Cow’s milk is considered a staple in many people’s diets. It is consumed as a beverage, poured on cereal and added to smoothies, tea or coffee. While it is a popular choice for many, some people can’t or choose not to drink milk due to personal preferences, dietary restrictions, allergies or intolerances.
1. Soy Milk
Soy milk is made with either soybeans or soy protein isolate, and often contains thickeners and vegetable oils to improve taste and consistency. It typically has a mild and creamy flavor. However, the taste can vary between brands. It works best as a substitute for cow’s milk in savory dishes, with coffee or on top of cereal.
Soy milk is made from whole soybeans or soy protein isolate. It has a creamy, mild taste and is the most similar in nutrition to cow’s milk. Soy milk is often seen as controversial, though drinking soy milk in moderation is unlikely to cause harm.
2. Almond Milk
Almond milk is made with either whole almonds or almond butter and water. It has a light texture and a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. It can be added to coffee and tea, mixed in smoothies and used as a substitute for cow’s milk in desserts and baked goods.
Almond milk has a light, sweet, nutty flavor and is low in calories, fat and carbohydrates. On the downside, it is low in protein and contains phytic acid, a substance that limits the absorption of iron, zinc and calcium.
3. Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is made from water and the white flesh of brown coconuts. It is sold in cartons alongside milk and is a more diluted version of the type of coconut milk commonly used in Southeast Asian and Indian cuisines, which is usually sold in cans.
Coconut milk has a creamy, milk-like consistency and a sweet, coconut taste. It contains no protein, little to no carbohydrates and is high in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of saturated fat.
4. Oat Milk
In its simplest form, oat milk is made from a mixture of oats and water. Nevertheless, manufacturers often add extra ingredients such as gums, oils and salt to produce a desirable taste and texture.
Oat milk has a mild, sweet flavor. It is high in protein and fiber, but also high in calories and carbohydrates. Oat milk contains beta-glucan, which can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
5. Rice Milk
Rice milk is made from milled white or brown rice and water. As with other nondairy milks, it often contains thickeners to improve texture and taste. Rice milk is the least allergenic of the nondairy milks. This makes it a safe option for those with allergies or intolerances to dairy, gluten, soy or nuts.
Rice milk is the most hypoallergenic nondairy milk. It is low in fat and protein yet high in carbohydrates. Rice milk contains high levels of inorganic arsenic, which may cause some potential health problems in those who consume rice as a main food source.
6. Cashew Milk
Cashew milk is made from a mixture of cashew nuts or cashew butter and water. It is rich and creamy and has a sweet and subtle nutty flavor. It’s great for thickening smoothies, as a creamer in coffee and as a substitute for cow’s milk in desserts. As with most nut-based milks, the nut pulp is strained from the milk. This means the fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals from the whole cashew are lost.
Cashew milk has a rich and creamy taste and is low in calories, carbohydrates and sugar. On the downside, it contains very little protein, and may not be the best option for those with higher protein requirements.
These are 6 best tasting milk alternatives for your breakfast cereal.