Plant Milk 101: Your Ultimate Guide To The Best Vegan Milk In 2024

A Guide to the Testiest Vegan Milk Including the Best Brands + Things to Consider Before Buying

If you haven’t yet heard, dairy is dead. Why? The increased awareness about dairy industry practices and the popularity of veganism has helped create a thriving plant milk industry. [1]

Plant milk are made from grains, nuts, and seeds. There are lots of great plant milk to choose from. But, deciding which one is the best can be confusing and overwhelming.

This guide will help you discover your favorite planet milk and which ones to use for anything from your morning cereal to creating a vegan omelet.

The Best 15 Plant Milk Ranked by Popularity

As mentioned, there are now lots of plant milk to choose from. Below I will introduce you to each one accompanied with the best brand selling that particular plant milk.

I don’t believe there to be a “best” plant milk. Because plant milk is each unique in taste, they’re not really comparable. So, I’ve decided to list them out in terms of popularity instead.

1. Almond Milk

Silk Pure Almond Original Milk

Almond milk is a strong contender for the most popular and widely used plant milk out there. It’s by far one of the tastiest plant milk and is exceptionally versatile. Almond milk is creamy and delicious and is most often used for cereal, coffees, and smoothies.

Almond milk is also widely available across the globe and can be found in most supermarkets. Almond milk is also now widely available at most good coffee shops.

You also get a heavy dose of calcium, vitamins E and D, and even some protein. Almond milk is a great way to start any day, and I personally think it’s the best for protein smoothies (especially chocolate flavored).

Best For: Cereal, coffees, and smoothies.

Best Brand: Silk Pure Almond Original Milk

2. Oat Milk

Oatly Oatmilk

Oat milk has taken the world by storm over the last year, mostly thanks to the brand Oatly and its incredible marketing campaigns. Oat milk is versatile plant milk that can be literally used for anything.

It has a slightly less creamy flavor than almond milk, so I find it’s best for hot drinks, smoothies, and cooking. You can also make your own oat milk with ease.

Oat milk is slightly darker in color, and if you’re making your own, it will be less sweet than branded products. Thanks to Oatly, you now have a vast selection of oat milk to try including chocolate, vanilla, chocolate hazelnut, and more.

Oat milk is an excellent source of Vitamin D & A and is low-fat. It also has 4g of protein per cups\. Not bad!

Best For: hot drinks, smoothies, oatmeal, and cooking.

Best Brand: Oatly The Original Oat Drink

3. Soy Milk

Silk Original Soy Milk

Soy milk has been around for a very long time, most prominently in East Asian countries. It’s possibly the most widely available plant milk of them all. The reason it has such a rich and long history is its incredible versatility and nutritious content.

Soy milk is creamy and refreshing, but not to everyone’s taste. You can now buy it in lots of different flavors, and many vegan brands are using it to create products that traditionally include dairy milk like chocolate.

You can use soy milk in baking and cooking, it doesn’t interfere too much with the flavors but retains the creamy texture. As I mentioned, it’s packed full of nutrients, including calcium, vitamin B2, and D. It also packs a powerful punch of protein at 6g per cup!

Best For: everything!

Best Brand: Silk Original Soy Milk

4. Coconut Milk

Vita Coco Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is another plant milk with a very long history. Again, Easter Asian countries have been using it for cooking for hundreds of years. In countries like Thailand and Malaysia, where coconut trees are plentiful, coconut milk is a staple of their cultural cuisine. Think Thai Green Curry and Laksa Soup.

Coconut milk is light, refreshing, and depending on the brand has a subtle but sweet coconut flavor. You can drink coconut milk straight or use it in thousands of different ways, from your coffee to cooking a curry.

Not everyone is keen on drinking coconut milk, but if you like coconut, you will likely enjoy the milk too. It’s also packed full of nutrition, including calcium, vitamin D, and even B12!

Best For: drinking straight and cooking.

Best Brand: Vita Coconut Milk

5. Cashew Milk

Organic Unsweetened Cashewmilk

This is, by far, my favorite plant milk. It’s ultra-creamy and tastes just like dairy to me, but you can make your own judgment on that. Cashew milk is gaining in popularity because it’s delicious and versatile, making everything taste better.

Cashew milk doesn’t have a nutty flavor like most plant milk. This makes it perfect for dairy milk replacement in pretty much any food or drinks you can think of. I highly recommend trying cashew milk chocolate, it’s delicious!

Cashew milk is a good source of calcium, B12, and vitamin D. There are three essential nutrients that vegans often don’t get enough of. If this list of plant milks was in the order of the best, I would put cashew milk as number one.

Best for: anytime you need a milk replacement, especially good in protein smoothies and chocolate.

Best Brand: Forager Project Organic Cashew Milk

6. Hazelnut Milk

Pacific Foods Hazelnut Milk

If you love eating hazelnuts, then this milk is for you. The milk retains a lot of the hazelnut flavor and works really well in smoothies, especially chocolate smoothies. It’s nice and sweet, but not too sweet, and is quite similar to almond milk.

Personally, I think hazelnut milk is perfect for cereal. Especially if you like to enjoy a bowl of vegan chocolate cereal. When the subtle hazelnut flavor mixes with chocolate, it’s absolute heaven.

Hazelnut milk is also packing vitamins D2, A, B2, and E. You also get 2g of protein in each cup, which is a nice boost to your protein smoothie or bowl.

Best for: cereal or smoothies

Best brand: Pacific Foods Unsweetened Hazelnut Milk

7. Flax Milk

Good Karma - Flax Milk with Omega-3 + Protein Unsweetened

Flax seeds are a superfood that every vegan should incorporate into their diet. Why? Because flax is naturally high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which vegans often struggle to attain through their vegan diet.

Flax seeds are also linked to numerous health benefits, including the improved cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and blood sugar regulation.

Flaxseed milk is often said to look like dairy milk and even have a similar texture. It’s very light and refreshing plant milk that is quite versatile. It’s best used for cereal and in your coffee.

The nutrition profile is good, you get 1000-1400mg of omega-3s depending on the brand you choose, and it’s low calorie at just 25 calories per cup.

Best for: cereal and coffee.

Best brand: Good Karma Flaxmilk

8. Hemp Milk

Living Harvest Unsweetened Original Hemp Milk

Hemp seeds are another superfood you should consider incorporating into your diet simply because they pack so much protein and offer several health benefits.

They also make great-tasting milk that is light, not so creamy and is slightly grainy in texture. That probably doesn’t sound appealing, but it’s actually quite pleasant once you get used to the oddity of it.

I would recommend using hemp milk for cereal or cooking, which requires light milk. Hemp milk really shines in its nutritional value. It’s packed full of protein, all nine essential amino acids, calcium, omega-3s, and vitamin D!

Best for: cereal and recipes that require light milk

Best brand: Living Harvest Unsweetened Original Hemp Milk

9. Rice Milk

Rice Dream Organic Rice Drink

Rice Milk has been around for millennia in some parts of East Asia, and it’s finally being introduced to the west. Rice milk is very light milk and is very watery. If you’re looking for a replacement for skimmed milk, this is the plant milk for you.

You can get rice milk in all sorts of flavors, but the original unsweetened is the most popular. It’s still quite sweet as it is perfect for coffee, tea, cereal, and smoothies.

Rice milk isn’t the best for nutrition, and if you buy it, you should try to go for a brown rice version. You usually get a dose of B12, calcium, and vitamin D.

Best for: anything that requires an extra light milk

Best brand: Rice Dream Organic Original

10. Walnut Milk

Elmhurst 1925 Unsweetened Walnut Milk

I first tried walnut milk in Asia. I had never seen it before and was pleasantly surprised by its rich, creamy, and nutty flavor. It has a slightly darker look to it and has a beautiful sweetness to it.

You can drink walnut milk straight out of a glass for a refreshing drink. It’s also great with cereal and protein smoothies. It’s naturally gluten-free, and walnuts are a great source of omega-3s. You get around 1400mg of omega-3 in each cup.

Walnuts also have natural anti-inflammatory properties due to the polyunsaturated fat and polyphenols. Walnuts have also been found to lower blood pressure.

Best for: straight out of the glass or smoothies

Best brand: Elmhurst 1925 Unsweetened Walnut Milk

11. Macadamia Milk

milkadamia macadamia milk

Macadamia milk is excellent for anyone that really enjoys the taste of macadamia nuts. The distinct flavor is very present in the milk and is a thick and creamy texture good for hot drinks, cereal, and smoothies.

You can also drink macadamia milk straight out of the glass. It is that delicious. But I personally like to mix with protein smoothies or pour over cereal, especially chocolate cereal.

Oddly enough, macadamia milk is packed full of B12, which is excellent news for vegans! It’s also a good source of vitamins A & D.

Best for: straight out of the glass and cereal

Best brand: Milkadamia Macadamia Unsweetened Milk

12. Peanut Milk

Elmhurst Milked - Peanut Milk

I love peanut milk because it’s thick and creamy, and I love peanuts. If you’re not fond of peanuts, you will want to avoid this one. It’s light milk, which is an excellent alternative to skimmed or semi-skimmed milk.

I find peanut milk is best used in smoothies or baking. It’s great for adding a peanutty flavor to baked goods. You can also use it with cereal.

Peanut milk isn’t a strong contender when it comes to nutritional profile. You get a good dose of calcium and potassium, but that’s about it.

Best for: smoothies and baking

Best brand: Elmhurst Milked Peanuts

13. Pea Milk

Ripple 8oz Non-Dairy Milk

Pea milk made from pea protein is an excellent way to boost your protein intake. You get a whopping 8g of protein per cup! It’s a nice texture, slightly watery, but tastes pretty good.

It’s best used in your protein smoothie to really boost your protein, and it mixes well with chocolate and vanilla flavors. You can also drink straight from the glass.

Pea milk is also very nutritious. Just one cup provides you 45% of your calcium RDI, 30% of your vitamin D, and 10% of your vitamin A. It even contains 10% of your iron RDI!

Best for: smoothies

Best brand: Ripple Non-Dairy Original Pea Milk

14. Pecan Milk

maple pecan malk

Not a very common choice for most people, but it is out there. Pecan milk is actually delicious with a subtle hint of pecan nutty flavor. I think it tastes great in both cereal and smoothies.

It’s also excellent plant milk for baking. Especially if you’re making brownies, cakes, cookies, or oat cookies. It gives them a beautiful hint of nutty goodness.

Pecan milk isn’t very nutritious. You get 2g of protein per cup and a little bit of calcium and potassium, but that’s about it.

Best for: baking

Best brand: MALK Pecan Milk (available in Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Sprouts, HEB, and Central Market)

15. Sesame Milk

Hope & Sesame Sesame Milk

You may have never seen sesame milk before, but you will be glad you just found it. Sesame milk is rich, creamy, and delicious! It has a very distinctive nutty taste that blends well with protein shakes, cereals, and hot chocolate.

Sesame milk is an excellent source of protein with 8g per one cup and all nine essential amino acids. You also get 50% of your vitamin D RDI plus calcium, iron, and magnesium.

Sesame milk hasn’t yet taken the world by storm, but I feel it will have its time in the spotlight soon enough.

Best for: protein shakes and hot chocolate

Best brand: Hope & Sesame Organic Unsweetened Sesame Milk

Things to Consider When Buying Plant Milk

Milk boxes set Vector realistic. Collection of regular milk, oats, soy, rice and almond milk.

It’s Not Dairy!

If you buy plant milk in the hope it’s going to taste like cow’s milk, you are much mistaken. Try to appreciate plant milks as their own product—none of the plant milks listed above taste like dairy. In my opinion, the most similar one is unsweetened cashew milk.

Plant milk are their own great product, not just a dairy alternative. They offer many things that cow’s milk cannot like unique nutty flavors and incredible nutritional profiles.

Prepare to Experiment

It will take some time for you to find your favorite plant milk. Make sure you try as many as possible before settling on one. Much vegan debate which is the best plant milk, but everyone is different and has different tastes.

We also use milk in different ways. Some use it solely for cereal or just for their coffee and protein shakes. Depending on how you use milk will determine which plant milk is best for you.

Unsweetened is Best

If you’re looking for excellent all-around milk, then go for unsweetened versions. The added sugars and various flavors of other plant milk don’t work well unless you really like sugar.

If you follow a healthy lifestyle, you will want to avoid any plant milks with added sugars. Unsweetened plant milk are also much better for cooking and baking recipes.

Go for Calcium-Rich

Many plant milks are either fortified with calcium or have naturally high levels of calcium, such as pea milk. Calcium is an essential nutrient that vegans get very little of in their diet.

Adding calcium-rich plant milk to your diet is a simple and cost-effective way to increase your daily calcium intake.

Watch Out for Allergies

Soy and nuts are both common allergens for some people. When drinking plant milk be aware of any changes in your digestion and skin. Some people may have small allergic reactions to some nuts.

Soy has also been found to cause inflammation for some individuals. Do not believe the stories about soy giving men “man boobs” because of the phytoestrogen content. This is not true and is a huge misconception surrounding soy.

Final Thoughts

Plant milk has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for your milk of choice and how we use them. The plant milk industry is booming as more and more people start to enjoy plant milk products all across the globe.

Take your time to find the best one for you. You may find that you use a mix of two or three for different things like smoothies, cooking, and coffee. There is a tremendous amount of choice, enjoy the process of finding your favorite!


  1. Dairy Is DEAD: World’s Largest Dairy Company Reports Major Losses



Solopreneur and writer. Passionate vegan for more than 5 years.

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