Why Do You Need Milk Alternatives
There are different types of non-dairy milk on the market, and you might be surprised by how good they actually taste. The most important thing is to make sure that the milk youre using will fit the recipe youre following, whether youre preparing a baked dish, coffee, or a refreshing smoothie.
Dairy-milk isnt bad, although some people dont feel comfortable consuming it. Here are some reasons why people look for milk alternatives.
The 7 Best Substitutes For Milk In Coffee
Many people see milk and coffee as inseparable: lattes, cappuccinos, flat whites, and cafe con leche are classic milk and coffee drinks that so many coffee drinkers cherish.
However, though many people take their coffee with milk, there are plenty of milk substitutes, both dairy and non-dairy, that you can add to your morning cup of joe.
What are the best substitutes for milk in coffee? The replacements that most resemble milk are Half-and-Half and heavy cream, but not all milk replacements have to include dairy. Oat milk, soy milk, and almond milk are also great options for someone who prefers a dairy-free beverage.
If you read on, well outline our definitive list for the 7 best substitutes for milk in coffee, both dairy and non-dairy options, and explain their best and worst qualities. Well also address some questions that you may have when it comes to choosing a substitute for milk in coffee.
Steam The Almond Milk
The next step is to warm your milk. Almond milk and dairy milk are similar to work with. The easiest way to heat it is with a steaming tool. Otherwise, you can do so on the stove. In a small saucepan, heat about 1 ½ cups of almond milk on medium heat. You dont want to bring it to a boil. Instead, whisk consistently in a rapid motion until the milk is hot and slightly frothy. Remove from heat.
Optional: Once removed from the heat, you can add a small portion of the milk to a separate bowl and continue to whisk to create a thicker foam.
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The Best Milk Alternatives For Coffee
Posted on 27-01-2020
Ah January, the month of self-improvement and good intentions. Whether it be exercising every day of the week, or going dry after a very wet December. In recent years many of us have taken on Veganuary, which means eating entirely vegan for the first month of the year.
Veganuary is a great way to try out the plant-based lifestyle, which has many great benefits both for yourself and the environment. Research suggests that cutting meat and dairy from your diet could reduce your carbon footprint by a whopping 73 percent! Plus, vegans enjoy lower cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease, so everybody wins.
If youre doing Veganuary, or just trying to eat less dairy, there are a lot of choices to be made. And if youre just not ready to take you coffee black , which milk alternative to use is one of them. But fear not, for we are here to support our beloved coffee drinkers in whatever way we can. Including the all-important low down on the five most popular milk alternatives. Read on for the benefits and drawbacks of each one.
Why You Might Want A Substitute
Cows milk boasts an impressive nutrient profile. Its rich in high-quality protein and important vitamins and minerals, including calcium, phosphorus and B vitamins.
In fact, 1 cup of whole milk provides 146 calories, 8 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein and 13 grams of carbohydrates .
However, cows milk is not a suitable option for everyone. There are several reasons you might be looking for an alternative, including:
- Milk allergy: 23% of kids under the age of three are allergic to cows milk. This can cause a range of symptoms, including rashes, vomiting, diarrhea and severe anaphylaxis. Around 80% of kids outgrow this allergy by age 16 .
- Lactose intolerance: An estimated 75% of the worlds population is intolerant to lactose, the sugar found in milk. This condition happens when people have a deficiency in lactase, the enzyme that digests lactose .
- Dietary restrictions: Some people choose to exclude animal products from their diets for ethical or health reasons. For example, vegans exclude all products that come from animals, including cows milk.
- Potential health risks: Some people choose to avoid cows milk due to concerns over potential contaminants, including antibiotics, pesticides and hormones .
The good news is that there are many nondairy options available if you want or need to avoid cows milk. Read on for a few great recommendations.
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Coconut Milk And Milk From Nuts
In addition to the strongly represented cereal kinds of milk, there are also some alternative suggestions made from nuts.
Hazelnut milk and cashew milk are both high in fat and, in contrast, have few carbohydrates. While cashew milk only slightly resembles cashew nut in taste, milk made from hazelnuts tastes precise as you would expect. Accordingly, the authentic hazelnut flavor goes better with a cappuccino than the cashew milk.
However, both options perform equally poorly in terms of foam quality: Only a very fine-pored foam is produced, which also dissolves again very quickly. Another thing to note about the hazelnut drink is that sugar is often added, as this milk is not naturally sweet due to the manufacturing process.
Coconut milk is obtained from the fruits of the tropical palm plant. It does not originate already in the nut but is produced by pureeing the pulp of the nut with water. The milk is then separated from the pulp. It is done, for example, by squeezing the mixture through a cloth. Depending on the amount of water used, it contains on average between 15 and 25% fat. The remaining fruit pulp is extracted a second time with boiling water and squeezed out. In this way, it becomes thinner.
A relatively new trend, especially in the vegan world, is also hemp milk.
Milk Steaming Latte Art & Coffee Foam
Lets have a look at what actually happens when we steam milk. This process involves introducing hot water vapour into cold milk until it reaches the ideal temperature for a perfectly steamed latte. The process sounds simple enough but there are a host of variables that need to be considered.
Consequently, different milks require different amounts of steaming time. And its important to get this right: too high a temperature can lead to scalding. Additionally, it kills bacteria and denatures enzymes, causing curdling .
Its not just steaming time that is affected, either. Because different types of milk have different molecular compositions, they also require different steaming temperatures.
The right temperature is key to get a perfect latte. Credit: Huckleberry Roasters
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Best Milk Alternatives For Coffee
In recent years theres been a noticeable increase in the demand for milk alternatives for coffee. This surge has mainly been driven by newly published health concerns regarding cows milk, dietary restrictions, as well as some coffee drinkers who are simply looking for other ways to spice up their regular cup of joe. With consumers on the hunt for healthier options, the demand for milk replacements for coffee is at an all-time high, and I cant see it slowing down anytime soon.
Luckily enough many of the top high street coffee establishments have welcomed the demand with open arms, and you will now find that many chalks boards will have milk alternatives proudly listed, particularly if you live in urban areas. Also, by ditching your regular milk, youll also discover that you can elevate your coffee to a whole new level because some of these milk substitutes can provide all sorts of textures and tastes!
However, not all milk alternatives are created equal, especially when it comes to compatibility with coffee. But dont fret, I have done the legwork for you and spent an entire afternoon experimenting with various cows milk substitutes and their ability to complement an espresso.
Best Non Dairy Milk Alternative For Tea
There are many reasons to seek an alternative to cows milk. Did you know, for example, that an estimated 65% of the world population is lactose intolerant?
Rates of lactose intolerance vary significantly between regions. In Northern Europe, its as low as 10%. In parts of Asia and Africa, meanwhile, its as high as 95%! People living with lactose intolerance tend to buy dairy-free milk.
Furthermore, according to some statistics, around 2-3% of children under the age of three are allergic to cows milk. While about 80% of kids outgrow this allergy by age 16, milk alternatives are still needed until that time comes.
And thats not forgetting the 20% of kids that will still require an alternative to milk AFTER age 16.
Some people, on the other hand, might simply want to exclude dairy products from their diets for ethical reasons. For example, vegans dont consume any products that come from animals, including cows milk.
Others avoid it due to concerns over potential contaminants, including antibiotics, pesticides and hormones. The good news is that, when it comes to the best milk alternatives for Tea, there are many. So many, in fact, that this blog will only talk about a few!
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We Set Out To Make Something Better
We decided to focus on dairy for a few reasons. Non-dairy milk is usually one of the first things peopletry when they want to eat a more plant-focused diet.
- 8g plant-based protein per serving
- Zero sugar1
- 50% more calcium than milk2
- 32mg DHA Omega-3s
- Vitamin D
1 Reduced calorie. 30% fewer calories than Ripple Original.2 1 cup 2% milk contains 293mg of calcium. 1 cup Ripple Unsweetened Original contains 450 mg calcium. Milk data from USDA National Nutritional Database for Standard Reference, release 28 .*Pertains to U.S. Products Only
All Ripple products have just as much protein as milk.
- 8x the protein of almond milk
- ½ the sugar of milk
Most importantly, Ripple Milk is creamy and delicious.*Pertains to U.S. Products Only
Dont Overheat That Milk
Lactose is the carbohydrate component of milk a disaccharide composed of D-glucose and D-galactose. There are two forms of lactose present in an equilibrium mixture due to mutarotation, -lactose and -lactose. -lactose is the more stable form, and also the sweeter form of the two.
When you steam milk past a temperature of 100 °C, this causes browning . At this point, the lactose and milk proteins mostly caseins form what is known as an Amadori product.
As the reaction continues, the Amadori product can undergo dehydration and oxidation reactions. As a result, this can cause a loss of nutritional value, and unappealing flavour compounds in the milk. In other words, avoid over-steaming.
Different types of milk require different steaming temperatures. Credit: Good Folks Coffee
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Coffee Substitutes With Caffeine
There are two essential reasons to look for a drink to replace coffee in order to wake up full of energy. Because we dont have coffee on hand or because we cant drink caffeine for health reasons.
In this first section, we will look at some of the products that can replace and complement coffee with caffeine. If you need your usual dose of caffeine in the morning or some other type of stimulant, take note of these:
Soy Milk Is Just Sort Of There
Really, soy milk is just kind of there. Like, almond milk, it is a top alternative at most cafes. It takes more time to froth than the other options but does have a decent consistency. The testers had mixed reviews for this one.
Our in-house barista noted that this particular brand was sweeter than other soy milks and was better in both flavor and frothing, but still wasnt a fan. The testers found it plain. There were mixed reviews when comparing which was better between almond or soy, but trust me when I say nobody was adamantly arguing in favor of one or the other.
Overall, the two most common milk alternatives are also the most average. Neither soy or almond bring anything exciting to the table, as they are both average at frothing and offer mild, bland flavors that really dont come close to rivaling dairys sweetness in a latte.
To be fair, there are some barista edition milks that can be found for soy, almond, and other milk alternatives that are specially made for these purposes that are most certainly worth seeking out.
Final Verdict: 7/15
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General Tips For Using Milk Alternatives In Coffee
- If you want to foam, look for high protein milks such as pea, hemp or soy.
- Regardless of the milk alternative you are using, we would always recommend warming it slightly to avoid any chance of curdling – .
- If you like drinking coffees with strong notes, you might want to avoid strong flavours e.g almond theres a reason soy has been so popular for so long in coffee shops.
- Try pea milk!
What To Consider When Substituting
With a wide range of nondairy milks available on supermarket shelves, it can be difficult to know which one is best for you.
Here are a few important things to consider:
- Added sugar: Sugar is often added to enhance flavor and texture. Stick with unsweetened varieties over flavored ones, and try to avoid brands that list sugar as one of the first three ingredients.
- Calcium content: Cows milk is rich in calcium, which is vital for healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis. Most nondairy milks are fortified with it, so choose one that contains at least 120 mg of calcium per 3.4 ounces .
- Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products and is essential for a healthy brain and immune system. People who limit or avoid animal products from their diets should choose milk that is fortified with B12.
- Cost: Nondairy milks are often more expensive than cows milk. To cut costs, try making plant-based milk at home. However, one downside of making your own milk is that it will not be fortified with calcium and vitamin B12.
- Additives: Some nondairy milks may contain additives such as carrageenan and vegetable gums to achieve a thick and smooth texture. While these additives arent necessarily unhealthy, some people prefer to avoid them.
- Dietary needs: Some people have allergies or intolerances to certain ingredients used in plant-based milks, such as gluten, nuts and soy. Be sure to check labels if you have an allergy or intolerance.
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The Nondairy Milks We Tested
First, a disclaimer: We weren’t able to test every single nondairy milk on the market. Instead, we focused on the most popular and most readily available brands found in supermarkets, department-store groceries, and specialty markets, with just a little bit of online shopping thrown in. For the most part, this meant that barista versions didn’t make the cut all that often, as they’re often sold by distributors straight to cafés and restaurants and are harder to find in stores.
Here is the list of products we tested:
- Silk Soy – Original
- Oatly – Original
- Ripple – Barista Style
Second, before we lay out the top-rated nondairy beverages from our tests, I wanted to take a moment to point out why cows milk works so well in espresso-based drinks. It isnt just that its a magical combination of fat, sugar, and protein that tastes great when blended with the bitterness of coffee. That combination also means its capable of producing and maintaining a perfectly silky and smooth microfoam texture. When a barista introduces heat and air into the milk via a steam wand, the protein chains are activated and create a surfactant that captures bubbles and holds them to create the frothy texture. The fat in the mixture helps to create a silky, creamy texture because it allows the milk to coat the bubbles, creating the viscosity that we all love in a cappuccino.
Cashew Milk For Coffee
Cashew milk is not often found alone, it is more often than not blended with other nut milks. That being said, it is generally less nutty in character and has a creamier texture when compared to almond milks. It is also considered to be sweeter than most milk alternatives which can be a plus for flavour, but generally speaking, it has the same issues with splitting if heated to higher than 60 degrees Celsius. In terms of its nutrition, typical content for readily available nut milks seem to be sitting at around 1g fat per 100ml, with a protein content ranging from 0.5g per 100ml to 0.8g per 100ml .
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How Long Does Buttermilk Last
Once you have opened the carton, buttermilk will last for about 2 weeks. It should be kept in the fridge during this period.
You can keep buttermilk in a freezer for up to 3 months if it hasnt been opened yet. If you feel that the taste, colour, or smell of your buttermilk has changed, you should toss it away.
Buttermilk can get chunky if kept for too long. If you have difficulty pouring it, or feel that there are chunks in your glass, then it has gone bad, and you need to replace it.
Coconut Milk For Coffee
Based on the feedback we have received through training in the North Star Coffee Academy, it could be said that I have purposefully left the best until last. Coconut milk has also received huge publicity in the past for its inclusion in the health drink known to most as bulletproof coffee, which is essentially blended coffee and coconut milk to create a high-fat, high-energy meal replacement drink of an incredibly frothy texture.
This leads me to explain one of coconut milks virtues. Despite popular use in savoury dishes such as curries and stews, coconut milk, when sweetened a little, can provide a tremendous amount of fat for use in creating excellently textured coffee. In terms of its comparison to dairy milk, it has the richness and creamy texture to match it easily as a replacement. Its flavour is sweet but subtle which often leads coffee drinkers to enjoy the texture it offers while still allowing a palatable balance with the underlying coffee flavours.
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