Moo-Free Made Easy: Perfect Plant Milks For (Nearly) Every Recipe
Have you made the switch? Whether it’s thin, creamy, nutty or neutral, picking plant milks might be better for the planet, but can be disastrous in the wrong recipe.
Which works best? Are there times that only dairy will do? I’m asking the hard-hitting questions this week, so we can all wave buh-bye to insipid béchamel and curdled coffees, and make the move to moo-free with ease.
Goes without saying that for a fruity smoothie, coconut is the way to go. You can use any plant milk in a smoothie, but the rich, creamy, tropical coconut milk adds a burst of sweetness that I really love.
Whizz up my smoothie de jour with frozen mango, fresh lime juice and about half the zest. Splash some coconut milk in, and spinach for extra vitamins (with those punchy flavours, you won’t taste it all).
Béchamel is hard to get right at the best of times, but the wrong plant milk could turn your white sauce into a watery mess.
The two that came top were soy milk, or potato milk if you can get your hands on it. They both have a neutral flavour, and stay stable at high temps. Just make it the way you do normally, and sub in plant-based spread or olive oil if you want it vegan.
Teas and coffees
Love a frothy coffee? Barista oat milk is where it’s at. It’s smooth, rich, with a light oaty flavour that makes a great replacement for dairy.
For teas (or if you’re gluten free), soy is a great alternative. Grab a carton of the barista stuff too if you like your teas extra creamy.
Rice milk’s delicate sweetness lends deliciously to puds (rice or otherwise).
On a cold, crisp morning, nothing hits the spot like porridge (aka a hug in a bowl). To up your oatmeal game from the get-go, opt for nut milks like almond, hazelnut or cashew. They’re higher in vitamins and nutrients, lower cal than dairy and thinner than dairy , so won’t overwhelm your porridge or make it claggy.
If you’re a fan of Nutella and reducing your carbon footprint, reach for hazelnut. It’s heaven – and needs less water to grow than almond.
Confession: soups were hard. You need something savoury, quite thick to give your soup body, and that won’t split.
Enter – hemp milk. With no sweetness, it has a strong, earthy, rich flavour that works great if you’re phobic of thin soups.
Do you use plant milk in your recipes? I’d love to know what your experiences have been like in the comments below.