Best Non-Dairy Milk Choices

Even though I’m not a vegan, I am lactose intolerant, which means I have to lay off the milk. Over the last year or so I’ve tried many non-dairy milk options (aside from soy milk), and I’ve come across some that are great, and some that aren’t. This is a run-down of some of the options available along with my recommendations.

Original Rice Milk: Original rice milk is one of my personal favorites. Rice Dream brand is the one that I usually purchase, and although the taste is a bit grainy, overall it is the best replacement for regular milk that I’ve found. The taste is acquired, but the nice thing about rice milk is that it’s not too sweet nor is it too bitter. Rice milk is much thinner than even skim milk, so it’s not the best for putting on cereal or for mixing with things such as tomato soup.

Carob Rice Milk: Sometimes I like to enjoy chocolate milk, and to keep it lactose-free, Rice Dream uses carob for their version of chocolate milk. Again, I like this one because it is not too sweet, but it’s nice to have a little flavor on occasion.

Vanilla Rice Milk: Vanilla rice milk is much like the original rice milk, only it’s a little sweeter. It’s good for getting in your daily calcium, however, it’s generally good on its own.

Unsweetened Almond Milk: I do not like the flavor of unsweetened almond milk. It is extremely bitter and tastes very much like almonds. Unlike rice milk, the consistency is closer to regular milk, but you should avoid using it recipes as the almond taste is overwhelming.

Chocolate Almond Milk: The chocolate almond milk I bought, Almond Dream brand, is actually very tasty. The almond taste is almost completely masked by the chocolate flavor. The only complaint is that I can’t drink too much of it because it is overly sweet.

One thing to note is that none of these non-dairy options are good for replacing milk in recipes. Soy milk is the best replacement as it is the closest in consistency and flavor to cow’s milk. If you are looking to cut out cow’s milk from your diet, I hope this gives you a good intro into your options. You should also note that these options cost two to three times as much as regular milk, but they do last much longer and many of these are available in shelf-stable packaging.

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