When it comes to choosing between different kinds of milk, like vanilla milk and almond milk, it can be confusing to know which one is better. Vanilla milk has a rich taste, while almond milk is made from almonds and is one of the most popular plant-based choices.
In this article, I’ll look at the good and not-so-good things about both types of milk to help you figure out which one might be the better option for you.
Comparing vanilla milk vs almond milk
|Vanilla milk||Almond milk|
|Type||Animal or plant-based||Plant-based (nut milk)|
|Common allergens||Varies||Tree nuts|
Differences between vanilla milk and almond milk
Let’s start by breaking down the basics. Vanilla milk and almond milk may seem similar at first glance, but they’re actually quite different. Here’s a quick rundown of what sets them apart:
As the name suggests, vanilla milk is milk infused with the sweet and aromatic essence of vanilla beans. It can be made from various sources, such as cow’s milk (e.g. Vanilla Nesquik) or plant-based options like soy milk, oat milk, or almond milk. The vanilla flavor is usually achieved through natural extracts or vanilla bean pods.
Almond milk, on the other hand, is made by blending almonds with water and then straining the mixture. It’s a popular dairy-free alternative, especially for those with lactose intolerance or dietary preferences. Almond milk boasts a slightly nutty flavor and can be sweetened or unsweetened. There are also vanilla-flavored almond milk varieties available.
How to use vanilla milk vs almond milk
In general, vanilla milk is good for beverages and sweet recipes, whereas almond milk is slightly more versatile for sweet or savory dairy-free dishes.
Ways to use vanilla milk:
- Pancakes or waffles
- Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate
- Substitute in baking
- Vanilla milksahke using your favorite ice cream
Ways to use almond milk:
- Almond milk latte
- Creamy soups and sauces
- Dairy-free alternative in your homemade puddings and custards
- Overnight oats
- Bake it into muffins, cupcakes, and other sweet treats
Can you substitute vanilla milk for almond milk?
Yes, in many recipes, you can substitute almond milk for vanilla milk without major issues. However, there are a few things to consider:
Vanilla milk usually has a slightly sweet and vanilla flavor, while almond milk has a nuttier and more neutral taste. If the recipe relies on the vanilla flavor of the milk, you might want to add a touch more vanilla extract with your almond milk to replicate the flavor.
Vanilla milk also often contains added sweeteners. If you’re using unsweetened almond milk as a substitute, you might need to adjust the sweetness in the recipe by adding sugar or another sweetener.
Nutrition: Vanilla milk vs almond milk
Vanilla-flavored milk tends to be higher in sugar due to the added sugar for flavor, however, not all of them contain added sugar. For example, you can get unsweetened vanilla almond milk, which I prefer for coffee and smoothies.
It’s best to look at the nutritional label on the carton for specific nutrition info, and opt for unsweetened kinds if possible.
|Per cup (237 ml/8 oz.)||Calories||Total fat (sat. fat)||Total carbs||Total sugars (incl. added)||Protein||Calcium||Vit D|
|Vanilla milk||Varies; vanilla is a flavoring in many plant-based milks.|
|Almond milk||30||2.5 g (0 g)||1 g||0 g||1 g||45% DV||25% DV|
How to store vanilla milk and almond milk
Store vanilla milk, whether it’s plant-based or from another source, in the refrigerator. Make sure it’s sealed tightly to prevent any flavor contamination.
Like vanilla milk, almond milk should also be refrigerated. Once opened, it’s best to consume it within 7-10 days for optimal freshness.
The shelf life of both vanilla milk and almond milk can vary depending on factors like the brand and preservatives used. Generally, unopened cartons can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Be sure to check the expiration date on the packaging.
Vanilla milk vs almond milk: Which is better
In my humble opinion, plain unsweetened almond milk is the better option overall. With fewer calories and no added sugars, it’s a healthier choice that’s dairy-free. However, unsweetened vanilla milk is a good choice when you want that extra vanilla flavor without the sugar.
“Better” is subjective and depends on your dietary preferences and taste buds. Vanilla almond milk can be a great option if you’re looking for a dairy-free alternative with a touch of sweetness.
Vanilla almond milk generally contains fewer calories and saturated fats than whole milk, making it a potentially healthier option for those seeking a lower-calorie and lower-fat alternative.
The answer depends on your dietary goals and needs. Almond milk is typically lower in calories and saturated fat compared to cow’s milk, but cow’s milk provides essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin D. It’s best to consider your individual nutritional requirements when making a choice.
Almond milk with vanilla can be a delicious and nutritious addition to your diet, especially if you’re looking for a dairy-free option. Just be mindful of added sugars if you’re trying to limit your sugar intake.