Carolyn Bell, RDN – Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Dairy-free Alternatives to Using Milk in Recipes
Lactose intolerance is very common. About 75% of the world’s population, including 25% of the U.S. population, lose their lactase enzymes (ability to digest milk) at very young ages. Because of this, individuals who cannot digest milk used to be called “lactose intolerant” or “lactase deficient” – but this is now considered normal due to the high number of “lactose intolerant” adults. Instead, those that can digest milk are called “lactase persistent”. Fortunately, there are many dairy-free milk alternatives to drinking regular cow’s milk, which can also be used to replace milk in recipes.
Soymilk, almond milk, cashew milk, rice milk, coconut milk and potato milk are all good choices to replace cow’s milk in recipes. Each of these milks are not technically milk products; they are liquids formed from their namesake.
Soymilk is a liquid extract of soybeans. Almond milk is made from ground almonds, water and sweetener. Cashew milk is made from ground cashews and water. Rice milk is boiled rice, brown rice syrup, and brown rice starch. Coconut milk is grated and soaked in hot water until cream rises to the top. The cream is skimmed, and the remaining liquid is coconut milk. Potato milk is made from potatoes and water; it is not only dairy free, but also gluten-free, and suitable for gluten-free diets.