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Vegan Milk Options: Plant-Based & Dairy-Free

The popularity of Vegan Milk has skyrocketed over the last few years, and with good reason. It’s healthy, delicious, and very versatile. Nowadays, there are so many options to choose from and it’s even easy to make yourself in your own kitchen.

vegan milk photo collage

Contrary to what we’ve been led to believe, cow’s milk does not do the body good. In this 2 minute clip, Holly Phillips, MD joins CBS News to discuss a study that raises the possibility that high milk consumption may be linked with more fractured bones and a higher death rate. Thankfully, there are many healthy vegan milk options to choose from.

What is vegan milk?

Vegan milk is a plant-derived beverage that resembles the color and texture of traditional cow’s milk but it is water-based and completely dairy-free. The plants most frequently used to make vegan milk are soy, oats, rice, coconut, and nuts like almonds and cashews.

Plant milk has been consumed in various cultures for centuries. As far back as the 13th century, it was sometimes called “milk-like plant juices.” It’s been commonly used as a beverage as well as an ingredient in numerous dishes.

Single glass of cashew nuts milk.

Is dairy-free milk healthy?

The demand for plant milk is on the rise among consumers, and there are a number of reasons for the growing interest in dairy-free milk options including folks who have allergies or are lactose intolerant.

Dairy-free plant milk is very healthy and contains antioxidants, phytonutrients, fiber, calcium, protein, and a host of other vitamins and minerals that are linked to many health benefits.

Types of plant-based milk

Plant milk can be made from a number of different plants including beans, grains, seeds, and nuts. It’s pretty amazing the number of varieties available in supermarkets nowadays. These are just a few of the plants that are used to make vegan milk.

  • Nuts- Almond, cashew, hazelnut, macadamia, pistachio, and walnut
  • Seeds- Chia, flax, hemp, pumpkin, and sunflower
  • Legumes- Soy Milk, pea, peanut
  • Grains- Oat, rice, barley, wheat
raw cashew nuts in white ceramic bowl on wood table

Kinds of nut milk

Nut milk is one of the most popular vegan milks and probably the most readily available at many grocery stores. Though nut milks can be purchased premade, it’s not difficult at all to make your own like these recipes for Almond Milk and Cashew Milk that require only 2-ingredients–water and the nuts–and a good blender.

Other nut milk options that might be a little harder to find in stores include Brazil, hazelnut, macadamia, pistachio, and walnut.

almond milk being poured from pitcher over a bowl of granola cereal

Uses

Non-dairy plant milk can be used as a beverage, on cereal, or as an ingredient in most recipes that normally calls for traditional animal milk.

Best vegan milk for coffee

I don’t want to open up the whole ‘Is it okay to drink coffee?’ issue here, but it is great to have a non-dairy coffee creamer at times. I love herbal coffee, and occasionally adding a little creamy texture is nice.

My favorite non-dairy milk to use for coffee is Cashew Milk. The milk is naturally a little thicker than other plant milks, and I tweak the recipe just a little bit to make it the perfect consistency for creamer. I’ve included my notes on how to condense it for thickness in the recipe below.

Recipes that use vegan milk

For those of you new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle, we’ve created a FREE 7-Day Plant-Based Menu Planner to help you get started!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

3 Vegan Milk Recipes

Making your own vegan milk is a great way to make sure you know about all of the ingredients that are in it. These are some recipes to try out for the best-tasting, dairy-free, sugar-free plant milk options!

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vegan milk photo collage for pinterest