Dairy Alternatives: The Plant-Based Products Taking The World By A Storm

Fat-free, low-fat and full-fat are no longer the only choices when it comes to ordering your morning cappuccino. In fact, you may have to take some notes because the world of dairy alternatives is fun, fashionable and ever-growing! And we’re not just talking about mylk. From plant-based butter to protein mylk shakes and even plant-based deli cheese, your fridge is in for an upgrade…

Now, we know this new world of dairy alternatives can be a little daunting. What are these products? What are they made from and what are the benefits of consuming them?

What are dairy alternatives?

Dairy alternatives are products that mimic foods derived from milk, including yogurt, butter and cheese. These alternatives are made from plants and non-dairy sources and have a number of benefits, including:

  1. Ethical

The dairy industry is notoriously unethical, with factory farming at its core. Many people do not support the mistreatment of animals and thus abstain from eating dairy products to support the more ethical plant-based alternatives.

  1. Healthy: 

Saturated fat, unwanted hormones and lactose-intolerance are all issues associated with dairy products. Plant-based dairy alternatives are often cleaner and healthier options!

  1. Environment: 

Factory farming and dairy cows themselves have a significant negative impact on the environment, one of the biggest problems being waste generated by the cows that pollutes water and degrades soil. Plant-based dairy alternatives tend to have a much lower environmental impact.

But if there’s no dairy involved, what are these products actually made from?

Let’s run through some of the most common dairy alternatives on the market:

Mylk

Mylks in general use a combination of nuts, grains and pulses blended with water, salt, added sweetener, stabilisers and occasionally additional vitamins like Vitamin D and B12. But if you’re under the impression that your options are limited to variations of almond mylk…think again!

There are so many delicious and versatile dairy alternatives. Almond is so last year; what about mylk made from peas!? Mighty Pea, for example, is one producer with an array of pea mylks, from unsweetened for those looking to switch up their cereal routine, to specially-crafted barista blends to spice up your cappuccino. Some pea mylks have added coconut cream for that extra deliciousness! 

Peas not quite your thing? Perhaps you’re a potato-person? The multifaceted potato turns into a tasty mylk that is perfect for tea or coffee (AND it doesn’t separate!). 

Oats are also a commonly-used mylk ingredient! Formed from a base of oats and water, oat mylks are one of the more established dairy alternatives (and, in our opinion, absolutely delectable in a flat white or matcha latte!).

Plant-Based Butter

It’s no lie that butta is better! This dairy alternative is made by combining water with a plant-derived oil. The core ingredients may include products like coconut oil, olive oil and salt, with additional soya milk added for that extra creaminess. 

Some products, like Mouse’s Favourite Vegan Gold, use cashew nuts as their core ingredient to create a healthy, tasty dairy alternative that can be spread on potatoes, croissants, scones and used in vegan baking!

You can also find buttas perfect for a cheese platter, with added garlic, chilli and seasoning…  (Bring out the crackers!).

Plant-Based Deli Cheese

Speaking of cheese platters, you can now confidently serve your guests fully plant-based nibbles (and it’s unlikely they’d even notice the difference!). Like some plant-based buttas, these deli cheeses are made from the perfect combination of cashew nuts, coconut oil, water, sea salt, cultures… 

So stock up for your next dinner party on plant-based options like camembert, blue cheese, beer-washed rind, apricolina or a porcini aged classic (yum).

Protein Mylk Shakes

Who doesn’t love a milkshake? Well, in 2022 we’re choosing the ethical, environmentally-friendly and healthier versions: m*lkshakes. The added protein usually comes from ingredients like pea protein or organic sunflower protein. These products upgrade plant-based mylks and with the additional protein are a perfect part of a balanced, active lifestyle. There are also chocolate variations – with a touch of cocoa powder – for all the chocaholics out there. 

Plant-Based Yogurts

Last, but certainly not least, of the plant-based dairy alternative family, is yogurt. The perfect breakfast food or on-the-go snack, these products are made from coconut cream, water, fruits and vitamins. Just like our conventional yogurts, plant-based yogurts come in a variety of flavours – our favourite being banana and strawberry!

From breakfast to coffees to snacks and post-workout drinks, these dairy alternatives are the ideal ethical, environmentally-friendly and healthy replacements. 

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