In the past few years, my family has suffered with various health problems which have led them to alter their diets. Currently my sister is trying a dairy-free diet, and in a few days time I’m going to join her!
We have been experimenting with different milk alternatives, so I thought I would look into the properties of each one, as well as how good they are as a replacement for cow’s milk! As a side note, we generally buy the unsweetened versions, so those are the ones I’m discussing. (Also bare in mind the contents may vary according to the brand!)
I’ll begin with my current favourite, Oat Milk.
Oat Milk is my favourite mostly because of the taste. I think as far as a replacement for cow’s milk, it tastes really good. In coffee it gives it a really creamy taste (like American coffee), and it even works in tea (I’ve found it best with loose-leaf tea).
What about the health benefits of Oat Milk? Well, firstly it is a good milk alternative for those with nut or soya allergies, lactose intolerance, and even those with gluten intolerance (check the packet to ensure it’s gluten-free).
It contains 2g of Fiber per cup, which is double the amount of Fiber as almond and soya milk, and cow’s milk has 0g of Fiber. It has 4g of Protein per cup, which is less than cow’s milk and soya but is more than nut milks contain.
It is also low in fat and calories, cholesterol-free, and full of nutrients such as Vitamin A and Iron, plus it contains up to 43% of your recommended daily allowance of Calcium (depends which brand- we use Oatly chilled Oat drink which has extra nutrients added) in each cup- which is more than cow’s milk!
My second favourite is Cashew Milk, because to me it also has a good taste. It’s slightly less creamy than Oat Milk, and tastes great in coffee. I haven’t tried it in tea yet but I would imagine it tastes fine! UPDATE: I love it in tea- I now prefer it in tea to Oat Milk!
What are the health benefits of Cashew Milk? Well, it is very low in calories (the unsweetened version has just 25 calories a cup!) and in saturated fat. It also contains 43% of your RDA of Calcium, and 20% of your RDA of Vitamin D per cup! (Based on Alpro Cashew Drink).
It contains other nutrients too such as Vitamins A and B, but is lower in Protein with around 1.5 grams in a cup.
Hazelnut Milk is a firm favourite of mine- however I would say it’s the least versatile as it has a strong hazelnut taste!
The benefits of Hazelnut Milk include that it is gluten, lactose and soya-free, low in calories and contains no cholesterol or saturated fat. It is also packed with B Vitamins and Vitamin E, and is high in Calcium and Vitamin D, but like Cashew Milk is low in protein.
Almond Milk is one I use for some things but avoid for others- it’s fine for cooking and great for smoothies but not so good in hot drinks (in my opinion).
What are the benefits? Well, as with the other nut milks, it contains Vitamins A, B and D, Calcium and is lactose, soya and gluten-free. Again like other nut milks it’s lower in protein than cow’s milk.
So there you have it, there’s some information on some of my favourite milk alternatives! In Part 2 I’ll compare Soya, Rice, Hemp and Coconut (I haven’t tried them all yet!)