The 10 Best Plant Based Milks

Sip your way to better health with the best plant based milks

Mooooooove over cow milk, there’s a new beverage in town. Actually, there are 15 (but whose counting?). If you’ve ever considered ditching dairy and jumping on the plant based milk bandwagon, you may be wondering which vegan milk to choose. Lucky for you, we’ve broken down the best plant based milks (in no particular order) and why you should give each a try until you decide on the one you like.

And if you don’t see your favorite plant based milk on the list, don’t have a cow.

Why choose plant based milk?

Why choose plant based milk?

We’re not going to get all PETA on you, but you were not birthed by a spotted, mooing cow (and if you were, apologies in advance) so drinking the milk from another animal is, um, a bit weird, no? Besides the whole “who your mother is” argument, milk has shown to have environmental and health impacts that plant based milks do not. Here are just a few:

Allergies

Some people can’t drink cow’s milk due to allergic reactions. 2-3% of infants born have a milk allergy but outgrow it by age six. The best plant based milks offer a great alternative with plenty of options to pick from.

Lactose Intolerance

68% percent of the population throughout the world don’t have the natural enzymes to break down the lactose found in milk. And those with lactose intolerance who drink milk can experience stomach discomforts. While lactose-free alternatives are available, plant-based options still provide a better choice.

Environment

Cows bred and raised as dairy cattle produce excessive greenhouse gas emissions and require more land and resources than harvesting plants. Opting for a plant based milk is the more sustainable and environmentally friendly option.

How many vegan milks are there?

How many vegan milks are there?

If you’re looking for the best plant based milks, you have options. There are over 15 known plant based milks in the wild (or at least we know of). While a new plant based milk seems to pop up at least once a year, we’re confident we will see more creative plant based products soon. But, for now, the ones you’ll most likely come across are:

  1. Almond Milk
  2. Macadamia Milk
  3. Hazelnut Milk
  4. Coconut Milk
  5. Pistachio Milk
  6. Peanut Milk
  7. Oat Milk
  8. Hemp Milk
  9. Soy Milk
  10. Rice Milk
  11. Sunflower Milk
  12. Banana Milk
  13. Flax Milk
  14. Pea Milk
  15. Quinoa Milk

Does vegan milk have calcium?

almond milk plant based

When you switch from dairy to plant based milk, you’ll need to consider the calcium content you need to gain from your new vegan milk. And lucky you for you, there isn’t much to worry about. Plant-based milk contains as much calcium as dairy and comes from ground-up limestone that the body quickly digests. When looking at the best plant based milks at the grocery store, please read the label and make sure it provides at least 300 mg of calcium per serving or says it provides 30% of the calcium RDA (recommended dietary allowance).

Why is plant based milk more expensive?

Why is plant based milk more expensive?

If you’re in the grocery store and comparing cow’s milk to vegan milk, you may have a brief moment of sticker shock. If you’re used to paying a couple of bucks for cow’s milk, you’ll have to shell out a couple of extra dollars for a plant based milk. But, for good reason.

Cow’s milk has always been more mainstream, commercialized, and marketed as the go-to (and only) milk available, leaving little to no competition. However, thanks to technological innovations, we are now able to get the same nutritional content in plant based products. These plant based milks didn’t appear on store shelves overnight, however. Research, packaging, and marketing take time, effort, and investment when competing with commercialized cow’s milk.

However, when shopping for the best plant based milks, some brands are comparable to cow’s milk in terms of price. Most of these brands are private label, grocery store brands like Publix, Whole Foods, Kroger vs. more nationally known brands like Blue Diamond, Almond Breeze, Pacific, Oatly, etc…If you’re on a budget, these private label vegan milks are just as good, if not better, than the national brands

What are the best plant based milks?

best plant based milks

There are over 15 plant-based milk options for you to choose from when selecting a dairy-free beverage, but we’re going to stick with the more traditional ones you will find on your grocery store shelves for this roundup. Each plant based milk is different from the next with its unique flavor and texture, and some vegan kinds of milk boil down to personal preference for taste and consistency. If you are new to plant-based milk, it is best to explore your options before settling on your favorite vegan beverage.

So, without further ado, and in no particular order, here are the best plant based milks you should try.

Almond Milk

Out of all the best plant based milks, the most popular is almond milk. Almond milk is now the go-to vegan milk and can be found in every store, coffee shop, and restaurant. It doesn’t have an overly nutty flavor and is pretty neutral, lending it to be used in recipes or enjoyed right out of the glass. It makes a great coffee creamer or base for smoothie bowls or overnight oats.

Macadamia Milk

Macadamia Milk is extremely neutral when it comes to taste, leaving it with an endless amount of uses. This plant based milk is naturally sugar-free and contains healthy fats as well as vitamin D, calcium, and B12, making it a smart and healthy choice.

Hazelnut Milk

While macadamia milk is neutral, hazelnut milk is extremely nutty in flavor. This plant-based milk is an excellent addition to coffee, overnight oats, hot chocolate, smoothies, etc. It has a high antioxidant profile and is packed with vitamin E.

Coconut Milk

The coconut milk brands that come in bottles or cartons are great for coffee, cereal, and smoothies. This plant based milk is light, refreshing, and has a hint of coconut to it giving it a touch of the tropics.  

Pistachio Milk

One of the best plant based milks (and one of the newest) is pistachio milk. If you love to crack open a pistachio, you will love pistachio milk. This plant based milk has the same buttery flavor you come to expect from pistachios, but in liquid form. Pistachio milk also tends to be higher in plant based fats compared to other vegan milk, making it the perfect drink if you’re looking to make some gains in the gym.

Cashew Milk

Cashew milk is an underrated plant based milk and needs more attention. This vegan milk is super delicious, creamy, and versatile in its uses. Cashew milk contains calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 and is a great plant-based milk to dunk a dairy-free cookie into. Yum!

Oat Milk

In 2022 oat milk may be one of the best plant-based milks out there. Oat milk is fortified with vitamins and nutrients and contains 25% of one’s daily recommendation of calcium, 20% of one’s vitamin D, and 50% of one’s daily B12. Best of all, it is chock full of protein.

Hemp Milk

When hemp milk comes to mind, I immediately think of yoga, peace signs, and Cheech and Chong. However, this hippie milk contains nutritional benefits like B12, calcium, and vitamin D. It’s not everyone’s favorite plant based milk. Still, you can enjoy it in a smoothie or overnight oats recipe

Soy Milk

Soy milk was the first vegan milk on the scene and one of the only options many years ago. It is one of the best plant based milks because it is packed with 8 grams of protein, calcium, and vitamin D. It’s thick, creamy, and baristas use it to make espresso-based drinks and coffee creamers. 

Rice Milk 

Rice milk has been around as long as soy milk, but unlike all the other plant based milks, rice milk is extremely thin in texture. This vegan milk contains a large amount of B vitamins and is packed with antioxidants like manganese and selenium.

So, out of all the best plant based milks we listed, which one is your fave?


Disclaimer

This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatmentIf you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment immediately.


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