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There are many reasons why you might want to start using alternatives to milk, whether that’s in your coffee or your cereal or on its own. Luckily, there are loads of liquids that you can use in their place, and a lot of them even enhance a coffee and its flavor.
Why Do We Need Milk Alternatives?
Whether you are planning to make coffee at home or if you’re just wondering what to grab from Starbucks next time you’re there, there are so many alternatives to cow milk that you can try. The Starbucks milk options include your usual whole milk, nonfat milk, and cream, but they also have plant-based coffee drinks like oat milk and soy milk. These are great options for vegans or people with dairy intolerances or allergies, but also for people who want to mind their health. These milk alternatives mean these people can still enjoy their coffee without cow’s milk. You can find these kinds of milk not only in a drink at Starbucks but also in most grocery stores.
What Are The Benefits?
Milk alternatives are often lower in calories and fat than dairy milk, making them a good option for those looking to manage their weight or reduce their saturated fat intake. Additionally, many milk alternatives are fortified with vitamins and minerals, such as calcium and vitamin D, making them a good source of nutrition.
Dairy farming has been linked to deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, and water pollution, among other environmental issues. In contrast, many plant-based milk alternatives (but not all) have a lower environmental impact, requiring less land, water, and energy to produce.
Oat milk has gained popularity due to its creamy texture, mild, nutty flavor, and slightly sweet aftertaste. Oat milk is naturally high in fiber, protein, and vitamins and is often fortified with calcium and vitamin D to make it a well-rounded milk alternative. In coffees, its ability to froth well for latte art is just one of its desirable qualities and nutritional value. To make oat milk, whole oats are soaked in water, blended, and then strained to remove any solids. The resulting liquid is a creamy and slightly sweet milk alternative with a texture similar to dairy milk.
Coconut milk is commonly used in Southeast Asian and Caribbean cuisine, where it is used as a base for curries, soups, and stews, but it is often used in coffees too. It can add a delicious tropical twist and a creamy texture to lattes, cappuccinos, and other coffee beverages. To make coconut milk, the meat of a coconut is first grated and then soaked in hot water. The resulting liquid is then strained and can be used immediately or stored for later use.
One of the most similar options to normal milk, soy milk has a mildly sweet, beany, and nutty taste. Soy milk is made by soaking and grinding soybeans, then boiling the mixture and separating the solids from the liquid. The resulting liquid can be consumed as is or further processed to create a smoother and creamier texture. Adding it to your favorite type of coffee can make your beverage a good source of protein.
This milk alternative has a nutty and slightly sweet flavor with a thin and watery texture. It is made by blending hemp seeds with water and straining the mixture to remove any solids. You can then add vanilla, cocoa, or other natural ingredients to create a flavoured liquid. Hemp milk is a popular choice for those with lactose intolerance or allergies to soy, nuts, or dairy. It is also a good source of protein and healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. In coffee, hemp milk can add a unique nutty flavor and a creamy texture, but it may not be suitable for frothing, which is needed for drinks like cappuccinos.
The taste of rice milk can vary depending on the type of rice used and the production process. Generally, it has a thin and watery consistency and a slightly sweet taste with a mild, nutty aftertaste. It is typically made by soaking rice grains in water, blending them together, and then straining the mixture to remove any solids. As well as a dairy-free creamer in coffee, it is also used in other baking and cooking recipes.
Made from ground cashews and water, cashew milk adds a creamy texture and a subtle nutty flavor that complements the coffee’s natural flavors. The process of making cashew milk involves soaking raw cashews in water overnight and then blending them with fresh water until smooth. The resulting liquid is then strained through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth to remove any solids.
Here’s one you might not have heard of, or at least you know it is not as commonly used. The process of making pea milk involves blending yellow split peas with water, then straining the mixture to remove any solids. Pea milk is also rich in protein, containing around eight grams per cup, making it a nutritious option for those looking to add more protein to their diet. Its taste is also creamy and slightly sweet, which makes it great for use in coffee.
There are many types of almond milk because it is so versatile. Flavors such as chocolate and vanilla can easily be added, or they can be left unsweetened. Raw almonds are soaked in water and then blended with fresh water. Generally, as you might have guessed, it has a nutty flavour that makes a great addition to a cup of coffee, complementing the flavours of a lot of types of coffee.
To summarise, there are many options when it comes to milk alternatives that you can use in your coffee – from the popular oat and almond milk to the lesser-known pea milk. They can be a healthy alternative to cow’s milk and could be less destructive to the environment as well.