Dairy-Free Milk Alternatives


While I love a glass of milk, I also think nut milks are delicious and can be great additions to my day and to my recipes.


But with so many different dairy-free milk alternatives out there, choosing the right one can be challenging. Not every alternative features the same nutritional benefits, for starters.


What are the best dairy free milk options? Try these healthy treats.

3 Nondairy Alternatives to Almond Milk



Almond milk has become the go-to nondairy staple. Now, alternative nut milks are crowding supermarket shelves, too. Try these three—or make your own.


Almond milk has become the go-to nondairy staple, with sales up 250 percent over the past five years, ac-cording to a 2016 Nielsen report. Now, almond-milk alternatives are crowding supermarket shelves. Here, three uniquely creamy varieties, plus tips from Jonathan Poyourow, RD, assistant professor of culinary nutrition at Johnson & Wales University, to help you find the one that suits your tastes.

1. Macadamia Milk

This nut milk is sweet on its own, with no need for added sugars and only 50 to 60 calories per serving. It’s typically fortified with vitamins and provides about half your daily B12, a vitamin critical to nerve and blood-cell health. To increase protein count, some milks contain ingredients beyond macadamia nuts and water, such as pea protein.

Good for

Curries or smoothies

Macadamia-milk berry smoothie recipe

Combine 1 Tablespoon chia seeds and ½ cup macadamia milk in a cup; set aside 10 minutes. In a blender, process milk-chia mixture, ½ cup fresh berries, and 1 teaspoon honey until smooth.

2. Pistachio Milk


The nuttiest-tasting of the bunch, pistachio milk has about 30 calories per serving and offers more fiber than many of its counterparts. It’s hard to find in a store, so consider blending your own.

Good for

Creamed vegetables or as stock in lentil soups

Creamy asparagus casserole recipe


Chop 16 asparagus spears into 2-inch pieces, then steam until just tender. In a bowl, mix 1¼ cups pistachio milk with 8 ounces softened light cream cheese. Stir in asparagus. Pour mixture onto a greased 1-quart baking dish; sprinkle with 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs. Bake at 375° until bubbly, 25 minutes.

3. Cashew Milk

More buttery than nutty, cashew milk typically has between 25 and 40 calories per serving, but some brands are more concentrated, add sugar, and may contain up to 100 calories. It naturally has a small amount of iron and calcium.

Good for

Stirring into pancake or French toast batter

Old-fashioned pancake recipe


In a bowl, sift 1½ cups all-purpose flour with 3½ teaspoons baking powder, 1 Tablespoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt. Make a well in the center; pour in 1¼ cups cashew milk, 1 egg, and 3 Tablespoons canola oil; mix until smooth. Heat an oiled pan over medium heat. Scoop ¼ cup batter into pan for each pancake; brown on both sides.


What are the best dairy free milk options? Try these healthy treats.

Make Your Own Nut Milks


To yield about 1 cup of nut milk, simply rinse ¼ cup nuts (for a creamier milk, first soak them for 4–6 hours), blend with 1 cup water, and strain through a cheesecloth.

Add flavor

For added flavor plus antioxidants, stir these into 1 cup of nut milk.

If you want vanilla milk...

Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

If you want chocolate milk...

Add 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

If you want spiced milk...

Add ½ teaspoon

nutmeg or cinnamon


Wondering how to make pistachio milk?


This blog post was updated in May 2020. A version of this content originally appeared in Yoga Journal.


What are the best dairy free milk options? Try these healthy treats.


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What are your thoughts on this topic? What are you favorite nut milks, and why? Leave your comments here! Tag @amydgorin on Instagram and Pinterest and @amygorin on Twitter and Facebook.


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