Beginner’s Guide to Plant-Based Beverages
Many of us noticed the changing landscape of the dairy aisles in the past few years. According to research by The Good Food Institute and Plant-Based Foods Association, 13 percent of the entire milk category is comprised of plant-based varieties. Undoubtedly, the plant-based beverage industry is thriving.
The market is being flooded with dairy alternatives. Whether you are a faithful plant milk drinker or new to the world of plant-based milk, you might be one of us staring at the rows of different kinds of milk confused and wondering “which option is best for me?”
To help you make the decision more easily, we are here to share with you the knowledge of different kinds of plant-based beverages.
Soy milk often offers you the most amount of protein among other milk alternatives. Soy protein is also a good source of essential amino acids, which may help lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol. We recommend soy milk that is always non-GMO and organic whenever possible. Also, soy milk is known to use less water and produce fewer greenhouse gases than dairy milk. If you have a soy allergy, however, you will have to go with another alternative.
Almond milk is one of the most popular dairy-free milk options because of its creamy, nutty taste, versatility, and level of calcium content. To embrace most of the almonds’ health benefits, many people opt into making almond milk at home. With its low protein and fiber content, we do not recommend relying on almond milk as your source of protein and fiber.
Coconut milk is a popular choice for cooking and desserts due to its distinct flavor and rich and creamy taste (not to be confused with coconut cream, which is much thicker). Coconut milk is often rich in saturated (healthy) fat but not a great source of protein.
Flax milk is a great choice for those with allergy concerns because flax is free from lactose, soy, or nuts. It tends to run thinner in texture than other milk alternatives. Flax contains omega-3 fatty acids and calcium but no protein. Try Flaxmilk by Good Karma that has whooping 1200mg Omega-3 and only 25 calories per cup.
Oat milk is often fortified with vitamins and calcium and high in fiber. Its creamy texture and ability to froth well makes it a great ingredient choice for lattes. Oat milk is often high in sugar and contains gluten, so make sure to check the labels and choose accordingly. Check out an organic oat non-dairy beverage by Pacific that can be found in Georgetown Market. It contains no added sugars and is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D, and riboflavin.
Sound new or strange to you? Pea milk is fairly new to the market, but it’s gaining popularity due to its many health benefits. Pea milk often contains more calcium, protein, and omega-3s and fewer calories than other options. What’s even better? It also typically uses less water or fertilizers to produce! For example, this unsweetened pea milk by ripple offers 8 grams of protein, zero sugar, 50 percent more calcium than milk, and 32mg DHA omega-3s per serving.
More Popular Options to Consider
In summary, here is the rule of thumb for choosing the best dairy-free milk option:
- If you want to make an environmentally conscious choice whichever milk you choose to drink, go with the ones with USDA organic labels and fewer additives. Organic products don’t use synthetic pesticides, thus reducing environmental impact and offering extra health benefits.
- Plant milk commonly contains added sugar for enhanced taste. If the amount of sugar you consume is a concern for you, make sure to read the label and choose the unsweetened option.
- Don’t rely solely on plant milk as your source of protein, calcium, and vitamins
- The answer really depends on your preference and concern for taste, health, environment, lifestyle, etc. It is important to learn as much about the products as you can to make informed choices!
Still having a hard time deciding? Why not try different kinds of plant-based beverages and experience it for yourself? Check out the selection of plant-based beverages at Georgetown Market. If you have any specific questions for each of the plant milk products, our expert associates are always around to help you out. Too busy? Visit our Instacart page and have it delivered to your door.