A true vegan knows that there is nothing tastes better than then earthy undertones of the plant-based milks, especially when they find the perfect crunchy cereal pairings.
Unfortunately, everyone on the vegan side of life knows that finding the perfect vegan milk is not always easy.
So, whether you are a true vegan, lactose intolerant, or a flexitarian looking for the perfect, easy switch, the search for the best vegan milk isn’t always easy since what works for your friend may not work for you.
With that in mind, we’ve come up with a list of some of the best vegan milk options for cereal. These milk options are not only the perfect cereal pairings but also the healthiest alternatives to dairy milk and dairy products.
So, while cow milk is regarded as the staple for most people’s diets, even vegetarians, finding healthy substitutes is always a good call.
Here are some of the best vegan milk options for cereal
1. Soy Milk
Made from soybeans or the soy protein isolate (we prefer the soy milk from the natural soybeans), soy milk has a characteristic mild but creamy flavor.
Different brands of soy milk will taste differently, but at the end of the day, we recommend opting for natural soy milk, not the soy milk made from protein isolates with thickeners, added sugars, and vegetable oils
Natural soy milk is nutritious, and one cup of the milk contains 80-90 calories, about 4.5 grams of healthy fats, and about 9 grams of protein. The milk has a low carbohydrate content of about 4 grams.
Besides having a good balance of nutrients, soy milk is one of the high-quality and complete non-dairy protein sources as it offers all the essential amino acids meaning that you don’t really need to find other sources of protein to compensate the absence of cow milk or other dairy products.
Soy milk is also great for cereal since it gives you that extra creaminess, making it an excellent substitute milk to use in cheese.
Keep in mind that in comparison to cow’s milk, soy milk has one of the highest levels of healthy unsaturated fats and proteins. It’s also high in antioxidants.
2. Almond Milk
Soy milk is the most popular vegan milk on the market today, but right next to it, you have almond milk.
Almond milk comes in different brands and flavors, but it always has its appealing, nutty flavor, which is why almond milk is the most appealing choice of milk for cereal. Almond milk is high in nutrients and vitamins, but low in protein.
For most vegans, almond milk is their preferred milk option; the same way cow milk is the go-to for most non-vegans.
Today, almond milk is gaining popularity, even among non-vegans, as it makes an excellent creamer substitute in coffee and fruit smoothies.
If your kids have been struggling with milk or the transition to vegan milk, the sweet almond milk’s flavor will most certainly end your milk struggles.
Almond milk can be sweetened or unsweetened. If you opt for the unsweetened almond milk, you should know that a cup gives you 30-35 calories, 2.5g fat, 1g protein, and 1-2g carbohydrates.
Cows milk, on the other hand, had more than double the calories, fats, carbohydrates, and proteins found in almond milk. Therefore, if you need motivation for joining the vegan bandwagon, for example, weight loss, then almond milk could be the best move you make.
Besides the low calories, almond milk is also rich in vitamin E and antioxidants to protect your body from disease-causing chemicals called free radicals.
3. Coconut Milk
Even though soy milk and almond milk were the staples among vegans for the longest time, coconut milk is now gaining traction among vegans from different parts of the world.
Coconut milk, like almond milk, could be drunk straight from the glass thanks to its deliciousness and the richness of flavor.
It’s also the most versatile milk, and you can add it to your coffee, besides topping it to cereal, smoothies, or even using it for the vegan ice cream base.
But just to caution you, you should keep in mind that regardless of the food you are eating or cooking with coconut milk, the coconut flavor will always stick around, especially if you are using natural coconut.
This is also an important consideration when shopping because fake coconut milk will not have a natural coconut flavor. Back to its versatility, you could also use coconut milk as a substitute in most of your recipes.
Whether you are making brownies or cakes, coconut milk is healthy, safe, and 100% vegan-friendly. Note that coconut milk is often available as canned coconut milk.
It is thick and extra creamy, which is why you could use it in your stews, soups, pudding, and sauces – think creamy Alfredo.
The coconut milk for cereal will be packed in a can – this is the drinkable version.
Regarding nutrients, coconut milk has a very low protein and carbohydrates content. The downside of this is that you may have to look for alternative protein sources, especially if you are on a high protein diet.
But if you are on a weight loss journey, you will love coconut milk since it’s high in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are saturated fats that might help reduce your appetite, helping you lose weight in the process.
You shouldn’t overuse coconut milk, though, since the high concentration of saturated fats will increase the levels of bad and total cholesterol (low-density lipoproteins, LDL), increasing your risk of heart disease.
4. Cashew Milk
The other healthy and vegan-friendly milk you could add to your breakfast cereal bowl is cashew milk.
Cashew milk is a lot like almond milk, but the difference between the two is that almond milk has more fat. It’s also extra creamy, which could be the reason why most people don’t like drinking it straight from the glass.
To enjoy cashew milk, you might want to use it to soak your oats then toss in some fruits and seeds in the breakfast bowl to make it extra yummy. Cashew milk pairs well with coffee, and you could also use it for baking or cooking savory dishes.
Unlike almond milk, cashew milk is also less sweet, and it isn’t flavorful.
5. Oat Milk
Oat milk is one of the newer vegan milk varieties on the market. It’s made from pre-soaked oats during which the hulled grains are broken down into fragments.
If you are trying to decide whether you should settle on oat or nut milk, you should know that the difference between the two types of milk is in the protein, fat, and fiber content. Oat milk has more protein, a higher fat, and fiber content than nut milk.
So, if you need a source of milk with more protein, you should get oat milk in your cereal bowl. Oat milk is also flavorful, but the flavors are not overwhelmingly sweet.
Besides cereal, you could also use oat milk for baking desserts or for cooking creamy soups. Note, however, that oat milk is not ideal for whipped cream or puddings.
6. Rice Milk
If you are wondering how rice milk is made, then you should know that the manufacturers of rice milk make this vegan milk by blending boiled rice with water, plus a sweetener.
Rice milk is thinner than coconut, cashew, or almond milk, and it only has few grams of proteins and fats. It’s the perfect milk to pair with cereal, and you might also like it in your coffee because its flavor is a lot like cow milk.
You could also use rice milk for desserts, soups, and sauces because of the thinness. However, its thinness makes it the wrong choice when it comes to savory dishes since you could easily overpower your food with the sweetness of the milk.
You cannot use rice milk for baking either because it’s too thin.
7. Hemp Milk
This is another non-dairy vegan milk that pairs well with cereal. Hemp milk is high in protein with a cup containing up to 5 grams of protein. It’s also recommended because it’s high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Hemp milk is thick and creamy, and it works well for baked dishes, thanks to the high protein content. However, its thickness makes it a poor substitute for recipes.
Hemp milk also has a strong taste and flavor that could overpower the taste of your sweet dishes or desserts.
8. Pea Milk
Yes, this is probably the weirdest kind of milk you’ve heard of, but it is true vegan milk. Pea milk could also be the most nutritious of all the other vegan milk on the market since it’s a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and it also has fewer calories.
Pea milk also pairs well with cereal and coffee.
9. Hazelnut Milk
If you are looking for vegan milk that comes in an original chocolate flavor, is nutritious and ideal for breakfast cereal, then hazelnut milk could be exactly what you need.
Although its flavor could be a little too strong, it works well for coffee too.
10. Quinoa Milk
This milk is made from quinoa and water. Quinoa is a superfood that is highly regarded in the vegan world, and you cannot go wrong with the milk. The only catch is that this milk is quite expensive.
However, you may like its sweet and nutty flavor, which makes this the perfect milk variety to add to cereal or even to warm porridge.
11. Macadamia Milk
Macadamia milk is the other vegan milk that pairs well with cereal. Made mostly of water and only 3% macadamia nuts, macadamia nut milk, is fairly new to the vegan milk market, but it’s slowly gaining popularity.
This milk is smoother, richer, and creamier, with a nice flavor that makes the nut milk great for cereal, coffee, and even smoothies. Macadamia milk is also low in calories and a healthy alternative for people looking to lose weight while sticking on a plant-based diet.
12. Flax Milk
The last vegan milk option for your bowl of cereal is flax milk. Made from cold-pressed flax oil that’s mixed with water, flax milk is not just one of the best sources of fiber; it’s also an excellent choice because of the low-fat content.
Flax milk is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and an essential vitamin, meaning that it’s one of the healthiest alternatives on the market.
Flax milk can be sweetened or unsweetened, and you could use it for your coffee, not just cereal. You could also dip cookies in the milk during snack time.
Flax milk is thin and smooth, but it is not a good choice for the creamy texture needed for muffins, pancakes, and soups.
Choosing the best vegan milk for cereal
You have many options, and you don’t have to settle for one. But knowing that these vegan milk varieties cost more than the non-vegan varieties, you might want to make sure that you get the right milk the first time around.
And though all these milk varieties pair well with cereal, you need to consider the other uses you could put the milk too. In this case, you need to think about the following things:
Calcium content – calcium is important for bone health, and it prevents osteoporosis. While cow milk is rich in calcium, the vegan alternatives often lack calcium, meaning that you should only buy the vegan milk if it’s fortified with calcium.
Added sugars – just avoid the sweetened milk and stick to the unsweetened versions. Same with additives and artificial flavors.
Vitamin B12 – the milk should also be fortified with vitamin B12
Whether you need to use the milk to make a particular dish or not.
If you need creamy and thick milk or thin milk
Whether the protein content is ideal for you or not
If the milk is right for flavoring or thinning – when it comes to using the vegan milk for baking
Lastly, think about whether you like the flavor and the taste of the milk. It might be nutritious, but if you cannot stand the taste, then is it really worth it?