

In my research I also heard about hemp milk, which is something I’d never encountered before. Apparently it contains very high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids but is not very high in protein. As I’ve never tasted this before, if anybody has tried it please let me know what it’s like.

There is also coconut milk, which is far more than just a curry ingredient, and non-cow animal milks, such as goat, sheep and buffalo. All non-cow milks are far better for the environment as the production of these milks has a smaller carbon footprint, but I do not personally have a lot of experience with these. I’ve heard goat milk tastes awful but again, if anybody is well acquainted with these milks feel free to comment.

So there are my recommendations. My hope is one day to be able to make my own almond and cashew milk so I’ll let you know how that goes when the day comes, too.

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