Plant-based milk products are all the rage these days, and because of the explosive growth in their popularity, companies that produce plant milks have also mushroomed rapidly, especially in the USA.
With so many brands and products now available in supermarkets, have you ever wondered about the best ways to choose a brand that you can trust? What exactly should be your criteria, and what are the things that you should be aware of? This article serves as a short guide to help you get started on your quest to find the right products.
Almond milk is probably the most popular of all plant milk products, but while this may be your favorite flavor, you’re still bound to try other kinds of plant-based milk in the future.
When deciding on a brand that can be your partner in the long-term, opt for one that offers a wide range of products. Ideally, the brand should be making other types of milk products aside from almond milk, and these can come from a whole host of vegetal sources, including grains like oats and rice, as well as other nuts like peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, and cashews. After all, consuming a variety of food products is essential if you’re aiming for a well-balanced diet.
Much of the criticism about plant-based milk products come from those who claim that these products are often too watered-down that people can’t really derive significant amounts of nutrients from them. To some extent, this is true, and this is why you should only choose plant-based milk products that are processed in a way that preserves much of the whole ingredients’ nutritional content.
A good brand in this regard is the New York-based company Elmhurst, which processes grains and nuts using a cold milling technique, which does not use heat. This procedure successfully extracts all the protein, fat, and micronutrients from the whole ingredients, so consumers get significantly more nutrients compared to when they are drinking comparable products from other brands.
Lack of Additives
Cold milling has one other important benefit. Basically, by extracting much of the natural goodness of whole ingredients, this technique also creates final emulsions that are naturally creamy. This means that industrial stabilizers, thickeners, and emulsifiers don’t have to be added to the final product, making it a lot healthier as a result.
Some of the ingredients that are typically not found in well-made plant-based milk products are carrageenan, locust bean gum, and xanthan gum. Although these food gums are derived from natural sources—seaweeds, the carob tree, and the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris, respectively—they are controversial in that they have been linked to various problems like allergies and digestive disruptions.
These days, many people are also beginning to factor in sustainability when they search for brands and products that they can trust. When it comes to plant-based milk, one of the easiest ways to make a sustainable choice is by looking for brands that are committed to delivering their products in sustainable packaging.
To make sure that you’re doing the right thing, look for products that have the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label on the packaging. FSC-certified product packaging are typically recyclable and generate less carbon emissions than disposable PET plastic bottles, which means they have a much lower environmental footprint. The FSC’s forest management standards also factor in the protection of water resources, the preservation of old-growth forests and forest covers in general, and the prohibition of highly hazardous chemicals.
When it comes to choosing a brand of plant-based milk products, it is important to be discerning not just about the cost but also about other important factors as well. These include the company’s product range, the actual quality of their products, and how much they are addressing environmental issues. With the items on this list in mind, you will now have an easier time picking a brand that’s actually good.