St. Mark's Hospital - June 21, 2019

If you’re vegan or avoid dairy for health reasons, it's lucky for you that milk alternatives now line supermarket shelves. Here’s a run-down of substitutes you can drink straight or use in recipes. Most of these come in sweetened and unsweetened versions, so read the labels.

Cow’s milk

Nutrition of cow's milk (1 cup)

Category Unit
Calories: 122
Protein: 8 grams
Total fat: 5 grams
Carbs: 12 grams
Calcium: 35% of daily recommended intake

Almond milk

Taste:

  • Slightly sweet
  • Mild and nutty
  • Thicker than dairy
  • Can come flavored with vanilla or chocolate

Uses:

  • Smoothies
  • Cereal
  • Baked goodies
  • Add a splash to mashed cauliflower or potatoes

Nutrition of almond milk (1 cup)

Category Unit
Calories: 39
Protein: 1 gram
Total fat: 3 grams
Carbs: 3 grams
Calcium: 40% of daily recommended intake

Soy milk

Taste:

  • Slightly nutty but not sweet
  • Some find the flavor beany
  • Creamy texture
  • Can be vanilla or chocolate flavored

Uses:

  • Pancakes
  • Puddings
  • Muffins
  • Creamy sauces

Nutrition of soy milk (1 cup)

Category Unit
Calories: 80
Protein: 7 grams
Total fat: 4 grams
Carbs: 4 grams
Calcium: 25% of daily recommended intake

Soy milk has the highest protein content of non-dairy milks.


Rice milk

Taste:

  • Naturally sweet
  • Similar flavor to cow’s milk
  • Watery texture

Uses:

  • Desserts
  • Savory sauces (adds a hint of sweetness)
  • May need thickening for some recipes

Nutrition of rice milk (1 cup)

Category Unit
Calories: 113
Protein: 1 gram
Total fat: 2 grams
Carbs: 22 grams
Calcium: 24% of daily recommended intake

Coconut milk

Taste:

  • Rich coconut taste
  • Creamy with a milky consistency
  • Don’t confuse with canned concentrates used for cooking

Uses:

  • Tropical smoothies
  • Dessert recipes

Nutrition of coconut milk (1 cup)

Category Unit
Calories: 45
Protein: <1 gram
Total fat: 5 grams
Carbs: 2 grams
Calcium: 39% of daily recommended intake

Oat milk

Taste:

  • Mild oat-like aftertaste
  • Thick and creamy
  • Not naturally sweet
  • Can come flavored with vanilla or chocolate

Uses:

  • Creamy soups
  • Coffee (great for frothing)
  • Simmer alone with a bit of cinnamon

Nutrition of oat milk (1 cup)

Category Unit
Calories: 54
Protein: 2 gram
Total fat: 1 gram
Carbs: 10 grams
Calcium: 1% of daily recommended intake