Evaporated milk is usually sold in a can. Commonly found in the baking aisle it’s often used in the likes of pumpkin pie and panna cotta.
As evaporated milk is a concentrated version of cows milk it is not a vegan product.
But while evaporated milk may not be suitable for Vegans there are some alternatives you could try.
Dairy-Free Evaporated Milk
New products have recently been released to match the demand for vegan and dairy-free alternatives. One of those is dairy-free coconut evaporated milk which is found online, in major supermarkets and in specialist stores.
However, if you have the time and the ingredients it’s also possible to make your own vegan evaporated milk at home from either coconut milk or soy milk.
Soy milk is already a popular choice for using in hot drinks and as a milk substitute. It can also be used as an evaporated milk alternative.
This option is much easier to use as it isn’t as time-consuming or too expensive to buy compared to the specialist dairy-free coconut evaporated milk.
Soy Milk is much denser compared to other non-dairy milk alternatives and the protein is actually similar to other dairy products on the market.
Coconut is popular in home cooking and baking so it is no surprise that it is also great for using as a vegan alternative to evaporated milk. The texture is quite similar as it is dense and creamy.
The taste, however, can vary from the original evaporated milk but is still the closest comparison to evaporated milk.
By soaking and blending rice and water you can make rice milk another vegan alternative to milk. This is another alternative source to use for evaporated milk. Rice milk is lower in fat, calories and protein but is higher in glycemic index (GI).
To create the evaporated milk texture the rice milk can be reduced overheat to resemble evaporated milk. It’s highly likely that the mixture may still be runnier when compared to evaporated milk. To combat this you can look at adding a thickening agent such as Xanthan gum (be sure to check it doesn’t contain egg whites, some do, some don’t)
While rice milk is suitable for vegans and contains less fat and protein when compared to evaporate milk there are some additional drawbacks that you may want to consider. Specifically, the high glycemic index (often referred to as GI) which could spike blood sugar levels.
Nut milks are another great source for creating a vegan alternative to evaporated milk. They are lower in calories and protein than evaporated milk and make a great alternative.
Nut milks, of course, are not suitable for those with nut allergies and should look to one of the other alternatives within this post.
There are a variety of different nut milks from almond, hazelnut and cashew milk. These are made by grinding together the nuts with water and filtering the mixture to create a milk drink.
Along with having lower calories, the nut milk options are also good for added calcium, vitamin E and D. To create the evaporated milk substitute you can heat the nut milk to reduce the water content to create a thicker and creamier texture, though it won’t be exactly like evaporated milk.
Like nut milk, Oat milk is made by blending oats with water to create a creamy milk liquid. Oat milk can be made at home or bought ready-made.
Oat milk has plenty of health benefits linked to it from providing dietary fiber, iron, calcium and vitamin D. The homemade versions don’t hold as much of the additional nutrients as the store bought versions.
It also contains 30% of the recommended daily intake for calcium coming out lower than traditional evaporated milk and similar to regular milk. This vegan alternative to evaporated milk is versatile and can be used in many recipes the same as evaporated milk.
You may need to thicken the liquid and texture and add sweetener to create a more accurate alternative and create a more similar flavor.
Flax Milk is commonly made by combining flaxseed oil with water in a blender. This can either be done at home with a home-use blender or on an industrial scale by those who produce flax milk specifically.
Flax Milk products are traditionally lower in calories than evaporated milk while also being high in calcium and omega-3 fats. Sadly, however, the majority of flax milk contains little to no protein.
The flavour of the substitute is said to be the closest to regular milk and is the most neutral of the non-dairy alternatives. You can like many of the other substitutes reduce the water content to create a thicker and creamier texture.
Hemp milk is commonly made from blending seeds from a hemp plant with water.
Though it is a variety of cannabis the milk itself is not assosiated with marijuana. It is legal to use and own and does not contain any THC.
Hemp milk is known to be a source of omega-6 and omega-3. Similar to many of the other vegan evaporated milk alternatives the hemp milk can be heated to reduce the water content and turned into a thicker texture.
The milk can be a little more watery compared to the other substitutes and may need extra thickening agents to help create the right texture and taste.
Though quinoa milk is fairly new to the market it is a great dairy-free alternative.
Quinoa milk is made by cooking or soaking the grain and then blending it with water. You can buy it in stores or make your own at home, though it isn’t as well covered.
The quinoa milk is lower in calories, fat and proteins than traditional evaporated milk.
Due to the natural texture and consistency of the liquid when compared to traditional milk it’s highly likely that your quinoa milk won’t need thickening agents (unlike rice milk).