Soy vs coconut, with so many plant-based options; how do you choose?
If you, like so many other Americans, are looking for a plant-based coffee creamer you are in luck! 20 years ago, it was almost impossible to find a creamer that didn’t come from cows’ milk or contain all sorts of sugar and other add-ins that made it an unhealthy and often unappetizing choice. Today we have LOTS of great options, but with so many in the field it can be a twisted web to figure out which one is right for you.
Let’s start with a quick breakdown and some background on two specific and very popular nut milks…
Soy Milk for beginners
Soy milk is made from either ground up soybeans or soy protein powder that is reconstituted with water. It is often adjusted with oil (and sugar) to imitate the consistency of cow's milk. Soy milk has more protein on average than other plant alternatives, contains fiber, and is a source of "good" fats- yeah soy milk! One thing to watch out for — some soy milks have added sugars to try and mimic the natural sweetness of milk, so it always pays to check. Soy milk also contains large amounts of phytoestrogens — a class of plant chemicals that mimic the body's natural estrogen — but on a much weaker scale. Despite concerns about phytoestrogens causing an increased risk of breast cancer and hyperthyroidism, several clinical studies have consistently shown those fears are overstated.
coconut milk FAQ’s
Coconut milk is made in one of two ways. In one the fresh coconut meat (the flesh of the coconut) is mixed with water and then strained to create liquid coconut milk. In the other, its spray dried to create powdered/dried coconut milk. Coconut milk is typically low in carbohydrate and protein, but high in the “good”, plant-based saturated fats. About 93% of coconut milk’s calories come from fat, including saturated fats known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). There’s some evidence that the MCT fats in coconut milk may benefit weight loss, body composition and boost metabolism. The big thing it has going for it, other than being lactose free and vegan, is its flavor, which is mildly sweet and creamy, making it a favorite over cereal and in coffee.
With so many healthy and delicious creamer options today it’s easy to get excited and jump right in. Before you start on your new creamer quest, however, remember this one thing….
Every brand and every creamer will have a different serving size listed in their Nutrition Facts. There isn’t one ‘standard’ serving size for coffee creamers. Some call for a tablespoon or a liquid measurement (in the case of liquid creamers), while others list nutrition information by the cup. So, if you are comparing creamer brands, flavors, etc. make sure you are comparing apples to apples when it comes to serving size and how much you’re getting per serving.
Now that you have the basics, it's time to start taste testing for yourself. Here are 10 of the best vegan creamers to help you find the perfect dairy-free (and vegan!) creamers for yourself. With so many amazing options to choose from I am confident you will find one (or several) that will become your new fan favs!