I get so confused with all these vegan milk options available! I saw a fat-free soy milk today in a grocery store, and it made me consider my milk choices. What would you select - fat-free soy milk or unsweetened almond milk?
GREAT question AND a good problem to have ;)
AMAZING that we have so many choices now, right??!
Soo…. how do you pick? What’s THE BEST?
If you have an allergy, the best plant-based milk is the one you’re not allergic to ;)
But assuming you could drink any of them…
“BEST” depends on a few factors... the MOST IMPORTANT BEING...
Taste!!! (A.k.a. that you actually like it!)
There’s no point in buying something you or your family won’t like.
Find what works for your tastes and use it exclusively.
(and if you don’t know where to START, hang on! I’ve got some tips!)
Once you know what you like, fine-tune based on other factors mattering to YOU.
But don’t let “perfection” or other people’s ideology get in your way!
LIVING a healthy lifestyle is a balancing act…
Balancing factors to make the BEST choice in that situation.
Overwhelm happens when we stop balancing. “Almost perfect” is more realistic.
Figure out what matters most to you and operate based on that.
For example, I’m not overly concerned about buying organic, but I AM fussy about ingredients.
Which brings me to SUGAR and CARRAGEENAN.
We can all agree that less is more with sugar, right? BUT don’t force unsweetened on yourself or your family if you hate it. Sweetened isn’t the end of the world--it’s where I started!
And Carrageenan? Dr. Gregor recommends avoiding carrageenan *IF* you have IBD or other GI issues, but says it’s not a big issue for everyone else. (See his video on the issue here.)
PICKING YOUR PERFECT “MILK”
Let’s talk flavor… Soy, almond, coconut, hemp, oat, rice, quinoa, cashew milks (and beyond!) all have different tastes.
I find almond and cashew are the most neutral tasting, whereas hemp, oat, quinoa, and coconut have the most distinct tastes. (Soy and rice are somewhere in the middle).
There’s also blended options like soy+almond or almond+coconut.
In terms of creaminess, soy and coconut have that “full fat milk” feel---very thick and creamy-- while rice, quinoa, and oat milks are thinner and lighter--more “skim” like. (Almond and cashew are somewhere in the middle).
It might take a few tries to find one you LOVE (so have a little patience)
AND remember that brands taste different, too… so if you don’t like one particular brand of soy milk, don’t assume you’ll never like ANY soy milks.
Lately, I’ve been using Suzie’s unsweetened quinoa milk since it skirts all the allergies in my family and is low enough in fat for my Dad who has heart disease.
If you have a favorite, please share it in the comments below. Your opinion will help others!
Finally, if you’re trying to lose weight, aim for the option with the least amount of calories, but keep in mind that with cooking, you use so little that the difference per serving would be marginal… so… back to the #1 factor ;)
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