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When you were growing up, you probably had a glass of milk with one of your meals every day to make sure you were getting enough of the vitamins and minerals you need to help you grow big and strong. But now, more and more people are starting to forgo dairy—and not just because they’re at risk of allergic reactions or lactose intolerance. While there has been no definitive research that defines dairy as bad for you, some people are worried about the hormones in cow’s milk.
Whether you’re lactose intolerant, vegan, or just want to switch up the kind of milk you’re using day to day, below are different non-dairy milk variations. Even if you’re nervous about the taste, with so many options you’re bound to find one that you like the taste of in baked goods, in a bowl of cereal, or just in a glass to drink.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Milkadamia Unsweetened
While the first thing most people probably associate with non-dairy milk is soy or almond options, one of the best nut milk options on the market comes from indulgent macadamia nuts. Thanks to their naturally creamy texture when raw, these nuts make a surprisingly milky drink even though macadamia nut milk is sugar-free and only contains 50 calories per serving.
Like regular dairy milk, each glass of macadamia nut milk is packed with vitamin D, and even contains 50 percent more calcium than a glass of cow’s milk. Milkadamia brand non-dairy milk is vegan-friendly and is also GMO-free, gluten-free, and keto-friendly, so it’s perfect for people on a low-carb diet that want to add a new non-dairy milk into their regimen.
Best Almond Milk: Almond Breeze Original Almondmilk
If there’s one brand that’s synonymous with almond milk, it’s Almond Breeze, the official almond milk brand of Blue Diamond Almonds. Each box of this shelf-stable milk remains fresh while unopened for months, so this 12-pack of boxes is perfect for stocking your pantry with so you never find yourself starting the day with a bowl of dry cereal or black coffee.
Almond Breeze makes their almond milk with California Blue Diamond almonds for an irresistible creamy drink without a noticeable almond flavor. Each glass is lactose- and soy-free and is only 60 calories. We love the original kind, but if you prefer your milk a little less sweet, opt for the unsweetened variety, or choose the vanilla for the best possible taste for drinking.
Best Cashew Milk: Silk Original Cashew Milk
The same aspects of the cashew that make it a creamy and indulgent nut to snack on make it a great nut for turning into non-dairy milk. Despite how insanely creamy it is, cashew milk has only 60 calories per serving—which is 25 percent less than a glass of regular skim milk. Because it’s so indulgent, it’s also a great non-dairy base for chocolate milk, but don’t overlook the original variety, like this option from Silk. Cashew milk is also naturally free of soy, lactose, gluten, casein, and egg.
Best Coconut Milk: Native Forest Organic Classic Coconut Milk
Coconuts have become insanely trendy in both the food and beauty world, and it’s starting to feel like we use every part of the coconut at some point of our daily routine, whether it be the water, the oil, the flesh, or the milk, like this can of unsweetened organic coconut milk from Native Forest. While most non-dairy milk products tend to be pretty watery, coconut milk has a natural creamy texture, which makes it perfect for adding a bit of creaminess to a variety of dishes. This natural indulgence has made it a staple in many dishes in Thai and Indian cuisines, among others. Coconut milk has a much stronger natural flavor than other non-dairy milks, so we recommend staying away if you’re not partial to a little coconutty flavor in your food.
Best Rice Milk: Rice Dream Organic Original Rice Drink
If you’re looking for a non-dairy milk that isn’t made from nuts, whether for allergy concerns or just because of the taste, reach for a box of this rice drink milk alternative from Rice Dream. Part of the reason it’s loved by the dairy-free community is that rice drink closely resembles skim milk in taste and texture, but is just a touch sweeter, so it’s perfect for using in the same places you would regular milk without worrying about a strange aftertaste.
Each glass is made from organic brown rice and is 99 percent fat-free, verified non-GMO, and kosher. Rice Dream enriches their rice drink with vitamins A, B12, D, and calcium to ensure that every glass is as nutritious as a glass of regular milk.
Best Oat Milk: Pacific Foods Organic Oat Non-Dairy Beverage
If you’ve stopped by an urban coffee shop or café lately, you’ve probably seen this unusual non-dairy milk on the menu as an option to drink in your java. If you haven’t tried it, drinking milk made from oats might sound strange, but in reality oat milk is a surprisingly delicious alternative to cow’s dairy.
Each serving of oat milk is packed with good-for-you whole grains but is naturally creamy and sweet because of the oats themselves. Pacific Foods oat milk also contains more protein per serving than other non-dairy milks, including cashew, coconut, and hemp milk.
Best Soy Milk: Silk Unsweetened Organic Soymilk
Before there was the booming popularity of oat, hemp, and almond milks, there was soy milk, which is one of the most widely available dairy-free milk options. We recommend this organic unsweetened option from Silk, which is fortified to have as much calcium as a glass of dairy milk. Each of these boxes are made with shelf-stable packaging so you can keep soy milk in the pantry at all times without worrying that it’ll spoil before you get to drinking it.
In addition to tasting great as a substitute for all the traditional uses for milk, Silk soymilk is packed with good-for-you nutrients. Each glass contains 7 grams of protein that is naturally found in soy, contains no added sugar, and is low in saturated fat. In addition to being dairy and lactose-free, Silk is made without gluten, casein, egg, or MSG.
Best Hemp Milk: Living Harvest Tempt Hemp Milk
Another unusual source of non-dairy milk is hemp seeds, which are milled and milked for their nutritional value. Tempt brand enhances their natural nutritional hemp with vitamin A, D2, B12, and riboflavin, in addition to omega fatty acids and amino acids. We recommend the unsweetened original variety, which is made with no added sugars. Hemp milk is more watery than creamier non-dairy milks like coconut or macadamia, and has a nutty flavor with a hint of sweetness.
Best Flax Milk: Good Karma Flaxmilk Vanilla
If you’re looking for a milk that’s a great source of plant-based protein, consider trying flax milk, which is made from flax seeds. Each glass of this delicious and creamy vanilla flax milk is packed with 8 grams of protein—which is high for non-dairy milk—and 1,200 mg omega-3 fats which are essential for heart health. We recommend getting it in a set of shelf-stable boxes so you have plenty on hand for everyday use.