Soy To Rice, 8 Dairy-Free Milk Subs For Lactose Intolerance
Image Credit: Pexels

India is a nation that loves milk and all sorts of dairy products derived from milk. From kheer and dahi to paneer and makkhan, Indians love to indulge in dairy products except in two cases—when you are vegan or when you have lactose intolerance. But while veganism is a conscious choice to cut off all dairy and meat products, those who have lactose intolerance have absolutely no choice but to avoid all milk and dairy products. 

In case you don’t know what lactose intolerance is, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that this is a condition where the body is unable to process lactose. Lactose is a sugar found naturally in milk and milk products. If your body cannot break down or process lactose then it leads to digestive symptoms like bloating, diarrhea and gas. In severe cases, the symptoms can even be worse. 

What many people don’t know is that India has a huge number of people who suffer from some degree of lactose intolerance. Recent research conducted in the nation reveals that 60% to 65% of Indians suffer from lactose intolerance without even realizing it. For these people, long-term consumption of milk and dairy products can lead to a number of health issues. So, it is best to indulge in dairy-free milk substitutes. 

Video credit: YouTube/The Cooking Foodie

Now, there are plenty of dairy-free milk alternatives are widely available in grocery stores and can be used as substitutes in cooking, baking, and beverages. But it is also important to read the labels and choose fortified options to ensure you're getting essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin D. What’s more, some milk alternatives may have added sugars or flavorings, so you may want to consider unsweetened varieties if you're watching your sugar intake. 

Here are some of the best dairy-free milk substitutes you can try out.  

Almond milk 

Made from ground almonds and water, almond milk has a mild, slightly nutty flavor. It is low in calories and naturally lactose-free. Almond milk is also a good source of vitamin E. It has a nutty flavour that makes it a great addition to any dish you might want to try out too. 

Soy milk 

Soy milk is produced from soybeans and water. It has a creamy texture and a subtle taste that is similar to cow's milk—which means you can totally use it to make everything from dairy-free kheer to shakes.  Soy milk is often fortified with calcium and vitamin D, making it a good nutritional substitute for dairy milk. 

Coconut milk 

Coconut milk is derived from the flesh of coconuts and has a rich, creamy consistency. It has a distinct coconut flavor, which may not appeal to everyone at first, unless you come from a region where coconut milk is traditionally used to make beverages as well as curries. Coconut milk is higher in fat compared to other milk alternatives. 

Oat milk 

Oat milk is made from oats and water, providing a slightly sweet and creamy taste. It has a smooth texture and works well in beverages, cereals, and baked goods. Oat milk is often fortified with nutrients like calcium and vitamin D. This one is therefore perfect for everything from shakes and smoothies to kheer. 

Rice milk 

Rice milk is made from milled rice and water. It has a naturally sweet taste and a watery texture. Rice milk is generally thinner compared to other milk alternatives and may not be as nutritionally rich, so it's important to choose fortified varieties. You can still whip up traditional Indian milk-based desserts with rice milk. 

Hemp milk 

Hemp milk is produced from hemp seeds and water. It has a nutty flavor and a creamy consistency. Hemp milk is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and is often fortified with vitamins and minerals. Considered to be quite the superfood, this dairy-free milk substitute should definitely be added to your diet. 

Cashew milk 

Cashew milk is made from ground cashews and water. It has a creamy texture and a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. Cashew milk is often fortified with nutrients and can be a good source of healthy fats. This one often gets a bad reputation for being too fatty and unhealthy, but it sure tastes great and has benefits to offer too. 

Pea milk 

Pea milk is a relatively new addition to the dairy-free milk market. It is made from yellow peas and water, offering a creamy texture and a mild, neutral taste. Pea milk is often rich in protein and is fortified with essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin D. If you are looking for a new king of dairy-free milk substitute to try out, this one is a must-try.