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It’s time for almonds and oats to move over in the vegan milk world. We have new plant-based ingredients to steal the show. These 6 startups are leading the revolution and developing unique dairy-free alternatives using everything from pecans and pistachios, to potatoes, millet and black-eyed peas.
1. THIS PKN: pecans
THIS PKN is going nuts for pecans. Based in Texas, the startup works with leading pecan growers who use regenerative farming practices in the central part of the state to create its dairy-free milk. Even the smallest pieces of pecans that are typically unsold and end up as waste are given value and upcycled in every carton of THIS PKN, which comes in two varieties: chocolate and original. Aside from pecan nuts, the vegan milk contains calcium, sunflower lecithin, organic locust bean gum, sea salt and monk fruit and stevia as sweeteners.
2. Táche: pistachios
Táche has taken the Insta-verse by storm with its ultra-trendy shade of green. Rather than your typical nut-based vegan milk that uses almonds or coconuts, this Iranian-American female-founded brand based in New York puts pistachios in the spotlight—and pretty much nothing else. Other than pistachios and water, Táche milk contains less than 2% of other ingredients like gum acacia and gellan gum for its texture, and comes in two varieties: original (which contains cane sugar) and unsweetened original.
3. Forager: cashews
Forager’s vegan milk deserves a spot on the list because of its super creamy texture, and it’s all thanks to cashews. The completely soy-free and almond-free blend is made with just cashew nuts and coconut cream, with a little bit of tapioca starch, gluten-free oats and sunflower oil. Oh, and by the way, Forager makes cashew-based yogurt, protein shakes and cheese too.
4. Pilk: cowpeas and mung beans
Pilk is doing something different by putting India-grown crops at the heart of its creamy dairy-free alternative. Calling its blend a “magical fusion”, the Bengaluru-based startup uses cowpeas, also known as black-eyed peas, mung beans, and oats. Each serving of Pilk milk boasts 50% more calcium than real cow’s milk, is free from soy, nuts and main allergens, while still tasting just as delicious.
5. Alt Foods: millet
Alt Foods is another Indian startup, but it’s using millets instead. In addition to sprouted millets, food tech is also tapping other Indian crops such as sprouted sorghum and amaranth, and then finishing off the blend with some oats. The result? A delicious 100% plant-based milk and the first-ever to contain ingredients of its kind. Right now, the range is available in two flavour varieties: chocolate and original.
6. DUG: potatoes
DUG is perhaps the most unusual of all vegan milks—it’s made from potatoes. Created by Swedish food tech Veg of Lund, the brand is turning spuds into a creamy 100% nut-free, gluten-free and soy-free dairy alternative, which is the first (and to date, the only) potato-based milk on the market. DUG also contains pea protein, maltodextrin, chicory fibre, rapeseed oil, and natural flavourings. There are three flavours: original, barista, and unsweetened.
Lead image courtesy of DUG.