With the popularity of nut and seed “milks,” and a growing number of consumers who avoid dairy for a whole list of reasons, beverage companies are turning to nutritious grains like oats and rice to make beverages for sipping and cooking. Expect subtle flavors and thin textures (despite the use of gums and thickeners). Our favorite splurge: Rice Dream Horchata served over shaved ice. It’s a sweet 160-calorie take on the traditional Mexican beverage for those who can’t tolerate dairy.
Bottom Line: Averaging one to three grams of protein per cup and 25 to 28 grams of sugars, they are definitely not an even swap nutritionally for cow’s milk with its 8 grams of protein and 12 grams of sugars. Still, these drinks are versatile for anyone avoiding dairy.