There are so many reasons people seek alternatives to traditional dairy milk: vegan diets, lactose intolerance, nutritional variety or simply a taste preference. It’s easier than you might think to make your own plant-based milk; nut milks, coconut milk, oat milk, soy milk and rice milk are effortlessly blended in minutes in any full-size Vitamix blender. Prep these items at home to create a fresh, creamy taste that will have you ditching store-bought versions in no time.
But how do you know which DIY non-dairy milk is right for you? Here are some options—and reasons to consider each.
Perhaps the most well-known of the non-dairy milks, Almond Milk is made with two ingredients: almonds and water. Its mildly sweet and nutty taste makes it ideal for almost anything—smoothies, coffee, cereal, cooking and baking. Try it in an Iced Bubble Matcha Tea or a Chia Breakfast Porridge. Our almond milk recipe is sugar free and provides the nutritional benefits of heart-healthy fats, filling fibre, vitamins D, E and A, plus calcium (more than traditional milk), magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron.
Perfect for your morning bowl of cereal or for baking, soy milk is the most nutritionally balanced plant-based milk alternative and the closest to cows milk. Homemade soy milk calls for dried (soaked) soy beans, and water. It’s a great base for the nutrient-packed Everything Smoothie and Peachy Green Smoothie; treats like Vegan Truffles or Peach Soy Sherbet; baked into your favorite muffins; added to salad dressing; or simply poured over cereal.
Rice Milk is easy to make, light, refreshing and inexpensive. Low protein and fat content the calories come from carbs, which makes it good for active people, especially pre-exercise (in smoothies, porridge or on cereal). Just blend cooked brown rice and water in your Vitamix. You’ll get a drink that’s high in fibre; rich in vitamin B and antioxidants like manganese and selenium; and nut, soy and dairy free. Try it in a hearty Nuts and Grains Breakfast Smoothie or bake it into homemade Corn Bread.
The latest non-dairy milk craze is Oat Milk, made simply with steel-cut oats and water. With a rich, creamy, sweet flavor and the benefit of being available to those with lactose and soy intolerance, as well as nut allergies, this milk is sublime in coffee drinks, smoothies and baked goods. Plus, it’s sodium free, sugar free, high fibre and low fat, making it that much easier—and satisfying—to drink your oats!
Ready to start blending a batch of plant-based milk? First, take note: the above milks require a pre-soak, or in the case of rice milk—cooking, so be sure to read your desired recipe in advance. You may also choose to use a fine-mesh sieve or filtration bag after blending the above recipes to achieve the smoothest results. Customise the flavour of your non-dairy milk with pure vanilla extract, cinnamon, cloves, natural sweeteners like dates or agave nectar, or even a pinch of salt, which works especially well with oat and soy milk. Most non-dairy milks will last three to four days in the refrigerator, giving you time to savor your results.
Looking for more non-dairy milk recipes and variations? Check out Vitamix recipes or share your own using #myvitamix.