Beyond Basic Milk – Your Guide to Milk Alternatives

Dairy-free milks are easy to make at home.

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Photo By: Armando Rafael Moutela ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved 2014, Cooking Channel, LLC All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael Moutela ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved 2014, Cooking Channel, LLC All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael Moutela ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved 2014, Cooking Channel, LLC All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael Moutela ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved 2014, Cooking Channel, LLC All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael Moutela ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved 2014, Cooking Channel, LLC All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael Moutela ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved 2014, Cooking Channel, LLC All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael Moutela ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved 2014, Cooking Channel, LLC All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael Moutela ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved 2014, Cooking Channel, LLC All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael Moutela ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved 2014, Cooking Channel, LLC All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael Moutela ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved 2014, Cooking Channel, LLC All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael Moutela ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved 2014, Cooking Channel, LLC All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael Moutela ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved 2014, Cooking Channel, LLC All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael Moutela ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved 2014, Cooking Channel, LLC All Rights Reserved

Make More Milk 

Mooove over, cows. Dairy-free is a delicious “do” thanks to a slew of tasty new nut “milks” (and coconut-based ice creams!) at the grocery store. Here’s what you need to know about the most-common options, plus how to make your own at home.

 

By Nicole Cherie Jones

Coconut Milk

Mmm. So rich and creamy. The thick, calorie-dense canned kind isn’t anything new, but now stores have started carrying a lighter beverage version in large cartons (check the refrigerated dairy aisle).

DIY

Blend 1 cup raw coconut meat or unsweetened shredded coconut with 3 cups water.

Almond Milk 

Lower in calories than other options, this nutty drink is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), and it naturally contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals. It's especially high in vitamin E (1 cup gets you halfway to your daily requirement), which can help promote healthy skin and hair.

DIY

Soak 1 cup almonds in 3 cups water for 1 day; blend, then strain.

Soy Milk

This is the highest protein alternative (about 6 to 8 grams per cup compared to 8 to 9 grams for cow's milk) with a mildly nutty bean taste — but it's controversial. Although some controversy lingers around the health benefits of soy, it is a healthful alternative to meat brimming with important nutrients.

DIY

Soak 1 1/2 cups dried soybeans for 1 day; cook, blend with 3 1/2 cups water, then strain.

Rice Milk

Made from unsweetened brown rice, rice milk has a mild flavor and is a good substitute for milk in many recipes.

DIY

Soak 1/2 cup dry brown rice for 1 day; cook, blend with 2 cups water, then strain.

Hemp Milk

Get ready for a slightly grassy flavor. It packs 4 grams high-quality protein (a good mix of amino acids) per cup, plus lots of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acid.

DIY

Blend 1 cup hemp seeds with 3 cups water, then strain.

Cashew Milk

Similar to almond milk, it's a nice source of heart-healthy fat. It also brings several important vitamins and minerals to the table, including 60 percent of your vitamin B12 needs, 35 percent of vitamin D, and 10 percent each of vitamin A and calcium.

DIY

Soak 1 cup cashews in 3 cups water for a few hours; blend, then strain.

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