There’s no denying it, the dairy industry has slowly been on the decline. With waning consumer interest in dairy products and the rise of plant-based milk alternatives, many dairy producers (like Elmhurst Dairy) are reinventing themselves by opting to sell the latter. Now, it’s impossible to visit your local grocery store without seeing plant-based milks like almond, coconut, and soy next to the cow milk.
With a plethora of plant-based milks to choose from, it can be hard to determine which one you should choose. We’ve broken down the benefits of each of our favorites to make things a little easier for you!
Soy milk is one of the powerhouse plant milks because it boasts 7-12 grams of protein per glass along with 80-100 calories. It’s also rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B-12, potassium and calcium with very little saturated fat. The taste can be somewhat polarizing, but for many people it’s the go-to non dairy milk alternative since it’s been around the longest. Although Soy has gotten a bad rep in the past, recent studies have shown that it can actually be super beneficial for you, so long as you don’t have a pre-existing thyroid condition.
One of the most popular plant milks available, almond milk boasts a lot of benefits. Its smooth, nutty taste makes it easy to adapt to and can make for a great addition to your morning latte. It’s lower in calories than other milks and it’s full of heart-healthy fats and Vitamin E. Unfortunately, it does lack the protein you can find in cow or soy milk, so you’ll have to plan accordingly to get your protein from other food sources.
Made popular by the brand Oatly, the newest plant-based milk is pushing hard to be the best milk alternative out there. It has a rich, buttery and thick consistency, and the flavor is very agreeable. More importantly, it pairs very well with coffee, making it a new barista favorite! Nutritionally, it does contain slightly more protein and calories than almond milk, but unless you purchase one that’s been fortified with vitamins, you will not be getting any of those benefits in a homemade version.
Very similar to almond milk, cashew milk is low in calories and sugar (so long as you go with the “unsweetened” kind at the grocery store). It’s rich in heart-healthy fats that keep your skin looking beautiful and is very creamy with a slightly nutty taste. We absolutely love it in smoothies and poured over a bowl of cereal.
Rice milk is rich in carbohydrates and is naturally sweet, making it a great option for anyone who has lactose or nut allergies. Many brands even fortify their rice milks to be a good source of calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D, but you have to do some nutrition label reading to ensure you’re getting the best one.
One of the most versatile of all non-dairy milk options, coconut milk is powerfully sweet and tastes delightful in desserts, smoothies, stews, and in rice. It's a good source of vitamin C, potassium and iron, but it does contain more calories than any of the other plant-based milks, and is also higher in saturated fats.
READ MORE: Vegan Chocolate Avocado Mousse
Try Our Favorite JUS Smoothies Made With Plant-Based Milk
Java JUS // Coffee Beans, Coconut Meat, Coconut Milk, Agave
PB & JUS // Natural Peanut Butter, Strawberry, Banana, Rice Milk
Island Coconut // Coconut Meat, Coconut Milk, Maple Syrup, Cinnamon