Food + Recipes / Vegan Tips + Resources

Plant-Based Milks

This is a series I intended to begin on my sustainability-related blog. In fact, I originally posted this piece there. I hope to start generating more material. Until then, here we have an edited version of that post:

I’d like to help everyday people transition to a vegan lifestyle, and that begins by introducing familiar products.

I’m not the type of vegan that became so for health reasons—my decision was entirely ethical (the health benefits are just a bonus!). Now, the health conscious vegans try to avoid processed food in general, so they might recommend that you stick to a whole foods, plant-based diet. And while I agree that’s a fantastic thing to strive for, many of us want to live a little and give our taste buds a ride every now and then!

I also know that many transitioning vegans, especially those skipping over the vegetarian step stone, find veganism daunting and overwhelming. If that’s you right now, I assure you that it is easier than you expect, but you’re now still adjusting to a life filled with so many wonderful, wholesome and fresh foods that you may have never imagined eating (but you’ll be glad when you finally do!). And when someone is in that zone—the newly vegan zone—they may yearn for something familiar.

Plant-based versus “Fake”

Before we begin, let me be clear. Vegans don’t eat “fake meat.” We eat meat—meaty, wholesome, plant-based meat! We also don’t eat “fake cheese.” We eat rich, flavorful, smooth and creamy plant-based cheeses! In fact, we don’t eat anything fake—no fake milk, no fake yogurts, no fake ice cream—it is all as authentic as it gets! (okay, so as processed foods, chemicals and chemical processes may be used to create some of those foods, but those chemicals and chemical processes also used to make the conventional version of those same foods; so how is the vegan version any less “authentic”?)

 For lack of a better term, we eat alternatives; but that in no way is meant to suggest that what we eat is inferior to what your typical omnivore eats. It might seem weird at first, or even taste different, but you’ll soon find out that plant-based versions of the foods you used to love are both delicious and nutritious!

 At the request of a few of my aunts, I’ll be taking some time over the coming weeks to describe my favorite plant-based products! I’ll start simple—and do keep in mind that I also have relatively simple tastes, and that there are sooo many options out there. My lists are just a start, but you’ll have to go out there and explore on your own!

I’ll start with plant-based milks.

My favorite is soy milk (and I wish to put your soy fears to rest, please look into The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine). I love Silk brand, I started with the sweetened, then transitioned to the unsweetened or original.

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But lately, I’ve also been on an almond milk kick. Specifically, I am in love with everything from Califia Farms. Their toasted coconut almond milk is amazing. Plus, they have delicious flavored and coffee drinks.
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Of course, soy and almond milks are not the only options—there are myriad plant-based milks to choose from—from nuts and seeds, to oats, to rice, and plenty more. My dad loves Rice Dream rice milks. Soy and almond milks may just be the most widely available options.

 Now, I don’t live in Austin, the Pacific Northwest, or Colorado, or any other famous vegan place, but I do live in a city, which tends to have more options. I can’t speak to product availability in any seriously rural areas, but in my traveling (which, to be fair, isn’t much), I have yet to find a place where I couldn’t find my plant-based milk!

 Where I live, every conventional, full-service grocery store has plant-based milks in the refrigerated section alongside the dairy-based milks—in addition to groceries, I can find cold, plant-based milks at Target, Walmart, and other superstores, bulk wholesale places like SAM’s club, and (of course), in natural markets (I’ve yet to find a convenience store with this option; sans, perhaps, some in the more swanky parts of town).

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The refrigerated plant-based milk section at my local natural food market is so big, it requires two sections!

One of the reasons I love plant-based milks so is because you can stock up and keep them for months in your pantry. In addition to the refrigerated section, you can find plant-based milks in aseptic packs in your packaged good aisles, usually near other packaged beverages, but sometimes located in specialty food sections.

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You usually have more options here, in terms of non-soy milks. You can even find chocolate milks, seasonal milks (West Soy’s winter Peppermint Chocolate Soy Milk is my FAVORITE!! But you can also get iced coffee packs (see below)), and mini-packs for children’s (or adults) lunches.

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And don’t forget, when you’re at the coffee shop, you can ask for a plant-based milk!


I’d love to hear from you!

Do you have information to contribute? Do you believe something in my post needs to be modified? Or do you have a reaction to the above post that you would love to share? Please feel free to comment below. I will monitor these comments to maintain a safe and comfortable environment. Also, I invite you to reach out and connect with me on Instagram at @crunchyvegangal
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2 thoughts on “Plant-Based Milks

  1. Flax milk has been a hit at our house. I think it might be the closest to the taste of cow milk, which has helped with my kids transition as almond/soy milk may be delicious, but has a much different taste. We learned to just call it “almond drink” instead of forcing a side by side comparison.

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