1. Soy milk
The original milk substitute, which is high in good fat and protein and comes in a multitude of brands, flavors, and low-fat, non-fat, and full-fat varieties. It’s high in potassium and phosphorus and full of many other vitamins and minerals. It’s important to look for organic and GMO-free soy milk because soy milk is one of the largest feed crops on the planet and the quality of soy varies significantly.
A favorite brand: EdenSoy Organic Soymilk
2. Almond milk
It’s got a light almond flavor and scent and a texture slightly thinner than soy milk, but still thicker than rice milk. There are dozens of different brands and flavors to choose from in most grocery stores as it’s the second most common nondairy milk alternative, after soy milk. It’s low in calories and protein (the pulp keeps all the nut protein), but high in magnesium, manganese, selenium, and vitamin E.
A favorite brand: Pacific Naturals Organic Almond Milk
3. Rice milk
It’s made by blending rice with water and tends to be a bit thinner and sweeter than the other milks. Most brands fortify nondairy milks with vitamins
A favorite brand: Rice Dream Organic Unsweetened
4. Coconut milk
A richer option than the other milk substitutes, it’s made from squeezing the liquid out of fresh coconut meat, unlike coconut water that comes from the center of the coconut. Though high in saturated fat, it’s from short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids that aren’t stored by the body as fat and instead provide energy. It’s high in lauric acid, which works as an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral agent. It’s excellent for your bones, maintaining blood sugar levels, and keeping you from being sick.
A favorite brand: Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk
5. Hemp milk
It’s a thicker milk made from hemp seeds (no THC) that is packed with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, calcium, vitamins and minerals, and it’s a complete protein with all of the amino acids. All of these qualities make it excellent for your skin, hair, nails, heart, brain, and immune system. Plus, you can now find it in a variety of flavors and made by several brands.
A favorite brand: Living Harvest Tempt Hemp Milk
6. Oat milk
It’s a thicker milk substitute that is great for baking, especially oatmeal cookies! Oat milk is made by grinding oats with water, so you get all the health benefits from the oats in your drink.
A favorite brand: Pacific Naturals Oat Milk
7. Hazelnut milk
This is a thinner milk with many of the same health benefits as almond milk- it’s full of vitamin E and folic acid. It’s got a fairly strong smell and taste of hazelnuts, which makes it amazing in coffee, certain cookies, ice cream, and some nut-based cakes.
A favorite brand: Pacific Naturals Hazelnut Milk
8. 7-Grain milk
This is a blend of whole grains that are mixed together with water and results in a mill substitute that is high in vitamins and minerals and has a nice, slightly sweet, slightly grainy flavor. It’s great for cereal and smoothies, as well as heartier cookies.
See how versatile nondairy milk can be? We have become so accustomed to using cow’s milk that we forget that it’s not absolutely necessary for cooking.