Most people choose to shift to plant-based milk as an ethical choice. Vegan milk is in fact a way better option for the planet as animal agriculture is one of the main drivers of climate change. Dairy milk also has a negative impact on animals and shifting to plant-based milk will reduce the unnecessary suffering of dairy cows. Also, it is a lot better to drink your coffee with vegan milk. However, there are a few other reasons why you should consider vegan milk as a valuable alternative.
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Reasons to choose vegan milk
- Fewer fats: A good reason to choose vegan milk is that it is lower in fats, with the only exception being coconut milk. Most plant-based milks have, in fact, 25-63% of cow milk fat. On top of this, this product also has fewer calories compared to its non-vegan alternatives and is perfect for people wanting to lose weight.
- Colesterol-free: Plant-based milk is also completely cholesterol-free. So, if you’re struggling with high cholesterol, this can be a great alternative.
- Plenty of choices: In most Western countries, the only type of milk available is cow’s milk. Sometimes, you can also find donkey, goat, and in some places, even camel milk! But these tend to be very expensive and hard to find. On the other hand, vegan milk comes in a wide variety of flavors which can easily be bought in most supermarkets.
- Easy to digest: Unlike common milk, vegan milk is extremely easy to digest and is perfect for people who are lactose intolerant or who have weak digestion.
Different types of vegan-milk
Now that we have seen the benefits of choosing plant-based milk, let’s see the most common types.
Almond milk has lots of calcium but low levels of calories and proteins, with only one gram of protein per cup. Almond milk also contains several healthy nutrients, ranging from vitamin E, manganese, iron, zinc, and potassium.
Coconut milk is the fattiest choice for vegans. A cup of this product will provide you with 45 calories and 20% of your saturated fat intake for the day. Coconut milk is naturally sweet and creamy and contains good amounts of potassium.
Rice milk is a great alternative for people with nuts or soy allergies. This type of milk is high in vitamin B and low in cholesterol and saturated fats. It also contains good amounts of magnesium, copper, selenium, manganese, and iron. Rice milk is high in carbohydrates, with a cup containing roughly 33 grams, about three to four times the amount of soy milk. One of the downsides of this product is that it doesn’t contain much calcium and it is low in protein, with only two grams per cup.
Soy milk is one of the most popular vegan options and the closest plant-based alternative to cow milk. In fact, one cup of soy milk contains seven grams of proteins, 220 milligrams of calcium, 4.3 grams of fats, four grams of carbohydrates, and 80 calories. Similarly to most vegan milk, soy milk is low in cholesterol and contains nutrients such as riboflavin, vitamins A and D, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and sodium.
You may have never heard of hemp milk, but this is also a valuable alternative for vegans. This type of milk is creamy and has a nutty flavor. Hemp milk has lots of proteins and is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Unfortunately, hemp milk can be hard to find and is low in calcium.
Oat milk is becoming more and more popular and is a great source of vitamin B, such as B2, B12, and D, calcium, potassium, iron, and phosphorus. This type of milk is also high in calcium and carbs and low in protein. Oat milk is low in fats, having 2.5 grams of fats per cup.
These were the main types of plant-based milk that can be easily found at the supermarket. However, vegan milk can be produced from a variety of foods such as grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and pseudo cereals such as quinoa and buckwheat. In some specialized supermarkets, you will be able to buy unique alternatives such as pea milk or peanut milk.
Quick Homemade Vegan Milk recipes
How to make Rice Milk?
For this recipe, you will just need three-quarters of a cup of uncooked long-grain white or brown rice, four cups of water, a pinch of salt, and a date for sweetness.
Start by soaking the rice in two cups of very hot, but not boiling, water for two hours. Once the time is past, drain the liquid and put the rice in a high-speed blender. It’s now time to add the remaining water, the salt, and your date. Blend everything for a minute to make sure it is well combined and then use a clean t-shirt, or, a tightly woven nut milk bag, to strain it. You can store your milk in the fridge for up to five days.
How to make Soy Milk?
Start with half a cup of yellow soybeans and soak them in two or three cups of water overnight. Discard the water and rinse the soybeans to then remove the skins. It’s now time to put the beans in a food processor with four cups of water and blend everything for a few minutes. You can now use a clean t-shirt or a tightly woven nut milk bag to strain the liquid. After this, bring the milk to a boil and let it cook for roughly 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and skim the foam before letting it cool down. You can keep your soy milk in the fridge for up to four days.
Our Favorite vegan milk brands
Oatly produces oat milk and has a variety of flavors, such as chocolate, orange mango, and vanilla.
Alpro is another great brand that also produces vegan yogurt. Their milk ranges from oat to soy, coconut, and almond.
Elmhurst produces unique milk from a variety of nuts including walnuts, cashew, hazelnuts, and more.
Milkadamia is a unique brand making macadamia milk, from the macadamia nut, a nut rich in antioxidants and healthy fats.
Last on our list is Malk. This brand makes almond and oat milk and also has a few different flavors to choose from.
Plant-based milk for toddlers
If you’ve just finished breastfeeding, you may now be wondering what is the best type of plant-based milk for your toddler. According to registered dietitians, the best options are pea or soya milk. These will help your kid meet all the needs of their diet. Even though milk made from nuts and seeds is not unhealthy they do have inadequate carbohydrates, protein, and calorie quantities and are therefore not the best option for kids. Always consult a dietitian!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is breast milk vegan?
Breast milk is technically not vegan as it is a dairy item.
Is muscle milk vegan?
No, muscle milk is not vegan as it contains animal by-products in the form of whey, a cow dairy protein.
Is skim milk vegan?
No, skim milk is not vegan, as it is an animal product.
Is milk fat vegan?
No, milk fat comes from milk and is therefore not suitable for a vegan diet.
Is milk powder vegan?
Powder milk is not vegan as it contains lactose, which is a derivative of milk.
Is almond milk baileys vegan?
Yes! Almond milk Baileys is fully vegan!
Is Nesquik strawberry milk vegan?
No, Nesquik strawberry milk is not vegan as it contains low-fat milk.
Is coconut milk vegan?
Yes, coconut milk is fully vegan.