Nondairy milks and creams are products that mimic the taste and texture of milk. They are frequently used as vegan substitutes for dairy milk or for those who have a dietary intolerance to milk. However, no one nondairy milk can be used as a perfect substitute for milk. Many varieties of nondairy milk can be purchased commercially, though some will be hard to find and must be made at home.
The primary characteristics shared by most nondairy milks are a creamy consistency, neutral or mild flavor, and off-white color.
Generally, many varieties of nondairy milk are made by soaking their primary ingredient in water before blending into a smooth mixture. The solids are then strained out, and additional thickeners, stabilizers, sweeteners, and/or flavorings may be added to reach the final product.
In addition to being consumed on their own, nondairy milks can be used in many of the same applications as milk, although no nondairy milk will be a perfect substitute. The behavior and properties of a given nondairy milk will depend on its ingredients, and some experimentation may be needed to achieve the desired results when substituting nondairy for dairy.
An assortment of commercially-available nondairy milks, including almond, hemp, soy, coconut, and rice
Left to right: rice milk, canary seed milk, oat milk, soy milk
Tiger nut milk