Everything you need to know about the newest dairy-free milk

Long gone are the days when vegans or anyone with a dairy allergy would struggle to find suitable milk alternatives for their morning brew.

Now, there’s a whole range of options out there – from the well-established likes of almond, oat and soy milk, to more left-field variations, including cashew, hemp and macadamia.

As non-dairy alternatives become increasingly mainstream, we’re also learning that not all plant-based milks are created equal – which probably explains the rise of a new player in the game: potato milk.

Read: Which milk should you drink

Sure, it might not sound quite as glamorous or exotic as macadamia nut milk but it’s set to be the next big thing. It’s low in sugar and saturated fat, and will be dominating coffee shop menus in the coming months.

So what is potato milk? It’s “the diluted starches from potato”, explains dietitian Sophie Medlin. “It looks like milk because of the starchy nature of the potatoes, but it is actually just starchy water with some stabilisers.”

Here’s everything you need to know about potato milk.

The health benefits

Potato milk
How does potato milk measure up? (Alamy/PA)

On its own, says Ms Medlin, “there are no benefits to drinking potato milk”. What you need to find is a product that’s been “fortified with calcium, vitamin D, B vitamins and iron”.

Nutritionist Rohini Bajekal also says fortified milks are beneficial in being “low in saturated fat and allergen-friendly”.

So how does it compare to other milks? While Ms Medlin calls cows’ milk a “power player” in the nutrition stakes, Ms Bajekal suggests it’s “unnecessary within a healthy balanced diet” – but potatoes might not come out on top in the plant-based world.

Read: Low fat or full cream milk?

When Ms Medlin is talking to clients about plant milks, she says: “I generally favour fortified soy milk for its amino acid profile or a nut-based milk, as they contain more protein compared to milks made from starches like rice, oats and potatoes.”

Ms Bajekal is a big fan of soy alternatives, saying: “Unlike potato milk, soy milk is also far higher in protein.”

The environmental benefits

Swedish brand DUG is bringing potato milk to the masses, and it says there are a whole lot of environmental benefits to the drink.

DUG suggests its potato milk has a 75 per cent lower climate footprint than dairy milk – and it’s not just coming for cows’ milk, but other dairy-free alternatives as well. It says growing potatoes is “twice as efficient as growing oats in terms of land use”, while also using 56 times less water to grow compared to almonds.

How you can drink it

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Potato milk is becoming more widely available and in terms of price, it’s pretty much on a par with the price of other non-dairy alternatives, which tend to be more expensive than cows’ milk.

Read: Soy, oat, almond, rice, coconut, dairy: which ‘milk’ is best?

Alternatively, you can make your own – although this won’t be fortified, so is unlikely to have many health benefits. It’s also more laborious than popping to the shops, but ultimately pretty easy – all you have to do is boil potatoes until soft, blend with water until you have the right consistency – at this point you can add flavourings or a sweetener as desired – then strain through a muslin cloth.

– With PA

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Written by Prudence Wade

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