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6 Non-Dairy Milk Alternatives

Updated on April 1, 2015

A person who is lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy products may avoid drinking regular cow's milk. Some people may not like the taste of cow's milk and may prefer an alternative. Whatever the case may be, here are a few alternatives to drinking dairy milk.


Almond milk is a non-dairy milk beverage that is made from ground almonds and water. This type of milk comes in flavors such as vanilla or chocolate. It can also be purchased plain and unsweetened. Almond milk has a light, nutty taste to it and it looks similar to skim milk. The unsweetened version of this milk has less calories than both whole and skim milk. This milk has as much calcium as regular cow's milk. Most almond milk products are also a good source of vitamins, such as A, B-12, D and E.


Soy milk is a non-dairy milk that is made from soybeans and water. This beverage is often used as an alternative to cow's milk. It can be purchased plain and unsweetened, or sweetened and flavored. I find that soy milk has a bit of a nutty flavor it. Soy milk has close to the same amount of protein of cow's milk but it does not contain as much calcium.


Rice milk, which is made from boiled rice, is another alternative that can be used instead of cow's milk. This type of milk tastes sweeter than dairy milk and it comes in different flavors such as original, vanilla or chocolate. Rice milk products contain calcium, vitamins A, D and B-12. Since this milk is sweeter, it may be good to use in smoothies instead of cow's milk.


Coconuts are a nutritious source of vitamins and fiber. Coconut milk is another non-dairy milk alternative. This milk is made from the meat of coconuts and has a rich, creamy taste. It has less protein than cow's milk but it is usually fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Coconut milk may sometimes be confused with coconut water, but they are two different beverages. There are also frozen coconut milk desserts available, such as coconut milk ice cream.


This milk is made from hemp seeds and water. Hemp milk contains calcium and vitamin D just like cow's milk. It also has a good amount of B vitamins and magnesium in it. The unsweetened version of this milk does not contain any extra sugar, but flavored versions do. This milk is creamy and it has a nutty flavor to it. A couple of years ago, I had read about the benefits of hemp milk and I wanted to try it. Hemp milk is anti-inflammatory and it can help to boost the immune system. I had also read that this milk is good for skin, hair and nails. It was hard for me to find hemp milk in the supermarket, so I purchased it online.


Cashews are a good source of vitamins and antioxidants. Cashew milk is a type of milk that is made from cashews and water. This milk has less calories than skim milk. It has more calcium than dairy milk and it has a creamier consistency. Cashew milk may be good to use in smoothies because it is creamy and can add thickness to a smoothie.


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