Plant-Based Milk is Delicious But Which One Do I Want?
How Do I Decide Which Plant Based Milk Is For Me?
Plant based milk wasn’t always readily available nor had very much variety. Along with cheese, milk is probably one of the main things that intimidate potential vegans. I wasn’t always Vegan (terrible, I know!) so when we finally gave up dairy, I struggled with milk for my daily Americano. Initially, I tried soy, almond, pea, and cashew and I hated every single one of them. I have finally come around to cashew milk.
I designed this plant milk comparison chart so that you can determine the specific nutritional needs of your family. I strongly suggest taking the time to find small cartons or small containers of each milk so that you can test them out but don’t be afraid of trying a milk again. Studies show that it can take several times of trying something new before your taste buds agree with it. I know that I tried an entire carton of cashew milk, deemed it the most atrocious thing ever and vowed never to try it again.
Now I love it and can’t imagine any other milk in my coffee. The good news about most plant milks is that they don’t need refrigeration until you open them (with some exceptions) so you can buy them from your local bulk food shopping center or on Amazon.
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See my recommendations below for some milk that you can buy from Amazon, which is pretty much my favorite place to shop ever…I just want to have a disclaimer here that infants up to 12 months of age absolutely require either breastmilk or formula. Making your own homemade formula (without the guidance of a highly qualified pediatric team due to severe allergies) is deeply discouraged and will lead to malnutrition and failure to thrive.
Rice Dream seems to own this market of rice milk. It is one of four other kinds of dairy alternatives that contain Vitamin B12, which we all know needs to be supplemented in the plant-based diet. It is lower in sodium than most other milk but is high in sugar so do be careful with your other sugar intake.
Another market that is seemingly owned by one brand, Silk. Soy Milk is a very popular plant based milk and perfectly safe, despite all the controversy. Soy has low sodium content and high potassium and calcium levels. It also contains 50% of your daily needed intake of Vitamin B12 so a huge plus there!
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There are several different brands that carry cashew milk. My favorite is So Delicious unsweetened and unflavored. It is so creamy and so delicious! My kids even like it in their cereal! This milk is super low calorie, which for my family, who came from a carnivorous lifestyle, is really important as we detoxed our body. It is higher in sodium so it is necessary to watch your sodium intake in other foods. However, it is also really high in calcium and Vitamin D.
Another really popular plant based milk! Both Silk and Almond Breeze have this market down. I’m kind of on the fence for Almond Milk although my partner loves it. I will use it if cashew is not available. One day, I will try to make it myself to see if I can make it my own personal preferential taste.
Most people seem to just cook with coconut milk but it is also pretty tasty in different coffee drinks and smoothies. While it is low in calories and high in calcium, it has the highest amount of saturated fat than other plant based milk. Since saturated fat has been linked to heart disease and other negative health conditions, I would recommend that you use coconut milk sparingly.
I’m not sure how widely available pea milk is. In the US, it comes in the form of a brand name called Ripple Milk. It is super high in potassium and calcium. I’ve only been able to find it at Super Target. My daughter likes this one a lot. I only consume milk in my coffee and it just doesn’t go well in my coffee so I don’t buy it often.
Pacific Natural Foods and Living Harvest have the market on Hemp Milk. This is one dairy alternative I have not yet tried so really can’t speak to its flavor although some people really love it. It has a lot of unsaturated fat so if your kiddo isn’t eating much fat in the form of avocados, beans, and seeds, this may be a good milk to try as unsaturated fat is necessary for growing mind and bodies.
Tell us which plant based milk is your favorite?
Good luck on your Vegan Journey!
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