Vegan and Dairy Free Milk Guide

We tasted and tested so many dairy free and vegan milks to find the BEST and EASIEST ones for you to make at home! Scroll down for our Vegan and Dairy Free Milk Guide that dishes out all the details.

lineup of dairy free milkVegan and Dairy Free Milk Guide

We drank a lot of non-dairy milk for you all! And we’ve got our favorites for sure! We’ve created recipes for all of them so you can try them at home. Even if you don’t need to be dairy-free, these milks are nutrient dense and a great addition to any diet. They are free of any gums or stabilizers and truly all quick and easy to make. We hope you’ll give some of them a try.

Here are our favorite dairy free milk choices and how to make them:

Almond Milk:

This is of course the most well known alternative milk. A simple process of soaking raw almonds and blending with fresh water. Homemade almond milk has tons of flavor, and you can concentrate the flavor by increasing or decreasing the amount of water it is blended with. 

Cashew Milk:

Cashew milk is so rich and creamy. It’s also one of the easier nut milks to make because after you soak and rinse the cashews, you blend it with fresh water until creamy with no straining necessary.

Pecan Milk:

Pecan milk is darker in color than the rest, and has a very nut forward taste. Similar to cashew milk this is a simple nut milk because it also doesn’t need any straining.

Oat Milk:

Oat milk is a pretty neutral tasting milk, and we suggest adding a bit of salt and sweetener to help bring out the flavor. Oat milk is super creamy and thick, and our recipe doesn’t require any soaking.

Coconut Milk:

Who knew you had other options for coconut milk than buying it in the can? Coconut milk is made by quickly soaking unsweetened shredded coconut in hot water, blending and then straining. It’s naturally sweet and creamy. It will separate and have a harder layer on top just like the canned coconut milk after it’s been chilled.

nuts soaking to make dairy free milk

Tips for Making Alternative Milks:

  • Make sure to soak the nuts as directed and then drain and rinse them! Always blend with fresh water.
  • If you don’t drink your tap water for any reason, do not use it to make this recipe. Alternative milk recipes call for filtered water, making the assumption that you do not drink your tap water. You’ll be drinking the water you use to blend it, so make sure to use filtered water if you do not drink your tap water.
  • Finished alternative milk separates after it is chilled since there are no stabilizers or preservatives. Give it a good shake before you use it.
  • You can increase, or decrease the batch amount as needed. Nut milks are best when they’re fresh, so to minimize waste make a smaller batch if you won’t use it up as quickly. Most nut milks will last up to 5 days, but try to use them up quicker than that.
  • To prevent spilling the nut milk when transferring to a jar, use a ladle and funnel. Ladle the nut milk from the bowl into a funnel in the jar you plan to store. Nothing is worse than spilling half your precious milk!

pouring vegan milk through a strainer

Mix and match!

It’s totally okay to mix and match these milks, especially the nut milks. We love the blend of almond milk and pecan milk, or cashew and almond milk together. Experiment and see what works best for you! Making them together is okay, even though technically you don’t have to strain some of the milks. For instance, when making almond and cashew together we do blend and strain both of them at the same time.

Other alternative milks not mentioned, but available to purchase in store:

  • Soy milk
  • Flax milk
  • Rice milk
  • Hemp milk
  • Macademia milk

dairy free milk poured into a coffee

Recipes to use with alternative milks:

Other ways to use milk:

  • Smoothies
  • Cooking (think curries and soups)
  • Baking
  • Drinking straight from the glass
  • Coffee and teas (hello, matcha latte or golden milk latte!)
  • Overnight Oats (like these)
  • Popsicles

NOTE: We love getting our nuts cheaper in bulk online or at Trader Joe’s!

PIN IT FOR LATER:

How to Make Creme Brûlée (Dairy-Free)

This holiday season it is time to get fancy because we’re showing you How to Make Creme Brulee! This dairy-free and refined-sugar free version is just as decadent as the classic version but lightened up with a secret healthy ingredient! It’s perfectly sweetened with a blend of honey and maple sugar and despite it feeling fancy it is really easy to make! We’re showing you all the tips and tricks to place this spectacular dessert on your table this holiday season! Made in partnership with my friends at Vital Proteins!

Dairy free creme brulee coconut cream

How to Make Creme Brûlée (Dairy-Free)

Today we’re talking about How to Make Creme Brûlée because holidays are made for this special treat! But I’m here to let you in on a little secret: it’s really easy to make! Creme Brulee is just simply a custard baked in the oven and topped with caramelized sugar. See? When you spell it out that way, it sounds so SIMPLE (it is)! We made our lightened up version a little extra special with the addition of my favorite Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. Nobody will know it’s there but it gives your dessert a little extra boost of health benefits! Great for your hair, nails, skin, gut, and so much more- it’s the perfect sneaky addition!

Making the Custard

Let’s talk about custard. Custard is essentially just a liquid mixture that uses eggs to set up that is baked slowly and gently in the oven. Traditionally custard uses dairy milk and heavy cream as it’s base, but we’re using a mixture of almond milk and coconut cream. We didn’t want the Creme Brûlée to take on too much of the taste of coconut so we found the balance of those two really allowed the vanilla flavor to shine through without any coconut interferrence. Similarly we used a blend of maple sugar and honey as a sweetener for the same reason, using only one ran the risk of taking on too much of that flavor. You’ll need the maple sugar for the caramelized sugar on the top too at the end! Our Creme Brûlée is JUST sweet enough, but if you prefer your desserts on the sweeter side you can add an extra 2 tablespoons of honey.

To make the custard you must first temper the eggs. All this means is that you are going to gently warm up the liquid and slowly ladle and whisk it into the eggs. The reason for doing all of this is so that the custard bakes evenly in the oven. You want to make sure you do not scramble your eggs, so do not boil the liquid mixture and then dump it all in to the egg mixture all at once–you’ll end up with cooked eggs!

If your mixture has a lot of froth (from over-mixing) a great trick is to use your kitchen torch and very quickly turn it on and burn off the bubbles. It takes just one second or so and they pop and disappear making for a smooth custard (and it is kind of fun)!

Baking the Custard

After you’ve tempered the eggs and added in all the ingredients you’re going to cook these custards slowly and gently in the oven.  This means using a water bath! You’ll want divide the custard mixture into 4-6-ounce ramekins that are placed in a roasting pan. In the roasting pan you’ll pour in hot water to come up the sides of the ramekins by about half way.

Bake in the oven until the custard is just set! This means the outside edges are set but the middle part is still a little wobbly. Once they’re cooked through let them cool down slightly and then let them chill in the refrigerator until they’re just set. You can do this 1-2 days ahead of time.

Does creme brulee have dairy in it

The fun part… Caramelizing the sugar:

Once your custards are completely set and you are ready to serve the creme brûlée you’ll want to put about 1 scant teaspoon of maple sugar on top and shake it gently until the sugar is even. Light up your kitchen torch and begin to caramelize the sugar! Set the flame a few inches from the sugar and let it slowly go from light brown to darker brown, but do not let it go so long that it turns black. The sugar will harden once it cools after a minute or two. Serve right away so there is still that nice crunch on top!

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

I am so excited to bring you today’s recipe with a little sneaky favorite ingredient of mine! My love for collagen peptides is well documented, and I never tire of ways to make it part of my daily routine. I use it in my coffee each morning, but there are so many ways to use it because it totally dissolves and is tasteless. Adding collagen to your diet can be a great way to improve and promote bone and joint health, aid in healthy digestion and gut health, improve sleep and nourish your skin. It can be added to just about anything including this Creme Brûlée recipe!

Dairy free creme brûlée almond milk

Tools we used to make this recipe:

Watch the video:

If you like this show stopping dessert, check out these others:

How to Make Creme Brûlée

Prep Time 00:20 Cook Time 00:40 Inactive Time 06:00 Total Time 07:00 Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut cream, chilled when separated (see note)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons honey (see note)
  • ¼ cup maple sugar, plus extra for tops of Creme Brûlée
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 scoops Vital Proteins Unflavored Collagen Peptides

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 325ºF. Place 4 - 6 ounce ramekins in a roasting pan.
  2. In a pot heat coconut cream and almond milk until about to steam, to about 150ºF.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, yolks, honey, maple sugar, and salt until they are fully combined.
  4. Temper the eggs: Using a ladle slowly pour a little of the hot cream at a time to the eggs while continually whisking, until all of the cream is combined. Add the vanilla extract and Vital Proteins and whisk to combine.
  5. Divide into ramekins and place in the oven.
  6. Carefully pour hot water (very hot tap water is fine) into the roasting pan until it reaches halfway up the side of the ramekins.
  7. Bake until the outside of the custard is just set with still slightly wobble in the middle, about 35-40 minutes (see note).
  8. Let cool to room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator until completely set, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  9. Right before ready to serve, evenly sprinkle a thin coat of maple sugar, about 1 teaspoon, on top of custard. Using a kitchen torch melt the sugar until caramelized.
  10. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  1. Coconut cream is the thick non-liquid separated portion in coconut milk. You can buy either full-fat coconut milk and just scoop of the top until you reach one cup, or you can purchase coconut cream, just take care to leave behind any liquid at the bottom of the can. Either one needs to be thoroughly chilled before you scoop off the coconut cream for at at least 12 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. This creme brûlée is just sweet enough, but if you prefer your custard more on the sweet side add up to 2 more tablespoons of honey.
  3. If you bake your creme brûlée in smaller sized ramekins your baking time will be shorter so watch carefully for the just set outside but still wobbly middle.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

This post is sponsored by Vital Proteins. All thoughts and opinions are always 100% my own! I love the integrity of their products and think you’ll love them too. Thank you for continuing to support LCK and the brands I work with!

Creamy Mango Protein Smoothie

This creamy Mango Protein Smoothie is so refreshing and packed with delicious tropical flavors! The perfect smoothie for a beautiful Spring or Summer day! The best part? It is so simple to make with only 6 ingredients. Moreover, it’s dairy-free and loaded with protein and fiber to help you stay energized throughout the day!

Mango Madness Smoothie | Lexi's Clean KitchenMango Protein Smoothie

Smoothies are the easiest make-ahead breakfast! I love them because the possibilities are endless. This Mango Protein Smoothie is a hit with everyone who makes it! To build a perfect smoothie, you want it to be nutrient dense, creamy, and not super thin.  I think this one hits all those marks!

Here is what you need for this mango smoothie:

  • grass-fed whey protein
  • unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • frozen mango (5 ounces)
  • vanilla extract
  • chia seeds
  • coconut oil

mango smoothie with protein powder

Want to turn this into a smoothie pack?

I love making my own smoothie packs for easy breakfasts that are already prepped in the freezer. Just dump into the blender, add your liquid, and blend! Simply place all of the ingredients inside a container with a tight seal or a plastic bag, except the almond milk. When you are ready to use remove from the freezer and add the almond milk to the blender basin.

If you like this smoothie recipe, check out these others:

Creamy Mango Madness Protein Smoothie

Prep Time 00:05 Cook Time 00:00 Total Time 0:05 Yields 1

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in blender
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy
  3. Garnish and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Protein powder we love: Vital Proteins Collagen

  • Updated March, 2017
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!