This article was first published on 12 April 2022.
No, it’s not a myth — if you’re of East Asian descent, chances are that you’re lactose intolerant. This means that you’re prone to experiencing bloating, gas and other unpleasant symptoms when you consume dairy products, such as milk, butter or ice cream.
But before abandoning your daily mochas and teatime lattes for good, why not switch to a dairy-free option, such as soy milk, oat milk or even potato milk (yes, they’re a thing)? These alternatives not only taste delicious but also do an excellent job in satiating your cravings for all things creamy and caffeinated — sans the lactose-related discomfort.
Are dairy-free milk and lactose-free milk the same?
Dairy-free milk is typically derived from plants or nuts, and hence, does not contain any lactose, milk products or milk ingredients. Alternative 'milk' options such as cashew milk, rice milk and coconut milk are especially suitable for those who are allergic to milk or are lactose intolerant. On the other hand, lactose-free milk is where a milk product’s milk sugar content has been neutralised, though it may still contain casein and whey — two protein components of milk.
As such, dairy-free milk and lactose-free milk are not the same. Go with dairy-free or non-dairy options if you’re unsure. Now, discover 14 dairy-free milk options in Singapore and fun recipes that you should try now.
1. Bonsoy Soy Milk
Made from certified organic soybeans, Bonsoy Soy Milk boasts a “natural, full-bodied mellow aroma” and tastes “mildly sweet.” This vegan milk alternative is crafted by Japanese soy masters and contains only seven ingredients: water, organic whole soybeans, tapioca syrup, sea salt, job’s tear (pearl barley) and calcium carbonate.
Create your creamy concoction: Replace your sugar-laden snacks with a blueberry banana peach smoothie bowl instead. Gather a few frozen fruits; slice them into smaller pieces, and blend them with half a cup of Bonsoy soy milk. Add your favourite toppings and sprinkle a teaspoon of chia seeds to complete this dish.
2. Happy Happy Soy Boy Soy Milk
Formulated by Japanese soy masters, Happy Happy Soy Boy Soy Milk contains only five ingredients: filtered water, whole soybean, brown sugar, sea salt and calcium carbonate. It is also gluten-free and vegan-friendly.
Create your creamy concoction: This smooth and creamy drink is designed to complement espresso, so try your hand at creating a soy latte. First, brew your espresso as you heat up your soy milk and whisk it until it’s foamy. Then, pour the espresso into a cup and follow with warm soy milk. Top it off with soymilk foam.
3. Kikkoman Soymilk Original
Japanese food manufacturing company Kikkoman is renowned for its soy sauce. Did you know that the brand produces delicious plant-based milk beverages too? The Soymilk Original is made from specially selected soybeans and is rich in nutrients.
Create your creamy concoction: Looking for a ‘remedy’ to combat those rainy day blues? Try making yourself a frothy cup of warm soy milk with marshmallows. Start by pouring the soy milk into a mug.
Then, drop a few marshmallows into it and place the mug inside the microwave for one to two minutes. Put on a feel-good Netflix series, tuck yourselves under the covers and you’re all set.
4. Marusan Unsweetened Japanese Almond Milk
Unsure about soy? Enjoy the sweet and rich flavour of roasted almond milk instead. This sugar-free, dairy-free alternative contains vitamin E and dietary fibre. It can be drunk on its own as a daily, healthy beverage or used for cooking.
Create your creamy concoction: Yes, it’s possible to prepare carbonara without eggs or cream — simply make the switch to soymilk. Slice your ingredients, such as garlic, onions and mushrooms and broccoli while waiting for your pot of water to boil. Follow with broccoli.
Next, fry your garlic, onion and mushrooms and add a dash of salt. Add your cooked spaghetti and broccoli into the mix and you’re done.
Marusan Unsweetened Japanese Almond Milk is priced from SGD8.15 for 1L. Find it at Lazada.
5. Minor Figures Barista Oat
Designed for baristas (and aspiring, at-home baristas), this organic, Halal-certified drink produces a “silky micro-foam” when steamed and boasts a “slightly rounder” finish compared to regular oat milk.
Fun fact: Minor Figures is a certified B-Corp company. This means that it has met high standards in terms of verified social and environmental performance, accountability, transparency and more.
Create your creamy concoction: If coffee’s not your cup of tea, make yourself a cup of matcha soy latte! Simply follow @jacquelineaweiss’ lead, as shown above. First, add a tablespoon of matcha powder into a bowl and pour hot water over it. Whisk it as thoroughly as possible.
Next, take a cup and whisk it until it has a foamy texture. Pour hot water into the cup and use a matcha whisk. Finally, pour the cup’s contents into the bowl and add a few ice cubes if you wish to.
6. Nutty Bruce Non-Dairy Unsweetened Almond Milk
Staving off sweet treats at the moment? This one’s for you. This unsweetened drink is made from organic activated almonds soaked for 12 hours, and only three other key ingredients: brown rice, filtered water and sea salt.
Create your creamy concoction: Vegans can enjoy the goodness of double chocolate banana bread too — @breenscuisine builds a bowl of baked oats by preheating her oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
Mix together ingredients such as oats, chocolate-flavoured protein powder, chia seeds, Nutty Bruce Almond Milk and banana-flavoured drops. Bake it for around 18 minutes. Leave it for longer if you prefer a more cake-like texture.
Nutty Bruce Non-Dairy Unsweetened Almond Milk is priced at SGD15.90 for 1L. Find it at coldstorage.com.sg.
7. Oatly Organic Oat Drink
As the go-to oatmilk brand in Starbucks stores in the United States, Oatly’s Oat Milk offerings are made from 100% organic oats and are vegan-approved too. This drink has a “smooth and velvety texture, foams beautifully” and pairs well with their dark roast coffees.
Create your creamy concoction: Elevate your at-home brekkie moments by forming a pancake stack. Create your batter by mixing dry ingredients, including salt, flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl.
Then, add in oat milk, sweetener and oil and mix well. Let it sit before pouring large spoonfuls of this mixture into a non-stick pan over medium heat. Voila! Café worthy delicacies you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home.
8. Oatside Chocolate Oat Milk
Did someone mention chocolate milk? Oatside’s sustainable, guilt-free take on this feel-good beverage uses real cacao and less sugar. It features “complex dark chocolate notes with a creamy mouthfeel” and is free of added flavours.
Create your creamy concoction: Double down on your love for chocolate with this Chocolate Cookie Freakshake. Crush two cookies and pour chocolate syrup onto a plate. Dip your glass into the syrup and the crushed cookies.
Drizzle more syrup into the glass. Meanwhile, blend a combination of Oatside Chocolate Oat Milk, ice cream, cookies and syrup. Pour the mixture into your glass and top off with whipped cream.
9. Plant Projects No Ordinary Oat Milk
Make a bold statement with this oat milk, which sports minimalistic black-and-white packaging. But of course, it’s the inside that really counts: this drink boasts a premium oat milk formula that’s specially designed to work with coffee. Plus, it has a neutral flavour to keep your focus on the coffee.
Create your creamy concoction: Go the classic route and prepare an iced oat milk latte. See how @capturoffee prepares this beverage in the reel above. Prepare your espresso and follow by adding ice to a glass. Give the Plant Projects No Ordinary Oat Milk a good shake before pouring it into the glass. Finish off by pouring in your espresso.
Plant Projects No Ordinary Oat Milk is priced at SGD6.50 for 1L. Find it at sixeleven.xyz.
10. Rude Health Organic Cashew Drink
So good, it’s almost rude. This creamy dairy alternative is made from organic cashews, which are “roasted lightly” to bring out their nutty flavour. It also contains only two other ingredients: natural spring water and a pinch of sea salt. Rude Health shares that cashews are also the “milkiest nut”, so if creamy drinks are your thing, be sure to add this to cart.
Create your creamy concoction: Creamy with a little crust? You heard that right. Prepare a cauliflower pizza for your next dinner party by following Rude Health’s recipe. You’ll need an oven, the Rude Health Organic Cashew Drink and a medley of ingredients such as nutmeg, tomato paste and black olives to make this magic happen. Click here for details.
11. RICEPATHY Organic Black Rice Milk
Rice in your bowl; rice in your cuppa. This vegan-friendly beverage is made from black rice, which helps to improve the body’s ‘Qi’ and blood circulation and thus, helping women achieve “good-looking skin and hair,” according to the brand. It contains only four ingredients: water, 14% of organic black rice, organic sunflower oil, and sea salt.
Create your creamy concoction: It’s cocktail ‘o clock! Have a go a re-creating this cocktail recipe by Hong Kong bar and restaurant Lonlely Paisley. This fancy drink is made with Japanese vodka, Mexican coconut tequila and RICEPATHY Black Rice Milk.
12. MILKLAB Coconut
This brand sources its coconut cream ethically and exclusively from suppliers in Sri Lanka. The drink is also free from gluten, nuts and soy, thus making it suitable for those with multiple allergies and intolerances. Have this with your morning cuppa or try it with chocolate — this drink is designed to complement the former’s robust flavours.
Create your creamy concoction: Take a break from coffee and make yourself a hot chocolate instead. As recommended by MilkLab.Life, mix one tablespoon of hot chocolate powder with a small amount of water in the base of the cup. Then, steam the MILKLAB coconut milk and pour it into the cup.
MILKLAB Coconut is priced at SGD49.90 for 1L. Find it at Jewel Coffee on Lazada.
13. Milkadamia Unsweetened Macadamia Milk
Macadamia? Make it Milkadamia. Fans of the brand describe this delicious yet unsweetened alternative to cow’s milk is described as “rich” and “smooth.” It is made from raw macadamia nuts, which are grown on family-owned farms that practise low-impact farming methods.
Create your creamy concoction: Hosting pasta night? Prepare this vegan mushroom stroganoff, which serves four and takes approximately 20 minutes to make. You’ll need to gather your pasta, unsweetened Milkadamia milk and a good mix of vegetables and mushrooms for this recipe. More details here. Milkadamia Unsweetened Macadamia Milk is priced at SGD56 for a pack of two. Find it at Ubuy.
14. 137 degrees Almond Milk
Created from 100% Californian non-GMO whole almonds, this dairy milk alternative is vegetarian, trans-fat-free, gluten-free, and lactose-free. It also has vitamin B and folic acid, all great for maintaining bone and skin health. They also have several variants containing various fruits and vegetables like carrots, avocados, and more, adding a unique twist to how you take your daily dose of calcium.
Create your creamy concoction: Add a twist to your breakfast by adding a hint of this milk to your eggs, giving it a fluffier consistency and slightly nutty flavour. Then, grab some granola, add in the milk, and voila — an easy yet delectable breakfast elevated by 137 degrees.
137 degrees is priced at SGD5.34 for 180ML at FairPrice.
So, are you now convinced to make the switch to non-dairy milk for your next cuppa?
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