Milk is a staple in many households, but what if you don’t have any on hand? It’s not as simple to substitute for milk as it might seem. When choosing a substitute for milk, there are many factors to take into account. For example, if you’re making rice cereal for your baby, then almond milk won’t work because the fat content will upset their stomach. In this blog post, we’ll go through 11 substitutes for milk so that you can make sure you always have one at home!
The best milk substitutes are typically unsweetened soy or pea-based blends fortified with calcium and vitamin D. These two nutrients benefit strong bones, hormone regulation, and general immunity in young children.
If you follow a vegan lifestyle, you will want to look for alternatives that have vitamin B12, vitamin A, and DHA/EPA omega-3s. Be sure to avoid “barista blend” milk substitutes. These may be good for frothing but often contain added sugar or other additives. Instead, add vanilla, clove, or cinnamon to hot beverages.
1. Soy Milk
A study released last 2018 that compared plant-based milk alternatives found soy to have the most balanced nutritional profile of the bunch. Silk is one of the original soy-milk producers, and its version has 80 calories per cup with four grams of fat, seven grams of protein, and three grams of carbohydrates. This makes it similar in protein and fat to a glass of 2% milk. Silk also fortifies its soy milk with vitamins A, D2, and B12 and adds gellan gum to make it thicker.
You can purchase soy milk for around $1 to $3 a half-gallon, which is the cheapest of the plant-based options and can be found at any grocery store. The issue with soy milk is that it doesn’t react well to heat, and therefore isn’t suitable for hot drinks. But almond milk has emerged as a good substitute in coffee shops.
One of the first milk substitutes to emerge, soy milk utilizes a range of ingredients for nourishment. With 8g plant-based protein per cup and 80 calories, this substitute also includes antioxidants and fiber in addition to providing critical polyunsaturated fats. One way to make soy milk is to soak and blend these little beans, then straining out any leftover pulp before consuming.
2. Almond milk
If you’re looking for a traditional milk flavor and texture with fewer calories, almond milk is an excellent option. But unsweetened, unfortified versions of almond milk are not nutritionally dense-a serving is only about 40 calories, mostly from fat.
Almond milk is a plant-based alternative to dairy. Commercial almond milk ranges between 35-90 calories per cup, and there are loads of blends and unsweetened versions to choose from. These drinkable forms contain some straightforward ingredients like almonds and water, plus other emulsifiers and fortifying nutrients.
Dairy-free milk, like almond milk, also offers vitamins and minerals that can help you fill in the gaps. Some brands are higher in protein than others, with Elmhurst Almond Milk having about 5 grams of protein per serving (though other types of milk have more).
Almonds are chock-full of monounsaturated fats, and that makes them a potential weight-loss food. Marketing for almond milk can have people believe that each bottle is packed with almonds. Milk alternatives such as almond milk have been in the media spotlight recently. They are a healthy alternative for those looking to avoid common allergens, but Silk (one of the most prominent creators) made headlines when a lawsuit alleged that each bottle contained less than 2% percent almonds and 80% of those nuts were grown in countries that are seeing increasing drought-related effects.
Almond milk is available at various price points. Shelf-stable boxes can be found for $4 or under, as well as fresh and refrigerated almonds from brands like Califia Farms. Home remedies are just a click away with the purchase of an easy-to-use food processor that churns out most almond milk while leaving no mess behind.
3. Cashew milk
Cashew milk is the perfect substitution for milk when added to tea or coffee. Make your own cashew milk by soaking, blending with water, and straining ground cashews. Cashew milk contains around 40-50 calories per cup as well as a variety of nutrients such as iron, copper, and zinc.
Cashew nuts themselves provide zinc, copper, and magnesium that helps to support your immune system – the real difference is flavor. Cashew milk or almond milk? If you are choosing an unsweetened version for any nut, go with whichever you prefer.
Unsweetened versions of cashew milk contain few macronutrients. For someone looking to lose weight, for instance, replacing whole milk with nut milk may be an excellent place to start. But for athletes who want to restore and preserve cardiovascular health, cashew milk is not enough. Compared to almond milk, cashew milk is slightly creamier. It’s a single-cup serving of 25 calories, primarily from fat.
Like almond milk, you can make your own cashew milk at home with only an extra investment of time. A half-gallon of cashew milk will cost around $3.50 and will provide the same vitamin D and protein as traditional dairy products without the heart disease risk factors. One lenient way to provide your child with milk while traveling is to buy it in the local grocery store, which may be a significant chain.
Improvement: One-way parents can provide their children with milk while traveling is by buying it at the local grocery store. They have typically had one or more brands stocked.
4. Oat milk
Oat milk is a substitute for milk that makes the best dairy-free coffee. Check your grocery store for substitution options like Trader Joe’s or Costco, but you will need to make sure to buy an unsweetened version of oat milk because some brands are sweetened with maple syrup or brown sugar (or both).
While oats themselves do not contain protein and fiber as almonds and cashews do, they provide many vitamins, including vitamin B12, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, folate, and pantothenic acid. Oats also offer minerals such as iron and magnesium, which help build strong bones.
Homemade oat milk is easy to prepare using rolled oats soaked overnight in water then blended into a creamy liquid. You can substitute oat milk in many recipes, and it is delicious when mixed into a latte or with cereal.
Improvement: Homemade oat milk made at home using rolled oats soaked overnight in water then blended into a creamy liquid tastes good in lattes or cereals.
5. Hemp milk
Hemp milk is originated from the seeds of the hemp plant and can be found in traditional grocery stores, as well as local health food markets. Unsweetened varieties are used for a variety of recipes to substitute milk, while others like “Oatly” make both unsweetened and sweetened versions with flavors such as vanilla or strawberry.
If you’re looking for soy-free substitutes, hemp milk may be your best choice because it has more protein than almond milk and will not have any adverse effects on people who suffer chronic inflammation due to dairy sensitivities (including those allergic). Hemp also offers omega fatty acids that support brain function, bone strengthening, immune system strength, skin elasticity, and hair growth – so this substitute makes sense if they are looking for a replacement that can provide them with more than just nourishment.
Improvement: Unsweetened hemp milk is often used in recipes, but if you prefer sweet flavors, they also offer versions such as vanilla or strawberry from Oatly. Hemp contains omega fatty acids to support brain function and hair growth, which may be desired by those who
6. Rice milk
Rice milk is a vegan milk replacement made by blending rice with water. It can, in its unsweetened form, be lower calorie than other soy milk due to its lack of natural sugars. However, many plain varieties of rice milk contain added sugar and are better off reserved as an option for those who cannot tolerate nuts or seeds such as peanuts.
Rice milk is an ideal substitute for regular milk because of its high carbohydrate content. Although it doesn’t contain any protein, the carbohydrates make it perfect for a pre-workout drink. At 70 calories, it is between cow’s milk and almond milk on the caloric spectrum. It contains 25% of your daily requirement for calcium.
“If you are looking for a milk substitute, be sure to find one that isn’t sweetened, including one made from rice. Rice-based substitutes often contain added sugars, which can skew your understanding of just how much sugar you are consuming each day.” Make sure the product does not have additives like canola oil, tapioca starch, and xanthan gum. The milk goes for $6 per half-gallon, which is slightly more expensive than almond milk.
7. Spiced milk
Some people prefer spiced milk over coconut milk because of its flavor and consistency, which is commonly used in warm dishes like soup; some say the sweetness of the spice makes it better suited for desserts, but this can be modified according to personal preference.
Since this substitute is made with whole milk, it will have more fat and calories than other substitutes. Spiced dairy can also be used for cooking because of its unique flavors, but if you are looking for a substitute that’s in line with your goals – coconut or almond may be the way to go.
8. Evaporated milk
Evaporated milk is a substitute that’s made from condensed whole or skimmed cow’s milk. It differs from evaporated cane juice because it does not have any sweeteners added to it.
It can be used in cooking and as an alternative for condiments like whipped cream. The downside of this substitute, however, is the high amount of sodium found within its ingredients which may cause those who are watching their salt intake to shy away from using this product on a regular basis.
9. Heavy cream
Heavy cream is made from whole milk that’s been whipped and then left to settle for a period of time. This substitute can be used in the place of butter or margarine, but it will contain some fat.
Those who can’t tolerate lactose should avoid this substitute because it contains all the natural components found in cow’s milk, such as lactose (which some people have issues processing). Another downside to heavy cream is its high-calorie content which means those with weight loss goals may want to stick with other substitutes – unless they’re looking specifically for added calories like during pre-workout hours before an intense workout session.
10. Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is a substitute that can be used for three purposes: it’s high in protein and low-fat, which makes it perfect to use as a substitute for cheese or sour cream; the added proteins make it great for improving muscle recovery after intense workouts.
The downside of this substitute is its sugar content, so those who are watching their calories may want to consider other substitutes such as coconut milk. It also has more carbs than almond milk but less than cow’s milk. If you’re looking specifically for yogurts that contain probiotic cultures (such as lactobacillus acidophilus), Greek yogurt should be your number one choice because these beneficial bugs help with digestion while providing an immune boost too.
In order to substitute for cow’s milk, Greek yogurt must be covered in the same amount. For example: if you need a quarter cup of milk to make your morning oatmeal – it will take ¼ cup of greek yogurt and ½ tablespoon sugar to replicate that consistency.
11. Silken tofu
Silken tofu is a substitute that can be used in place of dairy products like milk or yogurt. It’s also high in protein and low-fat, so it provides an alternative to sour cream for those who are looking to avoid the fat content found in heavy creams.
Silken tofu is a popular substitute for milk in dishes that require curdling. It’s also a favorite ingredient for vegan soups, smoothies, sauces, and desserts. Because of its high water content, it blends well with equal parts of soy milk to create a creamy mixture that can replace coconut milk at the ratio of 1:1.
The bottom line
The substitute should be used in the same amount as milk. If you need a quarter cup of cow’s milk to make your morning oatmeal – it will take ¼ cup of greek yogurt and ½ tablespoon sugar to replicate that consistency.
If you’re looking specifically for yogurts that contain probiotic cultures (such as lactobacillus acidophilus), Greek yogurt should be your number one choice because these beneficial bugs help with digestion while providing an immune boost too.
In order to substitute for dairy products like milk or yogurt, silken tofu must be replaced in the same amount. For example: if you need a quarter cup of farmer’s cheese on top of macaroni and cheese, then use ¼ cup silken tofu and ½ tablespoon sugar to replicate that consistency.