What are plant-based milks?

Ever wonder what plant-based milks are? You can't milk a plant so where do they come from? You can quench you thirst for plant-based milk knowledge by having a quick read of the below.

Whether you’re dairy-free or not, plant-based milks could be something you’ve used or considered using.

Let’s delve into the what and why of plant milks and get into the specifics of these milks for you.

What are plant milks?

At their core, plant milks are a combination of water and a plant base, be it a grain, a nut or even a bean (say what?).

There may also be some extra ingredients added, depending on whether its store bought or home-made.

Why use plant milk?

    Here are a few plant based milk varieties for you to look out for and try if you want to and remember the key is finding one that you like and can drink daily if you need to.

    Soy milk

    Perhaps the first milk a lot of people will consider when opting to reduce dairy is soy, as it’s readily available in supermarkets and health food stores.

    Soy is high in protein, fibre and essential fatty acids as well as many minerals including iron and calcium, plus Vitamins, B1, B2, B6, E and Folate.

    It has also been shown to reduce levels of LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol, lower the risk of osteoporosis and even menopausal symptoms.

    Soy is a common allergen and should be avoided by those with known or suspected allergies.

    Oat milk

    Of all the plant milks in this article, Oat milk is the highest in fibre and contains calcium, iron, manganese, selenium and Vitamin B1.

    Oats have properties that support the nervous system, can lower cholesterol, and a whole host of other benefits.

    Oats should be avoided on a gluten-free diet as they are often processed with wheat and also contain a protein, avenin, which is similar to gluten.

    Coconut milk

    Perhaps not one that is often thought of for using in normal and frozen smoothies.

    Not to be confused with sweet-tasting coconut water, coconut milk is made from the meat of the coconut and has a creamy taste.

    Coconut milk is almost exclusively fat, although it does still contain a small amount of fibre.

    This is often used for those on a ketogenic diet as a way to reach their daily fat requirements.

    Part of the fats are medium chain triglycerides and these are antimicrobial, can prevent weight gain and increase satiety.

    Also present are vitamins B3, B5, B6, C, Folate, plus the minerals manganese, iron and copper.

    For those on a low-calorie and/or fat-restricted diet, you may want to consider an alternative to coconut milk.

    Almond milk

    Almond milk is relatively easy to get your hands on in a supermarket, or to make yourself.

    It contains protein, fibre and essential fats.

    It is also high in antioxidants, contains magnesium, manganese, calcium and other minerals, plus vitamins B2 and E.

    Almonds can lower LDL cholesterol, reduce inflammation and can help regulate blood sugar.

    Those with a history of gout and kidney stones may avoid almond milk due to the oxalate content.

    Of course, if you do have a nut allergy, you’ll need to steer clear.

    But how do you milk an almond?

    Interesting question!

    It’s a little different to how we get milk from cows and other mammals.

    Here’s a handy little almond milk recipe for you to try;

    1. Pre-soak 2 cups of almonds in water overnight
    2. Discard the water, then blend the almonds with 1L of fresh water
    3. Filter the liquid through a nut milk bag
    4. Enjoy your delicious plant milk!

      Feel free to get a bit fancy here - try adding a pinch of salt or vanilla, perhaps even some raw honey or include as your frozen smoothie base.

      Post a photo if you end up making this to to our Instagram and tag us (@supercubes) or it doesn’t count!

      What to look out for?

      With all of these plant-based milks around you need to be wary when buying store bought milk, make sure to check the labels for any added nasties such as;

      • Added sugar
      • Carageenan
      • Maltodextrin
      • Natural flavour

        Where to go from here?

        You can buy a plant-based milk from many different shops (after you read the label of course, see above) or you can make your own as there are plenty of recipes online to make all sorts of milks.

        You could even make macadamia, cashew, hemp or pumpkin seed milk!

        So which milk are you going to try? Do you dare make your own?

        Let us know on our Facebook page or in the comments on our Instagram account too and while you’re there, why not give us a like or a follow too!

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