7 Plant-Based, Vegan Milks That Don’t Contain Any Oil
Walk into any grocery store and find the overwhelming amount of plant-based milk on the shelf. As people continue to ditch dairy and look to non-dairy, vegan milk, an ongoing discussion about which plant-based milk is the healthiest carries on. But there’s one elephant-in-the-room ingredient in not only plant milk, but processed vegan products, that is starting to get more scrutiny: Oil.
Many plant-based milks — soy milk, oat milk, almond milk, cashew milk, hemp milk, and more — that you’ll find at the grocery store do contain oil. The reason being is that the oil acts as an emulsifier which helps ingredients bind together and achieve a creamy texture. Common oils you’ll find in your store-bought vegan milks are sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, canola oil, coconut oil, palm oil, and more.
“Oil can drive up the calories in plant milks without adding a ton of nutrients,” says Nicole Osinga, R.D. and personal nutritional counselor. “Some oils can be more pro-inflammatory, including more omega 6's, which can drive up inflammation in the body.” While often there are small amounts of oil in plant milks, it is still an ingredient to be mindful of and Osinga notes that it’s a good practice to scan labels and see where oils fall on the ingredients list—the higher up on the list, the larger the quantity of oil that would be present.
Lon Ben-Asher, R.D., and nutrition specialist and educator at Pritikin Health Experts agrees that it’s a good practice to focus on the ingredient list when purchasing plant-based milks, avoiding oil as well as excess amounts of salt and sugar. “In an ideal situation, the only ingredients should be filtered water and the plant-based substance, such as flax, oat, almond, soy, [or] rice,” Ben-Asher says, especially if one is focusing on weight loss, avoiding ingredients that add extra calories without nutritional value is important.
There are trade-offs though when making your plant milk selection. It might be more important for someone to focus on drinking plant milk that is fortified with calcium, vitamin D, and B12, and protein...even if it may contain some oil or has a higher calorie count. So selecting plant milk might come down to its nutritional content, especially depending on how are where you are getting other nutrients to meet daily recommended values.
But, if you are attempting to steer clear of oil in your packaged products like plant milks, there are some that don’t use any oil whatsoever. We’ve rounded up plant-based brands making plant milk that are in fact void of any oil.
Vegan milk brands that don’t contain oil
1. Elmhurst 1925
Elmhurst 1925 is a plant milk company that proudly doesn't use any oil in its milk. Elmhurst has a large selection of plant milk types, from oat to almond to soy and more, plus flavored seasonal creamers. You can find them at your local store, or order online. Plus, a nice bonus is that their products are shelf-stable. If you’re looking for great-tasting plant milk with a simple ingredient list (two to six ingredients depending on the product), Elmhurst may be a good fit for you. Plus all its plant milks are vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO.
2. Malibu Mylk
Malibu Mylk makes plant milks that are all glyphosate-free and use flaxseed as the base. For one of their standout products, the Flax + Oat Milk, they use organic, glyphosate-free, gluten-free oats to blend with their whole, ground flaxseed. Flax is a plant that is cultivated for its seeds which have a high amount of fiber and are a nutritious food source. Malibu Mylk is also allergen-free. Their milks are also shelf-stable and easy to order online or pick up at your local store (available at select stores).
MALK is another minimal ingredient vegan milk—all its milks are made with organic ingredients and they don’t use any gums, emulsifiers, or oils. Nothing artificial, just clean simple ingredients and you’ll have your choice of either oat or almond milk. You can find MALK at your local grocery store.
GOODMYLKCO. makes an almond milk concentrate that comes in little packs. Simply add water, mix and enjoy. Using a plant milk concentrate may sound unnatural, but this is in fact a clean milk where you won’t find oils, gums, artificial flavoring, or fillers. They also have powdered vegan milk mixtures that are clean and tasty. You can order their milks online and find at select grocery stores.
TÁCHE makes pistachio milk, which might sound odd, but it’s actually quite delicious, clean and environmentally sound since pistachio’s take very little water to grow. Grown on one of the oldest flowering nut trees and consumed for over 9,000 years, pistachios are rich in flavor, vitamins and antioxidants. Find Tache online and in select stores.
6. New Barn Organics
New Barn Organics makes almond milk from organic almonds that come from a co-op of small producers in Spain. They are dry-farmed, which the company says means less water is used and the flavor is boosted organically. They make both almond and coconut products (which are organic and non-GMO). New Barn Organics places and emphasis on regenerative agriculture, and making clean, simple plant milks. You can find online and select stores.
WestSoy has been around for over 35 years and has stayed true to what they do best: Soy milk. WESTSOY Organic Plus Soymilk is made from whole organic soybeans and is enriched with vitamins A and D, calcium and antioxidant vitamin E. WestSoy is a tried and true self-stable soy milk. You can find WestSoy at select markets.