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The best alternatives to oat milk that are dairy-free (and taste great)

The popular vegan milk has come under fire, so we’ve found ample options to choose from

Lois Borny
Friday 12 April 2024 14:43 BST
Don’t let your relationship with plant-based milk go sour
Don’t let your relationship with plant-based milk go sour (iStock/The Independent)

When it comes to the best and most popular vegan milk, there’s no denying that oat milk has really risen through the ranks since the plant-based lifestyle went mainstream. After all, it makes a mean latte thanks to that ultra-creaminess we all love, but with oat milk falling into hot water recently, some of us may be thinking about choosing an alternative.

Beyond the taste and environmental impact of each vegan milk, there are also its health benefits and potential pitfalls to consider, and with some social media users sharing sour takes on the plant-based milk, and with an interest in the impact of oat milk on our health gaining traction, some of us may be wondering whether it’s still the right choice for us.

While it’s worth doing further research to decide where you stand, there has been talk on TikTok about the high glycemic index of oat milk and how it causes sugar spikes and crashes, while one video posted by The Skin Doctor claims that drinking oat milk can have a detrimental effect on your skin if you have acne, given that it “has the highest glycemic index from all the plant-based milks”.

Regardless of whether the wave of media attention has you doubting your choice of dairy alternative or you’re simply keen to widen your plant-based milk horizons with something new, the options really are plentiful. And, true to form, here at IndyBest, we’ve tried and tested a whole range of them. From nut milk to soya options, here are some of the alternatives we would recommend adding to the shopping list.

Califia Farms almond unsweetened: £2.10,

(Sainsburys )

If, like our milk taste-tester, you prefer your almond milk when it isn’t too, well, nutty, this almond milk from Californian brand Califia Farms could be just the thing. In our review, our writer found that while it didn’t create the silkiest foam when taken for a spin in our milk frother, it worked really well in an iced coffee. Plus, they added, the “subtle flavour also added creaminess to our berry smoothies without making them too nutty”. It’s also made with no added sugar and is suitable for those who are gluten- and soy-free. Plus, it’s billed for being high in calcium, which is worth keeping in mind if you’re worried about this when it comes to ditching dairy.

Buy now

Plenish organic cashew unsweetened drink long life: £2.25,


Thanks to its minimal ingredients list, this organic cashew milk landed a spot in our review. It’s made with just organic cashews, water and sea salt, so it’s ideal if you’re looking to keep things simple and nasties-free. Our tester found it to be a great addition to their overnight oats and a game-changer in smoothies. It does separate a little when poured into coffee however, but our tester found that pouring the milk in once the drink had cooled slightly seemed to help.

Buy now

Sproud’s plant-based milk unsweetened: £1:50,


A plant-based alternative to dairy milk made using pea, our writer found the taste of Sproud’s plant-based milk unsweetened drink impressively convincing. In our review of the best plant-based milk, it was also hailed as the best for cooking, which is something our tester discovered when rustling up both savoury and sweet dishes, making a great creamy porridge and butternut squash soup.

If you’re looking for a low-sugar option then this is also a great choice as this Sproud’s milk is also sugar-free – our tester found the taste was “a little more neutral than milk, but the creaminess and milk-esque colouring might just have you fooled”. Crucially for coffee drinkers too, this could also be a great opinion for your morning brew as it didn’t curdle during testing, and produces a foam that was “silky and smooth”, according to our writer. Keep in mind that this milk contains gluten-free oat oil.

Buy now

Alpro soya no sugars: £2.10,


While many of us are very picky when it comes to what we put in our tea (and so we should be), Alpro’s soya no sugars is a great plant-based milk for pouring into cuppas. Our review noted that it has a “rounded, neutral flavour that’s pretty indistinguishable from the real thing (if that’s what you’re after)”. An unsweetened dairy milk alternative may also be preferable if you’re not one for adding a teaspoon of sugar or two into your brew, and this contains no sugars or sweeteners, while also being gluten-free. Beyond tea, it’s also quite versatile. Our reviewer found that it not only was “lovely chilled over cereal”, but that it also produced a foam for their coffee that rivalled some of the barista milk they tried. Meanwhile, it offers a source of protein and calcium.

Buy now

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