Looking for a non-dairy, vegan alternative to milk? We blind-tested 21 drinks made from almonds, hazelnuts and cashews to find the ultimate buys for drinking and cooking.
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Rude Health almond drink
Best everyday choice
This drink 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 product is naturally thickened with rice and it's 100% organic, too. Buy from Rude Health (£2.49)
Plenish organic almond m*lk
Best for taking it back to basics
With an extremely short ingredient list of almonds, water and salt, we loved the no-nonsense almond flavour of this milk alternative and its smooth consistency. Worth splashing out on occasionally – it’s another excellent all-rounder, and one of our favourite products to drink straight from the fridge. Buy from Plenish (£2.50)
This milk alternative 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. Buy from Holland & Barrett (£1.75) and Waitrose (£1.79)
Rude Health ultimate almond
Best in tea
Made with absolutely nothing other than almonds, water and a pinch of salt, this drink is a really versatile, top-end choice. It was our favourite milk alternative to use 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. Buy from Rude Health (£4.40)
Why buy a milk alternative?
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 alternatives made from soya, rice, coconut and, increasingly, nuts. Almond, cashew and hazelnut milk alternatives 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.
This review was last updated in January 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at email@example.com.
Do you drink a nut-based milk alternative? 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 buyer's advice in our review section.