A turn-off for many potential vegans is the thought of having to give up dairy milk in their coffee. Will that frothy cappuccino ever be the same without milk? In short – yes.
There are a range of plant-based milks, commonly known as ‘mylk‘, which are dairy-free and suitable for a vegan diet.
Although some options can taste a bit ‘off’, or just plain wrong in coffees, many of these options are creamy, and they even froth just like dairy milk so your coffee can taste just as heavenly as you remember.
Just be careful and ensure you read the labels on store-brought mylk products, as some have nutrients that are derived from things such as lanolin (sheep wool), or bone. ‘Lactose-Free’ doesn’t always mean ‘Dairy-Free’ or ‘Vegan’. If this is confusing or too much hassle, you can easily whip up a batch of your own plant-milk.
The Best Creamy, Froth-friendly Plant Milks for Morning Coffee
Oats are high in protein and fiber, and have properties that reduce stress, making them the perfect base for your next plant-milk. This option is probably the closest to dairy, in terms of texture and taste, and it froths well. Note, that if gluten-free, you may want to make your own using gluten-free oats, as store-bought options will commonly contain gluten. Oat milk is also very budget-friendly and economical when made at home.
This option may sound a little peculiar, but it is a recent trend that is beginning to catch on. Brands such as Ripple are opting to use peas to create plant-milk, due to their high protein content and nutritional benefits. It is said that pea milk is healthier than common dairy alternatives, such as almond or soy, and closely mimics the taste of dairy milk. Also, this milk option uses golden peas, so it isn’t the green liquid that one may expect.
While not legal in every country worldwide, this milk is great, and healthy option. Similar to soy milk in terms of consistency, except creamier, and similar to almond milk in terms of flavour, this is a fantastic combination of the two that delivers a whole host of good nutrients. Despite popular misconception, hemp milk is not made from marijuana, as it does not contain enough THC to have psychoactive properties.
It has been known to be argued that this milk is better when consumed alone or in smoothies, rather than coffee as sometimes this option can turn bitter in coffee thanks to a chemical reaction, but if a bitter coffee is your thing then how perfect. Alternatively, a hearty dose of sweetener will do the trick. Almond milk has a higher fat content than some mylk options, so it froths up well, like dairy milk.
This milk has a lower fat content than a nut or coconut milk, so while it doesn’t froth up as well, the taste is more neutral, less over-powering and very pleasant. Unlike dairy milk, rice milk contains no lactose or cholesterol, however it does have more carbohydrates. When comparing most rice milks with dairy milk, rice milk is lower in calories.
Soy milk is a great option because it is very prevalent as a dairy-free option in cafes and eateries, it is even rare for places not to offer at least a soy option. This milk froths up well, is forgiving and can compliment different coffees well, however not everyone is fan of the taste. Despite the criticism and bad reputation of soy, this shunned bean actually boasts some great health benefits.
Due to coconut milk being high in fat, it froths up a lot, like cow’s milk. Cartons are generally better to use than canned coconut milk, as the canned variety is better used in baking or and is not intended to be drunk by itself. However, buying a can of full-fat coconut cream and blending it with water to make your own coconut milk is an economical option that saves you money, and reduces the waste of multiple cans, when the same amount of milk can be made from one can.
Quite possibly the most edgy, unusual milk so far, this option has a rather unexpected taste, that is either loved or hated. Quinoa is a rich source of protein, containing all nine essential amino acids, therefore quinoa milk has a high protein content too. If making homemade quinoa milk, it is advisable to use cooked quinoa, because raw quinoa has a saponin coating, and requires thorough washing to use.
Remember that not everyone is going to like the same option and that your tongue is the ultimate dictator, you do you! However, there are plenty of options to choose from or if you’re feeling creative you can even try mixing them up!