Dairy-free milk alternatives (such as those made from grains or nuts) are not exactly new – but they have recently made a huge leap from the shelves of obscure health stores onto mainstream menus.
Today, your local coffee shop (which may have long carried the requisite soy milk) is likely to offer a variety of new choices. Or, as The Guardian so cleverly puts it: “Upstart milk substitutes such as oat, almond, rice, quinoa, hemp and flax have now joined soy in the battle with moo-juice for a place in your mug.”
But don’t think you have to travel to the hippest coffee house in town in order to enjoy a creamy flax milk latte. It’s easy and cost-effective to make dairy-free milk alternatives at home – and in many cases, you already have the ingredients and tools in your kitchen.
Here are some great recipes we’ve found to help get you started:
Oat Milk, Not so Ancient Chinese Secrets
One of the newer dairy alternatives to hit the scene, milk made from steel-cut oats is an excellent option for anyone who can’t (or doesn’t want to) consume tree nuts. It’s naturally rich and a bit sweet, but this recipe takes the flavor one step further by adding some vanilla and maple syrup.
Cashew Milk, Cookie + Kate
Not avoiding nuts? Try this simple recipe for creamy, refreshing raw cashew milk. A dash of sea salt, a pinch of cinnamon, and a few spoonfuls of your favorite sweetener (the recipe recommends maple syrup, honey or agave) create a complex, craveable flavor.
Cinnamon Quinoa Milk, Om Nom Ally (pictured)
If you’re looking for yet another way to use our favorite pseudo-cereal, you just have to try quinoa milk. And while the obvious choice may be to make it with traditional white grains, this recipe shows that multi-colored quinoa (try our Ancient Harvest Tri-Color Grains Harmony Blend) works just as well – and it’ll give your beverage a lovely, caramel-like hue.
Simple Brown Rice Milk, Happyolks
Another gluten-free grain that lends itself well to milking is rice – and the result is a light and mild liquid whose flavor can be easily kicked up by adding sugar and cinnamon (as is the case with a traditional Mexican horchata.)
Coconut Milk, The Kitchn
Not to be confused with coconut cream or coconut oil, coconut milk is gaining popularity all on its own. It’s delicious on its own or in recipes both savory and sweet – and it is also becoming a go-to ingredient in dairy-free baking. Once you’ve mastered the (surprisingly easy) recipe, check out the accompanying post 17 Absolutely Delicious Ways to Cook with Coconut Milk.
Macadamia Nut Milk, the Healthy Chef
Another delicious dairy-free milk with tropical roots, this one is packed with nutrients. What’s more, making macadamia milk requires no straining – so it’s an incredibly quick and easy process.