If you’re here from our Dairy, Good, Bad Ugly blog, then thank you taking an interest in the alternatives available.
One of the most effective ways to make a positive impact, on both your health and the environment is to simply use the power of the pound in your pocket and purchase what is best for you and this planet – this goes for dairy, meats, fast fashion and products from damaging companies.
But we’re here for the best alternative m*lks out there! Let’s do it!
There’s an abundance of alternative milks available to keep up with the demand for alternatives from the ever-growing Vegan community. Having been lactose intolerant for years, and more recently plant based/vegan, I have gone through my fair share of m*lks and I believe I have found the best.
So, what plants out there are available in milk form?
Dairy Alternative: Cashew Milk
Cashews are low in sugars, high in fibre and contain important nutrients like protein, manganese, copper and magnesium – all essential for bone health, energy levels and immunity. It’s a bit thicker than almond milk, but not as thick as soy and works in just about anything. You might struggle to froth it up for a cappuccino, but for all round use it’s my go-to!
My favourite brand is Plenish. Unlike more well-known brands that pump their products full of chemicals, i.e. Alpro, Arla and Cali Farm (liquid cardboard as my Aussie friend puts it – and spot on), Plenish keep it Non-Tox and simple. Often just 3 ingredients. No preservatives, no chemicals and no artificial sweeteners.
This one has had a buzz for years due to water shortages caused by Almond Estates in California, some individuals are steering clear to do their bit and try remove some of the demand.
Almonds are a great source of many vitamins and minerals including vitamin E and calcium. Almond milk can often be enriched to bring it closer to the nutritional value of cow milk, but again I prefer a stripped back and simple milk from Plenish.
The milk is light, and easy to drink. Perfect for smoothies, but not great for hot drinks – it tends to separate in the heat. A cold glass with a squeeze of honey on a hot day is very refreshing.
Rich in plant proteins, all of the essential amino acids the body needs, fibre, vitamins and minerals, it is a very popular choice and is a staple for many vegan diets stepping up in the place of cow milk.
The milk is definitely versatile and tastes great. However, the topic of soy is still one of the most controversial in food – many worry about the effects of soy on hormone levels in men and women (though scientific studies in general dispute this).
Digestive issues such as reducing the gut barrier lining and causing bloating and irritation are also a concern, this has happened to me before so I steer clear when I can. Personally, having the fragile gut of a newborn, I can’t handle anything like soy, grains or legumes, so it’s not for me. But, it does work well in hot drinks where a clean almond milk won’t.
Soy milks can be heavily processed, especially brands like Alpro – so it becomes your go to, shop smart and as natural as possible so you’re not swapping nutrients for chemical preservatives.
Like Almond and Cashew, Oat milk is very EASY to make at home. Better yet, you control exactly what goes in it.
The texture is thick and creamy, and it also works well in all drinks from smoothies to coffee.
Considerations: can cause bloating due to the gluten and should be avoided if you’re someone who suffered with a gluten intolerance. Sugars are created when the oats break down into water so it can be potent to a coeliac. Gluten free oats are on the market if you want to make your own gluten free oat milk at home.
Let’s Talk Brands
My personal favourite is Plenish (and I’m not paid to say that). They do a range of different milk options from Cashew, Almond, Coconut/Rice and Oat. What made them my favourite is the simplicity of their recipes, often including only 3 ingredients, sustainable packaging, and the taste and consistency of the milk.
Since I have started drinking Plenish a few years ago their range of their products expanded as well as the availability as you can now find it pretty much everywhere UK supermarkets or can stock up online which is what I do.
The m*lk, like I said tastes great and is a wonderful consistency – I use it most often for smoothies and recipes.
Again, to note, some of the thinner nut milks don’t fare well in hot drinks like teas and coffees, but I always use Oat milk for those.
Have a play around and let me know what you end up on! Enjoy!
Health and Happiness