7 Plant-Based Alternatives To Milk

Looking for alternatives to your traditional cup of milk? We've got you covered.

Those with a dairy allergy can experience symptoms when consuming cow or goat milk. These symptoms can vary and include coughing, congestion, irritable bowel symptoms (constipation, bloating) and/or skin issues such as acne or eczema.

If choosing non-dairy milk, here are a few tips:

  • Check the sugars. Often time’s excess sugar is snuck into these milks. Opt. for buying the unsweetened version of vs. the vanilla or chocolate flavours.
  • Look at the protein. Ideally these milks offer 7-8 grams of protein per serving
  • Try to buy a milk based option that is fortified with vitamin D and calcium

Soymilk – a good alternative that has a similar taste to regular milk. Soymilk contains about 80 calories per cup, 8 grams of protein per cup and offers some anti-oxidant benefit. However, soy can also cause an allergenic reaction in some and may not be the #1 option to pick. If selecting a soymilk option –choose one that is organic.

Rice milk – Rice milk is dairy, gluten and nut free and is suitable for those with allergies to these items. Rice milk is also fortified in calcium containing 330mg per cup. However, rice milk contains almost no protein and should be kept in mind if on a vegan diet where protein requirements need to be paid attention to. Rice milk has a watery and sweet taste.

Oat milk – Oat milk is a great milk alternative for those with a nut allergy and is naturally free of lactose, nuts and soy. The upside is that oat milk contains about 1/3 of your recommended beta glucon intake – fiber that helps to keep cholesterol in check. One cup of that milk also contains 25% of your daily calcium intake and about 20% of your daily vitamin D intake. The downside of oat milk is that it is a little higher in sugar and carbohydrates and is not suitable for those who are gluten sensitive or celiac unless the oats have been marked as gluten free. One cup contains 120 calories and 3 grams of fibre.

Hemp milk – Nutritionally, what makes hemp a great non-diary alternative is that it naturally contains calcium (more calcium than dairy milk!), protein and has the added benefits of omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids in the ideal 1:3 ratio that promotes brain and heart health and is anti-inflammatory in the body. Hemp milk also tends to be easier to digest vs. a soy milk and is suitable for those with a lactose, nut or soy allergy. Hemp milk has an earthy, nutty flavour and a creamy consistency – great in an AM smoothie.

Coconut milk – Made from water and coconut cream. Coconut milk has a higher fat content (saturated fat) vs. other milks. The pro is that it will fill you up and is a very good alternative milk option to add to your morning coffee.

Cashew milk – Cashew milk has a thick and creamy texture but an earthier flavour than almond milk. The upside of cashew milk s that one cup of cashew milk has just 25 calories and contains 50% of your vitamin E needs. The downside is the straining of this milk eliminates most of the protein and fibre and some of the vitamins and minerals. Cashew milk is an ideal milk to add to a smoothie, morning granola or when making as soup. Cannot be used for those with specific nut allergies.

Almond milk – Almond milk is a very popular alternative to lactose based milks. It is rich in vitamin E, fat and low in calories (1 cup has 39 calories). The downside is that almond milk is low in protein and is also not suitable for those with nut allergies. You can purchase almond milk pre-made however, it is also very easy to make.