Spinach pasta with basil and feta.
Lisa M Baragiola

Milk the Plant Way

Milk Alternatives

Are you a milk drinker? I loved it as a child and drank it with all three meals. Unfortunately, as time passed, I developed a bit of intolerance. Maybe you avoid cows’ milk for the same reason, or because of allergies. Vegetarians may exclude dairy products, and some people don’t care for the taste. Whatever your reasons, times have changed and there are numerous alternatives. I know of at least nine but let’s focus on the following four products.


Out of the group, soy is my favorite. There are other consumers who feel this tastes the most like animal’s milk. It’s high in calcium, vitamins B, K, and protein. Honestly, I was apprehensive about the taste of plant-based milk but was pleasantly surprised when I tried the chocolate flavor. It may improve cholesterol and lower blood pressure.


Almond is high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and cholesterol free.  This may support a healthy heart and skin.  Something I just discovered is you can make your own with almonds and water. Check out this simple recipe.


Oat is a good choice for those with food allergies and intolerances. It’s naturally free of dairy, nut, lactose, and soy. It contains more calories, carbohydrates, and fiber than almond, soy, and cow’s milk, but less protein than soy and dairy. It may lower LDL cholesterol and benefit bone health. Guess what, it too can be made at home.


Cashew is another plant milk you can make from scratch. Unlike almond and oat, it requires no straining. Therefore, you retain all the benefits of the nut. It has a creamy, rich consistency with iron and magnesium. Cashews may boost immunity, improve heart, eye and skin health.

Common Traits

What do all of these have in common? They provide plant-based options that may contribute to improved health besides being great for baking, cooking, smoothies and shakes. Do your own taste tests and start incorporating the flavors you enjoy. Try this tasty recipe Herbed Cashew-Tofu Cream Cheese.


Herbed Cashew-Tofu Cream Cheese

Ken Foland, Executive Chef, Events by FSC
Plant Based Spread
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer
Servings 10


  • 1 each 14 oz block extra firm tofu-drained
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 each lemon-juiced
  • 1/4 cup water


  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs of choice, i.e. parsley, dill, basil or scallions


  • Boil 3 cups of water and pour over raw cashews.
  • Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes, longer is preferred.
  • Place remaining ingredients except 1/4 cup water in a high-powered blender.
  • Drain cashews and add to the blender.
  • Slowly blend ingredients, stopping to scrape the sides of the blender.
  • If the mixture is too thick, add water a little at a time to achieve correct consistency.
  • Add fresh herbs and blend until smooth.

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