Milk Alternatives

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Latest Edit: Iva Lloyd, ND 2013-07-07 (EDT)

Milk alternatives are necessary for those that are vegan or for those that have an adverse reaction to milk. The following chart looks at the pros and cons of the common milk alternatives.

See Also: Dairy

Alternative Pros Cons
Goat / Sheep Milk
  • A good alternative for toddler’s first milk.
  • Easier to digest than cow’s milk.
  • Similar consistency to cow’s milk.
  • Goat, sheep and other ruminant milks contain similar proteins to cow’s milk. Hence, allergies/sensitivities are common.
  • Contains lactose
Nut Milks – such as almond, cashew
  • High in protein, “good fats” and vitamins.
  • Creamy consistency with a nutty taste.
  • Taste tends to work well with cereals and baked foods better than soya.
  • Suitable for smoothies and cooking / baking.
Rice milk
  • Can be quite sweet, especially if flavoured.
  • Not overly useful for cooking due to the watery consistency. Often requires a binding or stabilizing agent.
  • Low in protein, unless fortified, hence not a great protein substitute.
Coconut milk
  • Low protein level. Higher in fat than other milk alternatives.
  • Taste is quite distinctive, which can be good or bad, depending on personal preference.
Hemp milk
  • Better protein level than rice milk, but not as good as nut milk or soya milk.
  • Is okay to use with some cooking recipes.
Oat milk
  • Protein level is similar to hemp milk.
  • Is okay to use with some cooking recipes.
  • Taste is fairly mild and nutty tasting making it suitable for hot cereals and breakfast foods
Soya Milk
  • Readily available.
  • High in protein, good source of calcium, less fat and cholesterol than dairy.
  • Less fat and cholesterol than cow’s milk.
  • Suitable for cooking and baking.
  • Cold dessert options also available.