8 great milk alternatives

by Lydia Cox

This article was originally published in March 2011

Hazelnut, hemp, coconut, soy, enriched, plain, vanilla, chocolate, sweetened, unsweetened.

The variations on milk alternatives are endless, and they’re not just for the dairy intolerant. With great flavor, milk alternatives can be a delicious choice, plus half the calories of regular milk.

Here’s the skinny on what you’ll find at PCC, including which ones are best for cereal, baking, mixed in with your coffee, or just served cold in a tall glass.



Great for baking and over cereal, almond milk is high in protein. If using in coffee, heat first in the microwave or use a foamer before adding to coffee.


Different than canned coconut milk, this beverage is very creamy and luscious. The coconut flavor isn’t too overpowering but still present, which makes it great in coffee, tea, smoothies, used for baking, and in soup and rice recipes that lend themselves to a little coconut flavor. It also contains healthy fat and is fortified with vitamin B12.


Offering a smooth, creamy, sweet flavor, hazelnut milk is best in your coffee, tea or hot chocolate, and can work well in desserts. Due to its sweet taste, it’s not suited for savory cooking.


A nice alternative for those with soy or nut allergies, hemp milk has a high nutrition content as it’s rich in all 10 essential amino acids and a good source of omega-3s. It’s great in smoothies or shakes and also can be used in cooking.


Fairly mild and nutty tasting, oat milk is a delicious accompaniment to hot cereals and other breakfast foods. Its pronounced oat flavor isn’t the best for coffee or by the glass, but it will work well in baking.


Rather sweet, rice milk is best by the glass or poured on cereal. It has the most thin texture of all milk alternatives, which means it’s not the best for cooking. Though due to its sweet flavor, it can work in dessert recipes.


The original milk alternative, soy is high in protein, which makes it a good substitution in cooking and baking. It also works well in coffee and tea, smoothies, and with cereal. Soy milk does have a distinct flavor, which for some is an acquired taste.


Add flavor to your coffee with our coconut and soy options, available in flavors such as hazelnut, French vanilla, and original.

*Availability varies by store.

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