Got (dairy-free) milk? We’ve got you covered!

Ah, milk. The very word brings to mind vibrant images of cows voraciously grazing on verdant pasture in full view of the midday sun and conjures up images of free-flowing creamy, white frothy liquid reminiscent of something out of a childhood dairy commercial. Milk has been a staple household commodity in Sri Lanka for centuries, prided on for its high calcium content, versatility and of course, default taste.

However, with lactose intolerance on the rise, new research indicating healthier alternatives to the beloved beverage may exist and overall, changing consumer tastes, traditional milk is up against its strongest contender yet. T’is the era of dairy-free “mylk”; a range of audacious plant-based milk alternatives lower in calories and rich in nutrients, prepared from an array of nuts and seeds- many of which can easily be prepared at home.
When choosing a dairy-free milk alternative, it’s important to keep in mind what your health goals, what your taste preference is and its suitability as a dairy replacement in your day-to-day cooking and baking. Here are our top 5 picks for the best plant-based milk alternatives in the market:

1. Soy milk

A popular substitute for dairy milk, soy milk is made by blending soybeans and water. It is often sold either sweetened, unsweetened and/or flavoured.

2. Coconut milk

A close substitute to cow’s milk, coconut milk’s texture is reminiscent of that of whole dairy milk. It has a higher fat percentage compared to other plant-based milk options at around 5 grams of saturated fat per cup.

3. Almond milk

Almond milk is a blend of ground almonds, coconut water and a sweetener (either brown sugar, kithul treacle or honey). It is creamy, mildly sweet and possesses a stark resemblance to dairy milk.

4. Rice milk

Rice milk is prepared from boiled rice, brown rice syrup and brown rice starch. Creamy, sweet and easy to make, rice milk can easily replace dairy in baking sweet items.

5. Oat milk

Oat milk is prepared with presoaked rolled oats. It has a subtle, slightly sweet taste and is an ideal substitute for low-fat or skim milk. Aside from its pleasant taste, it is also low in fat and rich in fibre.