Best Plant-Based Milk Options
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5+ Best Plant-Based Milk Options for Taste and Purity

In the ever-expanding world of alternatives to cow’s milk, it’s easy to get lost in the array of options. As a holistic nutritionist, I’ve often found that while plant-based milks are a boon, it’s essential to be discerning, especially since the purity can vary based on the brand. Some might be teeming with additives and sweeteners, overshadowing their plant-derived benefits.

So, I’ve taken the guesswork out for you! After rigorous research, I’ve curated a list of the best plant-based milk alternatives that truly shine in the taste and cleanliness of ingredients.

Ready to pour into these top-notch choices? Let’s go!

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What Is Plant-Based Milk

Before we dive into the top picks, let’s touch briefly on what plant-based milk, sometimes called vegan milk, is. It’s a delicious product derived from blending water with plants like nuts, seeds, and grains. Intrigued? For a comprehensive look into its origins, benefits, and how it’s made, check out my article “What is Plant-Based Milk?” It’s a rich read you won’t want to miss!”

white powder in bowl

What Are The Best Plant-Based Milk Alternatives?

Unfortunately, most non-dairy milks contain additives to improve their taste, texture, and shelf life. The best plant-based milks offer nutritional benefits while minimizing artificial ingredients.

Before we get started, let me tell you that the best you can do for your health and your wallet is to make your own nut milk using a highspeed blender and a nut milk bag or a nut milk maker.

I know that’s not always possible, so here are the best milk substitutes based on purity and taste:

1. Edensoy Soy Milk (Unsweetened, Organic)

Soy milk is sometimes called the “original” plant-based milk, with Edensoy offering an organic, unsweetened alternative to cow’s milk.

AT A GLANCE

Ingredients: Purified water, organic soybeans

Protein Content: 12 grams per 8-ounce serving

Brand Facts: Eden Foods, a champion of organic family farms, has pioneered the organic movement since its inception. They’ve upheld rigorous organic standards and promoted sustainability and ethical practices far beyond USDA Organic standards.

Standout Qualities: Edensoy was the first soymilk in North America to be verified to Non-GMO Project Standards and remains the only U.S. soymilk properly prepared to nurture human beings.

Ethical & Sustainable Practices: Eden Foods promotes a ‘Local First’ purchasing ethos, practices responsible recycling, and has taken significant strides to reduce their carbon footprint. Their commitment to sustainability is further exemplified by their packaging choices and their consistent choice to source locally notably their soybeans.

Taste & Texture: Creamy and thick with a neutral, non-sweet taste, delivering a pure soy milk experience.

Dietary & Allergy Information: Gluten-free and free of added sugars or supplements.

Why I Love It

EdenSoy’s commitment to purity is unparalleled. Where other brands succumb to fillers and unnecessary additives, EdenSoy remains true to its origins. The drink’s simplicity, combined with its high protein content and the absence of additives, creates a wholesome experience. Its taste, undiluted by sweeteners, makes it versatile, ideal for protein drinks, smoothies, or even coffee. Additionally, the brand’s dedication to environmental responsibility and ethical practices speaks to me as a nutritionist and a conscious consumer.

What Could Be Better:

My only minor gripe is the price, which is a tad on the higher side. While the product is unmatched in quality and ethical standards, a slightly more affordable price would make it accessible to an even broader audience.

2. ELMHURST Unsweetened Cashew Milk

Cashew milk is a creamy plant-based alternative, often chosen by those looking to avoid dairy milk.

AT A GLANCE

Ingredients: Filtered Water, Cashews

Protein Content: 4g per 8 fl oz

Brand Facts: Established in 1925 as a traditional dairy, Elmhurst transformed in 2017 into a leading plant milk company. This pivot embraced changing dietary preferences and emphasized sustainability and health.

Standout Qualities: Crafted with the patented HydroRelease™ method, Elmhurst’s cashew milk offers unmatched nutrient density, preserving the integrity of its core ingredients without the need for additives.

Ethical & Sustainable Practices: HydroRelease is a zero-waste process, using every part of the grain, nut, or seed. Packaging is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and is 100% recyclable in most US homes.

Taste & Texture: Rich and creamy texture with a natural nutty sweetness inherent to cashews.

Dietary & Allergy Information: Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, carrageenan-free, no artificial flavors, Non-GMO Project verified, and Kosher.

Why I Love It:

Elmhurst Unsweetened Cashew Milk is a game-changer in the plant-based milk market. Not only does it boast an ultra-clean ingredient list, but its taste is also unparalleled. Its creamy and full-bodied texture, devoid of added gums and emulsifiers, feels like an indulgence. The dedication to sustainable practices and the revolutionary HydroRelease™ method speaks volumes about the brand’s commitment. Moreover, it’s versatile – great on its own, in recipes, or even frothed for lattes, as some customers have shared.

What Could Be Better:

While the purity of ingredients is commendable, some users might look for additional fortified nutrients, such as calcium or Vitamin D, commonly found in other milk alternatives.

3. Malk Oat Milk

Among the rising stars of alternative milk, oat milk stands out, and Malk, with its clean, minimal ingredients, is my top choice for taste and purity.

AT A GLANCE

Ingredients: Purified Water, Organic Gluten-free Oats, Himalayan Salt

Protein Content: 3 g

Brand Facts: Malk Organics is an eight-year-old company dedicated to producing organic cow’s milk alternatives. They have gained widespread recognition, stocked in prominent stores such as Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Publix across America.

Standout Qualities: Malk Oat Milk offers a premium, plant-based experience, handcrafted with minimalistic, high-quality ingredients. With a commitment to transparency, Malk ensures no additives, oils, gums, or artificial flavors in their product.

Ethical & Sustainable Practices: Malk’s bottles are made of 100% recyclable plastic, with guidelines to separate the non-recyclable label, demonstrating a conscious effort towards sustainability.

Taste & Texture: Not explicitly provided but implied to be a fresh, clean taste owing to the organic ingredients without any additives.

Dietary & Allergy Information: Made with USDA-Certified Organic ingredients, non-GMO, oil-free, Kosher, and Gluten-free.

Why I Love It:

Malk Oat Milk stands out in a crowded market of plant-based milks. Its foundational belief in simplicity and transparency translates into a product that is straightforward in its ingredients and uncompromising in quality. The emphasis on “Nothing To Hide” resonates; in a world where reading ingredient labels can be an exercise in deciphering, Malk offers a refreshingly straightforward approach. This is a brand that prioritizes the health and wellness journey of its customers, producing a product that tastes great and is made of genuinely good-for-you ingredients.

What Could Be Better:

Though the bottle itself is recyclable, it would be an added advantage if the label was made from recyclable material as well. This would streamline the recycling process for consumers.

4. Malibu Mylk Unsweetened Organic Flax Milk

AT A GLANCE

Ingredients: Organic Flax Mylk (purified water, flaxseed), Inulin, Pink Himalayan Salt.

Protein Content: 2 grams

Brand Facts: Brittany, influenced by her Malibu roots and culinary expertise, embarked on a health journey that led her to create Malibu Mylk. Recognized for its innovative formula, it debuted in LA grocery stores in January 2019 as the world’s first organic flax milk.

Standout Qualities: Made from whole-ground flaxseed, this superfood-centric beverage offers a unique texture thanks to flax’s natural emulsifying characteristics. Packed with fiber, omega-3, prebiotics, vitamins A, B12, and D, it’s not just a milk substitute—it’s a nourishing experience.

Ethical & Sustainable Practices: Partnering with Big Green, Malibu Mylk supports the nonprofit’s nationwide mission of creating learning gardens for low-income schools. This partnership is fueled by annual donations, volunteer time, and advocacy.

Taste & Texture: Malibu Mylk has a unique flavor profile. While I don’t particularly enjoy its taste when consumed on its own, it truly shines when used in smoothies or mixed into overnight oats, offering a creamy consistency. As a versatile ingredient, it enhances cereals, coffee, and soups. Differing from traditional milk, this heart-healthy flax milk contains no cholesterol or lactose and is notably lower in sugar and calories compared to other plant milks.

Dietary & Allergy Information: Beyond being dairy, gluten, soy, and nut-free, Malibu Mylk sets itself apart by also being free from glyphosate, carrageenan, and BPA, catering to those with allergies and specific dietary needs.

Why I Love It:

From facing health challenges to creating this organic flax milk, Brittany’s journey is truly inspiring. Malibu Mylk is not just a beverage; it’s a tale of determination, wellness, and innovation. Its wide range of nutritional benefits and adaptability in different recipes provides a unique offering. The brand’s commitment to community, evident through its partnership with Big Green, further solidifies its position as a favorite for those prioritizing health and ethical considerations.

What Could Be Better:

While Malibu Mylk brings numerous benefits, its distinct taste might not appeal to everyone when sipped solo. However, its versatility as an ingredient in various dishes compensates for this. Future iterations could aim for a more universally palatable flavor for those who enjoy straight drinking plant-based milk.

5. Three Trees Organic Unsweetened Original Almond Milk

With just two simple ingredients, Three Trees almond milk is a nut milk offering a pure and delightful alternative to cow’s milk, making it my absolute favorite choice.

AT A GLANCE

Ingredients: Filtered Water, Organic Almonds.

Protein Content: 4 grams per serving 

Brand Facts: Founded by Jenny Eu, a passionate mompreneur, Three Trees was created to nourish the world with delectable, clean, plant-based foods. The brand’s dedication to maintaining pure, quality ingredients without additives has earned its spot on the shelves of major retailers like Whole Foods, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Wegmans.

Standout Qualities: Three Trees Organic Almondmilk is characterized by its simplicity: only two ingredients with no added gums, oils, or salt. Its creamy consistency stems purely from the richness of its organic ingredients. Unlike many competitors, the brand steers clear of fillers, thickeners, and stabilizers, choosing natural separation over artificial uniformity.

Ethical & Sustainable Practices: The brand emphasizes sustainability by using bottles made from 100% recycled plastic, which reduces the creation of new plastic. They’ve consciously decided to use this over glass, citing reduced energy production costs and a lighter carbon footprint. Their almonds are certified organic and non-GMO, further underscoring their sustainability and clean production commitment.

Taste & Texture: This almond milk boasts a creamy and luscious texture that many adore, especially in cereals. Its pure almond flavor provides a wholesome taste reminiscent of dairy milk and stands strong on its own merit.

Dietary & Allergy Information: Free from gums, oils, salt, and other additives. The brand takes pride in its clean ingredient list, devoid of thickeners, stabilizers, emulsifiers, and fillers. This non-dairy milk undergoes a flash-pasteurizing process ensuring freshness without preservatives.

Why I Love It

I’ve been a loyal consumer of THREE TREES Almond Milk for many years. What draws me back time and again is its authentic, creamy taste, and the brand’s commitment to purity and quality. Supporting a local small business that produces such a high-caliber product brings me immense satisfaction. Pouring it over my cereal gives me that comforting, creamy milk texture I’ve craved since parting ways with dairy.

What Could Be Better

The almond milk is nearly perfect for my needs, though new users should be prepared for the natural separation due to the absence of stabilizers. A quick shake does the trick, but it’s something to be mindful of for those used to more commercialized products.

Other Plant-Milk Options I have Tried

Here are links to other non-dairy milk alternatives I have tried and liked, but none of these plant-based milks made it to the top 5 list, primarily because their ingredient lists weren’t as clean or minimalistic as my top choices. While some of them might boast a range of health benefits or unique flavors, the added elements didn’t align with my preference for simplicity. Additionally, the taste is subjective, and while these brands were enjoyable, they resonated with my palate less than the frontrunners. Of course, taste is a personal preference, and what might not be my favorite could be someone else’s go-to milk alternative.

Conclusion: Navigating Dairy Alternatives

Embarking on a dairy-free journey means navigating an ocean of choices. Through meticulous label reading and taste tests, I’ve uncovered some outstanding favorites. I hope my discoveries resonate with you, making your transition smoother and tastier. Here’s to finding your perfect sip!