Which Dairy Free Milk Tastes Most Like Cow’s Milk?

Oh no, I’m lactose-intolerant! I can’t drink milk, right?

WRONG! 

A brief survey of the grocery store shelves reveals plenty of dairy and lactose-free alternatives out there.

Sometimes, there are too many options! Dairy free milk, cow’s milk, goat’s milk, which one tastes good?

Fear not. We are here to help you traverse them and determine which dairy-free or lactose-free milk tastes the most similar to cow’s milk.

Plant-Based Milk Swaps For Cow’s Milk

There are many plant-based milk options on the market. Each has its own benefits, from providing high protein levels to being lower in fat than cow’s milk. We have broken down some of the most popular ones so that you don’t have to!

Here are some popular dairy-free alternatives to cow’s milk that tastes good.

Best Calcium: Almond Milk

Pros and Cons

Almond milk’s best qualities are that it has 50% more calcium than cow’s milk, is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, and is very low in calories. 

The downside is that it has less than a gram of protein per cup and is not a good cow’s milk substitute in recipes.

Flavor

Almond milk has a subtle nutty flavor and is slightly sweet. It is perfect for drinking and baking but not ideal for cooking savory dishes.

Best brands

Countless brands produce almond milk, including Blue Diamond, Elmhurst, Almond Breeze, Silk, MALK, and Califa Farms. Look for fortified, enriched almond milk with few ingredients.

Most protein: Soy Milk

Pros and Cons

Soy milk is one of the dairy-free alternatives with the most protein, with 12 grams per cup. It often comes fortified with calcium and vitamin B12.

However, some varieties are highly processed, and it is a common allergen. Some soy milk can have a strong flavor that not everyone loves.

Flavor

Some soy milk has a strong soy taste, and others taste reasonably neutral. It tastes great in lattes but its unsweetened versions aren’t great in savory dishes.

Best brands

The most popular soy milk brand is Silk, but some alternatives include Wegman’s, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s, available in different flavors and price points.

Most heart-healthy: Cashew Milk

Pros and cons

Cashew milk is a dense and creamy alternative packed with vitamins, minerals, plant compounds, and healthy fats. Experts believe it may boost immunity and increase eye, heart, and skin health.  Many people substitute it for heavy cream in dishes.

However, it often has less protein than cow’s milk, has limited options, and is pricier than other dairy-free alternatives.

Flavor

This milk alternative has a buttery and slightly nutty flavor. It’s a suitable replacement for milk in recipes because its taste and texture resemble dairy.

Best Brands

There are plenty of cashew milk options on the market, including Forager, Silk, Elmhurst, Vitacost, and Pacific.

Most neutral taste: Oat Milk

Pros and cons

Oat milk has many advantages, including having a very neutral taste and being a good source of vitamin A, fiber, and iron. This milk also contains very little fat and has higher calcium levels than cow’s milk.

Unfortunately, oat milk is higher in sugar, gluten, and canola oil than its alternatives.

Flavor

This milk is trendy in European coffee shops because of its mild taste. However, it still isn’t a suitable milk substitute in savory dishes because it’s slightly sweet.

Best brands

There are countless possibilities to choose from on the market for oat milk, including Califa Farms, Thrive Market Organic, Planet Oat, Oatly!, Silk, and Elmhurst. 

Does plant-based milk tastes the most like cow’s milk?

So are any of these plant-based alternatives a dupe for the real thing? The answer is no. None of them will fool you.

However, our pick for the overall best dupe is Silk’s line of soymilk. Their products are versatile and taste great! They have both sweet and savory selections so that you can use them in almost everything.

Lactose-Free Cow’s Milk

Plant-based milk isn’t the only lactose-free option. Did you know you can drink cow’s milk without worrying about lactose?

Many brands make lactose-free 100% real cow’s milk.

Similar to plant milk, they vary in flavor and price.

Here is an overview of several of the most popular lactose-free milk brands:

Lactaid

Overview

Lactaid is one of the most popular and well-known lactose-free brands on the market. This brand removes lactose by introducing lactase enzymes to break it down.

Pros and Cons

You can find Lactaid at almost every grocery store, and they have a wide range of milk products from skim to whole milk. You can even find chocolate Lactaid milk!

Its disadvantages are that not everyone thinks its flavor is the same as regular milk and its also more expensive.

Taste

Lactaid tastes almost exactly like regular milk and has the same texture. Some people report that it is slightly sweeter than regular milk.

Fairlife

Overview

Fairlife is ultrafiltered real cow’s milk that is lactose-free. The company uses this ultrafiltration method combined with lactase to remove the lactose in its milk. 

Pros and Cons

Consumers love Fairlife’s taste, and some say that it is actually better than regular lactose-filled milk. It also has more protein, less sugar, and more calcium than regular milk.

However, a downside of Fairlife milk is that it is much more expensive than regular milk and comes in smaller packaging.

Taste

Many describe Fairlife’s taste as being just like regular milk, but very high quality. Unlike other lactose-free milk, it does not taste sweeter than usual.

Horizon

Overview

Horizon Organic is a popular milk brand offering lactose-free milk. Similar to the other brands, Horizon uses lactase to break down lactose in their milk.

Pros and Cons

If you are looking for lactose-free organic milk, this is the best option. Consumers like that the milk is fresh, and many people like the taste.

However, this brand has somewhat limited options, and some people don’t like the flavor. Similar to other lactose-free milk brands, it can be pricey.

Taste

Horizon Organic lactose-free milk tastes pretty similar to regular milk for most people, but some say it is a little sweeter than cow’s milk.

Which dairy free milk tastes the most like cow’s milk?

So out of all these options, which is the best regular milk alternative?

It varies with your taste and what you are using the milk for, but we have a favorite. 

The overall best dupe for lactose-laden milk is…drumroll…

Fairlife!

We love its delicious taste, versatility, and overall quality.

Bonus: How to Find The Healthiest Lactose Free Milk Brand

Conclusion

There are many lactose and dairy-free alternatives out there to save the day!

Try more than one, and you might find that you like multiple alternatives for your specific needs.

You are not limited by choice because many products mimic the flavor, nutritional profile, and texture of the real thing.

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