Non-Dairy Milks

April 28th, 2015: Update on the article below. Check out this link for an updated, more comprehensive version of the list I posted last month.  Non-Dairy Milk Substitutes Best Bites Nutrition Ratings 

Mary’s Note: Nut milks are simple to make. In a good blender or food processor add a cup of nuts of your choice. Add enough water to cover the nuts and blend. As it thickens add more water to get the consistency you want. You can strain it through a nut bag if you don’t like the little bits in it. I don’t strain it because I like the bits in my cereal and it adds a nutty quality to recipes. My favorite is cashew milk. I can make cashew “butter” by barely covering the nuts with water. It is easier to make this way than making actual cashew butter. It is thinner but is spreadable. If I add a tiny bit more water I have cashew “cream” for toppings. More water gives me milk. Easy, no added ingredients and cheaper to make. You can add vanilla or a flavoring if you want to.

This article was sent to me by our NUT Elf, Deborah P. It is from NutritionAction.com  This is a wonderful resource to have if you are trying to cut back on dairy. My favorite brand for all non-dairy milks is Pacific. Pacific also has excellent soups in a box. I keep them on hand for those days I don’t want to cook. I throw some cooked grain like rice in the soup as I heat it. Easy meal. But I digress…..as usual 🙂  

What to Eat: The Best Non-Dairy Milks You Can Buy

Avoiding dairy? Try one of these milk alternatives

A growing number of Americans are ditching dairy for “milks” made from almonds, cashews, coconut, flax, hazelnuts, hemp, oats, rice, soy, or other plants. But what looks like milk in your cup may look nothing like milk to your body. It’s important to check for protein, look for milks fortified with the amounts of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B-12 in cow’s milk, and minimize added sugars. Skip coconut milks, which typically have 4 or 5 grams of saturated fat per cup. For more on which “milks” to sip and which to skip, check the Best Bites and Honorable Mentions in our chart below.

Best Bites (✔✔) and Honorable Mentions (✔) contain no monk fruit extract or sucralose, which we rate as “Caution.” (See chemicalcuisine.org.) They also contain no rice syrup or rice. (In November, Consumer Reports estimated that adults would reach the magazine’s arsenic limit with just ½ cup of rice milk a day—and no other rice. With so many other options, we denied Best Bites and Honorable Mentions to rice milks.) For more information about arsenic and rice, click on this link.

Best Bites (✔✔) and Honorable Mentions (✔) also have no more than 1 teaspoon of added sugars and 2 grams of saturated fat per cup. And they have at least 25% of a day’s vitamin D (◑) and 30% of a day’s calcium (◐). Best Bites also have at least 20% of a day’s vitamin B-12 and 7 grams of protein. Honorable Mentions have no more than 50 calories. Products are ranked from least to most added sugars, then calories, then most to least protein, calcium, and vitamins B-12 and D.

Non Dairy Milks Chart