The Best Vegan-Friendly Alternatives To Cow’s Milk
April 11, 2018 (No Comments) by Amy Meegan

From 2013 to 2016, the global plant-based milk market grew by 35%. By 2024, this market’s expected to be worth approximately $6.4 billion.

Are you contributing to the growth of this market? I sure am! I love almond milk cappuccinos and coconut milk hot chocolates. Nonetheless, the global dairy market is still worth 156 times the milk alternatives market. No fear of the cows being put out of work just yet.

Of course most of you know that plant-based milks are vegan-friendly and are suitable for those who’re lactose intolerance or have a milk protein allergy. But from a health and nutrition perspective, why choose one milk alternative over the other?

Top Tips When Buying Plant-Based Milk

First and foremost, look for unsweetened varieties. Many milk alternatives can be high in added sugar as they don’t have the natural sweetness that lactose, the natural sugar in milk, would provide.

While many of the big brands, such as Alpro, offer sweetened and unsweetened options, some of the supermarket own brands only provide those sweetened with sugar.

Ask yourself the question, is it more important to save a euro or more important to look after your long-term health by practicing responsible eating behaviour?

Anyways, without further ado, here’s a breakdown of the most commonly consumed plant-based milks and the health benefits found in each.

Almond Milk

Almond milk has a creamy texture that works well in coffee, in smoothies and for making porridge. It can be found in sweetened and unsweetened, roasted and unroasted varieties. My personal preference is the unsweetened roasted almond milk by Alpro which has a subtle nutty taste.

almond-milk

Unsweetened almond milk is a good option if low calories are your priority. However, it is unsuitable for those with a nut allergy, as you may have guessed.

Oat Milk

Oat milk was first introduced to me in a coffee and I was head-over-heels in love immediately. A subjective statement, but I believe oat milk is one of the most subtle tasting plant-based milks and one I would recommend if you’re avoiding dairy but miss the taste or struggling with the new taste of plant-based milks.

Oat milk is a source of fibre and is naturally low in saturated fat which is important for maintaining good heart health. As with all oat-containing products, oat milk cannot be guaranteed gluten-free or suitable for those who have coeliac disease, due to the nature of the farming practices and the biology of the oats.

Purchase this image at https://www.stocksy.com/1311951

Oats are often grown alongside other grains which could result in cross-contamination and the protein in oats, avenin, is not tolerated by all Coeliacs.

Oatly offer a range of presentations and interesting flavours although this brand can sometimes be a little tricky to find in Ireland. It is fortified with B2, as well as calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12 which can often be low in people who are consuming a primarily vegetarian or vegan diet.

Fun Fact: In 2016 there was a world shortage of oat milk in response to the sudden demand for the drink. I was fairly devastated for few weeks when I couldn’t treat myself to an oat milk cappuccino!

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk works very well where a strong flavour is desired. In cooking, it is an excellent addition to Thai dishes such as red and green curries. For something sweet, coconut milk forms a delicious base for smoothies or for making hot chocolate.

coconut-milk

Coconut milk is a low in natural sugars and calories. Excitingly, it is available blended with almond milk which is an excellent choice for indecisive people – the best of both worlds.

Soy Milk

Soy milk can be consider the “original” dairy-free milk as it was one of the first plant-based milks to hit the market and it’s still going strong today. Initially unsure of the taste, I am now 80% converted to soy milk although I’ll always opt for almond or coconut milk first for my much adored cappuccino.

soy-milk

Soy milk is a product of the soybean. It provides almost the same amount of protein as cow’s milk and offers more potassium than any of the other milk alternatives. Potassium is important for muscles and blood pressure. Noteworthy, soy is a common food allergen, so double check that you’re not allergic before trying this one out.

Like almond milk, soy milk is available in a number of presentations, including a “lighter” option, sweetened and unsweetened, flavoured and unflavoured.

Other Plan-Based Milks

Other milk alternatives include rice, hazelnut, cashew and hemp. Most of these milks can be found in the supermarket beside your regular milk or on the shelf in the wholefoods or free-from section.

Although not exclusively plant-based, I regularly share ways to incorporate milk alternatives into your meals on my Facebook and Instagram pages – The Baking Nutritionist.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also find Essentials You Need In Your Kitchen For A Vegan Diet and 7 of the Tastiest Vegan Restaurants in Dublin interesting.

Amy Meegan
A marketer, nutritionist, blogger, baker and cook among other random titles. Most often found drinking coffee, stalking dogs or photographing food.

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The Best Vegan-Friendly Alternatives To Cow’s Milk
April 11, 2018 (No Comments) by Amy Meegan

From 2013 to 2016, the global plant-based milk market grew by 35%. By 2024, this market’s expected to be worth approximately $6.4 billion.

Are you contributing to the growth of this market? I sure am! I love almond milk cappuccinos and coconut milk hot chocolates. Nonetheless, the global dairy market is still worth 156 times the milk alternatives market. No fear of the cows being put out of work just yet.

Of course most of you know that plant-based milks are vegan-friendly and are suitable for those who’re lactose intolerance or have a milk protein allergy. But from a health and nutrition perspective, why choose one milk alternative over the other?

Top Tips When Buying Plant-Based Milk

First and foremost, look for unsweetened varieties. Many milk alternatives can be high in added sugar as they don’t have the natural sweetness that lactose, the natural sugar in milk, would provide.

While many of the big brands, such as Alpro, offer sweetened and unsweetened options, some of the supermarket own brands only provide those sweetened with sugar.

Ask yourself the question, is it more important to save a euro or more important to look after your long-term health by practicing responsible eating behaviour?

Anyways, without further ado, here’s a breakdown of the most commonly consumed plant-based milks and the health benefits found in each.

Almond Milk

Almond milk has a creamy texture that works well in coffee, in smoothies and for making porridge. It can be found in sweetened and unsweetened, roasted and unroasted varieties. My personal preference is the unsweetened roasted almond milk by Alpro which has a subtle nutty taste.

almond-milk

Unsweetened almond milk is a good option if low calories are your priority. However, it is unsuitable for those with a nut allergy, as you may have guessed.

Oat Milk

Oat milk was first introduced to me in a coffee and I was head-over-heels in love immediately. A subjective statement, but I believe oat milk is one of the most subtle tasting plant-based milks and one I would recommend if you’re avoiding dairy but miss the taste or struggling with the new taste of plant-based milks.

Oat milk is a source of fibre and is naturally low in saturated fat which is important for maintaining good heart health. As with all oat-containing products, oat milk cannot be guaranteed gluten-free or suitable for those who have coeliac disease, due to the nature of the farming practices and the biology of the oats.

Purchase this image at https://www.stocksy.com/1311951

Oats are often grown alongside other grains which could result in cross-contamination and the protein in oats, avenin, is not tolerated by all Coeliacs.

Oatly offer a range of presentations and interesting flavours although this brand can sometimes be a little tricky to find in Ireland. It is fortified with B2, as well as calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12 which can often be low in people who are consuming a primarily vegetarian or vegan diet.

Fun Fact: In 2016 there was a world shortage of oat milk in response to the sudden demand for the drink. I was fairly devastated for few weeks when I couldn’t treat myself to an oat milk cappuccino!

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk works very well where a strong flavour is desired. In cooking, it is an excellent addition to Thai dishes such as red and green curries. For something sweet, coconut milk forms a delicious base for smoothies or for making hot chocolate.

coconut-milk

Coconut milk is a low in natural sugars and calories. Excitingly, it is available blended with almond milk which is an excellent choice for indecisive people – the best of both worlds.

Soy Milk

Soy milk can be consider the “original” dairy-free milk as it was one of the first plant-based milks to hit the market and it’s still going strong today. Initially unsure of the taste, I am now 80% converted to soy milk although I’ll always opt for almond or coconut milk first for my much adored cappuccino.

soy-milk

Soy milk is a product of the soybean. It provides almost the same amount of protein as cow’s milk and offers more potassium than any of the other milk alternatives. Potassium is important for muscles and blood pressure. Noteworthy, soy is a common food allergen, so double check that you’re not allergic before trying this one out.

Like almond milk, soy milk is available in a number of presentations, including a “lighter” option, sweetened and unsweetened, flavoured and unflavoured.

Other Plan-Based Milks

Other milk alternatives include rice, hazelnut, cashew and hemp. Most of these milks can be found in the supermarket beside your regular milk or on the shelf in the wholefoods or free-from section.

Although not exclusively plant-based, I regularly share ways to incorporate milk alternatives into your meals on my Facebook and Instagram pages – The Baking Nutritionist.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also find Essentials You Need In Your Kitchen For A Vegan Diet and 7 of the Tastiest Vegan Restaurants in Dublin interesting.

Amy Meegan
A marketer, nutritionist, blogger, baker and cook among other random titles. Most often found drinking coffee, stalking dogs or photographing food.

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Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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