Have you ever had stomach cramps or feel bloated after drinking milk products like your kopi shop coffee, teh, or MILO? You might just be slightly lactose intolerant! While some might just have minor discomfort, there are those who might encounter nausea or diarrhea according to HealthXchange.sg. However, for many of us, like me, who loves milk whether it’s in my food or in my drinks (iced lattes once a day please!), it is difficult to give milk up even if I do have a minor allergy to it. Thus, we suggest checking out our list of the best 7 non-dairy milk you can try in Singapore.
Non-dairy (which is often dairy-free; these terms should not to be confused with each other as there are animal milks that are dairy-free) products refer to foods that do not contain a milk protein, casein.
You may find the “non-dairy” label on items like:
- Alternative/Substitute milks (often plant-derived)
- Sweet treats like cookies, sherberts
- Tofu products and soy cheeses
- The list goes on… Read more here.
Whether it’s for your health or environmental reasons, alternative milks have become the new cash cow (pun intended). Here are the best 7 non-dairy milk picks you can try in Singapore.
1. Soy Milk
Whether it’s YEO’s canned and packet soy drink, mr bean’s fresh classic soy milk or Fu Hua’s Beancurd, soya bean milk is a customary ingredient in Singapore’s scene. If you’re looking for a dairy substitute, soya milk is such an easy find here everywhere you look. Hands down one of the best non-dairy milk to try in Singapore in my opinion!
Proponents of soy milk tout it as a natural, plant-based source of protein. Furthermore, there is substantial evidence that soy products, together with a diet low in saturated fat, can help to lower LDL level (the “bad” cholesterol” in the body), and hence reduce the risk of heart disease.Ms Christine Ong, Senior Principal Dietitian from the Nutrition and Dietetics Department at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), a member of the SingHealth group.
Further reading here: Epidemiologists have long noted that Asian populations who consume soy foods as a dietary staple have a lower incidence of cardiovascular diseases than those who consume a typical Western diet (AHAJournals, 2000)
While the conventional canned drink might contain more sugar than we’d like, head down to your nearest supermarket and there’s definitely some healthier options of soymilk.
|Marigold Power Beans Fresh Soya (Unsweetened)||Pureharvest Organic Natural Soy Milk||SO NATURALExtra Milk Soy 1L|
2. Almond milk
This nut milk is packed with key nutrients like Vitamin E (an immunity-boosting antioxidant to maintain eye and skin health), Vitamin D (helps regulate calcium), omega-6 fatty acids, calcium, iron, selenium, potassium and zinc. This milk substitute is one that can be easily sourced in supermarkets and multiple vegan stores.
If you’re looking for some fresh almond milk and other flavours, take a gander at a local store here.
If you’re looking for a quick purchase, head to your nearest NTUC FairPrice or Cold Storage.
3. Coconut Milk (not to be confused with santan!)
The usual santan, we see in Singapore’s traditional cuisines (KARA is a famous brand), contains thick coconut cream that gives that rich milky flavour with the refreshing coconut taste. According to BBC Good Food, coconut flesh contains vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Not only that, it’s iron-rich and lauric acid-laden which counteracts viruses and germs. You might’ve heard of coconut milk if you follow healthy vloggers and their paleo diets.
Coconut milk is not as healthy as other milk substitutes in this list but it definitely is on top of the list on the flavour scale. In Starbucks new move to be more vegan-friendly, coconut and oat milk are used as alternative options for handcrafted beverages. It’s just a matter of asking the friendly Starbucks staff “I want coconut milk instead”.
Here are local options to check out:
4. Oat Milk
If you love oatmeal, you’ll love oat milk. Oat milk tastes the least like the others on this list. The oat milks we see here is oft fortified with vitamins D, B2, B12 and A. The great thing about oat milk is that it’s low in allergens and irritants.
Get it here at your local supermarkets or online:
5. Cashew Milk
If you intend to maintain a healthy lifestyle, cashew milk is rich in nutrients, great for bone, heart, eye health, preventing anaemia and many more as it contains vitamin D, zinc, copper, magnesium to name a few. Compared to the taste of other nut milks, this cashew variant tastes more versatile, creamier and naturally sweeter. All in all, definitely one of the best non-dairy milk to try in Singapore.
Get your fix here at Nutty Milk Factory or at your nearest supermarkets:
|Sanitarium So Good Cashew Milk- Unsweetened||Plenish Organic Unsweetened Cashew Milk||Rude Health Organic Dairy And Gluten Free Cashew Milk Drink|
6. Hazelnut Milk
Nutella lovers out there will be able to recognise the taste of hazelnut milk. This particular milk helps boost protection from cellular damage and like the many on here, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by decreasing LDL cholesterol in the body. I’ve tasted hazelnut milk in smoothies and they work really well with berries and cacao powder.
Here is where you can get them:
|Rude Health Organic Hazelnut Drink (Dairy Free And Gluten Free)||Pacific Original All Natural Hazelnut Non-Dairy Beverage|
7. Rice Milk
At this juncture, I bet you’re thinking “Wow, you can really make milk out of anything!” and I’m beginning to think if you can grind something down and squeeze the liquid out through a cheese cloth, it’s basically milk. And that’s probably the case. Rice is a staple, an essential part of the average Singaporean’s diet thus making it one of a few options for those with lactose AND nut allergies. Most rice milks, similar to soy/almond milks, are often fortified with calcium and Vitamin D. Rice milk is famously known to maintain skin health and slows ageing since many beauty products use this as an ingredient, controls cholesterol and boosts energy to name a few benefits. However, rice milk is high in carbohydrates and very low in protein making it the least desirable on this list especially for diabetics.
While you might think rice milk is bland on its own, check out this link to see recipes that use it as an ingredient such as Acai Breakfast bowls, Super Waffles and loads more.
Get it here online:
|Rude Health Organic Gluten Free Brown Rice Milk Drink||Australia’s Own Organic Rice Milk Gluten Free UHT||Rice Dream Organic Milk|
For those adventurous individuals with time on their hands, definitely consider making your own non-dairy milk alternative. It’s also important to note that nuts are rather expensive considering the labour needed to pick and peel each single nut. Healthtree gives the basic recipe rundown on how to make any nut milk but if you already have a specific one in mind, Google search is your best friend.
While there are those who are lactose intolerant or unfortunately allergic to dairy, nut allergy is as big of a concern if you’re looking to drink any of these recommendations. Also, while milk substitutes are great for adults, they aren’t suitable for our little ones since they need some of the nutrients found in animal milk.
If you’re thinking to find a permanent substitution to dairy, make sure to do tons of research and consult medical professionals before embarking on your new cow-free journey. If you’re looking for just a taste, then I hope this list of the best non-dairy milk to try in Singapore serves you well.
Stay safe everybody!
Check out our other related articles:
Written by: Sarah Suprat
Subscribe for newsletter
* You will receive the latest news and updates on Singapore's best trends!