You should be getting protein from your milk, but if you lead a plant-based lifestyle, then chances are, you’re not. Luckily, plant protein milk is a thing. Here’s what you need to know.
Nut milk is all the hype these days. However, despite being vegan and generally healthier than regular cow’s milk, they are lacking in one glaring department: protein. Fear not! There are plant alternatives to nut milk too.
Cow vs. Plant-Based Milk
In one cup of full fat cow milk, there are 150 calories, 12 grams of carbohydrates, eight grams of fat, and eight grams of protein. Despite containing a respectable amount of protein, regular cow milk is built with casein, a hard-to-digest protein that doesn’t do your body any health favors. It has even been linked to cancer.
In the same serving of vegan alternative soy milk, there are an impressive seven grams of protein. However, soy is a common allergen for both adults and children and soy may be a problem for people with thyroid conditions. Meanwhile, most of the soy produced in the USA comes from genetically modified plants.
Then there’s nut milk, like almond milk. In one cup of almond milk, there are 30 to 60 calories, one gram of carbohydrates, three grams of fat, and only one gram of protein. While almond milk outshines other alternatives in numerous ways, it fails to pack that desired protein punch. So, how do you get your protein without the animal or the GMOs? Plant protein milk to the rescue! Here’s what it’s made of and how to find (and make!) it.
Move over nuts, hello peas. Yes, that’s right. Plant protein milk is based in peas. Green peas are an outstanding source of phytonutrients as well as vitamin K, manganese, dietary fiber, vitamin B1, copper, vitamin C, phosphorus, and folate. And, for our purposes, peas are an excellent source of protein. Unlike many other plant-based protein options, like rice, pea protein is a complete protein, which means it contains all nine of the essential amino acids, including branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), that you need to consume to effectively build muscle.
Ripple Foods is a pioneer in plant protein milk. It makes a rich, creamy, and satisfying milk with eight grams of protein per serving. It’s free of dairy, nuts, lactose, and gluten. Additionally, it has 50% more calcium than and one-half the sugar of 2% dairy milk. Its propriety pea protein blend RippteinTM is made from the finest pea sources. Other ingredients include sunflower oil, organic cane sugar, algal oil, as well as numerous vitamins and minerals.
Bolthouse Farms makes another version of plant protein milk, and with 10 grams of protein per one-cup serving. It’s vegan, non-GMO, and doesn’t contain dairy, lactose, nuts, soy, or gluten. Like Ripple Foods, Bolthouse Farms makes an original, vanilla, unsweetened, and chocolate version of its plant protein milk.
If you prefer making a homemade version of plant protein milk, simply add a few scoops of pea protein powder to your regular nut milk or water, blend, and enjoy!