On test: The best nut milks

Looking for a non-dairy, vegan alternative to milk? We blind-tested 21 drinks made from almonds, hazelnuts and cashews to find the ultimate nut milks for drinking and cooking.

If you’re following a dairy-free diet, replacing conventional cow’s milk can be one of the biggest challenges, not least because there’s so much choice when it comes to dairy replacements. You can buy milk made from soya, rice, coconut and, increasingly, nuts. Almond, cashew and hazelnut milks are now available in most large supermarkets. 

If you’ve not yet given them a go, expect a far creamier consistency than cow’s milk (even full fat), and you can usually choose from sweetened and unsweetened varieties. Price per litre is often higher than dairy milk and, perhaps surprisingly, there are big variations between products. We tried 21 nut milks to help you find the right one for you. 

The six best nut milks…
 

Best… everyday choice

Rude Health almond milkRude Health almond drink

This milk has a rich almond taste with distinct hints of marzipan. It has a good consistency, heats up well and tastes really good on cereal and oats. We also made a delicious spiced chai tea with it. Instead of any additives, the milk is naturally thickened with rice and it's 100% organic, too. 

£2, from Sainsbury’s



 

Best… for sweet tooths

Alpro almond original milk

Alpro almond original milk

This milk is definitely sweet – the second ingredient is sugar. But if you have sweetened porridge or take sugar in your tea, it’s a really decent choice. It’s good value and you can also choose Alpro almond unsweetened (£1.80) if you prefer, which has a more neutral flavour. The sweetness also works well in pancake batter or rice pudding. 

£1.80, from Ocado

 


Best… in tea

Rude Health ultimate almond milk

Rude Health ultimate almond milk

Made with absolutely nothing other than almonds, water and a pinch of salt, this milk is a really versatile, top-end choice. It was our favourite milk in tea, as the flavour isn’t overpowering but it’s not too thin, either. It's more expensive than others but we think it's worth it for special occasions or if you want to reduce processed food in your diet. 

£3.85, from Ocado

 

Best… in hot chocolate

Provamel hazelnut milk

Provamel hazelnut milk

The hazelnut flavour of this milk is less fragrant than its almond equivalents, which means it pairs better with other strong flavours, such as chocolate or coffee. Made from a hazelnut paste (rather than a powder) you can still see some flecks of real nuts, which we really like. It’s slightly sweetened with agave syrup.

£2.66, from Goodness Direct


 

Best… luxury milk

Plenish organic almond milkPlenish organic almond milk

With an extremely short ingredient list of almonds, water and salt, we loved the no-nonsense almond flavour of this milk and its smooth consistency. Worth splashing out on occasionally – it’s another excellent all-rounder, and one of our favourite milks to drink straight from the fridge.

£3.80, from Planet Organic

 

 

Best… consistency

Provamel cashew milk

Provamel cashew milk

This milk has an even consistency and a good flavour – it really tastes of cashews and yet isn’t too overpowering. It's lightly sweetened with agave syrup but doesn’t taste sugary at all.

£1.69, from Goodness Direct

 

This review was last updated in April 2016. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@bbc.com. 

Do you drink nut milk? We’d love to hear your product suggestions and ideas for how to cook with it. We have more special diet taste tests, gadget reviews and buyers’ advice in our review section.

Comments, questions and tips

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puffyandmace
15th Jan, 2016
What about hemp milk? Really delicious and great for those with nut allergies.
Whosthecoockie
11th Jan, 2016
I have been using Almond milk and brown rice milk for quite a while. It's delicious and healthy, but very costly. So I worked out how to make it at home. Instead of an average £1.80 per ltr I make it for 10p per ltd. Heres how. All you need is a bag of Almonds. £1.49 for 200grams. Some muslin. A blender or Nutri bullet. A glass bottle and filtered water. Soak 20grams of almonds for at least 4 hours. Yep just 20grams. ( Most almond milk only contains 2% almonds! A lot of money for mostly water. ) After soaking Drain the almonds, pop into blender and whizz with filtered water, until its gone fairly fine and the water looks milky. It will make 1 ltr. Put the muslin over a bowl and filter through. I also pop the muslin in a sieve to support it and catch any stray bits. Now pour into a glass bottle and store in the fridge. It's best to cover the bottle. I use a little clingfilm as I lost the lid. It will settle and you'll see a little amount of almond in the bottom of the bottle. Just give it a shake before you use it. It tastes fantastic. Never boil almond milk as it splits, just heat gently. This happens with all almond milk. Bought or homemade. Enjoy. :-)
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