Due to the overwhelming selection of plant-based milks available, it can be difficult to decide which plant-based milk to choose. In most cases, what to choose comes down to personal taste preferences. Experiment with a variety of dairy-free milks to see what pleases your palate. Coconut and soy milks tend to be sweeter and creamier in consistency. Almond, hemp, and hazelnut milks have a slightly nutty flavor to them. And rice milk tends to be more mildly sweet and thin in consistency. Differences can be noted not only among varieties of dairy-free milks, but also among brands; so experiment to find which plant-based milks please your tastebuds.
Nutrition may also play a role in determining which dairy-free milk you choose. Like cow’s milk, many varieties of dairy-free milks are fortified with nutrients including vitamins A and D. Calcium, iron, and protein needs can be easily met on a vegan diet by consuming a variety of vegetables, grains, and legumes. However, fortified non-dairy milks can also serve as an important source of nutrients—especially for those newly transitioning to a vegan diet. Soy and hemp milks are great choices for those wishing to boost protein in their diets; both soy and hemp are complete proteins providing all nine essential amino acids. Many non-dairy types of milk are also fortified with calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and iron. So if you are looking to give your diet a little nutrient boost, non-dairy milks may provide the nutrients you need. Be sure to read food labels to assist in selecting a fortified product to meet your needs.
Source: Lauri Boone, Plant-based Dietitian