Want to bake a tasty dessert, but you just ran out of milk? Or perhaps you’re vegan or lactose intolerant? Look no further, my friends, for this is the best dry milk substitute list you need to start baking. No milk? No problem!
The good news is, there’s a surprising amount of healthy milk substitutes you can use for baking, cooking, and drinking. This includes:
- Plain, unsweetened soy milk
- Almond milk
- Coconut milk
- Rice milk
- Oat milk
If you’re not lactose intolerant, sour cream, yogurt, and evaporated milk work just as well.
Stick around to read several other milk substitutes that you probably have in your fridge or cupboard right now. Let’s get right into it!
Milk is an excellent source of calcium and protein. However, more and more people are trying a hand in veganism to reduce their calorie and fat intake.
The same could be said for those who are lactose intolerant. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, over 30% of Americans are lactose intolerant. Globally, the number jumps up to 65%. This is why non-dairy milk substitutes are more critical than ever.
As follows are some of the best non-dairy substitutes you can enjoy guilt-free!
Soy milk is perhaps one of the most popular non-dairy substitutes globally available today.
As the name suggests, soy milk is made by soaking and grinding dry soybeans with water. This substitute tastes quite similar to regular cow’s milk because of its creamy consistency. The only difference is that soy milk has a milder and slightly sweeter “beany” taste to it, which is expected. It’s made from soybeans, after all!
Although soymilk has about the same amount of protein as whole milk, it contains fewer calories, saturated fat, and carbohydrates. Plus, it’s a great source of vitamins including A, B-12, and D, and heart-healthy polyunsaturated fat.
When it comes to baking, soy milk may be substituted with milk at a one-to-one ratio. If you don’t have ready-made soy milk in your fridge, you can make your own by soaking soybeans in four cups of water overnight. Once softened, blend it with a blender. Then, strain it thoroughly until silky.
Almond milk is another favorite non-dairy milk substitute of mine. Compared to soy milk, almond milk is believed to contain fewer calories (40 cal to soy milk’s 80 cal per 8 fluid oz), carbs, fat, and protein. Due to this, almond milk is often dubbed to be the “best” milk substitute for those who are on a strict low-carb diet.
Another great thing about almond milk is that it’s high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and a natural source of vitamin E.
Not only does almond milk nutritionally differ from cow’s milk, but it also tastes quite different, as well: thicker, nuttier, and slightly sweeter. Similar to soy milk, you can use almond milk in place of 2% milk and whole milk with a one-to-one ratio.
If you have raw almonds instead of almond milk at home, you can easily make your own almond milk. Using a blender, blend a cup of almonds with four cups of water. Once done, simply strain it out, and voila! You have almond milk.
Although not as popular as the milk substitutes discussed above, Rice milk is the ideal choice for those who can’t consume milk, nuts, and soy. It’s also the least allergenic non-dairy milk alternative, making it suitable for almost anyone to drink.
This milk substitute is typically made by combining milled brown rice, brown rice syrup, and water to form a milk-like consistency. Due to this, it’s more “watery” than it is creamy. However, its naturally sweet and almost vanilla-like aftertaste has enticed many consumers to use it as a daily alternative to milk.
When compared to whole milk, rice milk has just about the same amount of calories. However, it’s important to note that it contains almost double the number of carbohydrates, which doesn’t make it quite as suitable for people with diabetes. It’s also not a good source of protein.
Rice milk isn’t as creamy as regular milk, so it may not work well as a coffee creamer or anything that needs creamy milk. You might also need to add a thickening agent (such as flour or cornstarch) to the recipe if it requires a large amount of milk.
Coconut milk has been dominating the milk-substitute market as of late. Although it’s slightly higher in fat than other plant-based milk substitutes, the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) found in coconut milk is said to come with multiple health benefits.
When used as a baking substitute, a simple one-to-one ratio works nicely. However, do keep in mind that your dish may taste slightly of coconut when done baking. Luckily, coconut pairs exceptionally well with a lot of baked goods and is well-known to be a classic recipe base.
According to Stephen Williamson, cofounder of the Forager Project, oak milk does a great job of replicating regular cow milk’s viscosity. This is why it works well as a baking substitute if you don’t have milk around. Furthermore, its lightly toasted oat flavor pairs extremely well with a lot of sweet dishes.
Oat milk is believed to have twice the dietary fiber than cow milk, which is essential for a healthy diet. As a result, this substitute is a great way to keep your digestive system clean as it flushes out any harmful cholesterol and carcinogens out of the body. It’s likewise high in thiamine and folate, making it an excellent choice for type-2 diabetes patients.
If you don’t have ready-made oak milk in your fridge, why not make one yourself? All you’ll need to do is to blend a cup of rolled oats with three cups of water before straining out the remaining unblended particles. Use oak milk as a one-to-one substitute for regular milk.[Related Article: 12 Best Cookie Press Reviews And Buying Guide 2021]
If you run out of milk and need a quick, non-vegan substitute, and none of your family members are lactose intolerant, here’s what I’d recommend:
Yogurt is cultured milk, which is why it works so well as a milk substitute.
Similar to the listed dry milk alternatives above, yogurt can be used as a one-to-one ratio. Briefly whisk it for about a minute until it releases more liquid before adding it to your batter. The same can be said with sour cream.
If you’re using greek yogurt, you’ll need to thin it out with water until you reach the desired consistency as it’s thicker than plain yogurt.
Evaporated milk, AKA unsweetened condensed milk, is simply regular milk with about 60% of the water removed, giving it a thicker consistency. Because of this, you’ll need to mix in equal amounts of evaporated milk with water before using it as a milk recipe substitute. Therefore, half a cup of evaporated milk mixed with half a cup of water equals one cup of milk.
Sweetened condensed milk can be used as both a sugar and milk substitute. Like evaporated milk, you’ll need to mix sweetened condensed milk with equal parts water to dilute the mixture before adding it to your batter. Also, it’s best to decrease or forgo sugar entirely, as sweetened condensed milk is already extremely sweet.
The cream is thicker than milk, so most experts recommend mixing 60% cream with 40% water for every cup of whole milk. The same is said with heavy cream, except instead of 60-40, use a 50-50 measurement.
For half-and-half, use 75% to 25% water for every cup you’re substituting. This method will add a significant “richness” to your desserts or baked goods without compromising the overall taste and flavor.
Suppose you’re really in a pinch; water and butter work just as well as the above alternatives. However, keep in mind that you might experience some changes in regards to both flavor and texture. Using water instead of milk generally results in a less fluffy and rich dessert. This isn’t to say that your dessert will fail horribly without milk—quite the opposite!
For every cup of milk called for in the recipe, use about a cup of warm water and one and a half teaspoons of butter. The butter helps your baked goods remain moist and fluffy.[Related Article: Can You Substitute Crisco For Butter In Baking]
One of the best things about dry milk is the fact that it has a long storage life, so you don’t have to worry about drinking spoiled milk. If you run out of milk in the middle of baking, I highly encourage you to try the above alternatives. All of them will hopefully get you the results you desire. Good luck!