The Best Milk Alternatives That Put Cow Juice To Shame
I might have a slight obsession with trying different milk alternatives. Whenever I see a new one at the store, I reach for it without even giving it a second thought. I’ve tried everything from almond to walnut, and now I’m here to show you my favorites.
Almond milk is light and more akin to a skim milk taste, which is why I love it so much. Unfortunately, almonds require a ton of water to grow, so this alternative is not very environmentally friendly. According to a report on sustainability from UCSF published last year, the water and pesticides used in growing almonds “may produce long lasting effects on the environment in drought-stricken California, where more than 80% of the world’s almonds are grown.” It was a tough decision, but I ultimately decided to break up with almond milk in favor of oat.
Oat milk is my ride-or-die right now, but it took me a little while to get accustomed to it. At first, I found it to be too thick and “milky.” It freaked me out because it tasted a little too similar to milk. But I’ve gotten used to the taste and now it’s definitely my favorite. It also has heart health benefits thanks to beta-glucans, and is “often enriched with nutrients – including calcium, potassium, iron, and vitamins A and D,” making it a great milk alternative, according to Healthline. Oats are also very sustainable, so the environmental impact of oat milk is much lower than regular milk or nut-based alternatives.
I love flax milk because of its mild taste. It’s probably my favorite when it comes to cereal because you don’t get a super nutty taste and it’s thinner than oat milk. It’s heart healthy, containing no cholesterol, and is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Along with oat milk, it’s one of the most environmentally friendly choices, since it’s “much less water-intensive, grows in 50 countries around the world (meaning less fuel emissions from shipping), and is self-pollinating,” according to Care2.
Cashew is another solid milk substitute. It’s creamy but mild in taste and has a subtle sweetness. It’s less nutty than other nut-based alternatives. It’s pretty similar to almond milk in taste, nutrition, and environmental impact. Cashew milk is my favorite to make myself. I soak cashews overnight in water and then blend them with fresh water and a couple dates for added sweetness. After straining, it makes a perfect creamer for my morning tea, no sugar needed!
If you want to feel super extra, go for pecan milk. It’s rich, creamy, and full of flavor. I’m not sure how well pecan milk would go with a bowl of cereal, but it makes a great addition to coffee and tea. I couldn’t find very much information on the environmental impact of pecans, but I assume it’s similar to other nuts. They also contain tons of vitamins, like A, E, calcium, potassium, and zinc, but are higher in fat.
Macadamia milk is another great choice if you’re feeling fancy and extra af. It’s creamy, sweet, and nutty. Usually only the fanciest of coffee shops will offer a macadamia milk option and it’s always by far the best thing on the menu, so if you see a macadamia milk latte, do not turn it down! As with pecans, I couldn’t find much information on the environmental impact. It’s also not the healthiest choice out there, with a higher sugar content than other nut milks.
Cover image via Taste of Home