If dairy is not your cup of, well, milk, these dairy-free milk options will have you covered.
Lactose-intolerant folks have struggled with finding alternative sources of calcium for years. But with more cafes serving other forms of milk that don’t compromise on taste or nutrition, we now have more choices when it comes to our calcium intake.
Plant milk — or nut milk — made of almond, cashew or other nuts offer a host of nutrients, antioxidants, and healthy fats, making them nutritional powerhouses that are in no way inferior to animal milk. Made of nuts and blended with water before being strained, these milk sources offer nutrients such as vitamin E and D, which prevent heart disease and inflammation (thanks, omega-3!), support immune function, and maintain strong bones, among other benefits. They also contain no saturated fat and less than half the amount of calories in cow’s milk, and are beneficial to gut health as they are rich in fibre and easier to digest.
Little surprise, then that brands and cafes are jumping on the bandwagon to fulfil the growing demand for dairy-free alternatives. Here are some options available.
Photo: d’Good Cafe
First established in Holland Village as a two-storey shophouse in 2012, this London-inspired cafe specialises in custom-blend coffee and specialty teas. It has also caught on to the plant-based trend and now offers milk alternatives in its regular coffee. You can choose to swap the fresh milk in your latte or cappuccino with soy or oat milk.
In celebration of World Plant Milk Day on August 22, d’Good Cafe is also offering two of its recent plant-based competition drinks for a limited period from Aug 19 to 31. Breezy Bay 5.0 is a non-dairy coffee made of oat milk, d’Good’s award-winning house-blend coffee, mango puree, berry juice, and a dash of sea salt; while Cloud With a Chance of Win(d) 5.0 is a championship-winning blend of soy milk, passionfruit, and mint mojito. The latter is a light, well-balanced beverage that’s slightly sweet and slightly sour. It tastes a little like the Calpis drink from Japan and it goes down smoothly, quenching your thirst in a jiffy.
For grub, the cafe has also expanded its menu to include more vegetarian options and 22 gluten-free options too. The latter can be enjoyed at Jewel Changi Airport.
Click here for store locations.
As the first plant-based ice cream shop in Singapore, Smoocht by Brownice promises a 100 per cent dairy-free menu and plant-based goodness, and delivers on that promise by using organic brown rice milk instead of regular cow’s milk for its ice cream and pastries, and vegan cheese for its pizzas and pastas.
Its ice-cream contains only 30 per cent of the calories and less than 10 per cent fats of regular ice cream. Using brown rice instead of milk and cream also means that its ice cream has a low glycemic index and won’t make your blood sugar spike and plunge like white, processed sugars do.
It serves a variety of flavours for its ice cream, including matcha, earl grey, black sesame, and gula melaka. Other dishes include matcha Belgian waffles and mushroom toasts.
Brownice is located at 8 Sin Ming Rd, #01-03 Sin Ming Centre, 575628, tel: 6456 6431, website.
When mentioning wholesome options that are hearty and healthy, Kitchen by Food Rebel comes to mind. This eatery is best known for its Asian fusion rice, but its focus is really just on good, healthy food that everyone — including people with allergies and dietary restrictions, vegans and vegetarians, meat-lovers, post-surgery patients, and more — can enjoy.
As it strongly believes in understanding how one’s food is produced and the impact food has on one’s body, Kitchen by Food Rebel sources organically and seasonally wherever possible. Aside from organic-based salads, sandwiches and smoothies, its cakes are also gluten-, sugar- and dairy-free, and ingredients for its dishes here are organic and hormone-free with no MSG or artificial preservatives. It also makes its own blend of nut milks that you can buy home in jugs.
Kitchen by Food Rebel is located at Telok Ayer Conservation Area, 28 Stanley St, 068737, tel: 6224 7088, website.
Touted as one of the best places for gluten-free dining, this restaurant also offers dairy-free, vegan and vegetarian options, including salads, sandwiches and a decadent chocolate cake.
Carb fans, have a go at its ciabatta and sourdough breads, which are dairy- and egg-free. For dairy-free beverages, try the Princess Smoothie, which is made of almond milk, yoghurt, bananas, three types of berries, mint, chia seeds and cinnamon, and the turmeric latte, which consists of cold-brew coffee, almond milk, organic turmeric and coconut sugar.
Wild Honey now also offers Oatly oat milk — a vegan, plant-based milk made from gluten-free oats — at its Scotts Square and Mandarin Gallery branches, as well as non-dairy yoghurt and ice-cream, almond and soy milk.
Click here for store locations.
This Australian grocery sells a variety of organic products, including fresh produce and gourmet sauces, as well as deli and gluten-free baked goods that fit into different types of diet, such as paleolithic, ketogenic and vegan.
Check out its dairy-free range of yoghurt, such as Bondi Yoghurt, a Sydney-based label that offers coconut-based yoghurt made of the fresh coconut juice and flesh, and Coco Tribe, another Australian company that makes organic artisanal coconut and vanilla bean yoghurt.
There is also a cafe that serves food grown using organic farming methods. Wraps, sandwiches, salads are made fresh daily with the products that you can find on their shelves too.
Click here for store information.
The Living Café is actually non-vegetarian, but it emphasises natural and holistic living, which is why most of its menu is dedicated to raw vegan cuisine (non-meat food cooked below 48 degree Celsius for health reasons).
The menu features many food staples such as soups, salads and even zucchini pasta. Its drinks menu is pretty extensive as well. Aside from kombuchas, organic wines and teas, cold-pressed juices and smoothies, and nut milkshakes. Coffee-lovers don’t have to fret over their choices either. The milk coffee selection – latte, cappuccino, flat white, and matcha latte – are made of soy, hazelnut or homemade almond milk.
The Living Café is located at 779 Bukit Timah Rd, 269758, tel: 6468 4482, website.
This restaurant just next to Dempsey Road aims to get its diners more in touch with the food they eat by understanding how they are grown and what goes into their plate. It even has an edible garden in its compound to allow diners to interact and learn about their food from the staff.
From pastas to omelettes and grain bowls to salads, herbs and ingredients are grown in-house. Hitting it up for happy hour? It has a range of cocktails with, yes, ingredients plucked from its garden too. If you’re looking for lactose-free options, try the homemade almond milk, or swap regular milk for almond or soy milk for an additional $2.
Open Farm Community is located at 130E Minden Rd, 248819, tel: 6471 0306, website.
By popular demand, this coffee chain has now incorporated non-dairy options in its menu. You can request for oat milk in your latte (and other beverages, of course) instead of regular cow’s milk at CMCR Martin Rd, Grounded by CMCR, and Common Man Stan for no extra cost.
Oat milk is low in fat and lactose-free. It is made of pre-soaked oat groats (fragmented hulled grains) and has a light, slightly sweet taste, similar to low-fat or skim milk. Oatly, as mentioned above, is a brand of organic Swedish oats that contains no added sugar and is full of heart-friendly beta glucans, a form of soluble dietary fibre that helps to improve cholesterol levels and boost heart health – so you can enjoy your cuppa while guarding your heart.
Click here for store locations.
By Joyce Chua, August 2019
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