Alternative Milks - The Full Picture

With dairy-free alternatives expanding all the time, read on for a round-up of some of the most popular dairy-milk aternatives.  It's worth being aware that all of these products impact the environment in different ways, and picking the right one for you depends on many factors including consistency, flavour, any allergies, and your primary environmental concern. There are also more options available we've not covered here, including hemp milk, rice milk, and pea milk.

Oat Milk

Oat milk is gluten free and has a really low environmental impact compared to some of the other alternative milks, needing less water. It's super versatile and can be really creamy. Check out Oatly as a top-rated brand offering many oaty products. It's also extremely easy to make your own- try out this recipe for a few tips and tricks here >>

Almond Milk

Definitely featuring in our top 3 milks, it's rare you'll find a coffee shop that doens't offer almond milk these days. It has a mild nutty taste, and is again extremely easy to make yourself. However, almond milk isn't always coming up trumps when it comes to sustainable choices...Though its emmissions and land use scores are low, it requires a lot of water to produce. For more of a breakdown on this, click here

Soy milk

An extremely verstaile choice, soya is perhaps the most established and long-running of alternative milks. It can be used in place of dairy milk fairly consistently, and is made from soybeans. Emmissions, land use, and water are still all coming out significantly lower than dairy milk, but greater deforestation levels does generally lead some folks to consider soya less of a green choice. There are plenty of flavous to pick from, including sweetened and unsweetened, so it does offer plenty of choice.

Coconut milk

Naturall sweet and nutritious, coconut milk is made from coconut cream and water, and is more diluted than the tins you might add to your curries or savoury dishes. It is higher in calories due to a fairly rich fat content, so it's good to look for the unsweetened types where you can (if that's something you want to consider). 

Cashew milk

Like many other nut alternative milks, cashew crops are pretty low-yielding, and as such can have a high environmental cost. Cashew milk is silky and creamy, and a really lovely in hot drinks in place of dairy milk.  

Potato milk

With an extremely low carbon footprint, potato milk is really rising through the ranks in popularity. Gluten-free and great for those with nut-allergies, potato milk has a lot of benefits. The flip side is that potato milk requires some additives to give it a nicer flavour, including rapseed oil and pea protein. 

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