When it comes to milk substitutes, those of vegan inclination are faced with a lot of options. Soy milk reigns supreme, and this once hard-to-find-in-standard-supermarkets substitute can now be seen in even the most local of local grocery stores. It has become a standard offering on coffee shop menus (although often at an additional charge, which I continue to resent), and has found a following outside of the vegan community due to society’s increased focus on healthy eating.
However, for many soy is not a good option, whether it be for allergy reasons, taste preferences, or worries about studies which suggest that heavy consumption of soy products comes with its own health issues. Luckily, there are plenty of other options. The more common ones are rice milk, almond milk, and coconut milks, but there are also more unusual options out there such as oat milk, peanut milk, or hemp milk. Like soy milk, these often come in varieties such as vanilla, light, original, and so on.
If there is one milk substitute that works for you, soy or otherwise, then you are all set. But I find that there is not one particular substitute that meets all my needs. For example, I find that rice and almond milk separate when used in my morning tea and do not satisfactorily “milk” it up. But I actually prefer rice or almond milk to soy in my cereal because I find them to be lighter and more refreshing. And while I love coconut milk as a cooking ingredient, or in a smoothie, I find that I do not enjoy my cereal or tea when it tastes like coconuts. While this results in an impressive collection of milk substitutes in my fridge, I find it to be worth it. All of this is to say, if you have not found the milk substitute for you, do not despair. Try out different types, different flavours, and keep in mind that it may not be a “one substitute fits all” situation: with veganism comes great variety in milk choices.