If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably found yourself standing in front of the milk aisle, pondering the plethora of options available. Do you go for the classic cow’s milk, or do you venture into the world of nut-based alternatives?
Today, I’m diving into the debate of walnut milk versus traditional cow’s milk, breaking down the differences, exploring their uses, and ultimately deciding which one comes out on top. Let’s get to it!
Comparing walnut milk vs milk
|Walnut milk||Cow milk (including whole, 2%, skim, etc.)|
|Type||Plant-based (nut milk)||Animal-based|
|Common allergens||Tree nut||Milk|
Differences between walnut milk and milk
Walnut milk and cow’s milk differ in source, nutritional profile, and flavor.
Walnut milk is plant-based, made from blending soaked walnuts and water. Check out how to make your own walnut milk at home! It’s suitable for vegans and those with lactose intolerance. However, it generally contains less protein than cow’s milk and might lack essential nutrients unless fortified. Walnut milk’s distinct nutty flavor sets it apart.
Cow’s milk, a staple for many, is rich in complete proteins, calcium, and vitamin D. Yet, it’s unsuitable for those with lactose intolerance or milk allergies. Taste-wise, cow’s milk has a milder, creamier flavor.
Types of cow’s milk
Here are the various types of cow’s milk:
Whole milk: The cream of the crop, so to speak, whole milk boasts a hearty 3.5% milk fat. It’s rich and indulgent, perfect for creamy treats like mac and cheese or a comforting cup of hot cocoa.
2% milk (reduced-fat): This option contains 2% milk fat, offering a lighter alternative while still maintaining a decent creaminess. It’s versatile and suitable for a range of uses.
1% milk (low-fat): With only 1% milk fat, this milk is ideal for those aiming to cut back on fat while enjoying a decent milk flavor. It’s a middle ground that works well in both cooking and drinking.
Skim milk (non-fat): For the health-conscious folks out there, skim milk contains 0% milk fat. It’s light, refreshing, and can be used just like any other milk.
Lactose-free milk: A blessing for the lactose-intolerant, this milk variant provides the goodness of cow’s milk without the digestive issues.
Raw cow milk (whole): For those who prefer their milk untouched by processing, raw cow milk delivers a full-bodied experience straight from the source.
Flavored milk: Strawberry, chocolate, or vanilla-infused, flavored milk brings a fun twist, but usually with more sugar.
How to use walnut milk vs milk
Here are some of the many ways you can use both walnut milk and traditional cow’s milk:
- Creamy base for smoothies
- Baking (pancakes, cupcakes, etc.)
- Coffee and tea enhancer
- Soup and sauce thickener
- Dairy-free ice cream
- Vegan mac and cheese
- Coffee and tea
- Rich hot chocolate or mocha
- Creamy soups and sauces
- Ice cream base
Can you substitute walnut milk for milk?
Yes, you can substitute walnut milk for cow’s milk in many recipes. However, be mindful of the nutty flavor and thinner consistency of walnut milk, which might slightly alter the taste and texture of the final dish. Additionally, walnut milk may not provide the same protein content or nutrients as cow’s milk, so consider nutritional requirements when making the substitution.
Nutrition: Walnut milk vs milk
Speaking of nutrition, walnut milk is rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, similar to other nut milks. Walnut milk is higher in fat compared to other nut milks, but the fats are mainly of the heart-healthy unsaturated variety. It’s also a keto-friendly choice, thanks to its low carb content.
Cow’s milk, on the other hand, is a solid source of calcium, protein, and vitamin D. However, it might not be the best fit for those on a keto diet due to its natural lactose (sugar) content and carb count.
|Per cup (237 ml/8 oz.)||Calories||Total fat (sat. fat)||Total carbs||Total sugars (incl. added)||Protein||Calcium||Vit D|
|Walnut milk||120||11 g (1 g)||1 g||0 g||3 g||2% DV||0% DV|
|Whole milk||160||8 g (4.5 g)||11 g||10 g (0 g)||8 g||25% DV||10% DV|
|2% milk||130||5 g (3 g)||12 g||12 g (0 g)||8 g||25% DV||10% DV|
|1% milk||110||2.5 g (1.4 g)||13 g||12 g (0g)||8 g||25% DV||10% DV|
|Skim milk (nonfat milk)||90||0 g||13 g||12 g (0 g)||8 g||30% DV||25% DV|
How to store walnut milk and milk
Walnut milk should be stored in the refrigerator, and consumed ideally within 5 days.
In contrast, cow’s milk can also be stored in the fridge, but its higher pasteurization and fat content generally provide a longer shelf life of around 7-10 days. I like to keep both milk and plant-based milks at the back of my fridge, where they stay at a cool, consistent temperature.
Ultra-high temperature (UHT) processed cow’s milk can last even longer, up to several months, when unopened.
Walnut milk vs milk: The ultimate verdict
When it comes to choosing between walnut milk and regular cow’s milk, I’m all about walnut milk. I like it more because it’s made from plants and has omega-3s and no sugar. Walnut milk tastes creamy and nutty, which I really enjoy. However, regular milk tends to work better in creamy dishes like mac and cheese or soups, if dairy doesn’t bother you!
Absolutely! It’s a good source of healthy fats, omega-3s, and nutrients.
They both have their benefits. Walnut milk wins in the omega-3 department, but almond milk might be lower in calories.
It depends on your nutritional needs. Nut milks are typically lower in calories and saturated fat, while cow’s milk is a strong source of calcium and protein.