Which Milk Alternatives work best for Coffee, Tea, Cooking and Puddings?
We recently wrote a guide on all of the different milk alternatives available and their nutritional values. They are all different and have different benefits in terms of nutrition and taste, but is it best to just pick one and stick with it, or is it best to try out all the milk alternatives for different purposes?
Milk alternatives aren’t just to drink, they can be used for cooking, baking, deserts and of course to top up your tea and coffee! With so many different kinds, almond milk, cashew, hazelnut, soy, oat, coconut, rice, pea, hemp and quinoa milk, let’s look at the best alternatives you can swap your cows milk out for.
Best for tea?
For a regular cup of tea, there are lots of options, oat milk works well if you like a creamy cup of tea, almond milk is good but perhaps slightly too sweet, especially if you have sweetened almond milk. If the almond milk is un-sweetened there is still a distinct taste different to cow’s milk. To get close to cow’s milk, soy milk has to be the winner but it can separate and curdle slightly so the best thing to do is to leave it of the fridge for a while or gently warm it up before adding to your tea. If you want to keep it simple and just grab your milk out the fridge then oat milk will work for you as it doesn’t curdle.
Best for Coffee?
Some swear by Almond milk as the perfect complement to coffee, it does have a distinct taste which does blend well with coffee although some purists may say it is changing the flavour of the coffee in a way that cow’s milk doesn’t. Almond milk does have the problem of curdling, if your almond milk curdles in your coffee it doesn’t affect the taste, but it doesn’t look very appetising! Almond milk curdles more easily in coffee than in tea due to the acidity of the coffee (along with the heat). Again you can get around this by heating the almond milk slightly however if you just want to grab it out of the fridge to make a quick coffee then there are other options which may work better.
If you want something as close to cow’s milk as you can then the best bet would probably be oat milk. Oat milk tastes similar to cow’s milk and doesn’t curdle as almond milk can with coffee.
Some oat milks are ‘foamable’ like Minor Figures so you can make your cup of coffee as fancy as you like!
Best for Baking and Cooking?
Baking and cooking has different requirements than drinks, it’s not just about the taste it is all about how it reacts when being baked or cooked.
Soy milk is the best for this if you need it to rise, this is because it has a high amount of protein (only pea milk has higher levels), protein is crucial as it rises the protein captures the bubbles of steam so it lifts up and rises just like cow’s milk, so ideal for that perfect Yorkshire Pudding!
Best for Puddings?
This one is more down to personal taste, almond, cashew and other nut based milks will usually be better for deserts given their sweeter taste adding to a richly flavoured desert, of these it would be almond milk that gets our vote. Of course if you want something more neutral tasting the again it is probably oat milk for you.
Best for just a glass of Milk?
But what about if you just want a good old fashioned glass of milk? All of the milk alternatives have a slightly different taste, so if you just want to have a drink it all really depends on your own personal taste. The one that tastes the most like cow’s milk may not necessarily be the one that you think tastes the best!
Again as a direct replacement for cow’s milk, then it is again oat milk that comes out on top. If you really like whole milk then we’d recommend Minor Figures which has a very thick, rich taste to it.
If you would like to learn more about the nutritional values of the different milk alternatives we have a blog dedicated to it here.
There are many kinds of milk alternatives, and of course the above is just a guide, so why not try experimenting with rice milk, pea milk, coconut milk and hemp milk!