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What is Vegan Milk?

There are a growing number of vegan milk options available in the market, making it easier than ever for plant-based lifestyle followers to still enjoy the diverse features of milk in their diet. Vegan milk is exactly what it says on the tin - juice extracted from plants that look and taste like conventional dairy milk. 

Some of the best vegan milk alternatives include milk made from soy, almost any kind of nut, like almond or cashew, coconut and even pea-protein! Each of these types of vegan milk can have a different taste and texture, as well as nutritional content. 

Soy milk and almond milk are both well-known plant-based milk options, but there are lots of lesser-known alternatives. Cashew milk, like Rude Health’s Organic Cashew Drink, is a rich and creamy alternative to soy milk and can be used in many recipes that call for cow’s milk. One of the newest kinds of vegan milk to hit our shelves is Dug’s Dairy-Free Potato Milk. Made from real potatoes, Dug’s Potato Milk can be used just like any other kind of milk. 

One thing’s for certain, whether you are lactose-intolerant, have a nut allergy or are just looking for milk to support your healthy lifestyle goals, we’ve got a plant-based milk option for you!

Health Benefits of Vegan Milk

Vegan milk carries a lot of the same nutritional benefits as its underlying plant base. Many people believe that vegan milk is both a healthier alternative to dairy milk, as well as a better choice for the environment. However, more research is needed on the health benefits of plant-based milk. 

Nutritionally, soy milk contains a comparable amount of protein to cow’s milk. Protein is a key component of our diet to help with rebuilding muscle. Whilst not as high as cow’s milk, almond milk is a good source of calcium, which is a useful mineral for bone development. 

One of the unarguable benefits of plant-based milk, no matter the type, is that it does not contain cholesterol. According to the NHS, too much cholesterol may result in blockages in blood vessels, potentially leading to heart problems or the risk of stroke. 

So, some types of vegan milk are nutritionally better than cow’s milk, while others lack certain minerals or vitamins. Often the manufacturer will compensate for the lack of a nutrient, by enriching the plant-based milk with extra minerals or vitamins.

Whatever the case may be, vegan milk is a perfect to be consumed as part of a healthy diet, with a balance of nutrients consumed from a variety of sources. 

Top Brands to Try

There are so many different types of plant-based milk available to try that we couldn’t begin to name them all! But here we bring you a few of the best vegan milk options in the UK

Plenish

Plenish has been bringing us fresh plant-powered drinks since 2012. Its Organic Hazelnut Milk hits the mark with a creamy, rich and luxuriously nutty milk, making it perfect on its own or as an accompaniment to coffee. 

Rude Health

Rude Health’s range of plant-based milk options is second to none, with milk made from soy, brown rice and tiger nut, to name just a few. We particularly love Rude Health’s Organic Pea Oat Drink, which is made from a delicious blend of oats and chickpeas. This versatile milk is great on cereal and even in your baking! 

Nutty Bruce

When you can’t make up your mind which vegan milk alternative you want to buy, why not try Nutty Bruce’s delicious blend of nut milks, like Organic Activated Unsweetened Almond & Oat Milk. Taking the natural sweetness of oat milk and combining it with activated almonds, Nutty Bruce achieves creamier nut milk, without added thickener. 

For even more delicious vegan options for milk, check out the rest of our range at PlantX. 

Food Items Which Go Best with Vegan Milk

Vegan milk alternatives are just as versatile as their dairy counterparts, but with different textures and flavours, some plant-based milk are more suited to certain uses than others. 

Coconut milk has a thick, creamy texture and, perhaps, one of the strongest flavours out of all the types of vegan milk. This makes it an ideal vegan milk for cooking and baking, think curries and soups. Coconut milk’s texture also makes it a go-to for making your own vegan ice cream or whipped cream. 

Nut milk, such as almond and cashew, are all delicious in vegan smoothies, tea or coffee, or even poured over cereal! Cashew tends to have a creamier texture, and similar to coconut milk, it works well as a cooking ingredient. Hazelnut milk, on the other hand, has quite a distinctive nutty flavour, which makes it more suited as a vegan coffee creamer. 

Oat milk is naturally sweet milk and is loaded with fibre, making it great milk for baked goods like cakes and cookies. Rice milk, on the other hand, tends to be thinner than the other types of plant-based milk and for that reason, it’s not ideal for adding creaminess to a recipe. But, perhaps, the most versatile plant milk is soy milk. The thick texture is almost the same as dairy milk, and is often one of the best plant-based milks for baking - you’d hardly notice the difference. 

Of course, all of these vegan milks taste delicious, by the glassful

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Milk to Drink as a Vegan?

Choices, choices, choices! All of our plant-based milk are a great option for vegans, which means you don’t have to stick with the same vegan milk option forever! That said, your choice of plant-based milk is largely dependent on your preference, any intolerances you may have, as well as why you’re making the switch! 

If you’re looking for the best vegan milk for weight loss, you may wish to try milk that contains fewer calories compared to dairy milk. For example, pea milk like Sproud’s Pea Protein Milk. The unsweetened version contains just 60 calories per serving. Another lower-calorie plant-based milk is rice milk like Rude Health’s Organic Brown Rice Drink.

What Kind of Vegan Milks are Available in the Market?

The range of vegan milk on the market is ever-expanding. Gone are the days when vegans were limited to soy or almond milk. Walk down any supermarket aisle and you’ll see shelf after shelf of milk made from rice, oat, hazelnut, coconut or cashew. At PlantX, we also stock a range of lesser-known vegan milk options like Good Hemp’s Creamy Hemp Seed Drink

Outside of the UK, other kinds of plant-based milk are also gaining in popularity, like sesame and flax milk. At PlantX, we’re always striving to bring you the best vegan milk options, so do keep checking in with us for the newest and best plant milk!

Is Vegan Milk Healthier than Regular Milk?

Historically, regular cow’s milk has been consumed for its protein and calcium content, as well as nutrients such as B12 and iodine. Fortunately in the UK, we have access to an ever-increasing range of non-dairy vegan milk alternatives that are kinder to the animals, our planet and our bodies. However, the nutritional value of each type of plant milk varies. 

Milk such as unsweetened soy, rice and oat typically has lower fat levels than whole-fat cow’s milk. In addition, plant-based milk does not contain cholesterol. However, only soy milk and some pea milk can compare to cow’s milk for protein content.

All-in-all, while plant milk doesn’t always cover all of the same nutrients as dairy milk, it’s still beneficial to choose as part of a healthy, balanced diet. 

How is Vegan Milk Made?

The majority of plant-based milk is made in a similar fashion. The key ingredient, e.g. nuts, soybeans or oats, is soaked for a period of time. Once softened, the base ingredient is blended into a smooth puree, and then filtered to separate the plant matter from the fluids. The liquid is then boiled to sterilise it. Flavouring can also be added as part of the process, whether it’s sweeteners, chocolate or vanilla! 

The process is so simple, that you can even make your own plant-based milk at home!

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