New nondairy beverages beyond soy and almond are popping up on market shelves left and right. Here are some of the lesser-known varieties you’ll want to add to your repertoire.
One cup of original macadamia milk contains 70 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1 grams of saturated fat, 1 grams of protein and 6 grams of sugar. The calories and nutrients vary between brands, so be sure to check the nutrition facts panel. Many brands fortify their macadamia milk in order to up the nutrition. Look for macadamia milk with added vitamins A, B-12 and D.
Made with oats, oat bran and salt, oat milk has a creamy texture and helps you get the daily recommended amount of whole grains (though without all the fiber). As with many other milk-alternative beverages, oat milk beverage isn’t a suitable substitute for the recommended daily servings of dairy. It does naturally contain calcium and iron, but do look for fortified versions that also contain other nutrients, like vitamin D, riboflavin and vitamin A.
Made from hemp seed, hemp milk has a chalky flavor, so you may find added sweetener in many varieties. One cup of original hemp contains 140 calories, 5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 14 grams of sugar and 3 grams of protein. Look for fortified versions that add vitamins A, D, B-12 and riboflavin (which aren’t found in hemp). This nondairy beverage is also found in chocolate and vanilla flavors, which are much tastier than the unsweetened version.
Where to buy: Pacific Foods makes unsweetened plain, vanilla and chocolate varieties.
Allergic to nut milks? Banana milk is the latest nondairy beverage on the market. One cup of banana milk contains 150 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 2 grams of fiber, 18 grams of sugar and 4 grams of protein. The flavor is super-sweet, with sugar as the third ingredient, which explains the 18 grams of sugar per cup! Some varieties are made with a combo of soy and banana, but if you’re looking to up your nutrition, then make sure it’s fortified with nutrients like vitamins A and D.
Where to buy: Banana Wave sells 32-ounce cartons.
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.