Plant-Based Mylks: The Best Guide for Newbies

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Plant-based mylks have been popping up everywhere. Did you notice the spelling? Now you are one of the cool kids. Yes that’s the new way to describe a liquid made from nuts and plants. MYLK. Pretty cool huh? As a reminder, Veganuary is a great time to take a look at non-dairy alternatives.

Rolled oats in a bowl and on a spoon next to a bottle of oat milk

Why Are People Choosing Plant-Based Mylks?

In recent years, many people have decided to step away from traditional cow’s milk. Nut free plant-based mylks have been great a great alternative for those with nut allergies. Of course, those who identify as vegan do not consume any animal products, including the milk of animals. Fun fact! Humans are the only species to drink the milk of another species. This is true even though reports suggest that over 70% of the globe is lactose intolerant. That means that millions of people are unable to digest the sugar (lactose) in milk.

Most plant-based mylks don’t offer the saturated fats that traditional milk does. Please note that coconut milk is high in saturated fats. If you are concerned about heart disease and elevated cholesterol levels, you may be thinking that it’s time to try something different with your cereal, pancakes and coffee. This post is not going to make any recommendations. I just want to give you a lay of the land so that you know what your options are.

A bottle of plant-based mylk surrounded by coconuts

Non-Dairy Alternatives Have a History

Don’t let all of the marketing and hype make you think that plant-based mylks are a new thing. We may have grown up with cow’s milk in the fridge but that’s not the case for everyone around the world. Non-dairy alternatives have graced tables in Asia, the Caribbean and South Africa for centuries. I guess you could say that rice milk is the baby of the bunch having just been discovered in the early 1900s.

Plant-Based MYLKs to Consider

  • Oat Milk: Made by blending oats and water. Look for ones with 2 or 3 ingredients and avoid the ones that use oils to thicken them up.
  • Almond Milk: Of course not an option if you are allergic to nuts. This one is also made by blending almonds and water. Sadly, the production of almond milk requires lots of water which has caused some backlash against the industry.
  • Soy Milk: This non-dairy alternative has been produced for thousands of years. Made with only soybeans and water. Skip this one if you are soy allergic.
  • Coconut Milk: This is another traditionally 2 ingredient plant-based mylk. It comes from grated coconut meat and water. Watch out for companies that add sugar.
  • Hemp Milk: I was surprised to find this at Target. Hemp seeds have a nutty flavor and great for adding to cereal and oatmeal. Like oat milk, the liquid version should have a few ingredients.
  • Pea Milk: No! It won’t be green. It’s actually made from yellow-split peas that they turn into flour. So it’s white/beige like the others. Pea milk is a great source of plant-based protein and nutrients.

So that’s it! Now when you see plant-based mylk at the market, you know what to do. Try one or try a few. I did just that when I spotted a recent sale. Wishing you the best on your plant-based journey!

LA is a plant-based advocate who now has a refrigerator full of plant-based mylks. Sign up below for Recipes & Random-Ish Newsletter and find her on IG and Tik Tok.

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