The cereal and milk combination is one of life’s inseparable partnerships. They make magic together like bread and butter, peanut butter and jelly, Sonny and Cher, Jack and Jill, and the list goes on.
Cereal without milk can turn your sweet mornings into mourning, and that can be the case if the last person drenched his cereal with half a milk carton. While you can top your cereal with fruit, nuts, and even some leftover yogurt, nothing beats pouring cold milk on your crunchy cereal.
The next time your fridge or the nearest store runs out of cow’s milk (on the slightest chance that this happens), there’s no need to moo-n around and skip your favorite cereal. Remember that there are a lot of milk substitutes to save your day—and what’s great is that you’ll drown (in happiness) with the choices available.
- Soy Milk
- Almond Milk
- Coconut Milk
- Brown Rice Milk
- Rice Milk
- Oat Milk
- Pea Milk
- Cashew Milk
- Hazelnut Milk
Check out the top 18 milk substitutes we’ve discovered for your cereal because we don’t want you having another sad breakfast ever:
18 Best Milk Substitute In Cereal
Soy milk is the top-of-mind milk substitute because it is similar to cow’s milk in terms of nutritional content (like protein) and texture. As a bonus, soy milk slashes the calories in half due to its soy composition.
Soy milk comes from soybeans or soy protein isolate. It is creamy, milky, and mildly sweet, so it doesn’t taste strange to first-timers.
Soy milk is rich in calcium, phosphorus, antioxidants, and essential amino acids to strengthen your body and bones. Fiber is also in its roster and so are isoflavones that help boost immunity against certain diseases like cancer and osteoporosis.
Some soy milk brands use thickeners to achieve that milky consistency and sweeteners to enhance the flavor. You’ll likely spot a range of soy milk flavors, sugar levels, and other variants at the nearest store.
Made of almonds and water or almond butter, almond milk joins the list as nut milk with a light texture. Almond lovers will rejoice with the slightly sweet and smooth nutty taste of this milk substitute.
It also has a subtle hint of saltiness (from the almonds) that pairs well with sweetened or chocolate-flavored cereal.
The top points go to almond milk for its low caloric content. It is quite low in fiber and protein as well—so you should be selecting variants that are fortified with the nutrients you need.
To maximize the nutrients from almonds like calcium, Vitamins D, and E, find a product that has a higher almond content.
If you think that coconut milk will give you the tropical vibe—and while that sounds like a chill idea—think again. Coconut milk may be made of its meat with a creamy texture, but the subtle hint of coconut might turn you off. However, if it’s not a problem with you, then go ahead.
Coconut milk is high in many categories like calcium, vitamins D, B12, and A—including saturated fat. The creaminess factor also boosts satiety level so that means you get full faster and longer. That’s wonderful news for those looking to suppress their appetite.
Brown Rice Milk
In real life, brown rice is a different menu item from white rice so it makes sense to list them separately as milk substitutes. Similar to rice milk, brown rice milk is thin and watery.
The nutritional profile is quite the same. What’s different would be the flavor. While rice milk tastes more like oat milk, brown rice milk gives a more rice-like or rice pudding taste.
Rice milk is best described as light and refreshing. It probably has the thinnest consistency among the non-dairy milk substitutes.
Another game-changing attribute of rice milk is being the least allergenic since it doesn’t contain nuts or wheat, making it a safe choice.
Cholesterol, carbs, and calories will not be a problem with unsweetened rice milk. Parents should also note the lower protein content of rice milk when serving this to younger kids.
They might need to opt for other fortified and protein-filled alternatives.
This trendy plant-based substitute is becoming a crowd favorite because its thick and creamy texture is most reminiscent of whole milk. Oat milk wins the award for mimicking the richness of dairy milk with a subtle sweetness.
The carb and fiber combo also make it more filling, and it comes with a bit more calories than the dieter’s nut milk. You can enjoy something similar to what we expect from oatmeal’s benefits: low in protein but super-rich in fiber. Beat cholesterol and hunger with oat milk with your cereal.
Contrary to what you might expect, pea milk may be legume-based but it is by no means green in color. It’s made from split peas, and just like our favorite dried snack, pea milk is rich in fiber and iron.
If you’re wondering how it looks, it’s cream-colored. If you’re wondering how it tastes, it’s creamy and is comparable more to soy than the nutty-flavored milk.
Pea milk carries the best nutrients that the legume family can give you: protein, omega-3 fatty acid, and twice the calcium of cow’s milk.
Cashew nut or cashew butter makes up the naturally creamy and sweet cashew milk. Just like its fellow nut milk (almond milk), cashew milk hosts a lot of immunity-boosting nutrients such as copper, magnesium, and zinc.
Cashew milk is low on protein, fats, and carbs, making it a good bet for those watching their weight. It also features a low glycemic index (GI), which means a low impact on your blood sugar level.
If you’re keen on nutty flavor, cashew milk should taste like the mildest nut milk with a minor sour element (on account of the cashew content).
Another nut milk makes it to the list as a spin-off from everyone’s favorite spread. Soaking roasted hazelnuts results in this delightfully sweet and nutty concoction. Due to the nature of hazelnuts, the milk comes with a natural sweetness packed with protein.
Delicious and creamy, hazelnut milk is packed with Vitamin E, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and folic acid (which helps protect the body against anemia, cancer, and more).
Peanut milk and the other nut milk categories contain the same nutty flavor and nutrients. Peanut milk also leaves a creamy texture that can be a rich addition to your cereal.
The difference is that peanuts are legumes that grow underground, unlike tree nuts such as almonds and cashews. This gives peanut milk a slight grassy taste—which isn’t all that noticeable when mixing this with cereal.
Another thing to note about peanut milk is that it’s a lot cheaper than the other pricey nut milk variants (yes, we’re talking about you, cashew and almonds).
In case peanut milk is hard to find, search for nut milk combinations that include a mix of cashew and almond, among others.
Here’s a novel-sounding milk substitute that’s not a hallucinogen (disappointed?), but rather, is a superfood! Now isn’t that better?
Hemp milk comes from shelled hemp seeds, which are super rich in vitamins A, D, and E. Don’t be fooled by the hemp plant’s scientific name, Cannabis sativa
It’s an excellent low-carb milk substitute with lower protein content. However, the other nutrients make up for this: calcium, magnesium, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids. [Source]
Expect to get high—on immunity!
The seeds offer a nutty and grassy taste with a slightly bitter note. The texture is similar to skim milk, so it’s more on the watery side. These characteristics shouldn’t hamper your favorite sweetened cereal’s flavor.
Pair hemp milk with sweetened or flavored cereal for a power breakfast. It may also be an acquired taste, so don’t expect this to be your kid’s choice.
Here’s another super seed that everyone loves to include in smoothies and parfaits, and now in cereal. Flax milk is really a thing, and it’s good for your cereal and you.
Forget the seeds getting stuck on your teeth, flax milk has a thin consistency similar to pea milk. Remember that this is created from seeds, much similar to hemp seed, so don’t expect much on the creaminess factor.
The taste of flax is not overbearing, and thickeners may do the job of improving this to a milkier consistency.
Flax milk has an array of heart-loving benefits like alpha-linolenic acid and omega-3 fatty acids. Low calorie (though low protein) makes this a milk substitute that will appeal to cereal-loving adults. Who says only kids can have all the fun?
If you are bold, brave, and into a stronger nut profile in your cereal, walnut milk might appeal to your taste buds. Walnut milk has an earthy and woodsy flavor compared to other nut milk variations.
It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and good fats—which can help manage your blood level. It’s also low-calorie, so your heart and waistline will thank you.
The first thing to note about pistachio milk is its color. No, it’s not colored green! It’s a slightly off-white color, so there’s nothing to rave about an alien-themed breakfast.
It may also be more difficult to find, unlike the more popular kinds of nut milk.
Pistachio milk is also known for its superior creaminess—to the point that it’s considered the ideal frothy milk for latte.
Macadamia milk holds the award as the creamiest nut milk. It is sweet and thick and would be a good nut milk alternative for children. Its balanced and mild nuttiness (in contrast to walnut milk) will complement your breakfast cereal.
Macadamia milk is low in calories and protein and is gluten-free. It’s high in unsaturated fats. With its favorable taste, this can be considered one of the “friendly” nut milk choices.
Another unusual gem is pecan milk! If you love the softness of pecan nuts, this is translated into a smooth and milky version in liquid form.
This substitute is rich in antioxidants and protein. Thus, you won’t go wrong with this nut milk alternative.
If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can explore nut-free and fruit-based milk like banana milk. You’re sure to go bananas with this delightful milk alternative that will appeal from young to old.
Banana milk has no added sugar and gets its natural fruity sweetness and creaminess from bananas. You’ll also get a dose of the fruit’s nutrients like fiber and protein.
It also tastes like a smoothie so it can surely brighten any plain and unsweetened cereal.
If you’re a die-hard quinoa fan, quinoa milk happens to exist and mirrors the taste and texture of the grainy milk. It may be a little more difficult to find, but with a little research, you can surely locate this.
Quinoa milk comes from soaking and filtering quinoa—so you get its best nutrients like protein, fiber, and essential fatty acids—in milk form.
It’s gluten- free with a low glycemic index—and best of all, you can enjoy this with your favorite cereal. It’s the best of both worlds!