Peanut Milk: The New Nut Milk You Haven't Tried But Should
Peanut lovers rejoice: Peanut milk is the latest nut milk about to hit store shelves. (See also: 10 Peanut Recipes That Are Healthy and Delicious)
If you haven't noticed, fewer and fewer Americans are drinking cow's milk: Consumption of 2 percent, 1 percent, and skim milk dropped 6, 12, and 16 percent respectively between 2016 and 2017 alone, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. But walk through what was formerly the dairy aisle and one thing becomes clear: We're living in an era of plenty when it comes to plant milk. According to the USDA, these "other liquid milk products" (aka dairy alternatives) spiked almost 24 percent in 2017. (More: Do the Benefits of Milk Outweigh the Downsides of Dairy?)
The latest addition to the alternative milk club is peanut milk, which is available for the first time ever in the U.S. thanks to a new "milking" process developed by Elmhurst, a former-dairy-turned plant-based-milk company. Milked Peanuts-and it's chocolaty cousin Milked Peanuts with Chocolate-is currently available on Elmhurst's website and is rolling out in grocery stores nationwide.
Peanut milk has previously been sidelined because it was too tricky to produce without risking contaminating all the other nut milks for people with peanut allergies. But the new process allows the company to process and package the peanut milk separately from their other nut milks.
So how does peanut milk stack up nutritionally? It depends on what you're looking for. "We specifically took advantage of the protein and fat of the whole peanut," says Cheryl Mitchell, Ph.D., a food scientist at Elmhurst Milked. Elmhurst's "Milked Peanuts" uses whole unprocessed peanuts from Georgia-each 8-ounce glass contains 31 peanuts. This results in a creamy milk without needing to add emulsifiers. (Note: Emulsifiers aren't necessarily bad for you, but they make it more difficult to get the maximum nutrition out of the nut-think of them as natural fillers or empty calories.)
Plain peanut milk weighs in at 6 grams of protein per serving (8 grams for the chocolate version), which is more than most nut milks, says Keri Gans, R.D., author of The Small Change Diet. Elmhurst's peanut milk also contains antioxidants, vitamin E, and heart-healthy omega 3s.
Some downsides: "Peanut milk contains no vitamin D and only 2 percent of the recommended daily amount of calcium," says Gans. "Other nondairy alternatives far exceed this amount: almond milk has 45 percent of the RDA for calcium and 25 percent of the RDA for vitamin D." Peanut milk is also fairly high in calories, at 150 calories per 8-ounce serving. (Almond milk only has 30 to 60 calories per serving.)
It's probably not a good idea to make peanut milk your main milk squeeze, says Gans. "Many people don't get enough calcium and vitamin D in their diet, and other alternative milk options are better sources," she says.
That said, it can be a kickass way to switch things up. "Milked Peanuts are an excellent replacement for dairy milk in almost every recipe application," says Mitchell. "The delicate and subtle peanut flavor makes it a perfect substitute for milk in cream sauces and soups." Peanut milk also makes great foam for a killer cappuccino, she adds. We're betting it'd also be perfect with a little banana breakfast toast.