When it comes to plant-based milks, we are spoilt for choice; from almond to oat to rice and coconut, there’s a milk for everyone and every recipe. Through this abundance however, it can sometimes be hard to choose which to cook with and when. The good thing is you can replace dairy milk with a plant-based milk in any recipe! And even better, the production of plant-based milks results in a fraction of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with dairy, and uses less land and water. As the nutrients often settle at the bottom of plant milks, make sure to shake the carton well before pouring to get all the goodness in your cuppa!
Here are some of our favourite ways to use the non-dairy milks you can find in the supermarket.
Soy is one of the most accessible plant-based milks, as it is offered in most cafes and supermarkets in the UK and is perhaps one of the first that springs to mind when looking for a dairy alternative. This milk is made from the soybean – the same bean that tofu is made out of – and is high in protein. With a neutral, creamy taste and a similar consistency to dairy, soy milk is a great addition to many classic recipes such as bechamel sauces, cakes and cereals. The production of soy milk also uses the least amount of water than any other milk so it’s a great option both for you and the environment. All round it’s a great milk to start with when deciding to swap to non-dairy alternatives!
Whilst nuttier tasting than soya milk, both almond and soy milks are similar in texture. With a smooth, lighter taste like soy milk, it is great in any of your favourite recipes. It is low in calories but high in vitamin E and D too! Almond milk also only requires a tenth of land use than dairy milk, so buying it will help reduce your carbon footprint.
Oat milk is a great alternative to dairy milk and is an increasingly popular one too. With its thick and creamy texture and oaty flavours, it adds lovely depth to hot drinks such as teas and coffees. Many plant-based milks brands have released barista versions of their oat milk in supermarkets, so it is easier than ever to get your hands on a non-dairy milk that won’t curdle and also creates a foamed texture. Low in emissions as well as land and water use, oat milk is a safe choice both for you and the environment.
Coconut milk is, by nature, sweeter in flavour than oat, soy and almond milks and therefore a simple, delicious way to brighten up your everyday food and drink. Put a twist on your morning oats or vamp up the tropical flavours in your fruity desserts and smoothies by adding coconut milk!
Very similar to coconut milk, rice milk is a sweeter-tasting milk and therefore a great addition to coffee without having to add preservatives or sugar syrups. Rice milk has a lovely, creamy taste and is especially good on colder days. You can also add rice milk to recipes for extra flavour. Rice milk requires the smallest land use than any other milks so consuming this helps reduce deforestation and its negative impacts on the environment.
With so many plant milks to choose from, which will be the next on your shopping list?