16 Healthy Milk Alternatives For Your Coffee

Oct 02, 2022 • Leigh McDonald

Our expert staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches in depth our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

Related articles

No Related Posts
No items found.

We’ve been consuming milk in some form (at least from mammals) dating back over 10,000 years*. As we evolve and better understand our nutritional needs, a lot of us are starting to realize the impact that dairy milk has on both our digestive system, and on the environment.

I mean who doesn’t love some sort of milk (or variant) in our coffee? It cuts down on the acidity and makes coffee richer, creamier, and more satisfying (for both hot and cold brews).

The demand for alternative milks is growing

Many of us are choosing a more vegetarian or vegan lifestyle which will continue to push the sales of these substitutes. Over the past 20 years or so, alternative milk has steadily gained popularity and there is now a greater variety of milk alternatives than ever before.

What to look for in a healthy milk

  • Protein: At least 7-8g protein per serving
  • Ingredients: Less is more!
  • Less Sugar: You’ll want to find an unsweetened or 0g sugar milk
  • Saturated Fats: Some of the milks listed can be higher in saturated fats so make sure to review the health label
  • Vitamin D: Increases the intestinal absorption of calcium
  • Sodium: Again a certain amount of salt is suggested, compare all of the milks in the nutrient list for less sodium
  • Calcium: For stronger bones and also plays an important role in blood clotting*
  • Additional Nutrients: Omega-3

What is fortified milk?

Milk can be lacking certain vitamins and minerals required for a healthy diet. In short, fortified milk means that extra vitamins and minerals are added during the process. Typically vitamins D & A are added in the United States (at least in cows milk, but also many alternative milks as well).

In some developing countries children have a common problem of iron deficiency (anemia). In these locations iron and zinc and vitamin B are added to improve deficiencies and promote stronger bone health and brain function*.

Food groups of alternative milks

You might be wondering “how are there 18 choices for alternative milks”? Well there's a wide variety of food groups in which alternative milks are being produced:

  • Nut (Almond, Hazelnut, Cashew, Macadamia, Walnut, Pecan)
  • Fruit (Banana, Coconut)
  • Starchy Vegetable (Potato)
  • Tubers (Tigernut)
  • Grain (Rice, Oat, Chia, Quinoa)
  • Legume (Soy, Pea)
  • Superfood (Flax, Hemp)

Alternative milks nutrition chart

All nutritional information below is based on 1 cup (8 fl oz/240mL). For most of these milks we've chosen the unsweetened option if it’s available. As always please read the product labels before purchasing as different brands could have used different ingredients and some of the data may not always be 100% correct.

1. Almond milk

A vegan and gluten free leader of alternative milks

A picture of almond milk carton

Almond milk is also a source of Vitamin E, calcium, minerals and protein. In addition, it is low in calories, fat and carbohydrates. Lactose-intolerant people will appreciate its lactose-free qualities. Almond milk started appearing back in the middle ages as a common ingredient in foods, beverages and medicine.

Almond milk nutrition info (per 8 fl oz, 240ml):

  • Calories: 30
  • Fat: 2.5g
  • Carbs: 1g
  • Calcium: 35%
  • Protein: 1g

What kind of almond milk should I buy for my coffee?
We suggest Almond Breeze Unsweetened

2. Oat milk

A filling carbohydrate milk alternative

A picture of oat milk carton

Unlike cow's milk, oat milk is lactose-free, nondairy, and vegan. After soaking in water, oats are blended and then strained. As oats absorb water easily they will make their way into the remaining milk after being blended making for a creamy texture.

Oat milk nutrition info (per 8 fl oz, 240ml):

  • Calories: 130
  • Fat: 7g
  • Carbs: 14g
  • Calcium: 15%
  • Protein: 1g

What kind of oat milk should I buy for my coffee?
We suggest Califia Farms - Oat Milk, Unsweetened Barista Blend

3. Soy milk

A fortified soybean powered, protein milk

A picture of soy milk carton

Soy milk (also known as soya milk) is created from soy beans and it has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Research has suggested that it may play a role also in preventing breast cancer and other chronic diseases such as heart disease.

Soy milk nutrition info (per 8 fl oz, 240ml):

  • Calories: 70
  • Fat: 3.5g
  • Carbs: 3g
  • Calcium: 25%
  • Protein: 7g

What kind of soy milk should I buy for my coffee?
We suggest 365 by Whole Foods Market, Soy Milk Original Unsweetened Organic

4. Coconut milk

A rich and creamy vitamin B12, tropical coffee twist

A picture of coconut milk carton

Coconut milk is a rich and creamy alternative to regular milk that can add a delicious tropical twist to your coffee. It's also a good source of healthy fats and vitamins (especially B12), making it a nutritious choice for those looking for a dairy-free option.

Coconut milk nutrition info (per 8 fl oz, 240ml):

  • Calories: 50
  • Fat: 5g
  • Carbs: <1g
  • Calcium: 10%
  • Protein: <1g
  • Vitamin B12: 50%

What kind of coconut milk should I buy for my coffee?
We suggest 365 by Whole Foods Market, Coconut Milk Unsweet Original Organic

5. Rice milk

A deliciously light and refreshing flavor with sweetness from rice

A picture of rice milk carton

Rice milk has a deliciously light and refreshing flavor with sweetness from the grain. Besides being dairy-free, low in fat, and enriched with calcium & vitamin D, it's refreshing. It can be poured over cereal, fruit, blended into smoothies, or just enjoyed cold.

Rick milk nutrition info (per 8 fl oz, 240ml):

  • Calories: 70
  • Fat: 2.5g
  • Carbs: 11g
  • Calcium: 25%
  • Protein: 0g

What kind of rice milk should I buy for my coffee?
We suggest Dream Rice Drink - Unsweetened Original

6. Pea milk

A great tasting alternative to dairy that packs a protein punch

A picture of pea milk carton

The yellow peas that are used to make this pea milk are a dairy-free alternative to milk. This product is manufactured by Ripple Foods, a company that specializes in pea protein. Those seeking an alternative to cow's milk may find its high protein content and smooth taste appealing.

Pea milk nutrition info (per 8 fl oz, 240ml):

  • Calories: 80
  • Fat: 4.5g
  • Carbs: <1g
  • Calcium: 35%
  • Protein: 8g

What kind of pea milk should I buy for my coffee?
We suggest Ripple Foods Unsweetened Original Plant Milk

7. Hemp milk

A great source for plant-based nutrition including

A picture of hemp milk carton

There is a smooth and creamy texture to hemp milk as well as a nutty flavor to it. Hemp seed is an excellent source of plant-based nutrition, including Omega 3 and 6 and essential amino acids. In addition to being a good source of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D, this product is an excellent source of Omega 3 ALA as well. Additionally, it is lactose, cholesterol, and soy-free.

Help milk nutrition info (per 8 fl oz, 240ml):

  • Calories: 60
  • Fat: 4.5g
  • Carbs: 0g
  • Calcium: 20%
  • Protein: 3g

What kind of hemp milk should I buy for my coffee?
We suggest Pacific Foods Hemp Original Unsweetened Help Plant-Based Milk

8. Macadamia milk

A low calorie, rich in calcium option

A picture of macadamia milk carton

There are only 50 calories in each serving of unsweetened macadamia milk, which is rich in calcium but has less fat than dairy milk. Keeping all the health benefits of macadamia nuts simple is the key. They skip roasting the macadamias in this product as roasting denatures the oil, which is why the taste is better.

Macadamia milk nutrition info (per 8 fl oz, 240ml):

  • Calories: 40
  • Fat: 3.5g
  • Carbs: <1g
  • Calcium: 30%
  • Protein: 1g

What kind of macadamia milk should I buy for my coffee?
We suggest milkadamia Macadamia Milk, Unsweetened

9. Cashew milk

A delicious and slightly nutty alternative milk

A picture of cashew milk carton

This cashew milk is a dairy, soy, gluten, and carrageenan free alternative milk. It closely resembles low-fat dairy milk which is both light and refreshing to drink, or use in your favorite baking dishes for added flavor.

Cashew milk nutrition info (per 8 fl oz, 240ml):

  • Calories: 50
  • Fat: 4.5.g
  • Carbs: 2g
  • Calcium: 4%
  • Protein: 1g

What kind of cashew milk should I buy for my coffee?
We suggest Pacific Foods Cashew Unsweetened Original Plant-Based Beverage

10. Hazelnut milk

Subtle hazelnut and a delicious flavor for your coffee

A picture of hazelnut milk carton

If you enjoy hazelnut (we especially do in our chocolate) then you may want to give hazelnut unsweetened milk a chance for your morning coffee. These hazelnuts are Oregon grown, and perfect to add into your cereal, coffee, or baking dishes.

Hazelnut milk nutrition info (per 8 fl oz, 240ml):

  • Calories: 30
  • Fat: 3g
  • Carbs: 1g
  • Calcium: 0%
  • Protein: 1g

What kind of hazelnut milk should I buy for my coffee?
We suggest Pacific Foods Hazelnut Milk, Unsweetened Original

11. Banana milk

A sweet and creamy banana flavoured alternative

A picture of banana milk carton

The banana milk will enhance the flavor of your coffee, smoothies, and shakes. Mix it into cereal or oatmeal for an added flavor boost. In addition to its nutrient and antioxidant content, this banana milk is rich in potassium, vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, fiber, and protein. This product contains whole-grain oats, and bananas, and has no high fructose corn syrup.

Banana milk nutrition info (per 8 fl oz, 240ml):

  • Calories: 65
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbs: 15g
  • Calcium: 25%
  • Protein: 1g

What kind of banana milk should I buy for my coffee?
We suggest Banana Wave Banana Milk Unsweetened Original

12. Walnut milk

Two ingredients to keep this milk simple, clean and tasty

A picture of walnut milk carton

As a result of the nutritional components of walnut milk, a thick, creamy, full-flavored beverage is produced, without the addition of gums, fillers, or preservatives. Its ingredient list is extremely simple, which is why we like it. As a result of preserving more nutrition from the nut, their product's nutrients are easier to digest and absorb.

Walnut milk nutrition info (per 8 fl oz, 240ml):

  • Calories: 120
  • Fat: 11g
  • Carbs: 1g
  • Calcium: 2%
  • Protein: 3g

What kind of walnut milk should I buy for my coffee?
We suggest Elmhurst Unsweetened Walnut Milk

13. Flax milk

A superfood in your coffee

A picture of flax milk carton

In addition to being packed with 8g of vegan protein per serving, flax milk also contains several other health benefits. Additionally, it is made with cold-pressed flaxseed oil, which contains Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as vitamins D2 and B12. This versatile milk can be used in workout drinks, smoothies, coffee, cereal, baked goods, and more.

Flax milk nutrition info (per 8 fl oz, 240ml):

  • Calories: 70
  • Fat: 3g
  • Carbs: 1g
  • Calcium: 25%
  • Protein: 8g

What kind of soy milk should I buy for my coffee?
We suggest Good Karma Unsweetened Flaxmilk +Protein

14. Pecan milk

A leading antioxidant nut with healthy fats and protein

A picture of pecan milk carton

If you like pecans you'll like this rich yet refreshing nutty flavor. With no added sugar, this blends nicely into your favorite coffee, cereal, or smoothie. There are more antioxidants in pecans than in any other commercial tree nut, as well as Omega-3s, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc.

Pecan milk nutrition info (per 8 fl oz, 240ml):

  • Calories: 80
  • Fat: 8g
  • Carbs: 2g
  • Calcium: 25%
  • Protein: 1g

What kind of pecan milk should I buy for my coffee?
We suggest THIS PKN Pecan Milk

15. Tiger nut milk

A naturally sweet, nutty and creamy flavor

A picture of tiger nut milk carton

Tiger nuts are particularly popular in Spain where they are used in the preparation of Horchata, a specialty drink that is similar to milk from Valencia. The creamy taste of horchata is enhanced by a hint of sweetness, and it can be enjoyed over ice. Mexicans prefer it hot with cinnamon and vanilla. Tiger Nuts were first cultivated by the ancient Egyptians, whose tombs contained drawings of them.

Tiger nut milk nutrition info (per 8 fl oz, 240ml):

  • Calories: 134
  • Fat: 4.8g
  • Carbs: 23.5g
  • Calcium: 0%
  • Protein: 1.4g

What kind of tiger nut milk should I buy for my coffee?
Unfortunately there aren’t too many tiger milk products on the market. The leading one we found has only 6% tiger nuts and is predominantly organic rice. You would have to ship it from the UK but if you’re curious you can find the product here: Rude Health Unsweetened Tiger Nut Drink

16. Chia milk

A sustainable, low water footprint milk alternative

A picture of chia milk carton

Due to its extremely low water footprint, chia milk is more sustainable than almond milk, oat milk, or coconut milk. A regenerative agriculture approach is used in the cultivation of chia seeds. Omega-3 is abundant in the seeds themselves, which promotes heart health, healthy aging, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Chia milk nutrition info (per 8 fl oz, 240ml):

  • Calories: 21
  • Fat: 1.2g
  • Carbs: 2g
  • Calcium: 27%
  • Protein: 2g

What kind of chia milk should I buy for my coffee?
We suggest Seeds of Wellness Chia Milk

Author

My coffee journey spans 15 years of diverse experiences. Starting from those first sips, my passion for the industry has grown steadily. I've enjoyed working at a local coffee shop, exploring cultures worldwide, meeting incredible farmers on plantation tours, and helping launch a family member's coffee roasting venture. Throughout this journey, discovering and buying coffee from local roasters to support community businesses has been a pleasure. Through Roast Love, I aim to create content that informs, raises awareness, and helps you, the reader, buy and brew that perfect cup of coffee.

Related Articles

No items found.

Monthly news worthy of your inbox.

We write a monthly newsletter about our curiosities and what's happening in the coffee world. Topics like monthly deals, industry news, the science behind our favorite beverage, and more.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Amazon Prime Day is here, get up to 50% off coffee brewers, beans, pods and more. Click here to view our top picks!