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Ditching the cow? Learn about the different vegan milks

There’s some controversy nowadays about cow’s milk and if it truly is healthy for those of us called humans, or not.  And with the many non-cow’s milk options available, have you explored what the choices are and the various benefits of other milks?

My family recently tried a few. Some we liked, others not so much. You’ll have to try them to decide for yourself.

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Rice milk- For us it tasted watered down, since it is a mixture of partially milled rice and water. No one here gave it a thumbs up. (Though it may work in cereal) Some of the benefits, though, are that rice milk is the least likely to trigger allergies (don’t give to babies though) and is shelf-stable until opened. However, it has virtually no protein so that’s a disadvantage.

Almond milk-The kids all liked the flavored chocolate almond milk around here, not plain. I thought it was delicious too. Plain almond milk, though, is a very popular milk and a staple of food stores. If you are looking to avoid cow’s milk or lactose, almond milk has a pleasant, mildly sweet flavor that many people like. It’s full of many nutrients and unsaturated fat. You can find shelf stable almond milk that doesn’t need to be refrigerated until opened and find it in the milk section which is chilled already.

Coconut milk– Zero out of 4 here liked it, though research has shown that fat from coconuts is not as bad as we used to think it was. Coconut milk is very creamy and high in not only calories but fat.  I’ve read that you can also get “lite” coconut milk. Seems like a better treat than a daily drink. But still an option when trying various milks.

Oat milk -We all love this, especially on cereal and in my coffee. However I stand corrected on the “milk” term since the one we buy (Pacific brand) calls itself a “non dairy beverage.” It’s a bit watery on its own but fine in cereal. You can even make your own oat milk. Another plus is that it’s another shelf stable one, so good for stocking up, or before storms.Oat milk is lactose free and heart healthy, though the brand I tried is lower in protein and higher in sugar than 1% cows milk. It does offer a full serving of grains.

Soy milk-oh the controversy of soy and soy milk can drive me crazy! I still don’t know what to do so I drink it occasionally only but don’t give it to my kids. Some of the benefits of soy milk are that is is naturally high in protein, fiber and vitamins and has zero cholesterol.It also has less sugar than regular cow’s milk. Soy milk is supposed to be very good for post menopausal women as the pyhto-estrogen in soy replaces estrogen loss.There is controversy that the isoflavones can increase breast cancer risk in some women.

Based on our trials and research, the kids still like the 1% cows milk the best and I continue to buy it, though I throw in a vegan milk at least once a week for variety.

 

 

 

 

 

* photo credit- recipe.com

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