Non-Dairy Milk Alternatives

I’ve had a few of you ask for a review of all the milk options, and I figured it was about time to share my thoughts. I’ve tried basically all the non-dairy milk alternatives that are out there. I’ll highlight my three favorites, and why I like them. Since dairy and I aren’t always the best of friends and it sometimes upsets my stomach, I’ve been using these types of milk for years. So here we go.

  milk alternatives

First of all…

Disclaimer: I don’t drink any of these straight up. I’ve never liked milk (in a glass) and I don’t drink any of these on their own. However, I frequently use these milks in cereal, smoothies, and recipes. Just keep that in mind. None of these will *taste* just like dairy milk.

First up, Almond milk

almond-milk-682x1024

My overall favorite! The unsweetened varieties have a great mild taste, (meaning they work well in recipes and smoothies) and they are super low in fat and calories. I love using almond milk in soups, smoothies, and baking. As long as you’re not allergic to almonds, I’d definitely give this one a try. Almond Breeze is a great brand, but Trader Joe’s version is great as well. I’ve even made my own (you can read about that here) but it’s a little easier to just grab it off the shelf.

Basic nutritional stats: Calories 30 Fat 1g  Sugar 0g Protein 1g*

*Note: There are tons of varieties for almond/coconut/soymilk but I’ve included the stats for the flavors pictured.

Secondly, Coconut milk

coconut milk

There are lots of types of coconut milk. There are very, very, sweet varieties, which are generally more for recipes, not for actual drinking. However, So Delicious makes a great brand of coconut milk that I love. The taste is a little coconut-y, so it’s less versatile for recipes and smoothies, unless that’s the flavor you’re going for. It can be great for tropical smoothies or ice cream recipes! Do check the labels though, because the calories, sugar and fat can range from very low to very high!

Basic nutritional stats: Calories 50 Fat 5g  Sugar 1g Protein 1g

And third… Soymilk

soymilk-682x1024

I like the taste of soymilk, and I used to use it a lot of smoothies. It has more protein than the others, and the unsweetened kind doesn’t have a lot of sugar. However, because I also eat tofu and other soy products, I’ve switched to almond milk. I’ve heard a few things about too much soy consumption, and I’d rather stay on the safe side. If you don’t eat a lot of soy otherwise, this could be a great way to get in some extra protein. I love Silk and 8th Continent brands. Again, check the labels, since the sweetened varieties can pack in a lot of sugar and calories.

Basic nutritional stats: Calories 70 Fat .51g  Sugar 5g Protein 6g

Rice milk/Hemp milk/Cashew milk/Etc.

There are tons of other types of milk. I’ve tried almost all of them, and I don’t mind them, but many of them have a bit of a funky after taste. Some of them are a little gritty. If you have specific diet restrictions, you could try these, but overall, I can’t say I personally recommend them.

If you’re watching calories, make sure you look for unsweetened varieties! Some milk alternatives are loaded with sugar! Beware!

What’s your favorite type of milk?

Comments

  1. I love good ol’ organic cows’ milk but because I’m trying to cut back on dairy, I’ve switched to homemade almond milk which does the trick. However with coffee, I love adding soy milk to my coffee because of the creamy flavor!
    Khushboo recently posted…Friday Freestylin’My Profile

  2. speaking of too much soy consumption, I’ve ended up becoming allergic to it! Seriously! Two years ago I ate like 2 to 3 servings of soy a day between the soy milk I was drinking and the tofu I was eating then the protein powder I had…
    Now I can’t even go to a restaurant without getting sick because they always use vegetable oil or soy margarine… It’s a nightmare!!
    Picky Nicky recently posted…Passover is Over!My Profile

  3. My favorite is unsweetened almond breeze! I’ve never liked milk straight up, either, but I actually LOVE drinking this stuff straight up. I’m weird :)
    Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile recently posted…A Peek into my GroceriesMy Profile

  4. I’m totally with you on that…no milk for me unless it’s in something (coffee, etc.) I usually just stick with dairy because that’s what Travis uses and I don’t use enough to go through a bottle of nondairy before it goes bad!
    Nikki recently posted…Wedding Update: Cake TestingMy Profile

  5. I like organic skim or 1% dairy or original, unsweetened almond milk. I like dairy for drinking and for my coffee, but I like almond milk for cereal and baking. The hubby ONLY likes dairy, so if I buy my almond milk, I know I can always take a swig of his stuff when needed. :)
    Tiff recently posted…Friday Happy DanceMy Profile

  6. Robin @ our semi organic life says:

    My fav is vanilla sweetened almond breeze. The best is in gallon size from Kroger. Ill drink it straight up. Also Kroger makes this brand natural chocolate almond milk. To die for!
    Robin @ our semi organic life recently posted…Tomato TransplantsMy Profile

  7. Like you my tummy does not agree with milk. Although some dairy in moderation I’m okay with. My go to dairy alternative is canned light coconut milk or homemade almond milk. I used to buy the boxed unsweetened vanilla almond milk by the case at Costco but have been reading more about the added chemicals like Carrageenan, and vitamin A palmitate which is basically a chemical form of Vitamin A. Although I do enjoy it from time to time but making it is really easy too :-)
    Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome recently posted…Fitness Friday + Motivation for the weekend!My Profile

  8. I’m not 100% sure but I think my dairy consumption (I used to drink 3-4 glasses of skim milk a day) was a part of my acne problem. So I nixed it. Now I am a Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk girl now! Love it. Like you said, I rarely drink it on its own, but in a smoothie or in oatmeal, it’s perfect!
    Parita recently posted…Funny FindsMy Profile

  9. I like the Blue Diamond Sweetened Vanilla Almond Milk. It’s like having dessert with supper.
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  10. I never liked cows milk growing up, so I just cut that part out of my diet. Now Iove drinking Blue Diamond almond milk, I can’t drink it straight up but I like it in my cereals, smoothies, etc
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  11. I’m so happy that we can get the blue diamond almond milk in the UK now, so yummy!
    Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes recently posted…Apples and afternoon pick me upsMy Profile

  12. I’ve never tried the coconut milk, but, like you, I recently switched from a great deal of soy milk to the unsweetened vanilla almond milk to decrease my soy intake. It’s delicious!
    Alexandra @ Loving the Good Life recently posted…I Don’t Know What to DoMy Profile

  13. Almond milk is my favorite! I love adding it to oatmeal because the flavor makes it so that I don’t have to add extra sweetners.
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  14. I agree about over “soy-in’” it! It’s bad for iron absorption and being anemic = no good! I’ve tried flax milk, which is really good! It’s my fav but its hard to find cheap.
    Sabrina @ Nutritiously Sweet recently posted…Taking A Step BackMy Profile

  15. I love coconut and almond milk! I always use that blue diamond one, it’s my fav!
    Jess @ JessieBear What Will You Wear? recently posted…WIAW- Who said healthy?My Profile

  16. I started to try almond milk a couple of months ago and it is pretty good-I do agree. I don’t care for soymilk and coconut milk is good. I don’t have a dairy intolerance personally, so I tend to drink a lot of “normal” milk myself. Is it even normal? I don’t know LOL.
    Hollie recently posted…Weekly StuffMy Profile

  17. Im ALL about the almond milk, though I have tried flax milk before and it was pretty tasty!! Soy tastes like water to me, and I wasn’t too impressed with coconut either, but Ive only tried 1 brand. Im pretty loyal to my almond milk though :)
    Kat recently posted…Friday Truths.My Profile

  18. I use Silk’s Pure Unsweetened Almond Milk for recipes and even for just drinking sometimes when I’m feeling like I need a calcium boost, but I LOVE hemp milk in cereal. I’m not a big cereal eater, so I seldom purchase it, but it really enhances cereal, especially muesli.

  19. Almond milk all the way!!!!!!!!!! :)
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  20. I love almond milk- Blue DIamond to be exact…I can tell a difference between that and silk, its weird. but I am the kind of person that drinks it straight up! Ill put it in cereal, smoothies etc, but I love it!
    sara @ fitcupcaker recently posted…Flashback FridayMy Profile

  21. That is the exact almond milk I use. It’s all I use!! I will drink soy or coconut, but only buy the almond!! YUM!

  22. I use Blue Diamond Vanilla Almond Milk too :) It is a great compliment to my morning oats!
    Diane @ Life of Di. recently posted…Glorious Day: Easter 2013.My Profile

  23. I use soy from time to time. I have tried almond milk and wasn’t too big of a fan. I love coconut milk, it’s great in soups. My favorite milk replacement though is oat milk, It’s super delicious and really easy to make- just seep oats in cold water for a few hours and strain.

  24. I am definitely a fan of almond milk. In fact, we now use it exclusively. I bought coconut milk once, but was not a fan of it, and believe it or not, I’ve never had soy milk.
    Michelle @ Eat Move Balance recently posted…Friday’s FiveMy Profile

  25. My favorite non-dairy milk is unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I am not picky on the kind). Recently, however, I tried the Blue Diamond coconut flavored almond milk and it is amazing!!!
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl recently posted…Spicy Bean Buddha BowlMy Profile

  26. I’m an unsweetened almond milk girl all the way!
    Katie @ Live Half Full recently posted…Signs of SpringMy Profile

  27. Great post! So many people want to know what they are getting into before they buy new items!
    Jane @ Not Plain So Jane recently posted…Spin, Omega 3′s, CoffeeMy Profile

  28. I love almond milk, they’ve only really just brought it properly out in australia in the last year. I’ve never tried coconut milk apart from the canned kind used for cooking.
    Jan @ Sprouts n Squats recently posted…Friday Favourites #5My Profile

  29. I’ve never liked milk myself and have toyed with the idea a little bit of switching to a non-dairy milk. Might give one a try soon!
    Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian recently posted…Sick Day(s)My Profile

  30. Good info, Liz. I never see coconut milk around here so I haven’t tried it. I need to get some so I can make smoothies again.
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  31. Unsweetened vanilla almond milk is the ony one I will buy. Soooo good! I can’t imagine even needing to sweeten it.
    Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table recently posted…Strange But Good Hummus French ToastMy Profile

  32. We are going the Paleo route so we’re in the process of trying out non-dairy alternatives. Everyone in the family is the same, no one likes to drink a glass of milk, but we use it in smoothies, cereal, etc. The current favorite is coconut vanilla milk from Trader Joe’s. Trying Almond Milk next :)
    Jen@HealthyFoodandFamily recently posted…Paleo Pancakes {sort of…}My Profile

  33. I LOVE almond milk, I use it in every recipe that calls for milk and even make fake buttermilk from it. I’ve used soy milk and coconut milk in the past but I just don’t seem to get the desired effect or taste.

  34. We love almond and coconut milk. Haven’t tried Hemp milk yet.

  35. I like the plain, unsweetened Almond Breeze–I just use it in my coffee and smoothies. I switched back to skim milk for a few months but think the almond milk provides a bit more flavor in my coffee. Dream Blends has an almond, cashew, hazelnut blend–that’s pretty good, too.
    Nicole recently posted…Friday Round-UpMy Profile

  36. Christine says:

    First, let me say that I am a huge fan….and I eat meat :) You just may convert me yet. That said, I have a granola cruncher side to me too and I too agree with your evaluation. Almond milk, Coconut and then Soy. I do actually like rice milk but pretty sweet. Lately I’ve used sweetened vanilla soy milk (I buy Kirkland’s from Costco by the case) in my coffee. Nespresso coffee with the frother is just to DIE for in the am. It’s like I have a barista in my kitchen and she ALWAYS gets my name right. Recommend! I just love your blog and I added you to my browser. You’re like a sista to me- Keep the thoughts rolling. Love l.ove love.

  37. I try not to use soymilk for the same reasons you say: I eat a lot of tofu or TVP, etc., so I try to limit soy elsewhere. I LOVE almond milk, and do actually drink it on its own. The Trader Joe’s Unsweetened Vanilla is my absolute favorite. [It is also delicious warmed up with cinnamon for a bedtime soother....]

    I’ve never really been able to get behind coconut milk. It has always been too watery for me. I like the canned stuff for cooking, and would almost prefer THAT on my cereal or something. :) As for grain milks, I don’t have too much experience with them. Rice milk is super creamy, and TJ’s made a mixed grain milk I was drinking until they stopped carrying it, but that was years ago.
    Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen recently posted…Pomegranate Avocado Sauce [#MMAZ]My Profile

  38. I don’t like milk either and have been drinking soy for a long time. I switchd to almond milk a while ago and now switched to coconut milk. I love the good fats that you get in coconut milk!
    Sydney recently posted…Friday Chic: ScruffyMy Profile

  39. It is really crazy how much sugar can be in non-dairy milks. I personally buy the silk soymilk (with a coupon when I can) since I can’t afford much meat and want a little protein with it. My other favorite is almond milk — unsweetened vanilla please! :)
    Kathleen @ Kat’s Health Corner recently posted…Spiced Baked AppleMy Profile

  40. I used to swear by Almond Breeze almond milk, but after hearing some bad stuff about carrageean, I switched to Silk’s almond milk. I actually think I like it better…and I may be weird, but I LOVE it straight up! I ONLY buy the unsweetened varieties…I still don’t see how people drink the sweetened ones. The man-friend usually buys Almond Breeze or TJ’s sweetened almond milk and I’ve tried it a few times, but it’s always too much for my tastes….guess I’m a bit of a diva when it comes to sugar! ;)

    Ugh, I tried rice milk once….puke!

  41. I’ve seen a lot of soy milk lovers and not to stear you away from it but make sure its ORGANIC! the chemical altered soy can create breast cancer and other issues. I developed lumps in my breasts from drinking a soy protein daily. They were thankfully non cancerous and went away after 6 months. But now I have to be watched. I was 28 at the time. I love almond and coconut milk! Organic soy milk for the toddler. My 7 year old likes almond milk in her cereal.

  42. I have been looking for a good non-dairy alternative to milk for a long time. I began with soy, moved to coconut, then almond, but my new favorite is unsweetened hemp milk it combines well with the Vegan protein I’m using in the mornings. I also enjoy a splash in my coffee, but I practically drink mine black, so I’m not sure if it’s the best soy for someone who is accustomed to milk or half-and-half.

    I made the switch because dairy inflames my allergies. Ever since I cut dairy out of my diet, I noticed I have less bloat and more energy.
    Lia recently posted…Manic ArtMy Profile

    • I’ve only tried hemp milk once so I think I ought to try it again! I drink my coffee mostly black, too :)

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