The Trash Panda Scoop on Dairy-Free Milks

Feb 27, 2024
Dive into the world of dairy-free milks with Trash Panda! This week, we're addressing the top-scanned products in our app, and you asked for a comprehensive guide to milk alternatives - we're here to deliver. Trash Panda has done the legwork for you! We're breaking down popular brands, such as Malk, Forager, Elmhurst, and Joi, highlighting their commitment to quality ingredients and innovative processes. From almond and cashew to hazelnut, walnut, and oat, each milk alternative comes with its unique set of benefits and flavors. We don't have anything against good quality dairy, but if you choose to drink non-dairy milk for any reason, the Trash Panda app can help you find healthy options. Not all dairy-free milks are created equal, so knowing the ingredients to look out for will allow you to make the best choice. We don't have anything against good quality dairy, but if you choose to drink non-dairy milk for any reason, the Trash Panda app can help you find healthy options. Not all dairy-free milks are created equal, so knowing the ingredients to look out for will allow you to make the best choice.
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Non-Dairy Milk
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Almond Milk

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 almond malk is made with water, organic sprouted almonds, and himalayan salt and you can taste the high-quality ingredients!

Benefits of Almond Milk:

Almond milk, a popular plant-based alternative, is naturally lactose-free, and the antioxidant-rich almonds may offer anti-inflammatory benefits. Its creamy texture and mild flavor make almond milk versatile for various culinary uses, making it a nutritious and delicious alternative to traditional dairy.

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.

Benefits of Oat Milk:

Naturally lactose-free, it caters to those with lactose intolerance or choosing a dairy-free lifestyle. Oats are a good source of fiber, contributing to digestive health and providing a feeling of fullness. Oat milk is often fortified with vitamins such as B12, calcium, and vitamin D, supporting bone health and overall well-being. Oat milk is also considered an eco-friendly option, as oats generally have a lower environmental impact compared to some other plant-based alternatives. With its creamy texture and nutritional profile, oat milk offers a nutritious and sustainable choice for a variety of dietary preferences.

Cashew Milk

Forager’s cashew milk is another great option for nondairy milk. As its ingredients are kept at a minimum consisting of filtered water, cashews, sea salt, and gluten free oats. Their products contain no gums and are non GMO.
We also love the milk concentrates 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.

Benefits of Cashew Milk:

Cashew milk, a nutrient-rich alternative to dairy, is packed with vitamins and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. It's cholesterol-free, low in calories, and lactose-free, making it suitable for various dietary needs. With a creamy texture, it adds versatility to recipes, from coffee to baking, and offers a plant-based option for those with allergies or dietary preferences.

Hazelnut Milk

Elmhurst has a collection of simple plant milks and creamers, like this hazelnut milk if you prefer something with a little flavor and sweetness, or this unsweetened version made with only hazelnuts 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, as well as recyclable cartons. Certainly Trash Panda approved.

Benefits of Hazelnut Milk:

Hazelnuts are rich in healthy fats, including monounsaturated fats, which can contribute to heart health. Hazelnut milk has a naturally sweet and nutty flavor, making it a flavorful choice for various recipes, from coffee to desserts. Additionally, it provides an alternative for individuals with soy or almond allergies. While its nutritional profile may vary among brands, hazelnut milk generally offers a tasty and versatile option for those seeking a plant-based milk alternative.

Walnut Milk

In addition to Elmhurst's plant based products their walnut milk is another great non-dairy option as it only contains walnuts and water.

Benefits of Walnut Milk:

Walnut milk, crafted by blending walnuts with water, offers numerous health benefits. Walnuts are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, promoting heart health and potentially reducing inflammation. With a unique nutty flavor, walnut milk adds a distinct taste to various dishes, from cereals to smoothies. While nutritional content may vary, walnut milk generally stands as a flavorful and nutritious choice, combining the benefits of omega-3s with the versatility of a plant-based milk alternative.

Coconut Milk

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.

Benefits of Coconut Milk:

Coconut milk, extracted from coconuts, offers several health benefits. It is lactose-free and rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), supporting energy production and potentially aiding in weight management. This dairy-free alternative contains vitamins C and E, iron, and lauric acid with antimicrobial properties. While higher in saturated fats, the healthier MCTs make coconut milk a nutrient-dense choice.

Non-Dairy Products to Avoid

Oat-ly Oat Milk

Oatly is another non-dairy milk which is popular among grocery stores. However, it contains Rapeseed oil. Rapeseed oil is a highly processed oil extracted from a GMO crop, typically using the chemical solvent hexane. It is an unsaturated fat that oxidizes when exposed to heat, triggering inflammation in the body when consumed. We want to avoid ingredients that cause inflammation and are genetically modified. Some commercially available oat milks may contain added sugars. If you're watching your sugar intake, opt for unsweetened varieties or those with minimal added sugars.


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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