A non-dairy vegan diet can be difficult to maintain on a regular basis. Yet there are many milk alternatives that can be used for flavoring coffee and for cooking and baking. The following list of the top five kinds of vegan milk can provide several non-dairy milk alternatives to satisfy any vegan diet.
The first and perhaps most popular, of the non-dairy milk alternatives is soy milk. This well-known vegan milk has been part of many a vegan diet for years. Soy milk contains nearly the same proportion of protein as cow’s milk and is comparable in fat to 2% milk products, which are important factors of any vegan diet. This non-dairy vegan milk is made simply from soaked soybeans that are ground and mixed with water. Soy milk has become one of the most often used milk alternatives for coffee and tea drinkers.
Rice milk is another popular non-dairy vegan milk. One of the reasons that rice milk is part of many a vegan diet is the very low amount of allergens that are present in cow’s milk. Rice milk in its natural state is an unsweetened vegan milk, which means it contains no lactose (milk sugar), although some manufacturers add sugar cane syrup or other sweeteners. Rice milk is higher in carbohydrates than cow’s milk, but has no cholesterol. Some manufacturers do add vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and iron, in the processing of rice milk.
Coconut milk is a traditional non-dairy milk that has been used in Asian cooking for many years. It is the basis of most curry dishes and is also used in satay peanut sauces and many different kinds of soups. The high oil and natural sugar content of coconut milk generally make it more popular in a vegan diet for cooking rather than for drinking. Non-dairy dessert recipes that call for cream can include coconut milk, due to the thicker part of the milk that separates and rises to the top when left to sit in the refrigerator.
Nut milks are also becoming very popular among the milk alternatives for non-dairy diets. Almonds in particular are used for making a vegan milk that can be used in cooking and also for drinking straight or in a smoothie. Many people on a vegan diet choose to make nut milks themselves because the process is simple. Nuts are a good source of protein and calcium and most contain good levels of vitamins and minerals.
One of the latest milk alternatives is hemp milk. While many non-dairy milks present a challenge for a vegan diet due to lower levels of proteins, amino acids and enzymes, hemp milk actually provides these elements while satisfying the needs of any other vegan milk. Hemp milk is made from the seeds of the hemp plant, which have been used for centuries as a source of protein in many parts of the world. This is what makes hemp milk a new favorite in non-dairy diets.