It’s almost impossible to make a yummy bowl of cereal without some milk in this day and age. Some people even love it when the cereal bowl is rich and creamy. So, they go ahead to add boatloads of milk into their cereal just because they want that feeling.
Whether you’re a milk aficionado or not, there’s little doubt that we’ve all had milk in our cereal before. However, as always, you could always want to have something different to spice up your cereal recipe from time to time.
What is the best substitute for milk in cereal? Among the many substitutes available for milk in cereal, soy milk is the top choice for many people. While there are slight variations in taste, soy milk definitely is similar to dairy milk in pretty much every other thing, it’s versatile, healthy, and easy to get your hands on.
An Overview of Milk
For many of us, dairy milk needs no introduction. It is obtained from cows, and it tends to go through several rounds of processing to become more refined. However, it is worth noting that some people prefer their dairy milk free of any processing and straight from the cow.
Dairy milk is popular for its sweet and creamy taste. The taste and consistency vary between brands, which use different concentrations of milk when making their final product. Some people prefer their dairy milk to be light, while others want it to be much creamier.
Regardless of how you like it, there’s little doubt that we all appreciate some milk in our cereal recipes.
Why Substitute Milk in Cereal?
- Allergies: Quite a lot of people have allergies to dairy milk. When triggered, these allergies could cause vomiting, rashes, and even anaphylaxis. While many will eventually outgrow the allergies, it’s best not to take risks.
- Lactose intolerance: This is another huge reason why you’d like to take out milk from your recipes. If you’re lactose-intolerant, you definitely need something else in your cereal.
- Dietary issues: Some people prefer not to have animal products in their diets – perhaps for health or ethical reasons.
- Risks: Some people also choose to avoid dairy milk because of possible risks like contaminants and hormones.
Options for Milk Substitutes in Cereal
Best Overall Substitute for Milk in Cereal: Soy Milk
If you’re unable to get dairy milk and you need to make that cereal bowl, then soy milk is your best bet for a substitute. It doesn’t quite taste like dairy milk, but soy milk is similar in almost every other facet. It offers a similar texture, although it could be lighter than dairy milk (depending on the concentration of milk you like in your recipe)
Soy milk comes with a constituent of either soybeans or soy protein isolate. Some versions also come with vegetable oils and thickeners, which could help to improve the flavor and consistency.
With soy milk, you get a milder flavor with a hint of creaminess. But, keep in mind that different soy milk brands offer variations in taste.
In terms of nutritional value, soy milk also comes close to dairy milk. It contains comparable amounts of protein, and it doesn’t even have as many calories, carbohydrates, and fats as dairy milk. This isn’t to say that soy is perfect – it contains a large number of isoflavones, which could affect bodily hormone functions. Still, with essential amino acids and high-quality proteins, soy milk is more on the healthy side than many other milk variations.
Best Healthy Substitute: Almond Milk
Although it is not as popular as other milk variants, almond milk is one of the healthiest available. If you’re looking to make your cereal bowl a delight of healthy food, then almond milk is something you want to add to your recipe.
As the name suggests, almond milk is made from whole almonds. But, some also make theirs with a mixture of water and almond butter. It comes with a light texture, as well as a mixture of sweet and nutty taste notes – not surprising since it’s made from almonds.
One of the many benefits of almond milk is that it is versatile. Besides working in cereals, it can be used with tea and coffee, as well as baked goods, desserts, and even smoothies.
For health benefits, almond milk contains less than 25% of the calories and less than 50% of the fat in dairy milk. It contains carbohydrates and proteins, although not as much as dairy milk as well. Still, in terms of non-dairy milk substitutes, almond milk is one of the lowest-calorie options available. If you’re looking for a healthy option, choose brands whose milk contains more almond concentration than water.
Best Taste-Based Substitute: Coconut Milk
If you’re looking to switch up your taste, then you might want to go for some coconut milk. Sold in cartons, this milk is usually made from the white flesh of coconuts and water. It offers a creamy texture as well as a sweet coconut flavor. Note that the coconut taste might not be so prominent, depending on the concentration of coconuts in the milk.
Coconut milk is relatively healthy. However, it doesn’t have the protein and carbohydrate count of dairy milk. The fat and calorie content are pretty low, so you don’t really have to worry about those.
You should also note that the creamy taste and fat content helps to make you feel fuller. So, you might not end up using so much coconut milk.