It is more than just a fad. The alternative drinks to cow’s milk is a thriving market, increasingly crowded with proposals, which responds to the growing demand of those who are veganlactose intolerant, allergic with milk proteins or simply curious to experiment with new flavors in the kitchen. “Vegetable drinks began to spread in the nineties and had very different organoleptic and nutritional characteristics compared to the current ones”, explains the doctor. Roberta Bartocci, nutritionist biologist. «At the time, the only alternative on the market was based on soy, intended for those who were lactose intolerant and with a not too pleasant taste. In the last ten years, however, the extraction and production techniques have changedwhich have revolutionized the sector with excellent and tasty proposals ».
How to choose vegetable “milk”
When buying, it is important to consult the label carefully. “We prefer drinks free from added sugars, be it sucrose, artificial sweeteners or glucose, fructose or agave syrup. Better to privilege the neutral versionspossibly of biological origin e free of additives, such as flavorings, preservatives, thickeners or gelling agents ». The only healthy “additions” – especially for women – they can be those of calcium and vitamin D, which are sometimes added to vegetable milks to help cover the need for these micronutrients, adding to the normal diet.
What is the healthiest vegetable “milk”
«There is no healthier vegetable drink ever and it is impossible to tell which is the bestbecause each can be more or less suitable for their needs: for example, those looking for a food protein must head towards the soy; who points to a product gluten free can choose between rice, millet or sorghum; who is diabetic o must keep body weight under control must not overdo those derived from cereals, richer in sugars; those looking for an energetic snack can experiment with drinks based on dried fruit», Dr. Bartocci lists.
In general, as part of a varied and balanced diet, all vegetable drinks are healthy and can be taken in one daily ration of 150-200 ml. “There are no contraindications, on the contrary, their regular consumption is associated with a lower risk of developing atherosclerosis, hypercholesterolemia and other diseases related to the intake of animal fats”, explains Dr. Bartocci.
What is the leanest vegetable “milk”
In the plant world, it is more than “thin” more correct to speak of “light”. In this case, drink a is a good choice rice basewhich has a reduced fat content, is cholesterol-free, it turns out highly digestible, but it is not recommended in case of diabetes or impaired fasting blood sugar. On the opposite side we find the drink hazelnut basedwhich has a slightly higher amount of fat than other drinks, but if drunk wisely it is still an excellent alternative.
Which vegetable “milk” is most similar to cow’s milk
The more traditionalists, who struggle to give up the full-bodied and familiar flavor of cow’s milk, can find a valid alternative in the drink based on oats or, alternatively, in that of soy. In fact, both can be used as a “bridge” for those who look out over the plant world for the first time. In particular, the oat-based drink – with a neutral and minimally invasive flavor – can be used in the kitchen for the preparation of bechamel, cakes, biscuits, creams, chocolates, desserts, smoothies, milkshakes and ice creams. The drink based on soyon the other hand, it is particularly suitable for sportsmen and for those who follow a low-calorie diet because it helps to meet protein needs. They exist on the market varieties even richer in proteinbut less common, such as yellow pea drinks. Those who do not like these flavors can add a teaspoon of flour to oat or rice milk lupinswhich increases the protein content without altering the taste.
The greediest vegetable “milks”
Those looking for something more delicious can focus on almond-based drink, one of the most energetic, perfect for starting the day with the right sprint. It is delicious on its own, mixed with coffee or as a base for soluble cereals. But experimentation with original raw materials, such as chestnuts for example.