Almond Vs. Soy: 5 Differences Between These Plant-Based Milks
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If you find yourself standing in the dairy alternative aisle, torn between almond milk and soy milk, you're not alone. With the growing popularity of plant-based milk, choosing the right one for your needs can be a daunting task. Both almond milk and soy milk offer unique flavours, textures, and nutritional profiles, making them popular choices among those seeking dairy-free alternatives.

Almond milk is a popular plant-based alternative to dairy milk that is made by blending almonds with water and then straining the mixture to remove any solids. The resulting liquid has a creamy texture and a slightly nutty flavour. Almond milk is known for being lactose-free, cholesterol-free, and low in calories, making it a suitable option for those with lactose intolerance or following a vegan or plant-based diet.

It is also often fortified with vitamins and minerals, such as calcium and vitamin D, to mimic the nutritional profile of dairy milk. Almond milk can be used in various ways, including as a substitute for dairy milk in recipes, poured over cereal or granola, or enjoyed on its own as a refreshing beverage.

Soy milk is a popular plant-based milk alternative made from soybeans. It is created by soaking, grinding, and boiling soybeans, and then extracting the liquid through straining. The resulting liquid is a creamy, off-white beverage with a slightly nutty taste. Soy milk is widely consumed by individuals who are lactose intolerant, follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, or have a preference for plant-based options.

Key Differences Between Almond And Soy Milk

To help you make an informed decision, we've highlighted five key differences between almond milk and soy milk. By understanding these distinctions, you can better assess which milk alternative aligns with your taste preferences, dietary requirements, and overall lifestyle. 

Calories and Fat Content

Almond milk is typically lower in calories compared to soy milk. It contains around 30–40 calories per serving, depending on the brand and variety. It is also generally low in fat, with around 2–3 grams of fat per serving, mostly coming from healthy unsaturated fats. Soy milk tends to have a slightly higher calorie count compared to almond milk, averaging around 80-100 calories per serving. It also contains a higher amount of fat, ranging from 3-5 grams per serving. However, soy milk provides a good source of healthy fats.

Nut and Soy Allergies

Almond milk is derived from almonds, which are tree nuts. Therefore, individuals with nut allergies should avoid almond milk. Soy milk is derived from soybeans, making it a suitable alternative for those with nut allergies. However, individuals with soy allergies should avoid consuming soy milk.

Protein Content

Almond milk is generally lower in protein compared to soy milk. It typically contains around 1 gram of protein per serving. Soy milk is known for its higher protein content compared to almond milk. It provides around 7-8 grams of protein per serving, which is comparable to cow's milk.

Monounsaturated Fats and Polyunsaturated Fats

Almond milk is naturally rich in monounsaturated fats, which are considered heart-healthy fats. These fats can help promote good cholesterol levels and support cardiovascular health. Almond milk also contains a small amount of polyunsaturated fats, which are essential fats for the body.

Soy milk contains both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These fats are beneficial for heart health and overall well-being.

It's important to note that individual nutritional needs and preferences may vary. When choosing between almond milk and soy milk, consider factors such as taste, dietary restrictions, and nutritional goals. It's always recommended to check the ingredient list and nutritional labels of specific brands to determine the exact calorie and fat content.

Culinary Uses

Almond milk offers a creamy texture and a slightly nutty flavour, making it a versatile option for various culinary applications. One common use is pouring almond milk over cereals or granola, providing a dairy-free and creamy breakfast option. It can also be added to smoothies and shakes, contributing to a smooth consistency and adding a subtle nutty undertone to the flavours. Almond milk is often used as a substitute for dairy milk in baked goods such as cakes, muffins, and pancakes, resulting in moist and delicious treats. It can be heated and used as a dairy-free alternative in hot beverages like coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Additionally, almond milk can be used as a base in creamy soups and sauces, imparting a velvety texture and enhancing the flavours of the dishes.

Soy milk, derived from soybeans, offers a creamy and slightly nutty taste that works well in various culinary creations. One popular use is adding soy milk to coffee or tea, frothing it to create a dairy-free option for lattes or cappuccinos. It can also be used in smoothies and milkshakes, providing a creamy consistency and contributing to the overall flavour profile. Soy milk serves as a suitable substitute for dairy milk in pancake and waffle batters, allowing individuals to enjoy vegan-friendly breakfast options. In savoury dishes, soy milk can be incorporated into curries and stir-fries, adding a creamy texture and enriching the flavours. Moreover, soy milk can be used in desserts such as puddings and custards, providing a dairy-free alternative that still offers a smooth and indulgent experience.