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Plant-Based Milk vs Cow’s Milk in Your Tea

There are several different kinds of plant-based milk on the market. This variety can make choosing between almond milk, oat milk, and soy milk difficult, especially if you’re doing it for health or environmental purposes. 

Almond milk, oat milk, and soy milk have similar flavors and cooking attributes but different nutritional profiles. Oat milk is also considered more environmentally friendly than almond milk or soy milk. Plant-based milk is suitable for a wide range of different lifestyles. 

If you’re trying to find a plant-based milk to act as a substitute for dairy, there are many things to recommend for each of the milk types on this list. Keep reading to learn more about the major differences between almond milk, oat milk, and soy milk, and how to choose between the three.

Soon, you’ll be ready to mix up that chai latte or builder’s tea with any kind of milk you choose.

Plant-Based Milk Has Different Nutritional Profiles

The biggest difference between almond milk, oat milk, and soy milk is that each plant-based milk has a slightly different nutritional profile because they come from different plants. If you’re trying to choose a plant-based milk based on how healthy it is for you to drink, you’ll want to look at the nutritional label on your chosen milk carefully. 

Which Plant Milk Has the Most Protein? 

The plant milk with the most protein out of almond milk, oat milk, and soy milk is soy milk, with 6.00 grams of protein per serving compared to almond milk, which only has 1.01 grams of protein, and oat milk, which only has 4.01 grams of protein. 

All plant-based milk has significantly less protein than cow’s milk, so a plant-based diet using plant milk should be supplemented with other forms of plant-based protein, such as legumes. 

Which Plant-Based Milk Has the Most Calories?

If you’re switching over to plant-based milk to lose weight or take in fewer daily calories, almond milk is by far the best choice in plant-based milk on this list. At only 29 calories per serving compared to oat milk’s 130 calories and soy milk’s 101 calories, it is a better option if you’re watching what you eat. 

All plant-based milk has significantly fewer calories than cow’s milk, so they’re all an improvement if you’re trying to swap to a plant-based milk for weight loss purposes. 

Which Plant-Based Milk Has the Most Sugar? 

If you want to start drinking plant-based milk to reduce your daily sugar intake, you’ll want to pay close attention to which plant-based milk you pick. 

Almond milk has no sugar, while soy milk has 9 grams of sugar per serving and oat milk has a whopping 19.01 grams of sugar per serving. This makes oat milk the least friendly plant-based milk for people with diabetes or anyone watching their blood sugar. Almond is the best option for a blood sugar neutral beverage. 

plant based milks differences

Cooking With Plant-Based Milk

Other than their nutritional profiles, another way that almond milk, oat milk, and soy milk differ from each other is in how they’re cooked. There are actually many similarities to how these three types of plant-based milk can be used as a substitute in cooking for dairy milk. Before we get to how this milk acts different in cooking, let’s look at how the different types are the same: 

  • Almond milk, oat milk, and soy milk can all be substituted on a 1:1 ratio. This means that in any recipe where cow’s milk is used, an equal amount of plant-based milk can be used in its place for an effective substitution.
  • Plant-based milk has little impact on the flavor of cooked goods. When they are mixed in with other ingredients and cooked, it is difficult to tell the difference between dairy milk and plant-based milk in the final results. 

There are a few ways that cooking with different plant-based milk differs depending on which type of milk you choose. Here are a few of the major changes to expect: 

  • With almond milk, shorten your cooking times. Almond milk has a higher water content than dairy milk or other types of plant-based milk, so it will cause baked goods to cook more quickly.
  • To avoid slimy oat milk, avoid overnight soaking. Soaking oats overnight activates an enzyme in them that causes a congealed or slimy texture, and this can affect the texture of your final product while cooking. Instead, use ice-cold water and double-strain your oat milk for best results.

Cooking with plant-based milk is a pretty simple process since they’re all a direct-ratio substitute. Keep an eye on your cooking time and you should end up with a finished product that is just as good as if you had used dairy milk instead. 

Flavor of Plant-Based Milk

There is not a serious flavor difference between almond milk, oat milk, and soy milk. Because it has a high sugar content, oat milk may taste slightly sweeter than other types of plant-based milk, so you may want to adjust your sweeteners down slightly when using it to avoid an overly sweet flavor in your final beverage or dish. 

So you can confidently exchange dairy for a plant-based milk in your favorite milk tea without compromising the flavor!

Eco-Friendly Plant-Based Milk

If you’re trying to swap over to plant-based milk to be more environmentally friendly, your best option out of almond milk, oat milk, and soy milk is oat milk. There are a few reasons why: 

  • Oat milk takes less water to produce. Almond milk and soy milk take a relatively large amount of water to produce compared to oat milk.
  • Oat milk takes less emissions during processing. Soy milk and almond milk have to go through much heavier processing than oat milk, and this increases their carbon emissions. 

Oat milk isn’t your favorite or you have a grain-based allergy? Don’t worry! Choosing any of these three types of plant-based milk is still much more environmentally friendly than drinking dairy. It is also considered more humane to drink plant-based milk than to drink dairy since it reduces the production of veal calves and the need for industrial farming practices. 

Plant-Based Milk Is a Smart Choice

No matter which plant-based milk you decide to go with, choosing any of these three types puts you ahead of the game when it comes to your health and the health of the planet. Try all three to see which one ends up being your favorite! 

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Plant-Based Milk vs Cow's Milk graphic