Milk Substitutes for Cooking & Health

Many people wonder about the best milk substitute, both for cooking and for health reasons; fortunately, there are plenty of excellent options for replacing milk in your diet.

Milk Substitute

The top milk substitutes include almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, hemp milk, and water, among others. You can also substitute milk with coconut milk, plain yogurt, and sour cream.

Coconut Milk

For people who don’t want to drink animal-derived milk, coconut milk is popular, but it is extremely high in sugar, and should not be consumed in large quantities. Similarly, if you use coconut milk to replace regular milk in a recipe, it will change the overall nutrient composition of the meal, as well as the flavor.

Almond Milk

Unsweetened varieties of almond milk are quite similar to regular milk, but they do have a higher concentration of beneficial fats, which can be good for your health when consumed in moderation.

Rice Milk

Another popular plant-based milk is rice milk since there is no lactose or other allergens; it can also easily be fortified with vitamins and nutrients.

Milk Substitute

Plain Yogurt

If you use plain yogurt, another dairy product, as a milk substitute, be sure to cut it with a bit of water to make the consistency more similar to milk before adding it to your recipe. The good thing about using yogurt is the nutritional boost that it will provide you with, as well as a higher concentration of probiotics and nutrients.

Sour Cream

Depending on the recipe, sour cream can be an effective substitute for milk, particularly in cream-based dishes, soups and pasta meals, such as macaroni cheese. While the flavor of sour cream is quite strong, and this milk substitute won’t always be appropriate, but it is an option for certain meals and recipes.

Hemp Milk

The flavor of hemp milk is quite strong, particularly compared to the neutral or bland flavor of normal milk, but it does not contain lactose and is a favorite of many natural practitioners and those who eat organic. Hemp milk should be used in slightly smaller quantities than the amount of normal milk a recipe calls for.

Water

The classic replacement for milk is water since it can provide a similar consistency as milk in certain recipes. However, milk is more of a binding agent and results in richer, more flavorful recipes, particularly desserts. Water should only be used when no other milk substitutes are available.

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