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Make Your Own Non-Dairy Milk Drink – like almond or oat

If you are vegan or lactose intolerant, almond and other non-dairy milk drinks are options. Although neither vegan nor lactose intolerant, almond milk was my go-to milk many years ago. I drank it when I was more concerned with calories over taste.

Truth be told, I did not like the flavor so switched to vanilla flavored which of course added calories and sugar. Then something happened. I started paying attention to the protein in my diet—especially how much I consumed in the morning and it was low, too low.

Almond milk is too low in protein for me

At one gram of protein per eight ounces, almond milk did not help. If you drink non-dairy milk thinking you’re getting a good dose of protein, think again. Look at your label—if you need the protein look for a protein-fortified option. I encourage at least 20 grams (better yet 25 – 30 grams of protein) per meal, especially the morning. I was lucky to get ten grams of protein before noon, until I went back to nutrient-rich dairy milk at 8 grams of protein per cup.

non-dairy milk

Almond milk ingredients vs dairy milk

Dairy milk (nonfat/skim) ingredients

Also, look at the ingredients. If eating/drinking minimally processed/manufactured foods is important consider that most commercial non-dairy milks are anything but (minimally processed). But there is an option…

Make your own non-dairy milk!

Make your own! One of my past Texas Woman’s University dietetic interns is vegan and makes her own almond milk. It is not difficult. Check out Melissa Poindexter’s video and consider the option. Her ‘golden milk’ variation with added turmeric, cinnamon, ground ginger, and sweetener looks good!

You soak almonds a few days, blend, then strain—check it out!

There are other non-dairy milks you might consider. After seeing a recipe in the Dallas Morning News I thought I’d give homemade oat milk a shot. Here are my taste-test results and how I made it. Did I like it? Let’s say I’m sticking with my beloved dairy 😉

It is simple enough. Soak 1 cup oats, blend with 3 cups water, then strain.

Cheers!

Neily

Thank you to my past TWU intern Melissa Poindexter for assisting me with this content!

P.S. I have no affiliation with the milk/dairy industry. I love milk and it’s one of my go-to sources of protein along with Greek yogurt and cottage cheese. My goal is to provide relevant and unbiased health and nutrition information so you make educated decisions.

One last thing! How does your milk drink stack up?

 

 

Oops, THIS is the last thing… My cashew milk review


Jennifer “Neily” Neily, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Neily on Nutrition
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Wellcoach® Certified Health Coach
Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Photo credits: Neily on Nutrition, pixabay.com, and National Dairy Council

Website & blog: NeilyonNutrition.com

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8 Responses to Make Your Own Non-Dairy Milk Drink – like almond or oat

  • Hi Neily! I am glad you liked cashew milk! I am a big fan and make my own since I have not found a brand without added sugars or other ingredients. It is so delicious and creamy! I use cashew milk in my coffee as an alternative to creamers. I also use it in smoothies. Making your own milk does not last nearly as long as store bought options so I make small batches and make sure to consume it within a day or two. Almond milk is another non-dairy milk that I regularly use. Since you pointed out that it doesn’t have much protein, I’ll be sure to get my protein from elsewhere when consuming cashew or almond milk.

    • I like the idea of you making plant-based drinks yourself…definitely will cut back/eliminate added ingredients. Check out the video my intern did – she added a protein powder to one of her almond milk variations. Thanks for the comment! -Neily

  • Hello Neily! I never once thought of making my own milk. I was recently drinking almond milk this week and was surprised about how much added sugar was in it. I was going to go grocery shopping to find a different brand that would have less sugar. I will attempt to make my own some time this month! Thank you for spreading the knowledge.

  • I have actually been looking for a good recipe for almond milk for a while now! i switched over to non-dairy milk about 2 years ago and it was the best decision! I am looking forward to trying this out.

  • I enjoyed reading post. I love almond milk its been my go to for about a year. I was very happy to find a good substitute for milk. Ive always wanted to learn how to make almond milk but for some reason I thought I was hard. The video you posted it helped a lot. I will so make my own almond milk at home

  • I really enjoyed learning how to make healthy milk alternatives. I still feel a little confused on how dairy milk is healthier than soy. The infographic “how does your milk stack up” I feel should be updated since 2012.

    I compared “DairyPure 1% Low Fat Milk” to “Silk Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk” and it seems a lot of what the graphic says soy milk doesn’t have is totally incorrect now.

    Same amounts of calcium in both, soy milk has less cholesterol, soy milk has 2 g of fiber compared to none in low fat dairy milk.

    B12? 50% in soy compared to only 20% in dairy. Same amount in both milks of Vitamins A and D. A lot less sodium in soy milk.

    Only one more gram of protein in dairy vs. soy.

    Plus, the main argument that soy milk is made with a ton of extra additives seems wrong, Silk is only made with: Organic Soymilk (Filtered Water, Organic Soybeans), Contains 2% Or Less Of: Vitamin And Mineral Blend (Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, Riboflavin [B2], Vitamin B12), Sea Salt, Natural Flavor, Gellan Gum. So basically soy and added vitamins and minerals it seems like.

    Do you think that since non-dairy milks have began and evolved that they are actually better than once thought and potentially even better than dairy milks? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    • Hi Katelin! Thanks for your message.

      I DO recommend soy milk as an alternative – it is most comparable to dairy milk. I recommend it over any other plant-based beverage. Furthermore it is the only plant-based beverage equivalent and a substitute for dairy in the Dietary Guidelines. The composition of plant-based alternatives varies (and often significantly) by brand. Dairy milk though always has a consistent composition and therefore consistent nutrients.

      Thank you for pointing out the infographic comparison. I have updated the blog post with a more recent graphic.
      Neily

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