What to do when you have to avoid milk and its by products? Those with galactosemia or those lactose intolerance can turn to the available alternative. The following are some of my absolute favorite non-dairy milk alternatives.
Almond milk has become one of the most popular dairy-free milk products. It can be used for everything milk can, including cooking and baking, as well as tasting great on cereal and in coffee. Almond milk is creamy with a slight natural sweetness and plenty of essential nutrients such as vitamin E. It’s also very easy to find as most stores stock it. One thing to keep in mind about almond milk is that it isn’t free of soy, so you need another alternative if you have a soy intolerance or are also avoiding soy for health reasons.
Soy milk is typically what comes to mind when thinking of dairy-free alternatives. In fact, it’s the main alternative of choice at most coffee shops. Soy milk is one of the richest kinds of non-dairy milk alternatives as it gets its density through fat, protein, and fiber, while still being low in saturated fats and cholesterol. It’s one of the best choices for baking, cooking, or pouring over cereal. Soy milk is also rich in protein, making it one of my favorite milk alternatives. It basically has everything you need from milk without the lactose that makes you sick.
Coconut milk is quickly rising through the ranks of dairy alternatives because not only is it free from dairy, it’s also free of soy and gluten. The only potential problem with coconut milk is that it is rich in fat and saturated fat. Even so, it is rich and creamy, making it ideal for dairy-free curry, pasta, and puddings. With so many choices for coconut milk out there it can be hard to choose one, but my own personal favorite is Thai Kitchen’s Coconut Milk; which also comes in a lite variety.
Rice milk can be thinner than soy milk and almond milk, but it is sweeter and lighter, making it ideal for cereals and hot drinks. Rice milk is also a good choice for dairy-free baking, but it shouldn’t be used in sauces unless you have a binding or stabilizing agent you can use with it. If you’re looking to make a sauce, then it’s easier to just buy a thicker non-dairy product such as almond milk.
Which is the Best Choice?
Exactly which is the best dairy-free milk alternative can depend on your needs. Soy milk will always be a solid choice, but if you’re allergic to soy as well then you might want to consider coconut milk. If you want something sweet for your cereal, then rice milk is a great choice. It just doesn’t have the consistency to be used for other thinks milk is needed for. Don’t forget to buy organic when you can!