I cut out milk over 11 years ago. Back then my options where limited to coconut milk and rice milk or very expensive almond milk – none of which are really great with coffee (if you are making it at home). If I went out, I had to have black coffee – very few restaurants had lactose-free alternatives.
Thankfully this has changed dramatically over the past few years and there are now a lot more options easily available and most restaurants now have at least one plant-based milk available. I still haven’t found one that works with my coffee at home but when frothed up in a coffee shop both soy milk and almond milk work well.
If you are making the switch to a plant-based milk, it is still very important to read the labels – just because something is plant-based does not mean that it is necessarily healthy. Some plant-based milk products to have added sugar, oils and other additives.
When it comes to plant-based milks, what are your options?
I am not a huge fan of oat milk but if you have a nut-allergy it might be a good option. Oats are also often rolled in gluten so if you are gluten free, make sure you check whether or not your oat milk is gluten-free.
When it comes to nutrients, oats are rich in potassium and iron, which is an important nutrient for women. They also contain beta glucan which is a soluble fiber that is good for your heart health and aids digestion.
Oat milk does not curdle so you can easily add it to your hot coffee or tea and depending on the brand, it is nice and creamy.
Taste wise this is one of my favourite plant-based milks but it is not cheap and isn’t very creamy, so I struggle to get the milk/coffee ratio right at home. It is the milk most coffee shops have on offer.
Almond milk is a good low carb option and it contains vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant. A lot of brands fortify their almond milk with Vitamin D which is important, especially when you are following a plant-based lifestyle.
Obviously this milk is not suitable if you have a nut allergy but it is naturally lactose free.
This is another popular lactose-free milk that can be found in all the big retailers as well as in various health shops. I am not a huge fan of the taste of soy milk but it does make the best cappuccinos and lattes.
Soy milk is rich in calcium which is good for your bones and it promotes heart health as well as reduces cholesterol.
There is some controversy around soya, generally I only drink it if it is the only option when I am out.
I love coconut milk. It is so rich and creamy and delicious and makes the best cup of coffee but it is high in fat and very rich. It is more of an indulgent option than an every day option. I use it a lot in cooking and baking mainly because it is just creamy and delicious.
Coconut milk is also rich in antioxidants and like many of the other milks mentioned, coconut milk is also promotes a healthy heart.
I have never tried this milk and it is not easily available in South Africa but you can find it if you look hard enough. Hemp milk is made from hemp seeds and sometimes oats are added.
Hemp milk contains arginine which is an amino acid that helps to relax your blood vessels and reduces blood pressure.
Hemp milk is thick and creamy and not sweet, you can easily use it in savoury sauces or make a delicious cup of coffee with it, it does also work well in a smoothie.