Hey love bees! 🐝
Lately, we’ve been taking a look at some of the health benefits and ethical reasons why you should ditch the dairy, in favour of delicious plant milks. Today though, let’s take a peek at some of those plant-based options!
All plant milks are free from cholesterol, animal hormones and opiates, and make delicious, nutritious and versatile alternatives to dairy milk. 👍🏼
Whatever your personal tastes, dietary requirements and preferences, I hope this post will be helpful in suggesting some plant milks that you’ll love!
Let’s begin with soy milk!
Soy (or soya) milk can readily be found in most mainstream British supermarkets, and has long been the go-to plant milk for those who don’t consume dairy.
It has a thicker consistency than nut milks, and compared to other plant milks, is said to be the closest in texture to cow’s milk. (I’m intolerant to soy so I can’t personally verify these claims, but I have it on good authority that this is true!).
Soy milk is said to be ideal for adding to drinks, smoothies and cooking, and is a wonderful source of protein. (It actually contains even more protein than dairy milk!)
It can be found in enriched, organic, sweetened, flavoured and light varieties and is usually nut and gluten free. Unfortunately, if you’re intolerant to soy (like me) though, you won’t be able to enjoy it!
Addressing the Phytoestrogen issue…
In recent years, some people have become concerned about drinking soy milk, due to the phytoestrogens it contains.
Now, while it’s true that soy products do contain naturally-occurring compounds that act in a similar way to oestrogen, it has been shown that you’d need to be drinking soy milk in excess of several litres a day, in order render any effect from them.
Unfortunately, I have seen people choosing cow’s milk over soy milk due to their fear of phytoestrogens, without realising that dairy milk is packed full of actual oestrogen (the same kind that’s found in the human body!).
Personally, if I wasn’t intolerant to soy, then I’d happily consume soy milk! If the phytoestrogens do bother you though, I’d definitely suggest trying some of the other plant milks, to find one that best suits you!
Brands of soy milk found in the UK:
* Alpro (Enriched, organic, light, sweetened and flavoured varieties)
* Provamel (Organic, sweetened, enriched and flavoured varieties)
* Valsoia (Enriched, light, sweetened and flavoured varieties)
* Bonsoy (Enriched)
* Soya Soleil (Enriched)
* Supermarket’s Own Brand
Let’s move on to almond milk! Over the past few years, almond milk has absolutely exploded in the UK, with it quickly become a staple in many homes.
It has a mildly nutty flavour with a smooth, thin texture that makes it ideal for adding to drinks, smoothies and cereals. It’s low in calories, naturally high in vitamin E, and is often fortified with calcium, as well as other vitamins and minerals.
Almond milk is a great alternative for those who are unable to drink soy milk, however, due to it containing almonds, it’s unsuitable for nut allergy sufferers. (Surprisingly though, commercially produced almond milk actually contains a very small percentage of almonds – often around 2-3% – so much of their nutty goodness is lost!)
Addressing the carrageenan issue…
Almond milk is often thickened with carrageenan; a substance that’s derived from seaweed, which has been shown to be carcinogenic, when given to animals in large quantities.
It is not thought to be dangerous for humans (and the amounts found in certain plant milks are very small) but if this is something that concerns you, then you can choose brands that do not use it.
Brands of almond milk found in the UK :
* Alpro (Sweetened, enriched, roasted and flavoured varieties)
* Almond Breeze (Sweetened, enriched,
* Rude Health (Carrageenan free, organic)
* Plenish (Carrageenan free)
* Provamel (Carrageenan free, organic, sweetened, and blended varieties)
* Ecomil (Carrageenan free, fortified, organic, flavoured)
* Supermarkets own brand.
If nut milks are your thing, you may want to give cashew milk or hazelnut milk a try too! Compared to almond milk, hazelnut milk has a much sweeter flavour, although I wouldn’t suggest the Alpro brand, as it contains lots of added sugar!
Oat milk is much thicker, with a sweet, creamy texture that makes it ideal for adding to smoothies, coffee and cereal. It is also rich in fibre and contains beta-glucans which have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol.
Because oat milk is naturally thick and sweet, it usually doesn’t contain additives such as carrageenan, added sugars or sweeteners.
Some people say that they find the texture slightly grainy, whilst other’s praise it’s ability to absorb flavours when used in cooking.
Oat milk can be found in organic and gluten free varieties, however, many brands of oat milk do contain gluten and are therefore not suitable for coeliacs, or those with gluten intolerance. Most oat milks however, are suitable for nut allergy sufferers.
Brands of oat milk found in the UK:
* Provamel (Organic)
* Provitamil (Enriched)
* Oatly (Organic, enriched, flavoured and frothing varieties)
* Alpro (Enriched)
* Rude Health (Organic and gluten free)
* Oat Dream (Gluten free)
Hemp milk is amazingly creamy and nutritious, and is a fantastic plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids.
It is rich in magnesium and higher in fat and protein than many other plant milks, which make it ideal for adding to coffee and smoothies, as well as using in baking and cooking.
Hemp milk is normally suitable for those who are unable to consume soy, gluten and tree nuts, and is therefore a great choice for those with allergies/intolerances to such foods.
Some may consider hemp milk to have a bit of an acquired taste, however personally I love it and it’s my favourite plant milk of all! As hemp milk is less popular though, not all supermarkets will stock it.
Brands of hemp milk found in the UK:
* Good Hemp (Enriched, sweetened, and flavoured varieties)
* Ecomil (Organic)
Coconut milk doesn’t just come in a tin for cooking with, it now comes in a thinner, drinkable form!
Coconut milk is sweet, silky and flavoursome and is often thought to taste somewhat similar to dairy milk. It contains more fat (and saturated fat) than the other plant milks, and some brands (such as Alpro) have a much stronger coconut taste, whilst others (like Koko) are more subtle.
Coconut milk is much lower in protein than the other plant milks, and is often enriched with calcium, as well as vitamins B12 and D2.
Brands of coconut milk found in the UK:
* Koko (Enriched, light, and flavoured varieties)
* Coconut Dream (Enriched, flavoured)
* Rude Health (Organic)
* Alpro (Enriched, sweetened, blended, flavoured)
* Provamel (Blended, flavoured)
* Chi (Enriched, flavoured)
* Ecomil (Sweetened, enriched, and organic varieties)
If you’re after a low-fat plant milk, then rice milk might just be your thing! It has the lowest fat content and is naturally very sweet, making it ideal for using in hot drinks and smoothies!
As rice milk is much thinner than other plant milks, I personally find it less rich and flavoursome – however many people actually prefer this type of texture and flavour.
Rice milk can be made using white rice or brown rice, and the non-enriched varieties often contain fewer additives and preservatives than many of the other plant milks.
Rice milk is usually gluten, soy and nut free, which makes it ideal for those with food intolerances and allergies.
Due to it’s high GI score however, it’s unsuitable for diabetics.
Brands of rice milk that can be found in the UK:
* Provamel (Organic, flavoured varieties)
* Rude Health (Brown, organic)
* Rice Dream (Organic, enriched and flavoured varieties)
* Alpro (Enriched)
So, there we have it! We’ve taken a look at soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, hemp milk, coconut milk and rice milk – Some of the most popular plant milks currently available in the UK. I hope you saw something you liked! 😀
Which ones do you fancy trying? Or which one is your fave? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
If you live in the USA then perhaps you’re already familiar with other plant milks such as pea, quinoa and flax? I know I’d love to try all three! Hopefully before long, they’ll be hitting the shelves here in the UK!
Have an amazing day, and don’t forget to share this post with anyone you think it might help,
Love Chrissy xx
Chrissy’s Top Tips
- Aim to choose unsweetened varieties, with as few additives as possible.
- If using a plant milk that’s enriched with calcium, give the carton a shake before using it, as it tends to sink to the bottom.
- If cost is a factor, be sure to look out for a cheeky deal! The most popular brands are regularly on sale in most supermarkets!
- If you have the time, why not try making plant milks from scratch? It’s easier than you might think, and there’s tons of good recipes online!