best dairy free milk

The Best Dairy Free Milk Alternatives for Vegans

Are you looking for the best dairy free milk or for vegan milk substitutes to use? Or maybe you are looking for what milk alternative tastes the most like milk.

In today’s article we will be discussing the best milk substitutes out there that you can find easily. Because being vegan doesn’t mean that you can’t have any kind of milk!

Vegan milk substitutes are some of the easiest things to find when going on a vegan diet. There is an amazing amount of options to choose from. Some that I don’t even mention in this post!

Don’t forget to also read till the end because we are also going to be talking about why you might need a vegan milk alternative. As well as which two vegan milks taste the most like milk! So, keep reading to find out which vegan milks you should try out!

Best Dairy Free Milk Alternatives

When I first went vegan finding, vegan milk was one of the easiest things to replace as you can find at least one option anywhere.

Which really comes in handy as you will most likely find yourself needing a vegan milk substitute for one reason or another.

You have a lot of options when it comes to vegan milks and I hope that this list might help you to decide which option is best for you.

Related: Vegan Diet Tips for Beginners

Soy Milk

Soy milk is by far my favorite milk! It is rich and decadent with a very creamy consistency reminiscent of full fat milk.

This in my opinion is the best milk to drink as is since it has a nice flavor with a hint of natural sweetness. It almost has a nutty note to it as well which is really pleasant tasting but still mild enough not to shone through your recipes.

Soy milk is a natural byproduct of making tofu and is very high in protein which makes it an excellent option for a nutritious substitute! Full of protein, minerals, and vitamins, much like tofu or any other soy product is.

It is great in cooking as it adds the richness that many other substitutes lack as well as creaminess. If you want to make a deliciously decadent caramel sauce, you have got to use soy milk!

This would be my first choice to drink plain or to cook sauces or baked goods with.

This brand of organic soy milk is an excellent option as it is already fortified with vitamins and is completely shelf stable. So, you can stock up and have soy milk whenever you need it!

best dairy free milk

Almond Milk

Almond milk is one of the most common vegan milks to choose from as it is the most widely available for many.

It is also a relatively cheaper option compared to the others. Making it a bit more realistic for those on a tight budget our if you don’t have access to more fancy plant milk options.

This is a vegan milk substitute that I drink the most frequently as I have found it to be very reliable in cooking and candy making. It rarely curdles and always yields consistent results while not affecting the recipe itself much.

Almond milk isn’t what I would consider to be the best substitute as it is often quite watery in comparison to real milk. It is a great option if you are just looking for something to replace for cow’s milk, not necessarily a realistic replacement.

It lacks the thickness and creaminess that you might want in a milk option. It isn’t very flavorful and can actually have a slightly bitter taste if you drink it plain. This will vary depending on the brand that you buy of course.

Generally, it is a good option if you don’t care about creaminess and don’t want something with a strong flavor.

It is typically bright white in color and won’t interfere with any other flavors.

This Almond Breeze almond milk is the best brand that I have tried. It is a little pricier than other brands but I do think it is well worth it because the quality is much better.

Oat Milk

Though I have not tried oat milk myself I have heard good things about it being used as a vegan milk substitute!

It won’t fool you into thinking you are drinking real milk, but it might be a tasty replacement as it is said to have a slightly sweet and oaty flavor.

Like almond milk this could be a good option for using generally however you may need it day to day. Though it contains a few grams more protein than almond milk does which is a plus!

Since oat milk would not be very stable on its own it has several additives which can affect the product depending on the brand. Because of this, brands of oat milk will probably have several differences from each other.

This isn’t a milk that I would recommend using in finicky recipes or in candy making.

Though I have yet to try oat milk for myself, I have heard great things about this oat milk brand. Someone needs to remind me to grab a carton of it the next time I go grocery shopping!

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk by far is the best dairy free milk alternative when you look at the most realistic substitutes.

This is because coconut milk contains a significant amount of natural fats much like cow milk does. Making it an accurate option for baking and candy making.

The main downside of course is that it has a noticeable coconut flavor that can mess with what you are adding it to. Because of this, I personally rarely use coconut milk because I don’t enjoy the flavor.

If you do like the flavor of coconut this is a great option! Especially since you can find it to be less processed than other milk substitutes. Not to mention how rich it is in healthy fats!

This is a vegan milk that is great in smoothies, caramel, and sauces as long as you don’t mind the coconut flavor.

My favorite brand is this coconut milk because it is so handy when you only need a small amount at a time. Plus it has all of the fatty goodness that makes coconut milk so special!

Cashew Milk

Cashew milk is very similar to soy milk because it is also one of the thicker and creamier milk alternatives.

It only has a very slight sweet and nutty flavor depending on the brand and is great when you want a thicker milk that resembles milk.

One thing to keep in mind is that cashew milk tends to have a slightly darker color. I don’t know if this is true for all brands but the brands that I have tried are a tan color.

 This only matters if you plan on using it in something that you don’t want to become darker colored. Otherwise it shouldn’t matter much.

Between the two however, I would still choose soy milk over cashew milk as it is generally better tasting in my opinion. But you should certainly give both a try to see what you think!

This Silk cashew milk is the brand that I always go for. It is very comparable to soy milk at it also has a thick consistency with plenty of creaminess!

Rice Milk

Rice milk is a tasty milk option, maybe not the best dairy free milk but I think it is a great alternative none the less.

If you are looking for what milk alternative tastes the most like milk the this isn’t the option for you. But rice milk is still a good option if you don’t mind something less similar to regular milk.

Rice milk is a very white milk that is much waterier than the rest as it has a thinner consistency. It is also much less nutritious then the other options if that is a concern for you.

Rice milk doesn’t have a strong flavor only a slight sweetness which makes it great to drink on its own or add to things like smoothies and cereal.

It can be used in just about anything as long as the lack of fat isn’t an issue. If you are using it in baking or candy making you might want to pick a different option that contains more fat.

This rice milk is a great option if you want to try out rice milk for yourself to see if it is to your taste.

Hemp Milk

Hemp milk is a bit harder to find as it isn’t stocked everywhere. It has a similar consistency to almond milk making it a bit watery and thin.

Because it doesn’t contain much fat it is best as a low fat or skim milk replacement in cooking or for drinking on its own.

It contains as much protein as oat milk does and is a source of omega-3 fatty acids which is amazing in a vegan diet!

You can use hemp milk in any way that you would the thinner milks like almond, oat, and rice milk. Or simply drink it on its own with a plate of cookies!

This Pacific Foods hemp milk is a popular brand that you should try if you are interested in this milk substitute. I have yet to see hemp milk being sold in a typical grocery store so you might have to buy this solely online.

Why Use Vegan Milk Substitutes

There are many reasons why you might want one of the best dairy free milk substitutes. Usually because you are vegan, plant-based, or have a dairy or lactose allergy.

Though you can do without milk altogether it is much more convenient to have a vegan milk substitute on hand, especially since there are so many options. No matter your personal taste, there is sure to be at least one plant milk that you will enjoy using.

Baking

Baking is one of the biggest ways that you will probably use a milk substitute as many recipes call for many forms of milk.

You can easily use all of the above alternatives in place of milk in recipes to create a similar final product with very little tweaking.

You can use water to replace milk in most recipes but it just won’t be as good, especially when it comes to baking. Milks add a certain level of moisture and tenderness to baked goods that water just can’t manage.

Cereal and Drinking

Eating cereal or drinking milk is a big reason why you may want to find what milk alternative tastes the most like milk.

If you were a big milk drinker these vegan milk substitutes will help you to ditch the cow milk for a better option! While still allowing you to indulge in the pleasure of a large bowl of crunchy cereal in the morning or even as an afternoon snack.

Making Other Alternatives

Another big reason why you may want to find the best dairy free milk is because you have other dairy free alternatives to make.

Such as butter milk, heavy cream, or butter just to name a few. You can’t make these replacements without a dairy free milk to help things along.

It is also important to have a dairy substitute in savory cooking like dairy free cheese sauce, pasta sauce, or any other creamy dish. Vegan milks help to lend a great deal of creaminess to all kinds of soups, so you definitely want to have one of these options on hand at all times.

What is the Best Dairy Free Milk?

If you are really trying to find what milk alternative tastes the most like milk then here are these two best options available.

Not all dairy free milks taste like milk so if that is important to you then you should give these two options a chance. As they are probably the most similar options to milk that you will be able to find.

The other options are still great alternatives, but not necessarily the best option if you really want a realistic milk substitute. These two milks mentioned below are especially good in cereal!

Soy Milk

Organic soy milk is similar in consistency to milk as it is thick and creamy with a similar fat content.

It is also slightly sweet which might be able to mimic regular milk in a way. It doesn’t taste exactly like milk, but it is so similar in consistency that it might fool you into thinking your drinking regular milk!

Soy milk also has a similar richness that can mimimc cow milk rather closely.

Pros:

  • Slightly sweet
  • Thick and creamy
  • Similar color

Cons:

  • Slightly different flavor
  • A little darker in color

Almond Milk

This almond milk is another one of the best dairy free milk alternatives that just might fool you into thinking your drinking real milk!

It can be slightly sweet depending on the brand and has a mild flavor much like regular milk. Almond milk is significantly thinner which mimics skim or low-fat milk the best. There isn’t much flavor there, so this option is more about consistency and color.

It is also pure white if color is important to you.

Pros:

  • Mild flavor
  • Pure white color

Cons:

  • Isn’t as rich or creamy
  • Isn’t as sweet as real milk

Conclusion

I hope that this article has helped you to decide which milk alternative is the best fit for you. You have an amazing list of options to choose from since milk is one of the easiest items to replace once switching to a vegan diet!

Whether you like thick and creamy or light and thin milk you have plenty of options either way! There are all kinds of nut and grain milks that are a good replacement for cow milk, some are even better in my opinion!

Let me know in the comments which milk alternative is your favorite or if you plan on trying any mentioned above!

I know that I would like to try hemp or oat milk sometime!

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