Potato milk

Could this be the next popular cow's milk alternative? | Source: Getty Images

Got Milk? The Latest in Plant-Based Alternatives

Potatoes have long been recognised as the Meryl Streep of the vegetable world, famed for their extreme versatility. From creamy mash to crispy french fries and even vodka, these humble root veggies are responsible for many of life’s greatest pleasures.

Now they can add another feather to their cap. Potato milk is the latest in the growing trend of plant-based milk alternatives. But how does it measure up to its creamy counterparts?

Source: Getty

Protein

Generally speaking, plant-based milk isn’t particularly high in protein as they only contain a fraction of the ingredients they’re derived from. Take almonds for example. While the nut is naturally high in protein (containing 20g of protein per 100g), once it undergoes processing to almond milk, most of the vitamins and minerals are lost.

Potatoes are rather low in protein, to begin with, so even after processing there isn’t much to account for, with less than 0.5g of protein per 100ml of potato milk.

Look for potato milk variations that are fortified with pea protein, which is suitable for vegan lifestyles.

Fat

Potatoes are naturally low in fat, so potato milk tends to be the viscosity of water. Because of this, extra fat is added to the drink to improve the texture. The same thing is done for oat and rice milk, but rarely in almond and soy milk as they are higher in fat, to begin with.

Rapeseed oil is generally the choice of fat added to potato milk, which brings its fat content to around the same as semi-skimmed milk. But it’s important to remember not all fats are created equal. Rapeseed oil is high in monounsaturated fats, which are thought to be heart-healthy. And it contains low amounts of saturated fat, which is not considered heart-healthy.

Vitamins

Unfortunately, plant-based milk doesn’t stack up to cow’s milk when it comes to vitamins and minerals. But, fear not, as this is where fortification comes into the equation.

Potato milk contains added vitamins like riboflavin, B12 and D alongside calcium to provide similar nutritional value to cow’s milk.

Sustainability

Believe it or not, potatoes are one of the most sustainable food sources in the world. And they can be grown and cultivated just about anywhere (including space!). One hectare of land can yield over a quarter of a million portions, and creates a very low carbon footprint.

Compare this to cow’s milk which creates a significant impact on the natural environment. It’s estimated that dairy milk produces around three times more greenhouse gas emissions than plant-based alternatives and requires nine times more land than non-dairy options.

Once almond milk’s reputation was tarnished by the significant toll it takes on the environment (over 60L of water is required to produce a single glass of almond milk, yikes) oat milk quickly became the cool kid on the block, revered for its sustainability. However, potato milk is even less intrusive on Mother Earth with potatoes using about half the land it takes to grow the equivalent amount of oats.

The Verdict

Potato milk is a great option for those looking for plant-based milk alternatives and is significantly lighter on the planet than other non-dairy and cow’s milk variations.

Currently, Swedish company Dug Drinks is leading the potato milk revolution as the only brand to bring the latest plant-based milk to the market. Available in supermarkets across Britain, Dug’s potato milk is set to launch in the US later this year.

There is no word yet when it will be hitting Aussie shelves, but with the plant-based milk industry continuing to soar, we can’t imagine it will take longer.

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