Plant-based milk is one of the health trends here to stay, and we don’t mind. One may choose to avoid dairy for many reasons, including veganism, lactose intolerance, and much more. Plant-based milk is not only incredibly delicious, but they are also very healthy and way less fattening than dairy milk.
A lot of plant-based varieties exist on the market in many forms. You can buy them in stores or even make some at home! Some plant milk, like soy milk, is standard due to its popularity, but many others, like spelled milk, are barely known. Finding the perfect plant milk for your needs may be intimidating for someone entering the world of plant milk for the first time. To make the process easier, we have listed the 17 best plant-based milk varieties you need to try at least once. Read on to find the best one for you regarding texture, taste, price, and availability. You will also find some of the best plant-based milk brands
Best Plant-based milk varieties of 2023 and their benefits
Soy milk is the original plant milk. It is perhaps the most popular milk alternative, and for a good reason. Being made from soybeans, most brands fortify their products with vitamins and minerals to increase their nutritional value. It is rich and thick with a smooth mouthfeel. Its foam is much more airy and dense than other milk varieties, making for great coffee and lattes.
There are many soy milk varieties found in the market. Each one will have a different number of calories according to the manufacturing process. Some may be fortified with additional nutrients, while others may not. Your best shot is to check the label on the package of your soy milk variety. if you want a general idea, we have provided the most common nutritional information for organic and unsweetened soy milk
- Calories: 85
- Fat: 4 grams (g)
- Saturated fat: 0.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 3 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Sugars: 1 g (no added sugars)
- Protein: 7 g
Soy milk, therefore, has a lot of nutritional benefits in a small cup. It is much lesser in calories than cow’s milk and has much more protein. It also has some fiber for your digestive health.
Almond milk is another trendy drink in the United States. Nearly everyone has tried it at least once in their lives. Compared to whole almonds, it lacks the fiber associated with them and is watered down; Despite this, it is loaded with nutrients and is incredibly healthy. Almond milk is made by blending almonds with water and straining the mixture. It can also be caused by adding water to almond butter. Having a thick, creamy texture like cow’s milk., it is loved by most as a substitute and consumed either on its own or in latte and other beverages.
Despite being nutritious, almond milk does not compare to regular cow’s milk in terms of nutrition. However, the fortified varieties come quite close. Almond milk has very few calories compared to cow’s milk. However, it has less protein than cow’s milk while containing almost the same content of fat. Here is a quick overview of the nutritional facts of 1 cup of almond milk
- Calories: 40
- Protein: 1.05g
Almond milk has that cow milk doesn’t is Vitamin E. Vitamin e is an incredible antioxidant and prevents many more diseases. However, the body does not absorb some minerals found in almond milk as well as it does in other dairy milk varieties. This is because almond milk contains phytic acid, which is an antinutrient. It prevents the uptake of nutrients by the body. Since almond milk lacks nutrients compared to breast milk, it should not be used as a milk substitute for babies.
Coconut milk is one of my personal favorites! It is so rich and creamy and not watery at all, unlike most plant milk. It is thick, flavorful, and an opaque white liquid. The delicious fruity taste of coconut makes it one of the best-tasting plant milk. Do not confuse coconut milk with coconut water. Coconut milk is made using the flesh of a ripe brown coconut with water. Coconut water, on the other hand, is found naturally in green coconuts. Both are incredibly delicious, but coconut milk is far more nutritious than coconut water.
Coconut milk comes in both wide and thin varieties. Thick coconut milk is made from straining the coconut flesh from a cheesecloth. The meat left inside the strained cheesecloth is mixed with warm water and strained again to make thin coconut milk.
Thick coconut milk is much more nutritious than thin varieties. But it also contains a much higher fat content. Coconut milk is naturally high in soluble fat content, which makes it a very calorie-rich food. Canned coconut milk is usually very different from coconut milk drinks and has a much higher fat content. The nutritional content of raw, canned coconut milk is as follows.
- calories: 440
- protein: 4.57 g
- fat: 48.21 g
- carbohydrates: 6.35 g
On the other hand, coconut milk drinks have such a nutritional profile in general:
- calories: 74
- protein: 0.50 g
- fat: 4.99 g
- carbohydrates: 7.01 g
As you can see, much of the fat content is removed in processing, making the drink far less likely to cause weight gain and such. Coconut milk is also high in calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamin C. Many coconut milk varieties are also fortified with vitamin A, B-12, and D2, making them even healthier.
Oat milk has been skyrocketing in popularity for a few years. With its rich and creamy texture, oat milk is perfect for making lattes and other drinks. It also has a great froth! Oat milk also tastes similar to cow’s milk for anyone trying to make this switch. It does have an oat-y aftertaste to it. Compared to other plant milk. Oat milk is on the sweeter side and hence, will be great for those with a sweet tooth.
Oat milk is very nutritious compared to most other plant varieties like coconut, cashew, etc. It does not correspond to the value of soy and cow’s milk but is still a great source of some nutrients. One cup of oat milk has roughly the following nutritional information:
- calories: 130
- carbohydrates: 15g
- fat: 2.5g
- Saturated fat: 0g
- fiber: 2g
- protein: 4g
Oat milk is higher in caloric content compared to other plant milk varieties. It also has a much higher carbohydrate content and a low-fat content with no saturated fats. Therefore, it is not keto-friendly and should not be consumed by people with diabetes because it will cause a spike in their blood sugar levels. Oat milk also boasts a calcium and vitamin D content that fulfills 35% and 25% of your daily need, respectively, through a single cup.
Hemp milk is considerably newer in the plant milk industry, but it has quickly gained popularity due to its rich, creamy texture. Most plant-based milk may feel watery and grainy. This has a nutty flavor that is not bland in the least. It is naturally flavorful and slightly sweet, unlike other varieties like rice or oat milk. Due to its creamy nature, hemp milk is excellent for making lattes, cappuccinos, and other milk beverages. It won’t split and separate its solid from the liquid when left waiting or added to hot drinks.
Hemp milk is incredibly nutritious. It is lower in calories, fat, and carbohydrates than cow’s milk, making it a good choice for many. Although it is less in caloric content than cow’s milk, it may be more than other plant-based milk types. Let us look at the general nutritional information of hemp milk per cup:
- Calories: 130
- Protein: 4 grams
- Fat: 3 grams
- Carbohydrates: 20 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Sugar: 15 grams
Compared to other nondairy milk, hemp milk has all the essential amino acids, which provides a well-rounded protein source. Moreover, all of the fat in hemp milk is unsaturated and very healthy. These are omega 3 and 6 fats produced by the body but are needed for biological processes. Hemp milk is also a great source of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, D, B12, Iron, Phosphorus, Calcium, and Zinc, although many of these are added by manufacturers themselves.
Hazelnut milk is perhaps a milk alternative that is not only delicious but also very creamy. It is made by roasting hazelnuts, soaking, blending, and straining them. This mixture is then watered down. Hazelnut milk is nutty and flavorful, and for anyone who likes hazelnuts, it will be a treat. Its flavor is more apparent as an aftertaste and therefore is barely detectable in coffees or lattes.
Hazelnut milk is very nutritious. Being very low in carbohydrates when left unsweetened, it is great for people following a keto diet or diabetics. Although the exact nutritional information will depend on the product, here is a quick overview of the nutritional information of hazelnut milk:
- Calories: 70-100
- Fat: 4-8g
- Protein: 3g
- Carbohydrates: 1g
Macadamia milk is one of the thicker and more flavorful milk varieties. It is creamy and smooth and is, therefore, closer to cow’s milk It is made from macadamia nuts that are soaked, blended, and then strained to obtain the milk. It is also sweet enough in terms of taste even without the added sugars and additives, so you can try drinking it as is. Owing to its creamy nature, it is excellent for all milk-based beverages, including coffee, lattes, cappuccinos, and smoothies.
- Calories: 50-70 cal
- Fat: 4-5 g
- Protein: 1g
- Carbohydrates: 1g
It has a higher fat content than most other plant-based milk varieties. This is what gives it its creamy texture. It is shallow in carbohydrates which makes it very suitable for a keto diet. It is also rich in vitamin b-12 and D and iron, zinc, and magnesium.
Tiger Nut Milk
Contrary to what the name suggests, tiger nut milk is made from a vegetable called tiger nut, which is not a nut. The vegetable is soaked and then blended and strained. It forms rich, creamy milk that is slightly sweet and has a mild nutty aftertaste. It is the closest in taste to almond milk, in our opinion.
- Calories: 130
- Carbohydrates: 24g
- Fat: 2.5g
- Protein: 1.4g
Tiger nut milk is also rich in iron, manganese, potassium, and vitamin E to support a healthy body.
Non-dairy Milk that You Can Buy Online:
Here are a few non-dairy milk products that you can find online.
Pacific Barista Series Original Soy Beverage (32oz)
We already mentioned above that soy milk is possibly the most popular alternative to dairy milk because of its smooth, thick, and airy texture. Its foam is perfect for making lattes and coffees. If you are looking for good quality soy beverage to buy online then look no more because the Pacific Barista Series Soy Beverage has everything you need.
It has been specifically designed to withstand high temperatures. It creates the perfect velvety microfoam and it works even better than dairy for latte art. If we talk about its price, that is fairly reasonable as well considering the quality and quantity. You get 32 oz of a high-quality soy beverage for such a low price so it is a great buy in our opinion.
If we talk about its ingredients, it has an organic soy base. By organic base, we mean water and whole organic soybeans. Moreover, it contains dried cane syrup, dipotassium phosphate, expeller-pressed canola oil, sodium citrate, natural flavor, sea salt, and carrageenan. If we talk about its nutrient composition, it contains 80 calories.
The average soy milk contains about 85 calories so it is a fairly good composition. It contains 3 grams of fat, 0mg cholesterol, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 9g of carbohydrate, 1g of dietary fat, and 6g of sugars, 5g of protein, 230mg of sodium, 2% calcium, and 4% iron.
Pacific Barista Series Original Coconut Beverage (32oz)
If you are not a fan of soy milk, here is another product by Pacific Barista that you can try out. This is coconut milk and it comes with all the goodness of coconut milk but since it is canned, it has lesser fat and calories. If you are one of those people who like the waterless texture of coconut milk but are trying to cut out calories, the pacific barista series coconut beverage is your best buy.
Its contents have been carefully put together to complement the taste of your coffee or espresso. You can also use this coconut milk for latte art because of its smooth microfoam texture.
If we talk about its ingredients, it contains water, coconut cream (coconut milk, water, xanthan gum), Natural cane sugar, natural flavors, tripotassium citrate, sodium citrate, sea salt, carrageenan, gellan gum. The xantham gum is quite an interesting ingredient as it thickens the beverage. It also keeps the ingredients together and prevents them from separating.
The price of the Pacific Barista Series Coconut Beverage is also more or less the same as the Pacific Barista Series Original Soy Beverage. The package size is the same as well which is 32 oz. So, if you are not a fan of soy milk, you can always opt for the Coconut one and find your favorite taste.
Pacific Organic Almond Original Non-Dairy Beverage (32oz)
If you are a fan of almonds, you are in for a treat. Pacific Organic Almond Original Non-Dairy Beverage is the most demanded product in the market all thanks to its healthy ingredients and fulfilling nutrients. One may think there is no alternative to milk which is better than milk itself but do not worry we have found the one for you. Pacific organic almond original non-dairy beverage is a treat in itself. The mouth-watering blend of coconut cream with sugar cane extractions is all you need in your morning coffee and as your daily dose of absolute satisfaction of joy.
This 32 oz packaging has a lot more than what other companies may offer. It will fulfill your daily need for dairy. If we further explore the yummy ingredients of this Pacific Organic Almond Original Non-Dairy Beverage we will find nothing but organic, natural, and healthy products that do not have any side effects.
The ingredients include a good and appropriate amount of Coconut cream which is made out of coconut milk and diluted Xanthan gum. Other than coconut cream it also has Natural sugar cane syrup which provides the natural and organic flavors of the sugar cane, Tripotassium Citrate, Sodium Citrate, and Sea Salt are the important and harmless chemicals that are added in the Pacific Organic Almond Original Non-Dairy Beverage for preservation and protection purposes.
Lastly, the product contains Carrageenan and Gellan Gum which are best known to provide the thick consistency and beautiful frothing of the milk. This beverage can be enjoyed with coffee, tea and it can be taken as a beverage itself. Once you start taking this beverage there is no coming back to dairy.