These days, there are many different types of dairy free milk on the supermarket shelves.
But what’s the difference between these milk alternatives, and what purpose do they serve when we’re baking, mixing up smoothies and moving along through our daily lives?
Dairy Free Milk Alternatives
Whether you have an allergy or are just intrigued at the thought of leaving traditional milk behind and exploring the path of milk alternatives, non dairy free milk offers some nutritional benefitsand a bunch of interesting flavors, too.
Coconut milk is the magical liquid that comes from the grated pulp of the coconut. Due to its high oil content, coconut milk has a rich taste and can be used in everything from baked goods to smoothies. It has a creamy texture and a naturally sweet flavor. It also offers lauric acid, a beneficial fat that is absorbed by the body and used as an energy source.
Nutty and creamy, almond milk is a popular beverage made by simply blending almonds and water together. This milk alternative can be found in most markets or can even be made right at home. Almond milk is an excellent source of calcium and vitamins D and E. When purchasing almond milk, make sure to opt for varieties that don’t contain added sugar. And rest assured that, like all nut milks, it makes a wonderful addition to baked goods, smoothies, shakes or even your morning latte.
Rice milk is dairy free and made from—you guessed it—rice! Another delicious dairy free alternative to milk, it contains no animal products and can be used in everything from bowls of granola to nutritious smoothies or even tasty baked goods. If you’re looking to make rice milk at home, give this version a try.
In its purest form, cashew milk is made from just cashews and filtered water. Homemade cashew milk is creamy, easy to made and requires no straining. A high-speed blender grinds the cashews into a smooth liquid when combined with filtered water. To prevent your homemade nut milk from turning sour, be sure to drink it within three days. Vanilla and Bean offers an incredible homemade cashew milk recipe that can be used with chia pudding, lattes and more.
Hemp milk, or hemp seed milk, is a dairy free milk made from hemp seeds that are soaked, blended in water and then filtered. Compared to other non-dairy milk alternatives, it has a thick consistency and a nutty flavor (similar to almond milk). If you are looking for a boost of nutrition in your milk, Hemp seeds are also rich in the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid ALA.
Soy milk is produced by soaking and grinding soybeans before boiling the mixture and filtering it. It’s a mix of oil, water and protein. Although often controversial, advocates of soy milk believe that it can improve cardiovascular health and lower cholesterol. Combine this dairy free milk with nutritious Bob’s Red Mill Soy Protein Powder to supplement your protein intake and enjoy a morning energy boost.
Contrary to popular belief, pea milk isn’t green. Not only does it taste good, but it also contains a whole bunch of protein. Unique in that it’s vegan, nut free, soy free, lactose free and gluten free, pea milk is shaking up the alternative milk world as we know it today. According to The Washington Post, the process of this newly popular milk often begins with harvesting yellow peas and milling them into flour. That flour is then processed, which separates the pea protein from the fiber and starch. That protein is then purified and blended with water and other ingredients. Voila—pea milk is born!
Macadamia Nut Milk
Indigenous to Australia (and made famous by Hawaii) these nuts are powerhouses when it comes to cookies and snacking. But did you know they are now available in milk form, too? Macadamia nut milk is made by briefly soaking macadamia nuts and then blending with filtered water. If you’d like to try it homemade, give this creamy and fresh recipe from Minimalist Baker a try.
Dairy Free Milk Recipes
If you’re looking to easily incorporate dairy free milk into your daily (not so) dairy routine, check out these recipes that highlight the wonderful world of milk alternatives.
This Omega Shake is chock full of nutrition and is made with just seven ingredients: Hemp Protein Powder, Flaxseed Meal, Organic Chia Seed, hemp milk, banana, honey and a handful of ice. Simply add your ingredients to a blender and pulse until smooth. It takes just one minute to throw together and is a fantastic way to enjoy the benefits of hemp milk.
This vibrantly beautiful smoothie was brought to Bob’s Red Mill courtesy of Rika Agustini of Posh Journal. It works well as a quick breakfast, snack or post-workout recovery boost. Not only is this smoothie gluten free and vegan, but it also offers protein, fiber and iron. The turmeric powder adds a subtle flavor, a boost of nutrition and a wild color sure to jumpstart your day. Almond milk is combined with pure orange juice, Vanilla Protein Powder Nutritional Booster, lemon and fresh pineapple chunks to make you feel like sunshine from the inside out.
This coconut-milk based vegan ice cream recipe is packed with fresh blueberries and requires fewer than 10 ingredients. It’s made with coconut sugar, light coconut milk, vanilla extract and almond milk, so you can indulge in the benefits of two kinds of dairy free milk in your ice cream.
This Vegan Lemon Pound Cake is buttery, moist, and packed with lemon-flavored goodness. The recipe, courtesy of Raquel Smith from My California Roots, uses vegan butter, almond milk, flax seeds and aquafaba to replicate dairy and butter. For a simple glaze, mix together just powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice. Drizzle on and allow to set 1-2 hours before serving. Eat alongside good company and a mug of warm tea with a hint of almond milk.
It’s true, even creamy popsicles can be made in dairy free form, like these Patriotic Protein Pops. Perfect for Fourth of July (or anytime you’re in need of a chilled treat) these pops are made from canned coconut milk, Whey Protein Powder, honey, lemon, fresh blueberries and fresh raspberries. They also incorporate plain or vanilla Greek yogurt, but to keep in line with the dairy free theme, you can opt for coconut milk yogurt instead.
Carrot cake is amazing enough as is, but these Inside- Out Carrot Cake Cookies from Emilie Hebert of Emilie Eats take things to another level of tastiness. These cookies are made with gluten free ingredients like almond, oats and coconut to create a tender cookie crumb while also using sweet elements like maple, applesauce and carrot. A filling made with full-fat coconut milk seals the deal for a twist on a classic treat.
This classic combo for a Strawberries and Cream Smoothie developed by superfood chef Julie Morris adds a powerful protein boost to your morning. It’s made with a blend of Vanilla Protein Powder Nutritional Booster, unsweetened coconut milk yogurt, raw cashews, dates, cinnamon, almond milk, frozen strawberries and ice. Try it for breakfast on the go or a leisurely dairy free snack at home.
These chunky Wyoming Cowboy Cookies, submitted by Sarah of The Fit Cookie, come packed with coconut, oats, chocolate chips and sunflower seeds. Cowboy Cookies traditionally have chopped pecans in them. However, these cookies use crunchy sunflower seeds for a fun twist! The secret dairy free milk ingredient? Rice milk! Once baked, allow cookies to cool on the pan for about 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack—then enjoy with your favorite cowboys and cowgirls.
These Carrot Cake Waffles not only taste amazing, but they’re healthy, too! Carrots are naturally sweet, meaning you can get rid of the refined sugar in a recipe and simply add a bit of maple syrup to give it a touch of sweetness. Submitted by Karissa Besaw from The Crunchy Chronicles, these decadent waffles use cashew milk and Gluten Free 1-to 1 Baking Flour in their batter as well as canned coconut cream or coconut milk in the frosting. Top your treat with chopped nuts and extra shredded carrots to take your waffles to the next level. Serve with hot chocolate for the kids and hot coffee for the parents!
Whatever your reason for embarking on the journey of milk alternatives, may this article inspire you to venture into the wide world of dairy free beverages!
Have any special recipes you like to create using milk alternatives? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below!
Who says oatmeal cookies can only be eaten for dessert? This Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie can be sipped for breakfast, a snack or any occasion in between. It’s made with Chai Protein Powder Nutritional Booster, pitted dates, Regular Rolled Oats, almond milk (or preferred milk substitute) and vanilla extract. This recipe can also be modified to create a wide variety of other fun dairy free smoothie, from apple-peanut butter to pumpkin spice or kiwi strawberry. Get creative!