Comparing Plant-Based Milks: Which Is The Best? – Veganuary

If you’re attempting veganism this year, or focussing on cutting down on dairy, then great news – there’s a huge, and I mean HUGE, variety of milk alternatives out there. But here comes the bad news: switching from a taken-for-granted singular option of cow’s milk to a baffling array of new options which all seem equally unusual/weird/exciting/*insert your own adjective here*, can be overwhelming to say the least.

This post is intended as a starting point if this is your situation, or if you’re just curious to see what sort of milk alternatives are out there. In an attempt to keep this post relatively short, I am only going to be talking about the plain/original versions of each milk (so with no flavourings). I would also only recommend looking at brands that fortify their products with vitamins/minerals such as calcium and B12, as this can really help your body nutritionally.

So without further ado, here is my taste test comparison of a range of plant-based milks I’ve tried over the last (nearly) three years of being vegan:

 

Rice Milk

This is an underrated option in my opinion, and by far the most used type of milk in my household. I think that it has the most neutral taste and so works well in both savoury dishes (like vegan mac ‘n’ cheese) and baking.  When combined with anything else I don’t think you can really taste its flavour, which is why its so versatile. However, on its own, rice milk has a slightly sweet taste which I think is yummy.

Sweetness: 4/10

Flavour intensity: 3/10

Creaminess: 2/10

Best for: all-rounder

 

Oat Milk

A less sweet, slightly earthier flavour, oat milk is great for breakfasts (porridge, cereal, granola, oatmeal) and makes a nice malty hot chocolate.

Sweetness: 2/10

Flavour intensity: 5/10

Creaminess: 3/10

Best for: breakfasts

 

Soya Milk

Perhaps the most popular milk alternative, soya is one a lot of people start with. It has a thicker, creamier and silkier texture than rice milk, and contains a good amount of protein. It doesn’t smell so good in my opinion, and has very little sweetness, it’s almost sour tasting – unless you go for a sweetened/flavoured version (I know I said I wasn’t going to comment on flavoured milks, but chocolate soya milk is incredible). I think it’s good for baking and indulgent hot drinks (as it thickens nicely).

Sweetness: 1/10

Flavour intensity: 5/10

Creaminess: 8/10

Best for: indulgent baking/drinks

 

Cashew Milk

Another super creamy choice, cashew milk has the fullness of soya milk but is slightly sweeter and has a subtle nutty taste too. I haven’t really used cashew milk much, but think it’s great for hot chocolate and can see it working well in milkshakes/smoothies.

Sweetness: 3/10

Flavour intensity: 6/10

Creaminess: 8/10

Best for: drinks

 

Hazelnut Milk

Now we’re onto nutty milks, I think that hazelnut milk is a great example of this. It has quite a strong flavour, with roasted hazelnut milks producing the richest flavour, and so I wouldn’t pair it with anything that isn’t trying to intentionally give out a hazelnut taste – possibly great in cookies, brownies, and hot drinks.

Sweetness: 3/10

Flavour intensity: 7/10

Creaminess: 6/10

Best for: anything nutty

 

Almond Milk

In a very similar strand, sits almond milk – also perfect for all sorts of nutty creations. I don’t use this one much as I’m not the biggest almond fan, but I can appreciate how it might be great in baking.

Sweetness: 2/10

Flavour intensity: 8/10

Creaminess: 5/10

Best for: anything nutty

 

Coconut Milk

This is another one with a strong, defining taste, and one which I never really use (as I don’t particularly like coconut!). Great if you like a little tropical flavour in your cereal or drinks.

Sweetness: 5/10

Flavour intensity: 9/10

Creaminess: 6/10

Best for: adding flavour

 

Hemp Milk

Probably the milk alternative with the most unusual flavour I’ve tried, hemp milk is packed with quite a bit of protein and has a pretty earthy, beany taste. It’s quite creamy but not very sweet, so makes a good base for a great variety of drinks.

Sweetness: 2/10

Flavour intensity: 7/10

Creaminess: 8/10

Best for: smoothies

 

There are more and more milk alternatives being added to the market every month, and plenty of different brands popping up each year, so of course I haven’t tried them all. I’ve heard of but haven’t yet tasted: flax, tigernut, macadamia, quinoa and even pea milks… There are so many options out there, you’re bound to find one you like if you keep an open mind and continue to try different types.

What’s your favourite plant-based milk, and what do you use it for? I’d love to know in the comments below!


If you enjoyed this post, you may like:

Staying a Healthy Weight: Can Veganism Help?

My Vegan Story

Homemade Vegan Biscotti


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17 thoughts on “Comparing Plant-Based Milks: Which Is The Best? – Veganuary

    • Alys says:

      Haha I can totally understand that, it’s pretty unique. Ohh you definitely use the nutty milks more than I do then! I do think I should give them more of a chance. Thanks for your comment!

      Like

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