What Is Pea Milk and Is It Healthy?
Pea milk may just be the healthiest plant-based alternative to dairy.
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We’re hearing a lot about plant-based milk alternatives these days. Sales of plant-based milks now make up 14% of the entire milk category, and the plant-based milk market is expected to be a $21.5 billion industry in the United States by 2024. People tout the healthy properties of oat milk, soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, and even hemp milk. But, according to recent studies, the healthiest of them all might be pea milk. Some say it’s also the closest in taste to cow’s milk.
What is pea milk?
Pea milk is a plant-based alternative to cow’s milk. It’s made from yellow field peas (not green) that are milled into flour. Many alternative milks are made by soaking, but with pea milk, the protein is separated from the fiber and starch. Then, the protein is purified and blended with water and other ingredients. The result is a non-dairy milk that tastes very much like cow’s milk.
Is pea milk healthy?
Recent studies have shown that pea milk is one of the healthiest non-dairy options. It contains 150% more calcium than cow’s milk, according to Eating Well. Compared to other plant-based milks such as almond milk and oat milk, pea milk also has significantly more protein. It’s also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin D and potassium.
Researchers also found that pea-based drinks had the most phosphorus, selenium and zinc of any plant-based milk, according to the American Chemical Society. “These plant-based milk alternatives could be important sources of these micronutrients if you’re trying to reach the recommended dietary allowances for them,” said Ben Redan, a research chemist at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, who was the principal investigator on the study. Pea milk contains a similar amount of micronutrients as cow’s milk does.
It’s also sustainable. Yellow field peas are inexpensive to grow and require less water and resources to produce than other non-dairy milks.
Where can I find pea milk?
More grocery stores are beginning to carry pea milk in their refrigerated aisles. Ripple is a well-known pea milk brand that can be found in retailers like Target, Walmart and Amazon as well as national grocery chains like H-E-B, Kroger and Whole Foods. Other brands that make pea milk include Sproud and Bolthouse Farms.
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