The Trash Panda Scoop on Dairy-Free Milks

Mar 22, 2022
Some of the most frequently scanned products in Trash Panda are dairy-free milks. You asked, we listened, and this week we’re breaking down everything you need to know about milk alternatives! From chemical additives (carrageenan 🧐?), thickening agents, and marketing claims, there’s a lot to consider when browsing the shelves. It’s a common misconception that any dairy-free milk is always healthy, but knowing the ingredients to look out for will allow you to make the best choice.
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Malk Pure Cashewmilk

Malk is another brand that stays away from fillers, gums, or ingredients you can’t pronounce. Their milk is refreshing, tasty, and dairy-free. This cashew malk is made with water, organic sprouted cashews, and himalayan salt and you can taste the high-quality ingredients! Find it at Whole Foods.

Elmhurst Beverage Almond Milk

Elmhurst has a collection of simple plant milks and creamers, like this almond milk if you prefer something with a little flavor and sweetness, or this unsweetened version made with only almonds and water. Their process uses no gums or emulsifiers to hold their products together. They also pride themselves on using fewer ingredients than other brands, recyclable cartons, and offering a delicious flavor. Certainly Trash Panda approved. Find this milk and all their flavors on Amazon.

Thrive Market Oat Milk

This oat beverage from Thrive Market is our TP Approved pick for oat milk. With only two ingredients (water and organic oats), it’s exactly what oat milk should be. Perfect in your morning coffee, smoothies, baking, or anything in between.

Native Forest Coconut Milk Simple

As featured in our dairy-free swaps blog post, we love this coconut milk from Native Forest. The ingredient list truly speaks for itself; organic coconut milk, and that’s it. Find this drink on Amazon here.

Joi Cashew Milk Base

Finally, we love the milk bases made by Joi. This single-ingredient product makes it so easy to make homemade cashew milk - just blend with water and enjoy. We love that we can make it creamier to use as a coffee creamer, or thinner for use in smoothies. Plus, the recyclable glass jar is ideal. Find all their flavors here.


One commonly found ingredient in dairy-free milks is carrageenan; an additive used to thicken and emulsify food and drinks. We identify carrageenan as potentially harmful as it has been linked to gastrointestinal disease and inflammation. For this reason, we recommend scanning your milk and opting for carrageenan-free brands instead.

Barista varieties?

If you’ve ever seen barista varieties marketed on the shelves and not known the difference, you’re certainly not alone. Barista blend oatmilks are designed to foam and steam, but this often comes with the addition of other ingredients. Many of these versions “contain a seed oil, like sunflower or safflower…[which] are high in omega-6 fatty acids and overconsumption can…cause inflammation” (Rueven).
Dairy-free milks have been a highly requested Trash Panda Tuesday post for quite some time. We hope this list gave you some new brands to support and clarified some tricky marketing claims and ingredients often associated with plant-based milks. As always, if we missed anything head on over to our Instagram & happy scanning!
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