Many people are surprised at how many alternatives there are to animal dairy products. Herbal milk options like oat milk, Hemp milk, and rice milk are some popular options, but nut milk has quickly emerged as the most popular. While dairy-free milk was previously primarily intended for lactose intolerant people, thanks to their unique taste profile and versatility, they are increasingly preferred by the masses.
There are so many different ideas out there when it comes to using nut milk! You can use nut milk instead of milk for baking to add a rich, creamy taste to your baked goods. You might also love the nutty delicacy these options bring with them grain, coffee, Protein shakes, Smoothies and more. You can even use them to make you healthy nice cream,
From a nutritional point of view, nut milk does not provide the same amount of protein as milk. Most nut milks on the market, however, contain less fat, sugar, and calories than your regular glass of milk. Some of them even have more calcium! 1 Still, you need to be careful with added sugar. Some manufacturers also add salt or thickeners to improve the taste and texture. So look for options with fewer ingredients and additives. In addition, anyone with a nut allergy should of course avoid this choice.
While we find that most people are familiar with almond milk – the most popular plant-based milk making up 63% of the total market2 – your nut milk options go way beyond these widely popular favorites. Check out this helpful guide on the different types of nut milk.
1. Almond milk
As mentioned earlier, almond milk is perhaps the most famous nut milk, so it makes sense to start our list here. Almond milk is said to have gained popularity in 2013 when it surpassed soy milk as the most popular milk alternative
Almond milk is made by mixing almonds and water, or by combining water and almond butter. The mixture is then strained to create the milk alternative we know and love. According to Medical News Today, “it has a pleasant, nutty taste and a creamy texture similar to that of regular milk.”
Almond milk’s greatest claim to fame, in addition to its versatile texture, is its high content of vitamin E, which can promote skin health and healthy aging.3,4 Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and is essential for eyesight and brain health
While almond milk isn’t as nutritious as cow’s milk, the fortified versions come close and can offer nutritional benefits comparable to vitamin D, vitamin A, and calcium. Unlike normal almonds, almond milk is a low-calorie drink because it is diluted with water. Just be sure to stick to the unsweetened versions as added sugars can be in abundance in flavored options
2. Cashew milk
Of the various nut milks on the market, cashew milk is one of the creamiest. Between its creamy texture and nutty taste, this nut milk is a top choice for many people who are turning away from dairy products. And unsweetened cashew milk, despite its rich feel, has significantly fewer calories and sugar than even skimmed milk
Like almond milk, many brands of cashew milk are fortified with calcium and vitamin D. 6 One brand even claims it contains 50% more calcium than milk milk! 7 Cashew milk is also rich in vitamin K, which is essential for healthy blood clotting and bone health .8 Its nutty taste and creamy texture make it a top choice for many.
Note that cashew milk can have higher levels of sodium – and it lacks the protein that milk milk provides.6 Most experts say that when you get protein from other sources, it’s not a big deal to be missing it in milk .
3. Walnut milk
Walnut milk may not be nearly as common as almond or cashew milk, but it is a delicious and nutritious milk alternative. It is said to have a stronger nutty flavor that you might want to consider when choosing where to use it.
Walnut milk is high in vitamin E, an essential nutrient for your immune system and your skin.9 It usually has about the same calories as 2% milk but is lower in carbohydrates.10,11 And being a good source of walnuts. If omega-3s are vegetable-based, it’s not surprising that walnut milk is filled with these healthy fats
Walnuts themselves are also high in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and even fiber, making them a nutritional powerhouse.9,12 According to the American Chemical Society, walnuts are number one among heart-healthy antioxidants. They explain, “Walnuts have a combination of healthier antioxidants and higher quality antioxidants than any other nut.” 12
4. Hazelnut milk
Speaking of antioxidants, hazelnuts also deliver these protective compounds in a creamy and delicious drink. The shell of hazelnuts has three times as much antioxidants as walnuts and twenty-five times as much as blackberries! As if that weren’t enough, hazelnut milk is said to have cardiovascular benefits as well as positive effects on blood sugar levels. Consider hazelnut milk if you plan to improve your lifespan, as hazelnuts are high in vitamin E, which has been shown to provide protection against free radicals. 13
This non-dairy milk is made by mixing soaked walnuts with water and straining the resulting liquid. The result is a rich and creamy nut milk that is said to have a lot of body. It’s easy to make yourself, but since hazelnuts can be expensive, for many people they are more of a treat than an everyday granola topper or coffee creamer. 14
5. Macadamia milk
Another creamy and delicious option, macadamia milk is a sweet and versatile option that is perfect for coffee and smoothies.
Macadamia milk is best known for being high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which help with everything from the brain to the skin and even improve heart function and cardiovascular health
While macadamias are higher in fat than other nuts, they are mostly full of monounsaturated fats, which can have health benefits such as reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. Fortified macadamia milk can provide essential nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin A, and calcium. It’s also high in iron, manganese, and potassium. 16
Make healthy choices
If you lose weight with that Nutrition plan, most of this nut milk will count towards your daily requirement Extras or PowerFuels. It depends on the calories and the amount of protein or fat in each serving. One extra contains 10 to 35 calories per serving. A PowerFuel has between 80 and 120 calories with at least five grams of protein or at least eight grams of total fat (with no more than four grams of saturated fat).
At the end of the day, any of these nut milks are easy to prepare at home, giving you maximum control over their quality and nutritional value. However, if you are looking to buy one of these non-dairy milks in the store, pay attention to the label to avoid excess sugar and other unwanted additives.
Any of these nut milks can serve as a great plant-based milk alternative that will add new flavors to your daily meals in a healthy and nutritious way.