7 Best Non-Dairy Milk Alternatives

Whether you’re dairy-free due to an allergy or by choice, you’re in luck because you can “milk” almost anything these days, from almonds and cashews to rice and oats. Discover which one is right for you using this breakdown of the most popular milk alternatives and their respective nutritional properties.

Different types of milk

1. Almond Milk

Almond milk is made from just two ingredients — ground almonds and water. While it’s widely available at the grocery store, the simplicity of the ingredients means you can also make it yourself very easily! Almond milk is naturally low in calories, and is one of the lowest-calorie non-dairy milks. It also contains beneficial nutrients like vitamin E. Overall, almond milk is very versatile and even comes in a variety of flavors like vanilla and chocolate.

Taste: Mild nutty flavor, sweet
Nutrition: 60 calories, 2.5g fat, 8g carbs, 1g protein, 45% DV calcium, 25% DV vitamin D
Good For: Cereal, smoothies, oatmeal

2. Soy Milk

Even if you’re not familiar with the majority of non-dairy milks, you’ve probably heard of soy milk. Soy milk is made from either soybeans or soy protein isolate, but commercial soy milk also sometimes contains thickeners and/or oils. Soy milk was the first milk alternative to gain major traction due to its close nutritional profile to cow’s milk. In fact, it’s one of the few plant-based sources of complete protein. As such, soy milk is widely offered in restaurants and coffee shops. However, there is some controversy among consumers over the health benefits of soy, but currently there isn’t enough conclusive evidence to substantiate any negative claims.

Taste: Neutral flavor, creamy
Nutrition: 100 calories, 4g fat, 8g carbs, 7g protein, 40% DV calcium, 25% DV vitamin D
Good For: Coffee and espresso drinks, savory dishes, baking

3. Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is made from the meat of coconuts, and can be found in a few different forms at the grocery store. Coconut milk in a carton is more often used as a substitute for cow’s milk, while coconut milk in a can is thicker and often used for cooking. Sometimes the carton variety is referred to as a “coconut beverage.” In general, coconut milk is lower in protein and carbohydrates compared to other milk alternatives, but high in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of saturated fat.

Taste: Subtle coconut flavor, sweet, creamy
Nutrition: 60 calories, 4g fat, 5g carbs, 0g protein, 6% DV calcium, 30% DV vitamin D
Good For: Curries, soups, sauces, smoothies, desserts

4. Oat Milk

Oat milk can be made simply from a combination of oats and water, but much like other milk alternatives, gums and/or oils are often added for better flavor and consistency. It typically has a consistency similar to skim milk. Like rice milk, oat milk contains high carbohydrates so it’s not the best alternative for those trying to cut down their carb consumption. On the other hand, oat milk is high in soluble fiber and can help lower cholesterol levels.

Taste: Light, mild flavor
Nutrition: 130 calories, 2.5g fat, 24g carbs, 4g protein, 35% DV calcium, 25% DV vitamin D
Good For: Coffee, pre- and post-workout smoothies, slow-cooker meals

5. Hemp Milk

Hemp milk is made from hemp seeds and water and is high in omega-3 fatty acids, making it another great option for people trying to lower their cholesterol levels. The smooth, thin consistency means it substitutes well for skim or low-fat milk. It’s important to note that despite its relation to cannabis, hemp milk does not contain any psychoactive properties.

Taste: Nutty flavor, earthy, slightly sweet
Nutrition: 70 calories, 5g fat, 1g carbs, 3g protein, 30% DV calcium, 30% DV vitamin D
Good For: Raw foods, granola, homemade ice cream

6. Rice Milk

Rice milk is made from any type of cooked rice blended with water. It’s not the most popular option due to the fact that it’s higher in sugar and lower in protein than other alternative milks. However, rice milk holds up well to heat whereas other milk alternatives tend to separate when heated. If you do choose rice milk as your dairy alternative of choice, consider choosing one made from sprouted rice which aids in digestion.

Taste: Mild flavor, sweet
Nutrition: 130 calories, 2g fat, 27g carbs, 1g protein, 30% DV calcium, 25% DV vitamin D
Good For: Cereal, baked goods

7. Pea Milk

One of the newest milk alternatives to enter the market is pea milk. Don’t be put off by the name though! Pea milk tastes nothing like peas. It’s thick and full of protein, which makes it a great option for people used to cow’s milk. Unlike other milk alternatives, pea milk is not easy to make at home so you’re better off picking up a carton from the grocery store.

Taste: Earthy flavor, silky
Nutrition: 100 calories, 4.5g fat, 6g carbs, 8g protein, 45% DV calcium, 30% DV vitamin D
Good For: Sauces, gravies, coffee, tea, desserts
Oatly

Oat-Milk, The Original, Low Fat, Vegan Oatmilk

Oat Milk

Rice Dream

Original Rice Drink

Rice Milk

Califia Farms

Unsweetened Almond Milk

Almond Milk

Califia Farms

Chocolate Coconut Almond Milk Blend

Almond/Coconut Milk

Blue Diamond

Almondmilk Coconutmilk Blend, Vanilla Almond Coconut Almond Milk Coconut Milk Blend

Almond/Coconut Milk

Blue Diamond

Unsweetened, Vanilla Almond Milk

Almond Milk

Ripple

Nutritious, Unsweetened OriginalPea Milk

Pea Milk

Manitoba Harvest

Organic, VanillaHemp Milk

Hemp Milk

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