Dairy-free milk is making a huge splash these days. Not only are people turning to dairy-free, because of lactose intolerance, but also to by-pass animals in the food industry or to add more variety to the diet. This article will compare soy milk, rice milk, hemp milk, and almond milk.
Soy milk has probably been around longer, as a dairy-free option, than the others. It is similar to cow''s milk with a good amount of protein, calcium and vitamins A and D. However, many people are allergic to soy, so try this with caution until you know if your system tolerates it.
Coconut milk offers a small amount of protein, fiber and minerals, especially iron. The fat in it differs from animal fat, so it most likely is not a consideration unless weight loss is a concern. There are low fat varieties offered. However, it tends to be thick so more than likely, it is best used in cooking or as cream for dessert.
Rice milk is free from cholesterol, fats, and lactose and offers minimal protein. It is naturally sweet so not much sweetener is needed for good taste. Also, rice allergies are rare, so this makes rice milk a great alternative for those who have food allergies.
Almond milk lacks cholesterol, saturated fats and lactose but has little protein. For these reasons, probably fortified almond milk is a better choice. It is not a good alternative if allergic to nuts.
Hemp milk is great if one has allergies to soy, milk, nuts or grains. It has a decent amount of protein, fatty acids, vitamins and calcium.
Home made dairy free milk
All the above dairy-free milks can be made at home or purchased from stores. To make them at home, basically, the nuts, grains or seeds are ground or cooked, mixed with water in a blender and blended. Then, strain and add sweetener, salt or vanilla if desired.
Read the labels of the store products closely as many of them are adding sugar and other additives for flavor. I prefer unsweetened versions and add my own flavorings. I don't drink any of them straight except almond milk. I mostly cook with them or use them in smoothies. Welcome these dairy-free alternatives to your diet and say good-bye to cow's milk.