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California's Plant-Based Milk Brands That'll Make You Ditch The Dairy

California's Plant-Based Milk Brands That'll Make You Ditch The Dairy

By California.com
December 06, 2020

Plant-based milk is unlike any “udder” milk you’ll ever have. You don’t have to be vegan or lactose intolerant to enjoy it—instead of deciding between whole milk and 2-percent milk, you now have a plethora of choices in the rapidly expanding field of plant milk. Thanks to the booming vegan market, we can easily swap out regular cow milk for a more delicious, versatile, and nutritious option. We’re talking almond, coconut, oat, cashew, soy, and even pea milk. Once you’ve had a taste of these vegan milks, you won’t be blaming angry cows for sour milk. 

The Best Plant-Based Milk Brands In the Golden State

Whether you’re looking for something creamy for your morning latte or bowl of cereal, you won’t be disappointed with California’s best plant-based milk brands. There is a huge variety to choose from, so it all comes down to which flavor and texture you enjoy the most. Splash a little bit of plant milk in your coffee, and you’ll be immediately cow-convinced.

Plant-Based Milk Brands

Swap out your lactose-laden milk with Califia Farms' deliciously creamy oat milk. Photo courtesy of Califia Farms.

Califia Farms

Founded in 2010 by beverage visionary Greg Steltenpohl, Califia Farms is one of the most well-known plant-based milk brands in the Golden State. The company’s mission is to build a mindful, natural, creamy, tasty, and vegan milk that’s good for both you and the planet.

Get your dose of almond milk from Califia Farms—the delicious and smooth plant milk not only powers your wellness, but also provides a better form of nourishment. One thing’s for sure: The classic almond milk will make you go nuts. Don’t hesitate to try the toasted coconut or protein oat milk, either; they’re both legen-dairy. 

Try any one of these unique plant-based milks, and you won't want to go back to regular milk again. Photo courtesy of Three Trees Organics.

Three Trees Organics

Three Trees Organics is credited with making the most delicious and purest plant-based milks in the San Francisco Bay Area. It all began when founder Jenny Eu’s grandmother showed her the wonders of nourishing plant foods. Soon, Eu started fiddling with nut milks in her kitchen and selling them at local farmers markets. Now, she nourishes the world with her line of fresh almond, pistachio, vanilla bean, and black-sesame milks.

The incredible woman-owned business makes certified-organic vegan milk that’s 100 percent clean. Three Trees milk is so delicious that you’ll want to cut back on animal products the second you take a sip. Grab a cup of morning brew from the best East Bay coffee shops, then add a touch of black-sesame milk for a bold, toasty flavor.  

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Vegan Milks

Add a splash of California-made almond milk to your smoothie for a taste of the divine. Photo courtesy of Blue Diamond Almonds.

Blue Diamond Almond 

When you think of almond milk, the first plant-based milk brand to come to mind is probably Almond Breeze, the official brand of Blue Diamond Almonds. The company is essentially the godfather of vegan milk in California. As the best alternative to dairy milk, Blue Diamond Almonds makes lactose-free, soy-free, and calcium-enriched almond milk.

If you’re looking to cut down your caloric intake, almond milk is the best choice—each glass contains only 60 calories, which is less than half of what regular dairy milk contains. You can find Almond Breeze almost anywhere. The brand offers original, sweetened, vanilla, and chocolate versions. Whenever you go on a date to the best San Diego coffee shops, ask the barista to make your latte using this plant-based milk brand

It's all about simplicity when it comes to this delicious coconut milk. Photo courtesy of Edward and Sons Trading Company.

Native Forest

Nowadays, coconuts seem to be omnipresent in our food and beauty routines, whether it’s coconut oil, water, or milk. The most coveted unsweetened organic coconut milk is none other than Native Forest’s vegan milk. Owned by Edward and Sons Trading Company, Native Forest is undoubtedly one of the best plant-based milk brands in the Golden State.

The company produced America’s first canned organic coconut milk, which is pressed from the nutmeat of mature coconuts. Its smooth and creamy texture makes it ideal for adding to a wide range of dishes. Over the years, the company expanded to classic, simple, light, and powdered coconut milk. It’s important to note that this vegan milk has a strong flavor profile. If you’re a fan of coconut in your food, you’re going to go coco-nuts. 

Add a splash of vanilla-infused almond milk to your morning coffee and start your day off right. Photo courtesy of New Barn Organics.

New Barn Organics

New Barn Organics is yet another plant-based milk brand that produces organic, dairy-free, and nectarous almond milk. The company’s values lie within making nutritious and delicious products with thoughtfully and transparently sourced nutrient-dense, organic ingredients. With the hopes of establishing a healthier food system, New Barn Organics prepares its products under safe conditions.

This is how New Barn Organics makes its signature vegan milk: Filtered water is combined with plenty of organic almonds and a hint of sea salt; then, the mixture is blended with acacia gum to achieve the perfect consistency. The Northern California brand offers barista, unsweetened, and vanilla almond milks. Whichever one you end up buying, you’re going to be hooked.


Plant Milk

You'll be all smiles as soon as you take a sip of WestSoy's non-GMO, protein-packed plant milk.

WestSoy

How “dairy” not drink WestSoy milk? It’s literally the O.G. plant-based milk that made every other non-dairy milk trendy. As the leading brand of soy milk in the U.S., WestSoy offers consumers a wide range of lactose-free products using only organic ingredients. The company’s vegan milk is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and is also non-GMO verified.

The original founders of WestSoy were two students who ran a coffeehouse at the University of California, Davis, over 35 years ago. The duo then converted a supermarket into a natural and organic food center, and the rest is history. So, the next time you say that soy milk is so 2000s, remember that this plant-based milk variety has the most protein compared to other non-dairy options.

Indulge in the delectable taste of milk made from peas (yes, peas). Photo courtesy of Ripple Foods.

Ripple Foods

Ripple Foods main purpose is to make dairy-free products—high in protein, low in sugar, and packed with nutrition—for everyone to enjoy. The company’s plant-based milk is unparalleled. The nutritious pea milk (yes, you read that correctly, pea milk) is made from the proprietary pea protein “ripptein,” sunflower oil, organic cane sugar, and algal oil. 

This vegan milk contains almost as much protein as cow’s milk. The milk’s flavor isn’t too overpowering and doesn’t have a strong essence like other nut milks, either; it manages to entice your taste buds while maintaining a neutral yet rich taste. Try the chocolate, vanilla, and the original pea milk from Ripple Foods. They’re all udder-ly yummy.

Savor the flavors of organic almond milk while supporting a woman-owned business. It's a win-win. Photo courtesy of Beber Fresh Almondmilk.

Beber fresh almondmilk

If you’re looking for high-quality, ultra-fresh almond milk, Beber Fresh Almondmilk's got your back. This boutique, woman-owned plant-based milk brand is based in Chico and uses only two ingredients to achieve the signature milk: organic almonds and filtered water.

Founder Arielle Danan leveraged her expertise in organic farming to start something on her own in the almond capital of the world: Northern California. Using whole almonds from organic orchards, she blends them with purified water and nothing else—no artificial flavors, thickeners, or preservatives are found here. The plant-based milk is fresh, light, and refreshing (perfect for a morning iced latte, if you ask us). 

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