Milk. If I had known the lengths to which the dairy industry goes to convince us that we can’t live without it, the rebel in me would definitely have sought out alternatives sooner. Soy milk was the first ‘milk substitute’ I learnt about—and it’s still my favourite option: it’s high in protein, has a low environmental footprint compared to other milks, it’s creamy in coffee, and is the most affordable store-bought option.
Still, there are loads of plant milk options available, ready-made in stores, and in the form of nuts, seeds and grains just waiting to be soaked, blended and strained into creamy goodness! Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Soy milk. A great all-round option, affordable, creamy, nutty flavour that’s nice in coffee, low environmental footprint. A bit laborious to make at home.
- Oat milk. Definitely the trendiest option nowadays, and for good reason. Really creamy, great in coffee, super cheap if you make your own, and has very low environmental footprint.
- Almond milk. Tasty, but not very nutritious (unless you make your own), higher water footprint than other plant milks, can be pricey.
- Macadamia/Cashew/Brazil nut milk: All super delicious, but pricey. Consider it a treat.
- Coconut milk: Beautifully creamy, a good option for desserts where the coconut will complement other flavours.
- Rice milk: Has a light sweetness, but it’s quite watery (not creamy) and not very nutritive.
- Sesame milk: Creamy, nutty flavour that works great with coffee (my current favourite!).
Check your local supermarkets to see what’s available, and try different brands. Even within the same type of plant milk (e.g. oat milk), the taste and consistency will vary a lot between brands, depending on what additional ingredients they use (e.g. sweeteners and emulsifiers) and in what ratios.
Almost any nut, seed, grain or legume can end up as milk! If you’re feeling adventurous, want to reduce your packaging waste or save some money, make your own plant milk. All you need is a blender and a nut milk bag (or just an old clean t-shirt)—it’s the easiest thing. Try my recipe for oat milk, or sesame milk 🙂