In a world where people are increasingly becoming more aware of the impact that their choices have on the environment and on their personal health and wellbeing, innovative lifestyle products such as plant-based milks are slowly gaining popularity. Such products are prized, in particular, by individuals who avoid animal-derived dairy products for health, nutritional, or ethical reasons. Examples of these include those who are lactose intolerant or are unable to properly digest dairy, as well as those who live a vegan lifestyle and shun all goods and food products that are sourced from animals.
However, even if you are neither lactose intolerant nor a vegan, there are still very good reasons for you to consider adding plant-based milk to your diet. Primarily, such alternative milk products actually provide a lot of health benefits because they are rich in natural vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients—sometimes even more so than the usual animal-sourced milks.
Since plant-based milks can be derived from different nut and grain variants, they are also extremely versatile and can be enjoyed in many ways. Depending on the source plant, such milk products offer an appealing variety of flavors and textures. High-quality grain and nut milks such as those produced by the New York-based plant milk producer Elmhurst, for example, are known for their dairy-like creaminess without added industrial emulsifiers or stabilizers.
Once you get a taste of genuine plant-based milk, you are sure to develop a liking for it. However, aside from drinking it straight up with a nice plate of sugar- and gluten-free cookies at bedtime, you can also enjoy your milk in many other ways. Here are just some ideas on how to make plant milks a regular part of your healthy diet:
Use it on cereals
Eating your favourite cereal and plant-based milk together is a great way to start your day right. Instead of the usual dairy milk, why not try almond milk or hazelnut milk with a serving of corn flakes or muesli? Enthusiasts claim that nutmilks actually complement grains and cereals better because they are all vegetal in origin. You can switch flavors up and try different milk and cereal combinations to keep your appetite stimulated.
Make ice cream
Ice cream is a quintessential dairy-based dessert and comfort food, but why not make some using plant-based milk? Simply replace the dairy ingredient with your favorite plant-based milk, and churn your own homemade frozen treat. Soy milk and almond milk are great choices for when you’re making sorbet, while cashew milk and peanut milk tend to be creamier and may be ideal for something closer to traditional dairy ice cream.
Pour it on your coffee as a creamer
Just like dairy milk is used in hot and cold coffee drinks, plant-based milk can easily be substituted for it. You can whip up your own café-quality concoctions at home using your favorite plant-based milk products such as almond, walnut, or hazelnut milk. They will also provide a unique, nutty flavor to your usual coffee or chai tea latte.
Mix it with shakes and smoothies
Plant-based milks are a perfect liquid base to use for equally healthy fruit-based shakes and smoothies. If you are watching your weight, you’d be delighted to know that plant-based milk products tend to be lower in caloric content compared to dairy milk. Moreover, using them in milkshakes or smoothies will allow you to get adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other beneficial nutrients with every serving.
Cook with it
Many hearty dishes and comfort food call for dairy milk as an ingredient in order for them to become rich, creamy, and full of flavor. These include spreads, soups, and cream-based pasta sauces like béchamel. You can make healthier versions of these family favorites using plant-based milks that possess less calories and saturated fats.
It’s easy to be intimidated with the wide selection of plant-based milks in the market today, especially if you are making the decision to try plant milk products for the first time. You can make the choice easier if you determine your personal preferences in terms of taste, texture, and nutritional content while going with brands that you can trust to give you genuine, high-quality plant-based milk products.