If you need to give up dairy milk (for whatever reason), or there’s none on hand for a recipe, there’s good news: milk made from nuts and seeds can be just as delicious and nutritious as cow’s milk. Non-dairy milk can be used to replace dairy milk in recipes, cup for cup. Each has its own unique flavor, thickness, and nutrient profile. Here’s a look at some of the most popular choices.
Popular Plant-Based Milks
1. Flax Milk
This dairy milk alternative is made by blending whole flax seeds with water, and then straining. Flax milk is a good source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. It is high in fiber and magnesium, and low in carbs. It is also grain-free and gluten-free. Nutritional Info Per Cup: 25 Calories, Total Fat 2.5g, Total Carbs 1g, Protein 0g
2. Cashew Milk
Cashew milk’s mild, buttery, creamy flavor makes it a new favorite among consumers. Another added benefit is that this delicious nut is low-carb. Nutritional Info Per Cup: 25 Calories,Total Fat 2g, Total Carbs 1g, Protein less than 1g
3. Hazelnut Milk
This has a smooth and creamy subtle flavor, derived from roasted hazelnuts. It is a tasty addition to specialty coffees, desserts, and chocolate beverages.
Nutritional Info Per Cup: 110 Calories, Total Fat 3.5g, Total Carbs 19g, Protein 2g
4. Hemp Milk
Hemp milk has a nutty flavor, similar to sunflower seeds. This milk alternative comes from hemp seeds, making it a healthy option especially for those with tree nut allergies. Hemp milk has a balanced ratio of omega 3 and 6, and is a good plant source of protein and vitamins. It is also low in carbs.
Nutritional Info Per Cup: 60 Calories, Total Fat 4.5g, Total Carbs 0g, Protein 3g
5. Macadamia Milk
This slightly nutty, buttery milk is gaining in popularity for good reason. Not only does it taste delicious, but it is rich in heart-healthy fats. Its ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids is perfectly balanced.
Nutritional Info Per Cup: 50 Calories, Total Fat 5g, Total Carbs 1g, Protein 1g
6. Oat Milk
This beverage is made from naturally sweet whole grain oats. Commercial oat milk is made by combining oats with water. Enzymes are added to break down the oat starch. Then, the bran solids are separated out, leaving behind the liquid base. Additional flavorings and ingredients are added, and it’s heat-treated to increase its shelf life before packaging. It is a good source of dietary fiber, but is high in carbs. Oat milk is gluten-free. However, if you are gluten intolerant, check the label to see if the milk was processed in a facility with grains containing gluten to avoid the possibility of cross-contamination.
Nutritional Info Per Cup: 130 Calories, Total Fat 2.5g, Total Carbs 24g, Protein 4g
7. Pistachio Milk
This tasty dairy-free alternative is rich in flavor. It contains healthy fats, and is low in carbs.
Nutritional Info Per Cup: 30 Calories, Total Fat 2.5g, Total Carbs 1g
8. Quinoa Milk
The quinoa trend continues! This smooth, mild-tasting milk is making appearances on more store shelves. Quinoa milk is made from the high-protein super grain valued by the ancient Incas and contains essential amino acids and is gluten-free.
Nutritional Info Per Cup: 70 Calories, Total Fat 1g, Total Carbs 12g, Protein 2g
Ready to give one of these a try? When purchasing non-dairy milk, examine labels to determine the nutritional value of each product and any added ingredients, as they vary.
Nutritional information listed above are averages based on popular brands.
Deborah Tukua is a natural living, healthy lifestyle writer and author of 7 non-fiction books, including Naturally Sweet Blender Treats. She has been a writer for the Farmers' Almanac since 2004.