Plant milks are everywhere, each marketing itself as the smoothest, most delicious and best for the planet. It’s never been easier to be dairy-free, vegan or just curious!
With prices ranging from £0.80p to £4.00, mylks made from everything from Hemp to Peas and supermarket shelves packed full of different brands what should you choose?
My top choices for plant milks are the ones with the shortest and simplest ingredients list. For this reason we personally love and use the following brands regularly: Oatly Organic, Minor figures, Plenish, Rice Dream Organic, Lucy Bee Organic.
Here’s our full run down, so you can work out which one is best for you…
PS – this is Phoebe’s advice, not FOGA’s endorsement of any of these brands!
The OG of plant milks! In China, soya milk has been made since at least the 14th century. It’s made from soy beans and filtered water. Soya tends to be the cheapest plant milk on the market with own labels offering cartons from 80p!
TASTES LIKE: Subtle, creamy flavour. Can taste a bit beany
BEST FOR: Tea, pancakes, baking & porridge
WATCH OUT: Most non organic soy milks are made with genetically modified soy beans, so make sure to buy organic. Some have added thickeners and sweeteners so make sure to check the back of pack before buying.
RECOMMENDED BRANDS: Promavel £1.99 (Holland & Barrett), Plamil Soya £2.20.
The baristas favourite alternative milk. Made by soaking, blending then straining oats through a cheesecloth. Homemade oat milk is easy and cheap to make too!
TASTES LIKE: Creamy with no strong flavour.
BEST FOR: Smoothies, baking & lattes (use barista).
WATCH OUT: Tends to be higher in calories compared to others. The barista milks are great for coffee but have added oils to help those baristas perfect their latte art…so if you are not using it for coffee, it’s best to buy the brands without added oils and thickeners.
RECOMMENDED BRANDS: Oatly Organic £1.75 (all major supermarkets & online), Minor Figures Organic £1.60 (Waitrose & Online supermarkets)
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A lovely nutty flavour makes this one of the most delicious plant milk . It’s made by blending blanched almonds with water, then straining through a cheesecloth. One (100ml) serving of almond milk contains just 22 calories.
TASTES LIKE: Really nutty flavour
BEST FOR: Oatshakes, coffee, granola
WATCH OUT: Lots of brands only use 1% almond so it can have very little nutritional value. Almonds use a lot of water to grow so are criticised for being less sustainable, but it still uses less water than in dairy milk production! Tastes delicious in coffee but is prone to splitting & curdling.
RECOMMENDED BRANDS: Alpro unsweetened almond milk £1.00, Rude Health Almond drink with rice £1.50, Califa farms unsweetened £2.50
Did you know that more than two-thirds of all adults are considered lactose intolerant. For lactose-intolerant people, a glass of milk can induce bloating, stomach pains and diarrhoea.
Deliciously creamy with a distinctive sweet coconut taste. Made from filtered water and coconut cream. Not to be confused with ‘cooking’ coconut milk.
TASTES LIKE: Strong coconut flavour, really creamy texture. Slightly sweet taste.
BEST FOR: Smoothies, porridge, curries, desserts
WATCH OUT: Tends to be higher sugar and saturated fat compared to other options.
RECOMMENDED BRANDS: Lucy Bee Organic Coconut milk £2.50, Koko Dairy free £1.50
The new kid on the block is made from yellow split peas (just like pea protein!). While its a higher protein choice, brands seem to be fortifying their milks with Vitamin D + B12 so it’s good for vegans..
TASTES LIKE: Sweetened taste, a light consistency
BEST FOR: Adding to smoothies for extra protein
WATCH OUT: The ingredients list for the new kids on the block is longer than for some of the others. Check before buying if you’re after a clean alternative.
RECOMMENDED BRANDS: Sproud £1.99, Mightly Pea £2.09
Rice is the only food on the planet that is thought to be ‘allergy’ free. So this is a great option for coeliacs, IBS sufferers and people with nut allergies. Tends to have a very sweet taste.
TASTES LIKE: Naturally sweet flavour
BEST FOR: Lattes, cereal, baking
WATCH OUT: Tends to have less nutrients than other brands, and be higher in sugar.
RECOMMENDED BRANDS: Rude Health (they use rice as a base for some of their other flavours, giving it a sweet and indulgent taste), Rice Dream Organic £1.99
Hemp is widely considered to be one of the most sustainable seeds.
TASTES LIKE: A light nutty flavour, some are more grassy than others!
BEST FOR: Cooking with, overnight oat.
WATCH OUT: Thickeners and additives
RECOMMENDED BRANDS: Good Hemp £2.00
What’s in Our Cupboards?
We’ve been non-dairy drinkers for the last decade, so it’s fair to say that we’ve tried most of the brands out there! We’ve nailed down our favourite mylks and brands for different occasions.
For Plantshakes or Oatshakes
Oatly Organic or Minor Figures Organic Oat Milk or Alpro Roasted Almond Unsweetened.
Minor Figures Organic & Rude Health Almond (for a slightly sweet latte!)
For Matcha & Turmeric Lattes:
Minor Figures Organic or Rude Health Almond.
For Cooking or Baking:
Basically whatever is in the fridge. Ideally a ‘Barista’ milk with added fat as it is closer in composition to dairy milk if you are substituting.
For Savoury Cooking:
Coconut Milk for Curries, Oat Milk or Alpro Almond unsweetened for the lightest taste.