Welcome to a new article following on from last weeks Top 5 Vegan Dinners I am sharing more of my favourite alternatives that are 100% plant-based.
* This article contains Amazon advertisements and affiliate links that if clicked on and purchased may earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Plant Milk & Coffee: An Overview
In 2020, growing concerns over the environmental and ethical impact of dairy production have led many of us to seek out alternatives to cows milk. There has been a steady rise in the popularity of plant-based milk, including soy, almond, oat, and coconut in recent years and experts predict tremendous growth in the market.
Plant milk is nothing new.
In China, soymilk or doujiang has long been used as a nutritional beverage and it is interesting to note that the earliest mention of soymilk in China appears long before the first mention of tofu.
However, when it comes to coffee, adding dairy alternatives to our morning coffee is still a relatively new trend. This is why plant milk companies are creating new ideas, recipes and options of barista-quality milk to boost popularity even further.
You can now find all types of dairy-free pre-made lattes, coffee creamers, and vegan-friendly caffeine beverages.
Not a coffee drinker?
Try out the Soy Matcha Latte or the Ceremonial Cacao & Cinnamon option - both packed with a healthy boost of energy and even more nutritional benefits.
What you will need:
Coffee: you can use instant coffee, French press, manual brew, coffee pods, your at-home coffee machine, really whichever coffee you have at home that is easy and affordable for you can be added to these recipes.
Try to seek out organic or fair trade coffee beans if you have the option as they are better for our health and the planet.
Sugar: this is another personal choice so you can choose to add the sugar or sweetener that you enjoy in your coffee. I like to use coconut sugar whenever possible.
For something a little different, try using organic maple syrup, date syrup or vanilla extract.
Plant-based Milk: the below recipes can be adapted to swap out any plant-based milk that you love. Choose from almond, soy, coconut, oat, and cashew milk as these all work really well with coffee.
Note that you can also make your own milk at home but if you buy your plant-based milk in-store do check for the most natural list of ingredients (the fewer the better).
Matcha: a type of green tea and a powerful source of natural energy and antioxidants; matcha is certainly a great coffee alternative. The finest matcha comes from Japan, where it has been grown for centuries and forms part of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
Look for a ceremonial grade, organic, Japanese matcha for the highest quality tea possible.
Raw Cacao: you might be thinking this is essentially the same thing as cocoa or milk chocolate powder but it is actually the unprocessed natural product that is also very good for you.
It is a great addition to a variety of vegan desserts, smoothies, and other drinks like coffee or hot chocolate. The powder is high in protein, fibre, magnesium and iron.
My Top 5 Vegan Plant-Based Coffee Drinks
Vanilla Almond Milk Iced Latte
Unsweetened almond milk (you can use any plant-based milk for this drink)
Tall glass or mason jar
This is super simple to make at home, no fuss, and if you don't like vanilla you can swap it out for other options like caramel or hazelnut. A great coffee for summer that you can also make with decaf coffee if you want to enjoy it later in the day.
Fill your glass with ice. Start by pouring your almond milk first (so the ice does not melt from the hot coffee) next pour in your brewed coffee and top it off with a dash of the syrup. Mix together and serve chilled.
Vegan Coconut Milk Latte
Pot or electric milk steamer
Start preparing your brewed coffee or espresso, next steam your milk for the latte. If you don't have a steamer it's not a problem, you can warm the milk on the stove, the microwave or use an electric milk steamer.
Once the coffee and milk is ready, start by adding your coffee to the mug, then your desired amount of coconut sugar, finally pour the milk (don't stir) until the mug is full and top with a little milk froth or a sprinkle of sugar.
To layer the latte as seen in the photo, add your warm milk to the glass (without the foam) next add the foam (frothed milk) to the glass, pour the espresso slowly in the middle of the glass - it will run through the foam and settle in the middle to create the layered look.
This takes some practice but it is worth it for the end result.
Ceremonial Cacao & Cinnamon Mocha
Organic raw cacao powder
Cinnamon stick or powder
This is so delicious you will never go back to basic hot chocolate again. Start by adding your almond milk to a saucepan on low heat and gently warm this with 1-2 sticks of cinnamon.
Next, add in 1/2 teaspoon or the preferred amount of the raw cacao powder (experiment with this as it is usually very rich) and whisk it together. Allow the milk to start to bubble and for the aroma to come through from the cinnamon.
Once it is ready, remove the cinnamon sticks and take the milk off the heat. Take your mug, add coconut sugar and pour over the hot chocolate mixture. Stir and enjoy!
If you are using cinnamon powder you can add this at any stage or sprinkle it over the top before you serve.
Creamy Oat Milk Cappuccino
Vegan chocolate powder
Pot or electric milk steamer
Everyone loves a cappuccino, with frothed milk and a hint of chocolate powder. Oat milk is a great replacement for dairy because it is super creamy and rich in texture. Start by preparing your brewed coffee or espresso for your beverage and steaming your oat milk. You want to create as much froth and texture to your oat milk as possible when making a cappuccino. An electric milk frother/steamer or milk steamer on the machine is the easiest way. You can also use a small electric milk whisk as you heat your milk to create the foam.
Next, it is just a matter of adding your coffee to a mug, followed by pouring over the milk and topping it off with the foam. Sprinkle a little vegan chocolate powder or cinnamon powder for a decadent finish.
Please note - if you have a gluten allergy or intolerance you do want to be careful as some people have issues with oats especially if they are not certified gluten-free. Check the packaging and listed ingredients on your oat milk. If you wish to swap oat milk it is super easy to use coconut milk in this recipe.
Soy Matcha Latte
Sweetener of choice (sugar or syrup)
Matcha tea whisk & bowl
Pot or electric milk steamer