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Non-dairy milks explained

by skating tomato (follow)
Nutrition (265)      Vegan (122)      Gluten Free (113)     
Non-dairy milks have taken centre stage over the past few years, and while this is brilliant news for the health-conscious, vegan or lactose-intolerant among us, the wide range can be somewhat confusing for the rest.

While these milk alternatives are now readily available at supermarkets and stores, they are also quick and easy to make at home, generally involving blending quantities of water and the nut/bean/grain and straining.

It's important to note that non-dairy milk alternatives may provide substantially less calcium, protein and other vitamins than regular milks, so be sure to read the labels before choosing, or supplement in another way.

Soy milk

courtesy of Pixabay

blend of soy beans and water
great on cereal, in smoothies, or in hot drinks
protein content equal to that in cows milk
not recommended for people with soy allergies
great source of essential nutrients (eg. manganese, magnesium and folate)
choose a non-GMO product

Coconut milk

courtesy of Youtube

blend of pressed coconut flesh and water
great in smoothies or in coffee
subtle coconut taste
fairly high in medium chain triglycerides - a saturated fat reputed to be good for you
can be rich in essential minerals (eg. manganese and selenium)

Almond milk

courtesy of Flickr

blend of almonds and water
great in curries, on cereal or in smoothies
subtle nutty taste
unsweetened versions are very low in calories
contains around 50% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin E
very low protein content

Oat milk

courtesy of Pixabay

blend of oats and water
great on porridge or cereal
source of beta glucan - a soluble fibre that helps cholesterol levels
not recommended for gluten-intolerant people
generally a good source of protein

Rice milk

courtesy of Pixabay

blend of rice and water
great on cereal
can be quite sweet and typically high in sugar
easy to digest
very low protein content

Hazelnut milk

courtesy of Pixabay

blend of hazelnuts and water
great on cereal, used in baking, or in coffee
subtle nutty taste
provides a good source of healthy carbohydrates

Do you use non-dairy milks? Which one do you tend to favour? Are you adverse to milk alternatives? Let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments section!

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The skinny on skim milk: Why it's doing you more harm than good
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