We were thrilled to hear that America’s largest milk producer, Dean Foods, has filed for bankruptcy. As preferences have changed and consumers have become more concerned about the environment, health and animal welfare, the dairy industry has suffered. Milk consumption per capita in the U.S. has tumbled more than 40% since 1975, The Associated Press reports.
There’s no better time to switch to a delicious plant-based option. Here’s a sneak peek of our upcoming plant-based milk guide in Winter Action Line.
Though it’s higher in fat than other milks, coconut milk is still low in calories at 80 per cup, but also low in protein at less than 1 gram per cup. If fortified, it can serve as a good source of vitamin D and can also supply up to 50% more calcium than dairy milk. In addition, coconut milk contains fiber and iron, two notable departures from cow’s milk. It works well in rice, Thai dishes, desserts or smoothies.
This milk has a grassy and nutty flavor. It is considered ideal for people who cannot consume gluten, nuts, and/or soy. Hemp milk naturally contains 2-4 grams per 8 oz. cup of protein. One cup contains approximately 83 calories. It has a 3-to-1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids. Other nutrients include magnesium and phytosterols, as well as some calcium, fiber, iron and potassium. It works best in grain-based dishes such as muffins or breads.
Oat milk’s rich and creamy texture, coupled with its naturally sweet, cereal-milk-like flavor, has made it the new alternative-milk star. It offers 4 grams of protein and 120 calories per cup, which is relatively higher than most non-dairy alternatives. Naturally occurring sugars give this beverage a higher carbohydrate content. Depending on the manufacturer, oat milk could be another viable option for people with nut and seed allergies. It is important, however, to read the label for added ingredients that could be allergens. It foams up fantastically for lattes and works well to thicken sauces, soups and stews. Stirring in a little sunflower or coconut oil increases the fat content, mimicing the texture of heavy cream, making it great for coffee.
No, it doesn’t taste like peas. This newest member of the plant-based milks is made from yellow peas from which the plant protein is extracted and the pea flavor is left behind. Pea milk is high in protein, with 8 grams per 8-ounce cup, and is only 75 calories per cup. It includes a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids — the good kind of fat that slows down digestion so you feel full for longer. This milk works great for smoothies, cereal, coffee, etc.
With only 60 calories per cup and no saturated fat or cholesterol, unsweetened cashew milk is often considered a good option for those looking for a creamier alternative to almond milk without the fat and calories of canned coconut milk. On the downside, when the pulp is strained from the milk, you lose almost all the fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals from the whole nut. Through fortification, however, cashew milk can offer close to 50% more calcium than cow’s milk and is an excellent source of vitamin D.
There are not many advantages to rice milk over other plant-based milks, but it is likely the most hypoallergenic of all non-dairy alternatives. Though usually derived from boiled brown rice and brown rice starch, it has no fiber and a thin consistency. It contains roughly 140 calories per cup, and only about 3 grams of fat.
Quinoa milk is fairly new to the market so it is slightly more expensive than other nondairy milks and can be a little harder to find. It is slightly sweet and nutty and has a distinct quinoa flavor. It works best poured onto cereal and in warm porridge. One cup contains 70 calories, 1 gram of fat, 2 grams of protein and 12 grams of carbohydrates.
Hazelnut milk is gluten free and cholesterol free and is an excellent source of B1, B2, B6 and vitamin E. The milk is very versatile and can be used just as dairy milk in cooking. It has only 30 calories per cup and contains no cholesterol or saturated fat.