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Juice

Best Almond Milk Brands of 2022

best almond milk brands of 2022

Almond milk is one of the most popular non-dairy alternatives on the market. It’s affordable, has a mild taste and is widely available in most grocery stores. Yet choosing which brand to buy can be confusing. With the help of the Rawkstar Team, we shopped and blind taste-tested so we could bring you the best almond milk brands for 2022.

The results from this review may (or may not) shock you. My goal is to help you find a brand that matches your priorities regarding taste, ingredients and eco-conscious packaging. I suggest checking out our Oat Milk Brands of 2022 and Coconut Milk Brands of 2022 if you’re looking for almond milk alternatives. The main concerns associated with almond milk production are water use and pesticide use.

Almond Milk Rawkstar Report

In our very own rawkstar report, you can see how +20 almond milk brands stack up. We focused on unsweetened as well as unflavored varieties, which I recommend using. We then rated them based on the quality of ingredients, taste (and texture) and sustainable packaging.

Almond Milk Brands: Elmhurst Milked Almonds

So Delicious Organic Almondmilk w/ Cashew

Almond Milk Brands: So Delicious Organic Almondmilk w/ Cashew

Thrive Market Organic Almond Beverage

Almond Milk Brands: Thrive Market Organic Almond Beverage

Silk Almond Organic Milk brand

Silk Almond Unsweetened

Owner Organic Almond Brand

365 Organic Original Almondmilk

365 Organic Original Almondmilk

Three Trees Organic Original Almondmilk

Three Trees Organic Original Almondmilk

Almond Milk Brands: Simply Almond Original

Good & Gather Original Almond (refrigerated)

Almond Milk Brands: Good & Gather Original Almond (refrigerated)

Sprouts Organic Almondmilk Original

Almond Milk Brands: Sprouts Organic Almondmilk Original

Great Value Almondmilk Original

Great Value Almondmilk Original

Pacific Foods Organic Almond

Pacific Foods Organic Almond

Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almondmilk Original

Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almondmilk Original

Califia Farms Almondmilk

Friendly Farms Almond Original Almondmilk

Friendly Farms Almond Original Almondmilk

Publix Original Almond Milk

Publix Original Almond Milk

Trader Joe’s Simple Almond Beverage

Trader Joe's Simple Almond Beverage

Trader Joe’s Almond Beverage Original

Trader Joe's Almond Beverage Original

Kirkland's Almond

Good & Gather Original Almond (shelf-stable)

Good & Gather Original Almond (shelf-stable)
Finding the best almond milk brands in stores

Factors to Determine the Best Brands

As you’ll see from the ratings above, almond milk is not the same. Many brands add fillers, gum, fortify with vitamins, and alter taste with “natural flavors” to modify the true flavor.

Always read labels when shopping; you never know what you’ll get if you don’t. The best quality you will ever find is homemade almond milk. Yet if that’s not a possibility for you, then let this list be your guide to getting the very best brand.

High-Quality Ingredients

Just because the branding looks clean, attractive and healthy, it doesn’t mean the ingredients tell the same story. While we know taste and texture are huge buying factors, we also compared to ingredient lists to give our best recommendations:

  1. Elmhurst Milked Almonds
  2. Unsweetened Trader Joe’s Simple Almond Beverage
  3. Organic Almond Owner
  4. Unsweetened Three Trees Organic Almond Milk

Taste + Texture

Blind taste-testing was a game-changer when it came to comparing the taste of a variety of milk. Some were gritty, others were smooth. Some had a bitter taste. Others had a smooth sweetness. We took all this into account when rating each brand.

  1. Silk Almond Unsweetened
  2. So Delicious Organic Almond with Cashew
  3. Friendly Farms Original Unsweetened Almond
  4. Good & Gather Original Almond, refrigerated

Silk Unsweetened Almond was the top-tasting winner hands down (and the only was to get a “green pass” for its taste score). Overall, we realized that every brand of store bought almond beverage isn’t that tasty, especially when you compare it to oat milk or coconut milk.

Eco-Conscious Packaging

Eco-friendly packaging also gave certain brands a boost. If a brand used recyclable materials or had B-Corp status then they got bonus points.

  1. Elmhurst Milked Almonds
  2. Silk Almond Organic + Silk Almond Unsweetened
  3. So Delicious Organic Almond with Cashew
  4. Thrive Market Organic Almond Beverage

Where to Buy The Top Brands

Erin spent a day driving around Tampa Bay, so that she could buy every brand available. She every almond beverage brand available at Costco, Whole Foods purchased, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Target, Aldi, Publix, The Fresh Market, and NutritionSmart. We also online from Thrive Market and Amazon to get everything we could purchased. You can pretty much find it in every grocery store in 2022.

If you’re looking to buy the top winners from the Rawkstar Report, read on:

Elmhurst Milked Almonds: Publix, Amazon, Elmhurst.com, Wegman’s, Thrive Market, Whole Foods, etc.

So Delicious Almond with Cashews: Walmart (yet occasionally discontinued), Amazon

Thrive Market Almond: ThriveMarket.com is the online grocery story loved by many, including myself. They make their products at an affordable price too.

diy almond milk recipe

Is Almond Milk Good for You?

Almond’ milk’ has exploded on the market in recent years. Consumers are buying more plant-based products and grocery stores are listening. Dairy also happens to be one of the most common food sensitivities, which makes this milk, oat milk and coconut milk great options. Whether you choose to buy one of the best brands above or make homemade almond milk, you can enjoy some wonderful health benefits.

Here’s how one cup of almond milk stacks up to one cup of dairy:

Unsweetened Almond Milk (on average)

  • 50 calories
  • 2 grams of carbs
  • 35% daily Vitamin E
  • 35% daily Calcium (manufacturers enrich most almond milks to compete with dairy milk)

Low Fat Dairy Milk (on average)

  • 103 calories
  • 12 grams of carbs (mostly sugar)
  • 28% daily Calcium
Recipes using almond milk

5 Tasty Recipes Using Almond Milk

We love using almond beverages as a recipe base to create a creamy, protein-enriched meal, so here are a few of our favorites:

  1. Chocolate Banana Protein Smoothie
  2. Maple Cauliflower Smoothie Bowl
  3. Spiced Almond Drink
  4. Cherry Almond Cinnamon Green Smoothie
  5. Chocolate Fiber Smoothie Cubes

Leave a comment letting us know if this report was helpful and if there are any refrigerated almond milk brands we can test next! We’re here to do the work for you, and then give you the inside scoop. If your favorite isn’t listed, then we’d love to know which brand you think has the best-tasting milk because we want to try it, too!

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Juice

Best Best Oat Milk Brands of 2022

best oat milk

We’re back at it again to give you the best oat milk brands of 2022! We researched, shopped and tested 12 different brands to bring you the widest variety of oat milk we could find (at least in central Florida).

I can’t wait to share the results with you. Oat milk is something I’m reaching for more and more these days due to its creamy texture and mild taste. Let’s see how it stacks up in this growing world of plant-based milk.

oat milk brands

Best Oat Milk Brand

Before I reveal our results, I want to break down a little research into oat milk brands. Unlike almond milk, which is categorized as sweetened or unsweetened and comes in various flavors, oat milk categories are not straightforward. Let’s break down the lingo first.

What ‘Original’ Really Means

The goal of our project was to test all of the ‘original’ oat milk we could find. Brands are not consistent with their labeling, so we had to get a bit creative. Here are all the ways we found ‘original’:

  • Less Sweet
  • Full Fat
  • Less Fat
  • Original
  • Plain
  • Unsweetened
  • Extra Creamy
  • Barista
  • Blended with coconut and cashews

How’s that for clarity? While you can be fairly certain that any almond milk brand has an unsweetened original version, this wasn’t the case with oat milk. We did find the zero sugar plain version of Chobani this year (yay!). But we couldn’t find a fully unsweetened version of Good and Gather. We also had to pick between the original and barista version of Oatly!, which threw us for a loop. We came up with a comprehensive list of what is on the market right now at the national level. Let’s get on to the results!

taste test

Best Oat Milk Brands of 2022

To make the table easy to decode, I used a leaf scoring system (because green is best!):

best oat milk brands

While Califia was the stand-out winner in all categories, most of the milk brands we tested were pretty middle-of-the-road. Only three brands, Califia, Elmhurst, and Forager, boasted a simple ingredient list. Simply Oat has a more straightforward ingredient list yet includes the ever-elusive ‘natural flavors,’ which dethroned its seat from our cleanest list.

Because most of the milk we tested had several additives and gums, they were disqualified from ‘dark green status.’ I recommend checking the calorie and sugar content of any oat beverage you purchase. The sugar content alone ranges from 1g to 10g between brands, so we felt them worth mentioning:

  • Natural by Nature: 120 calories, 10g added sugar
  • Trader Joe’s: 90 calories, 9g added sugar
  • Good + Gather: 90 calories, 9g added sugar
  • Chobani Extra Creamy Original: 120 calories, 8g added sugar
  • Oatly: 120 calories, 7g added sugar
  • Califia: 130 calories, 4g added sugar
  • Planet Oat: 90 calories, 4g added sugar
  • Silk: 80 calories, 4g added sugar
  • Simply Oat Original: 80 calories, 4g added sugar
  • Forager: 45 calories, 2g sugar (no added sugar)
  • Elmhurst: 80 calories, 1g sugar (no added sugar)
  • Chobani Zero Sugar Plain: 80 calories, 0g sugar

I’m still a firm believe that the best plant milk is homemade, so check out my homemade milk recipe and let me know how it compares to your favorite store-bought brand.

plant milk testing

Where to Buy Oat Milk

All the oat milk brands in this review were purchased around the Tampa Bay area. Obviously, there are regional grocery stores and brands not available here. Comment below with your favorite oat milk brand and store where it can be found so we can try to include it next year! My friend Erin shopped at the following stores to get as many oat milk brands as possible:

  • Trader Joe’s
  • Walmart
  • Whole Foods
  • Sprouts
  • Publix
  • Target

Oat milk brands are steadily gaining momentum here in the Southeastern United States. For this year’s update, we were able to find two additional brands to try: Chobani Zero Sugar Plain and Simply Oat Original.

blind taste test

Oat Milk Nutrition Facts

Like many types of plant milk (and even varieties of dairy milk), oat milk is commonly fortified with vitamins and minerals. Brands do this to compete in the ‘milk’ category. Oats are a healthy grain in their own right, as you’ll see below:

  • Lowers cholesterol: According to a study conducted by the US National Library of Medicine, regular consumption of oat milk for 5 weeks showed lower cholesterol levels.
  • Loaded with fiber: 1 cup of oat milk contains 3.3 grams of fiber, 13.2% of the recommended daily intake. If you use this as a base for a green smoothie, then your gut will be thanking you for helping to keep it regular.
  • heart healthy: The soluble fiber in oat milk is also excellent (and necessary) to keep hearts healthy.
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions: not only does oat milk promote human health, it also promotes environmental health. It takes up hundreds of fewer square miles to produce than dairy milk, and uses ⅛th of the water consumption expended in the production of almond milk.
  • Fortified with B vitamins: Most commercially available oat milk is fortified (as are other dairy and non-dairy milk products). This plant milk specifically is loaded with B vitamins, which helps the body stay energized and also promotes heart health.

Is Oat Milk Gluten Free?

I love that oat milk isn’t only a healthy choice for our bodies and an environmentally friendly choice for our planet. If you’re sensitive to gluten, make sure to read the labels and ingredient list closely. Some brands specify gluten-free oats were used, yet most don’t. If you’re looking for a gluten-free brand, these are ones we found that say “gluten-free” on them:

  • Planet Oats
  • Simply Oat
  • Elmhurst
  • Calafia
  • Chobani (both kinds)
  • Forager: states they use “gluten-free oats”

9 Recipes with Oats

homemade oat milk

DIY Oat Milk

While there were some super great grocery oat milk brands, I still think nothing beats homemade. This oat milk recipe is simple, quick and delicious. Try it and see how it stacks up against the store-bought competition.

Steel Cut Oats

This recipe will bring you nourishing breakfasts for the week. Make once and enjoy for days! Feel free to add whatever toppings you like best.

plant milk latte

Cinnamon Dolce Latte

Why wait in a drive-thru when you can make this coffee shop quality treat at home. Sweet, creamy and oh so delicious, this plant-based latte hits all the comfort factors needed to start the day.

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

Whether you’re making breakfast for a crowd or you want to batch cook breakfast for the week, this is the recipe for you. It’s incredibly delicious and filling, which I need first thing in the morning.

oat milk smoothie

Banana Oatmeal Smoothie

This heart-healthy smoothie is loaded with fiber and just the right amount of sweetness. This is the perfect post-workout snack or even a quick breakfast on the go.

Overnight Oats

I love having a few jars of overnight oats on hand as a snack or on-the-go breakfast. Each container can have different toppings, which is a must in my household. You can use your favorite oat milk brand as the base too!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

A protein-packed smoothie that tastes like dessert is my go-to for a workout day. This is a great way to fuel up before a workout or a creamy dessert for that chocolate craving.

homemade bars

Homemade Granola Bars

These granola bars will keep the family happy all day long. They pack nicely in a daypack or cooler as well—a burst of energy to keep the adventures going.

Jen’s Coconut Granola

Use this incredibly balanced granola as a breakfast with your favorite oat milk or as a nutritious snack on the go. It can be paired with fresh berries, yogurt or munched on its own. It’s seriously good and can be found in the Fresh Start Autumn 21-Day Cleanse.

One of the many great things about green smoothies is that they’re so customizable. Next time you make one, try swapping the liquid base for oat milk to produce a creamier, thicker smoothie. Oat milk can be a great added protein, as well as a thickener for that delicious smoothie bowl.

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Juice

Best Coconut Milk Brands of 2022

coconut milk brands

Coconut milk is a popular plant-based beverage used in baking, cooking, smoothies and more. Its creamy texture and healthy fat content make it super useful! Yet coconut milk (especially canned) varies wildly in taste and fat content. So my team and I taste-tested all that we could find to bring you the best coconut milk brands to buy and which ones to leave at the store.

We’ve done these Rawkstar Reports annually for almond milk and oat milk, and now we’re adding coconut milk to the list too! The results always surprise us, so I can’t wait to share them with you!

plant milk taste test

Coconut Milk Rawkstar Report

We ranked brands on taste, texture, ingredients (gums, organic or not, types of additives) and the kind of packaging (B-corp, level of recyclability). Some brands had very few ingredients yet got bonus points if they were organic. Many had gums and therefore got better ratings for fewer gums and organic gums. We only tested unsweetened original versions to make this test as equal as possible. No added sugars or flavors in any of these!

Best Carton Coconut Beverages

We weren’t the biggest fans of the taste of any of the cartons we tried. Yet who drinks a giant glass of straight coconut ‘milk’ anyways? So the taste test didn’t carry as much weight as the ingredients and packaging.

Good & Gather Unsweetened Organic Coconut


Vita Coco Coconut Milk Original Organic


So Delicious Dairy Free Organic Coconut Unsweetened

Almond Milk Brands: So Delicious Organic Almondmilk w/ Cashew

Pacific Foods Organic Coconut Original Unsweetened

Almond Milk Brands: So Delicious Organic Almondmilk w/ Cashew

Almond Milk Brands: So Delicious Organic Almondmilk w/ Cashew

365 Organic Unsweetened Coconut Original

Almond Milk Brands: So Delicious Organic Almondmilk w/ Cashew

Califia Farms Coconut Milk Coconut Water Blend

Almond Milk Brands: So Delicious Organic Almondmilk w/ Cashew
best coconut milk

All Around Winners

  1. Good & Gather Unsweetened Organic Coconut
  2. Vita Coco Coconut Milk Original Unsweetened*
  3. So Delicious Dairy Free Organic Coconut Unsweetened

*Vita Coco was the only brand with limited ingredients (not fortified with vitamins/minerals). They also only had gellan gum, while all the other brands had two or more gums.

Taste Test Winners

  1. Silk Unsweetened Coconut
  2. Good & Gather Unsweetened Organic Coconut
  3. Pacific Foods Organic Coconut Original Unsweetened

Organic Brands

Most of the carton milk brands we tried were organic:

  • Good & Gather Unsweetened Organic Coconut
  • Pacific Foods Organic Coconut Original Unsweetened
  • So Delicious Dairy Free Organic Coconut Unsweetened
  • Vita Coco Coconut Original Organic
  • 365 Organic Unsweetened Coconut Original
coconut milk brands

Best Canned Coconut Milk Brands

Unlike carton milk, full-fat canned had a few gum-free brands (woohoo!). We also found the tastes more appealing overall. If you want/need to up your fat content, use one of these great brands. They are great for super thick smoothies and smoothie bowls and cooking creamy sauces.

Almond Milk Brands: Elmhurst Milked Almonds

Almond Milk Brands: Elmhurst Milked Almonds

So Delicious Organic Almondmilk w/ Cashew

Almond Milk Brands: So Delicious Organic Almondmilk w/ Cashew

Best All Around Full Fat

  1. Thai Kitchen 2 Simple Ingredients Coconut Unsweetened
  2. Field Day Organic Classic Coconut Milk Unsweetened
  3. Thrive Market Organic Coconut Regular

Best Tasting Full Fat

  1. Field Day Organic Classic Coconut Unsweetened
  2. Native Forest Unsweetened Organic Coconut Milk Classic
  3. Thai Kitchen 2 Simple Ingredients Coconut Unsweetened

Organic Full Fat

Half of the full-fat canned milk we tested had organic ingredients. Bonus!

  1. Field Day Organic Classic Coconut Milk Unsweetened
  2. Native Forest Unsweetened Organic Coconut Classic
  3. Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk Unsweetened
  4. Sprouts Organic Coconut Unsweetened
  5. Thrive Market Organic Coconut Milk Regular
  6. Good and Gather Organic Unsweetened Coconut Milk
  7. Native Forest Unsweetened Organic Coconut Simple
  8. Cadia Organic Coconut Milk
best canned light coconut milk

Best All Around Light Canned

  1. Sprouts Organic Lite Coconut Milk Unsweetened
  2. Thai Kitchen 2 Simple Ingredients Lite Coconut Milk Unsweetened
  3. Thrive Market Organic Coconut Lite Milk

Best Tasting Light

  1. Sprouts Lite Coconut Unsweetened Milk
  2. Sprouts Organic Lite Coconut Milk Unsweetened
  3. 365 Organic Light Coconut Milk

Organic Light

Only 2 of the light canned brands weren’t organic. So if that’s important to you, then the below list gives you lots of great options!

  1. Sprouts Organic Lite Coconut Milk Unsweetened
  2. 365 Organic Light Coconut
  3. Field Day Organic Lite Coconut Milk Unsweetened
  4. KaMe Coconut Lite Organic
  5. Thrive Market Organic Coconut Milk Lite
  6. Cadia Organic Light Coconut Milk
dairy free taste test

How to Buy the Best Brand

READ YOUR LABELS. No matter what kind of milk you are buying, look for one with the fewest ingredients, no gums (if possible), and no sulfites (found in a few canned versions we tested). If you want to know your ingredients, read on for a breakdown.

Calcium: Calcium Carbonate VS. Tricalcium Phosphate

Many plant beverage manufacturers fortify their milk with calcium because they compete with dairy milk. The two main kinds of calcium added are calcium carbonate and tricalcium phosphate.

They have roughly the same amount of elemental (real) calcium per unit. However, calcium carbonate is more easily digested, as it is more naturally occurring than tricalcium phosphate. Companies choose the more processed, less natural form of calcium, tricalcium phosphate because it’s cheaper. We docked them in our report if they did this.

Sunflower Lecithin

A few of the carton brands have sunflower lecithin. We have lecithin naturally in our bodies. It’s made up of fatty acids. Sunflower lecithin, in particular, is non-GMO, which makes us happy. This supplement is added to food as an emulsifier. It keeps fat and oils from mixing with other substances in our bodies.

There are several health benefits to sunflower lecithin, such as:

  • Improves Heart Health through breaking down fat
  • Lowers Cholesterol
  • Promotes liver health
  • Helps breastfeeding mothers avoid clogged ducts
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves digestion
  • Fights dementia symptoms

Sulfites

I’m sure you’ve heard this word tossed around the health food arena just like I have. Yet what are sulfites, and why do we run from them?!

The Mayo Clinic explains it as sulfite sensitivity. Sulfites are used in food as a preservative. You’ll often find them in wine, but they were banned from fresh fruit and veggies in the 1980s due to several severe documented reactions. If you don’t have asthma, you will probably not be affected by sulfites. Yet if you have asthma, it’s better to steer clear when you can.

Another reason to check those labels we found sulfites in 2 of the full-fat canned brands we tested: Iberia and Goya.

Gums in Coconut Beverages

Almost every brand we tried had gums of one kind or another in it. Here’s the breakdown to help you understand your gums better:

  • Xanthan Gum (not so good): added to food as a thickener/preservative. It’s created when sugar is fermented by a certain kind of bacteria. It’s an insoluble fiber, so our bodies can’t break it down, therefore it has no real nutritional value. Xanthan gum comes from sugar found in wheat, corn, soy and dairy. You should avoid it if you are allergic to any of these ingredients.
  • Gellan Gum (better): Added to food to thicken, stabilize/texturize. It’s a plant-based alternative to gelatin. Studies are inconclusive so far in determining the safety/benefit vs the risk of adding gellan gum to food. Some studies show that it can reduce constipation, while other studies link it to abnormalities in stomach lining.
  • Locust Bean Gum (better): added to food as a natural thickener. It is made from the seeds of a carob tree. It’s health benefits include lowering blood sugar, high in fiber and able to reduce reflux in infants (added to infant formula). While it is more naturally occurring mentioned than the other gums we, there also isn’t a whole lot of research yet on how good or bad it can be for our bodies to ingest in the long run.
  • Guar Gum (better): added to food as a binder/thickener. It’s made from guar beans and is high in fiber. It may aid in digestion as well as help lower cholesterol and blood sugar. If consumed in high quantities, it can obstruct the esophagus and small bowel, so the FDA has maximum usage levels. Coconut milk is only allowed to have 1% guar gum in it, or up to 2.4 grams per serving.
coconut milk brands taste test

Plant Milk FAQs

What brand of coconut milk is the best?

Per our taste test, the best all-around brand in the carton is Vita Coco Coconut Milk Original Organic. The best in full-fat is Thai Kitchen 2 Simple Ingredients Coconut Milk Unsweetened, and the best in light is Thrive Market Organic Coconut Milk Lite.

Is coconut milk bad for you?

It doesn’t have to be. Look for brands with the fewest ingredients, avoid sulfites (especially if you have asthma), and know that coconut is naturally high in healthy fat.

What coconut milk is best for curry?

I recommend using a full-fat canned version for curry since you want a creamy sauce-like texture. The best all-around full-fat coconut milk is Thai Kitchen 2 Simple Ingredients Coconut Milk Unsweetened. No gums and super creamy!

Recipes that Use Coconut Milk

Now that you’re armed with the best coconut milk brands let’s make something! Most of the recipes below let you choose which type of milk you want. Yet know that using carton milk when the recipe calls for canned will cause you to lose out on a lot of healthy fat + creamy consistency.