If you are lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, it can be hard to find a good substitution. I have a milk allergy and I’ve gone through dozens of different milk alternatives. There are a number of different products on the market now, but they all have their own benefits and drawbacks. I’ll bring you through the different choices and tell you the best way to use them in your meals and recipes.
Soy Milk: This is one of the best known milk alternatives. It is made from soy beans and water, to make a nutritious drink product. It is naturally low in fat. Soy is another common allergen, so it is not suitable for everyone. Some people are worried about the isoflavone levels in soybeans, which can affect estrogen. If you’re worried about hormone effects of soy, check with your doctor before drinking soy milk. Use soy milk as a substitute in your coffee and breakfast cereals. It cooks really well, so use it in baking and savory uses.
Almond Milk: This tasty drink is made from ground almonds. It has a rich history and was used extensively in the Middle Ages. It has lower protein than cows milk and it shouldn’t be used as a replacement for breast milk. It is good as a milk substitute in baked goods. You can make your own at home by soaking 1 cup of raw almonds with plenty of water overnight. The next day, drain the nuts and add 4 cups of filtered water. Blend it all until very smooth and strain it with cheesecloth. Sweeten to taste.
Rice Milk: Rice milk is made from brown rice and tends to be naturally sweeter than other milk alternatives. It has more carbohydrates and less protein when compared to other alternatives. It is delicious on its own as a drink but it can be too sweet and thin for baking and savory uses. You can make your own rice milk by boiling 1/2 cup of uncooked rice with 5 cups of water until the rice is very soft. Blend it until smooth. Add flavorings or sweeteners to taste.
Coconut Milk: This is an uncommon milk alternative but it’s my favorite so I had to include it. I buy it in cartons at alternative grocery stores. It is a common Asian ingredient and you can find it at many Asian grocery stores. I buy it in liter cartons. It’s much higher in fat and calories when compared to other alternatives. I use a few tablespoons in my oatmeal. I like the creaminess of it and the flavor is amazing. It would be a great product for savory and sweet cooking. I wouldn’t recommend drinking a glass of it.