Maple Farm Animal Sanctuary - Mendon MASS
FacebookYouTube Subscribe to Newsletter

Ditching Cows and Goats Milk? Try These Plant-Based Alternatives

Ditching Cows and Goats Milk? Try These Plant-Based Alternatives

Scared that giving up animal-based milk means you’ll never bake again? Worried abstaining from cow’s and goat’s milk will make your smoothies less nutritious and your cheese sauces less satisfying? We’re here to assuage your fears!

A quick trip to the natural foods section of your local grocery store proves plant-based options are expanding. These days, you not only have a choice between sweetened, unsweetened, original, chocolate, and vanilla flavors, but you’ve got options when it comes to your plant base as well. Read on for some of our suggestions of go-to milks for baking, blending, and sauce making.


Baking? Try Flax Milk

Flax milk is a heart healthy alternative to cow’s or goat’s milk. It’s lactose free, cholesterol free, and has been shown to help prevent certain types of cancer. Since flax milk has a more neutral flavor than almond or coconut milk, it’s a great go-to for baking.

You can pick up flax milk at your local store, or you could whip up a batch of your own with this One Green Planet recipe. Either way, your sweet tooth will be satiated in no time and your conscious will be clear since you’re leaving cruelty out of your dessert.


Blending? Reach for Hemp Milk

Smoothies are delicious—who doesn’t love starting the day with a big, beautiful cup of fruit?—and they pack a nutritious punch. With that nutritious boost in mind, we suggest reaching for hemp milk during tomorrow AM’s blending session. It’s chock full of nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, B vitamins, magnesium, and the list goes on! As with all milk alternatives, check labels before you purchase any product to be sure the sugar levels aren’t increased with additives. 

Before we move on to making creamy sauces, a quick note on soy milk—Soy milk is a good source of protein, fiber, and fat, as well as various vitamins. In fact, it’s even more nutrient packed than hemp milk!

One thing to consider before adding soy milk to your smoothies is how much soy you ingest in other forms—think edamame, tempeh, tofu, and other more processed meat alternatives. There’s some controversy surrounding how much soy is healthy to eat. Even if you don’t buy into all of that, a balanced diet that includes many different types of beans, legumes, fruits, and veggies will ensure you get all the nutrients your body needs. Diversifying is key, and that’s why we suggest switching up your milk depending on what you’re making.


Saucing? Pour in *Unsweetened* Almond Milk

We’ve got great news that all of our vegan friends will back up: You can indeed continue to enjoy cheesy deliciousness while avoiding animal cruelty! In fact, you’ve got more options if you avoid the animal-based stuff because you can go full-on healthy—this Hot for Food recipe magically makes a cheese sauce out of boiled carrots and potatoes—or you can go the even easier store-bought cheese route with a melty and delicious product like Follow Your Heart. More of a fan of fancy goat cheeses? There are goat-less options for that, too.  

As you can see from those two mac and cheese recipes, recommendations vary when it comes to which milk makes the most delicious sauce. The most important thing to remember: Go unsweetened if you’re making something savory. We suggest starting with almond milk, which is a great source of vitamin A, and then trying other creamy nut options like cashew until you find your favorite one.

As far as a dairy-free milk base goes, you can’t go wrong no matter what you’re making! Try a few different recipes and a few different nuts and seeds to determine what works best for you. Happy baking, blending, and sauce making!

—written by MFS volunteer Laura Nicole Miller