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Soy, rice, or almond milk?

I just read about a study done a year ago that seemed to show that adding milk to tea blocked any positive health effects from the tea. I drink a lot of tea, and I drink it because I like the taste, not because of any health benefits. Still, I figured I'd give some non-dairy "milk" options a try (I almost always use milk in black tea.) If there's a health benefit to be had and it tastes just as good, why not? Since I've never used any dairy alternatives before, can anyone who has give me some guidance on what to try? When I went to Whole Foods this afternoon, my options were several brands of soy and rice milk and two flavors of Almond Breeze. I picked up some Silk Creamer (original flavor), since it came in the smallest cartons, and while it's not bad it definitely changes the taste of the tea. Very sweet. Most of these things, even the organic ones, seem to have a ton of artificial ingredients in them, including a lot of sugar. Are there any that don't? Most of them come in big ol' half-gallon cartons, which even if I like them will last me months; I'm loath to buy that much with no clue as to whether it's any good. Any guidance as to what's worth my time and what isn't? (Or should I just go back to milk?)

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  1. I actually like non-dairy soymilk, but it doesn't taste like milk. I like it for what it is rather than what it's trying to be -- it's kind of malty. My experience of dairy alternatives is that they tend to be very sweet, but you can get some plain soymilk that doesn't have too much sugar added. My favorite for stirring into things (tea, coffee, cereal) is Silk plain soymilk (rather than vanilla). It's closer in texture to real milk and doesn't have a beany flavor, and it's not overly sweetened either (I think only 8 carbs per serving, versus 15-30 in other nondairy alternatives). Also, generally speaking almond and rice milk tend to be watery.

    1. I think if you got a juicer, you could make any kind of nut milk (soy etc.) you wanted. No unpronouncable and unspellable things in there.
      No matter what you made it would not taste like cow's milk.

      2 Replies
      1. re: billieboy

        Would the ground nuts still be usable - say in a cake? I love unsweetened Almond Milk. but buying it was costly. I'm beginning to bake at home, and since I don't have a processor this could be a good way to grind nuts and get some "milk."

        1. re: TampaAurora

          I am sorry, I don't know. I use my juicer just for juice. The dry residue is good for things like muffins etc. but that is veggie residue, not nuts. I think, but don't know for sure, that if you "milked" the nuts, there would not be a lot of flavour left in the pulp.

      2. I like unsweeted Almond Breeze in plain and chocolate. It comes in a shelf stable container, so it only needed to be put in the fridge once you open it.

        Rice Dream is good, but I like it better in coffee than in tea.

        Soymilk is pretty good but it has a more pronounced flavor than almond or rice milk. I prefer the refrigerated type as opposed to the shelf stable type. The Stop and Shop brand Nature's Promise in unsweetened is better than the Silk unsweetened.

        1. I don't enjoy soy milk but I use rice & almond milk in shakes, with dry cereal, stirred in hot cereal, in baking and in pancake batter. My fav is rice milk.

          1. For tea and coffee, I prefer soy, but I make sure to get the "natural" flavour (ie, unsweetened). Keep in mind it may look curdled, especially if your coffee is not organic - don't ask me why it makes a difference, it's the only correlation I've found.

            I love almond milk for cereal and desserts; I can't stand rice milk - too thin - except for sauces. Oddly enough, it makes a mean bechamel.

            1. We use almond mylk in baking, on cereal, and occasionally to drink (usually with some chocolate almond mylk mixed in. They are available in tetrapaks. We prefer the vanilla over the original for our purposes.

              1. Soymilk, or soybeans for that matter, is hard to digest. The jury is out on the long-term and effects of soy. I find that almond milk tends to be pricey, but a better taste alternative to the other non-dairy options. Rice milk , cheaper than almond, tastes horrible in coffee and tea, but works well in smoothies.

                1. If I brave the masses at Super Walmart, I will get my Almond Breeze (original, please) for $2.39 a 1/2 gallon, which is a deal- it's now about $3.79 if not on sale at Publix. This is in the refer milk area, not the shelf stable type which I have not yet tried.
                  It's the only non-milk milk that I will actually drink from a glass. The chocolate is a tasty treat. I bake & cook with it and use it in my cereal with no alarming difference.

                  1. In Italy I used to get almond-flavoured rice milk. It was heavenly. Blissful.

                    Here in Canada I really like the shelf-stable vanilla soy milk by President's Choice (from Superstore). It's definitely my favorite of all the soy milks because it's really rich and creamy, with almost a vanilla milkshakey feel. I only really use soy milk in smoothies and on cereal, so it's perfect. However, there isn't a Superstore near me so I usually end up with whatever common brand is on sale- Vitasoy, Soy Dream, whatever. They definitely pale in comparison to the President's Choice, however.

                    1. If you've got lots of money or good enough coupons the hemp mylk is great.