When it comes to an Indian household, there are various forms or products of milk that can be prepared such as tea, smoothies, yoghurt, cakes, cookies, ice-creams, cheese, curd and many more. But not everybody can consume cow’s milk because their bodies are intolerant to the sugar (lactose) found in it.
Some people may be concerned about getting acne after drinking milk while some just have an ethical change of mind to protect the animals from getting exploited for human consumption. Whatever be the reason, with the help of advanced technologies and the need to feed the ever-growing population new food resources are being explored.
Here are five such plant based milks that are being served as an alternative to cow (dairy) or animal-based milk.
1. Soy Milk
Soy milk is extracted from soybeans. It usually has a creamy texture and mild flavour. A number of brands add emulsifiers, to enhance the sweetness and improve the consistency with that of cow’s milk. It can be consumed with cereals, savoury dishes or as beverages with coffee and teas. Soy milk is favoured by a lot of people who are conscious about their health and fitness because nutrition-wise, it comes close to cow’s milk but with less carbohydrate, calories and fats. Therefore, 1 cup of unsweetened soy milk has around 85 calories, 4 grams of fat, 8 gram of protein and 4 grams of carbs. Urban platter, Amul, Sofit and Soyfresh are some of the brands that offer Soy milk.
2. Almond Milk
As it goes by the name, this drink is extracted from highly fibrous nuts, called Almond milk. With 35 calories, 2.5 grams, 1 gram of protein and 2 grams of carbs approximately this drink contains less than a quarter of calories and even fewer amounts of fat when compared to a normal cup of cow’s milk. Almond milk is lightly textured with a slightly sweet and nutty flavour. It serves as a great substitute for people who are trying hard to cut down on food with high calories and switch to a low-fat drink. Amul, Good Mylk, and The Butternut Co sell almond milk in the markets.
3. Coconut Milk
Coconut Milk is produced from the coconut flesh and the water it contains. Since coconut is found in various tropical regions, the texture of the milk may vary from place to place and habits of consuming coconut. For example – the western version of coconut milk might be diluted more than what we consume in India. Nevertheless, the sweet, creamy and subtle taste of coconut milk is refreshing as it contains nearly 1/3rd calories of cow’s milk, ½ the fat and insignificant protein and carbohydrates.
4. Oat Milk
Oat milk is made up of water and oats. Oats are simple and don’t have a strong taste, thus manufacturers producing Oat milk might add extra ingredients to have a desirable texture and taste by adding oils and salts to it. It can be consumed just like cow’s milk, with beverages or cereals. Oat milk contains a number of calories, double carbohydrates and half the amount of protein and fats to cow’s milk. Since oats is a cereal itself, it is also high in fibre which also has health benefits.
5. Quinoa Milk
Quinoa is substantially a seed that is an edible grain. Quinoa milk can be obtained by adding quinoa and water together to form a nutritious, gluten-free and rich in protein kind of quality product. The calorie content is equivalent to that of cow’s milk whereas the protein and fat content is low. Quinoa milk is expensive as compared to the other alternatives of milk because quinoa milk is new in the market. Although the grain quinoa is pretty popular it can be hard to find on the local shelves.
Apart from these five, there are also manufacturers trying to extract products that would give equal satisfaction of consumption, but through plant-based alternatives to cow’s milk. Therefore, these are the top options for someone who would like to experiment with their taste, habits or go vegan, especially at times when going organic is the new mantra.