For many new vegans, going without dairy milk is a huge early hurdle. Whether baking, in cereals or used in desserts, living without milk is tough for almost all people at first. Luckily the market has been flooded in recent years with vegan alternative milks made from nuts, rice and soy. Many of these provide as much calcium as regular dairy milk, and taste incredibly similar to the real thing.
For most vegans, they start on soy and never go back. Soy is a staple in most vegans diet due to it’s availability and taste (Or lack thereof). Almost all coffee shops stock soy milk for only a few cents extra. Do be aware that soy does not agree with everyone’s stomach and there is such a thing as soy allergies. If it’s your first time drinking soy milk, take it easy to begin with.
The great thing about soya bean milk is that it is so incredibly high in calcium and vitamin D, almost comparable to regular dairy milk.
Almond milk is definitely the runner up for both taste and availability. Those with nut allergies should obviously avoid almond milk because, as it’s name suggests, it is made from crushed almonds. The taste of almond milk is a reason some choose to skip this vegan milk. It’s not subtle at all! It has a definite nutty tang and can leave an after taste in your mouth. For that reason it’s generally not used for breakfast cereals or anywhere else where you will be able to taste the full almond flavor. Because the ingredients for almond milk are so readily available, it is actually possible to make your own almond milk at home by running water through ground almonds.
Almonds are a great source of both protein and fiber, as well as having healthy amounts of calcium and vitamin E.
As the name suggests, rice milk is milk made from processed rice grains. Rice milk tends to be sweeter than the previous two, and as such it’s used in desserts mainly. Even more so because it tends to come in “sweetened” varieties, either just with sugar added, or sometimes flavorings such as vanilla essence of cocoa. Rice milk is delicious on breakfast cereals and can provide a way to remove added sugar in the morning
Rice milk contains vitamin b12, vitamin d2 and also has your daily hit of calcium.
One of the more uncommon vegan milk alternatives. Coconut milk is only ever used for baking, or as a milk alternative in a recipe where you cannot taste the raw milk. It is almost unheard of to be pouring it on your breakfast cereal. Many curries call for coconut milk which can be a way to get in a delicious vegan dinner.
While a great source of calcium, coconut milk contains a large amount of fat (22% fat) so should be avoided by those on a diet.