I Can’t Believe It’s Not Milk!

As more and more of us decide to go dairy-free, for health, animal welfare, or environmental reasons, more and more non-dairy milk options are popping up to meet our needs. If you’ve only ever tried almond milk, you’re missing out on a whole new world of choices!

Let’s take a look at our non-dairy milk choices, I’ll tell you my picks, and share one of my favorite recipes!

Considering Dairy Free?
We have previously discussed the reasons to and benefits of going dairy-free.  And even those who are not entirely dairy-free consume some kind of non-dairy milk, some 50% of Americans in fact!

Even those who already drink one or more of the many alternatives available might not be aware of the unique benefits of each type on the market these days. So let’s take a look at some of the different choices and what each has to offer us.

Rice Milk

If you’re looking for a very mild, neutral-tasting milk alternative, rice milk is a good choice. It’s also the most hypoallergenic of the non-dairy milks. Rice milk is a good source of B Vitamins, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese and selenium.

Best for: Rice milk has a somewhat sweet taste which makes it a good choice for use in dessert recipes.

Soy Milk

If you want the nutrition of cow’s milk, soy milk is the answer. Its nutrition profile is very similar to that of (skim) cow’s milk. If it’s protein you’re looking for, soy milk is one of the highest protein milk alternatives. Each cup contains about 7 grams.

Best for: Because soy milk is stable at high temperatures, it’s a good choice for savory recipes and sauces.

Coconut Milk

If you’re looking for a milk substitute with a rich, creamy mouthfeel, coconut milk fits the bill. It’s rich in short and medium-chain triglycerides which are healthy fats and it’s chocked full of Vitamins C and E, both antioxidants.

Best for: Coconut milk is versatile, it can be used both in sweet and savory dishes like chia pudding and curries.

Oat Milk

Oat milk has a thick, creamy texture and the taste is close to that of dairy milk. Oat milk is a good source of calcium, potassium, iron, and Vitamin A. It also contains beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber that can boost the good bacteria in our gut.

Best for: If you’re missing cream in your coffee or tea, oat milk will change your life. It is amazing in hot drinks, creamy and substantial.

Hazelnut Milk

If you love Nutella or used to love it and gave it up because of the massive sugar content or use of palm oil and are missing the flavor, hazelnut milk will be right up your alley. Hazelnut milk contains Vitamin E and proanthocyanidins, another antioxidant that bonds with collagen which helps with skin and joint health.  

Best for: Hazelnut milk has a similar texture to melted ice cream making it a great choice when you want a tall glass of something cold and creamy. It’s also really delicious in oatmeal.

Walnut Milk

Most of us know that walnuts are the king of the nut world when it comes to nutrition and those benefits are found in walnut milk too. It contains phytonutrients, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Best for: Walnut milk is great in quick breads like zucchini or banana bread. It imparts a really nice, nutty, toasty flavor.

Pea Milk

Many vegans use pea protein powder in place of whey protein powder because of its high protein content and pea milk shares that profile, containing 8 grams of protein per cup.

Best for: Double up on your protein! Mix pea milk with pea protein powder for a double dose of muscle-building protein.   

Banana Milk

This milk alternative is cheap and easy to make yourself! Chop up a frozen banana and put it and a cup of water into a blender and blitz, voila, banana milk! You can add a pinch of cinnamon or a drizzle of vanilla extract for some extra flavor. Banana milk has lots of potassium which helps to replenish electrolytes and it contains more fiber than the other non-dairy milk because it contains the whole banana.

Best for: Banana milk makes a really delicious base for green smoothies. The banana taste provides a touch of sweetness while masking the taste of the vegetables.

Almond Milk

I’ve saved my favorite of the non-dairy milks for last. I love almond milk! I especially love homemade almond milk. When you buy commercial almond milk, most brands contain a scant 30 almonds for an entire half-gallon container. But homemade almond milk contains many, many more which means it has a much richer texture and contains much more protein and much higher levels of the nutritional benefits almonds have including Vitamin E and calcium.

Best for: Almond milk is very versatile, delicious both in sweet and savory dishes. It makes a lovely rice pudding and a fantastic creamed spinach.

Homemade Almond Milk
This is my recipe and it’s very simple to make. There is no special equipment required, apart from a high-speed blender.
Yields: About 1 quart

  • 1-1/4 cups raw almonds, soaked 8 hours in filtered water, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups of filtered water
  • sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon monk fruit liquid (optional)

For delicious variations add any or all:

  • Pinch of freshly ground cinnamon
  • A teaspoon of non-alcohol vanilla extract


  • Soak nuts as directed. Drain and rinse.
  • Place in blender with filtered water. Blend at high speed until smooth.
  • Pour through a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Set pulp aside. The pulp can be used to make a second batch using half the amount of all of the other ingredients or dried into almond flour.
  • Drink or use as is, or rinse out the blender and return milk to blender. Add maple syrup and/or agave nectar and blend again until mixed.
  • Try adding cinnamon and/or vanilla and blending until smooth.

The pulp leftover can be dried and ground into flour and used for baking healthy and delicious cookies and cakes.

Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Store in a tightly sealed jar in the fridge for 2-3 days.

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