From your Weetabix and a cuppa in the morning, to a cold glass of milk in the evening, most people unconsciously consume Milk on a daily basis. So what’s the problem? Well on the surface a little Milk never hurt anyone; In fact Dairy Milk has its own handful of benefits. Unfortunately for some it’s not a viable option. Whether you’re lactose intolerant, fancy a change, or your diet prohibits dairy, there are still 7 tasty alternatives to classic Cow Milk.
Now the chances are, the only variations of Milk you have tried in the past are Skimmed, Semi-Skimmed, and full fat. Most households tend to stick with one, and that’s that. Now I know that trying new things can be hard, especially when it comes to your diet. However, whether you’re lactose intolerant or not, these 7 alternatives have their own unique benefits; and therefore a change may just be worth while…Take a look:
1. Almond Milk
I’m sure you’ve seen the memes. No? Let me fill you in. Just to clarify almond Milk does not come from squeezing Almonds… It does In fact come from ground Almonds, water, and often a little sweetener. Now, if you’ve ever tried Almond Milk you would know that it’s actually quite the taste sensation. It has the slightly creamy texture of milk, it’s just a little sweeter. If you’re known for having a bit of a sweet tooth, this may be the alternative you’ve been looking for!
- Full of Vitamin E. (Increases protection against toxins such as air pollution, premenstrual syndrome, eye disorders such as cataracts, neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.)
- Significantly fewer calories than 2% Cows Milk.
- Obviously you cannot consume Almond Milk if you’re allergic to Nuts. Fortunately for you, there are plenty more options available.
- Almond Milk contains less protein than Dairy and Soy Milk. (I know what you’re thinking…But don’t rule it out!!)
- Almond Milk lacks some of the nutritional benefits offered by Dairy Milk. Such as fatty acids, Vitamins and Minerals. (However you can find ‘Fortified’ Almond Milk, containing all of the missing goodness!)
2. Coconut Milk
Coconut is one of those. You either love it, or you hate it. Although, whatever your preference may be, there is no denying it’s well deserved spot as a potential alternative to our beloved dairy. Coconut Milk actually closely resembles dairy milk in terms of its texture, and full fat goodness.
- Suitable for baking, due to its natural sweet and nutty flavour.
- It’s Soy and Gluten free. Therefore very suitable for people with food allergies.
- Significantly more potassium than Dairy Milk.
- Generally lacks the nutritional benefits of Dairy Milk. For example, Dairy has more protein, calcium, and calories per cup.
3. Soy Milk
One of the most popular alternatives to milk happens to be Soy. Extracted from Soy beans, and often sold in multiple flavours, means that this alternative is hardly short of variety.
- Soy Milk is often fortified with essential nutrients, such as vitamins and calcium. Meaning that Soy milk is a close equivalent to Cows milk, in terms of nutrition
- High in protein
- Contains isoflavones which has been linked to the prevention of heart disease
- To state the obvious, Soy Milk can cause serious allergic reactions to anyone with the slightest allergy to Soy
- A study from ‘Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine’ suggests that Soy Milk can negatively affect fertility in Men
4. Hemp Milk
Wait! We can get high from milk? Not quite… Unfortunately for some, Hemp Milk does not provide the same effect as when smoked. However it does come with a sweet taste, and a shed load of Iron.
- More Iron than Cows Milk
- High in Omega-3 and fatty acids (Which are good for your heart)
- Low in Calcium
- Can be expensive
- Many varieties contain added sugars to mask its bland taste
5. Flax Milk
Flax Milk is made from Flax seeds with a couple extra ingredients. (Such as Water and Sugar etc.) It can be hard to find at local shops, as it is often made organically by local farmers. It is usually quite thin (Like skimmed Milk) and a little sweet.
- High in fibre
- Contains healthy acids known to be good for the vital organs
- When fortified, contains similar levels of calcium as Cows Milk
- Low in protein
- Flavoured variations are usually heavily sweetened
6. Rice Milk
When I first heard of Rice Milk I instantly thought of Rice Pudding. Why? I don’t know. Is it relevant? Not really. Made from boiled rice, a little syrup, and starch, Rice Milk is an alternative I had never heard of until now. Does it taste like rice? Possibly
- Very suitable for those with allergies. As its Gluten free, Soy free, and free of nuts.
- High in Carbohydrates (Not ideal if you’re watching your weight)
- Low in protein
- Low in Calcium
- It is also very thin, making it an unsuitable substitute for cooking/baking.
7. Goats Milk
The idea of Goats Milk might not be particularly pleasant to most people. Despite what you think there is no denying its creamy texture, and nutritional value.
- Full of Protein and Calcium
- Easily digestible
- Closely resembles full fat Cow’s Milk
- Low in Lactose
- Naturally low in Cholesterol
- Although it is low in lactose, it may not be suitable for those who are lactose intolerant
- High in calories (Not always a bad thing)
- Goats Milk is Dairy
In conclusion, there are plenty of non-dairy options out there for those looking for a change. Even if you’re not lactose intolerant, as you can see from above, all of the different alternatives come with their own set of Pros and Cons. Make sure to give as many as you can a try, in order to see which Milk you like the best! What’s the worst that could happen?