Potato Milk: Everything You Need to Know About the Sustainable New Plant-Based Beverage
This is arguably the best time in history to look for non-dairy milks, cheeses, yogurts, and ice creams. Whether you’re lactose intolerant, vegan, or just prefer the taste of non-dairy options, there’s more variety than ever before with “milks” like oat, almond, rice, soy, cashew, macadamia nut, and coconut being offered at more and more grocery stores.
But recently, a new vegan milk option has appeared, and it’s not one you’d expect. It’s also claiming to be the most environmentally-sustainable plant milk ever created. Enter: potato milk.
Yep, we were a little taken aback, too. Potato milk, which some are calling “the new oat milk,” is a brand-new milk alternative that’s deliciously creamy, foams perfectly in lattes and cappuccinos, and is also ideal for baking.
Potato milk isn’t widely available yet and it isn’t on shelves in U.S. stores, but Swedish brand Veg of Lund is working to make potato milk available through their brand with a product named Dug.
Dug is a potato-based beverage made by blending an emulsion of potatoes with pea protein and rapeseed oil, a technique developed at Lund University in Sweden.
What does potato milk taste like?
If you can’t envision what “potato milk” would taste like, you’re not alone. Milk substitutes like oat, almond, coconut, and soy seem to fit the sweeter palate of breakfast or coffee, while a “potato latte” doesn’t come to mind as naturally. But don’t worry, it doesn’t actually taste like potatoes.
The mild flavor of potato milk can be described as earthy, salty, oat-like, starchy, and creamy, and it’s reported to work very well in beverages like lattes, for cooking purposes, and over cereal.
What makes potato milk different?
With so many other milk options, do we really need another version made from potatoes?
The short answer is yes: Potato milk has a significant edge on nut and oat milks. Specifically, it’s far more sustainable. It takes significantly less water to grow potatoes than either nuts or oats, and growing potatoes is also a more efficient endeavor from a land-utilization perspective.
For drought-susceptible climates, a population choosing potato milk over almond milk could make the difference of millions of gallons of water per year.
For example, did you know that growing one acre of potatoes requires 56 times less water than growing an acre of almonds? Almond milk has received widespread criticism for being detrimental to the drought-stricken environment in California, since more than 80% of the world’s almonds are grown in California. Experts are concerned about the damage done from mass-producing almonds for now-trending almond beverages.
Other entrepreneurs are on the hunt for more sustainable options for plant milk, since nuts and oats aren’t the most environmentally-friendly options. Peas and barley are also being considered as “milk alternatives” to promote environmental sustainability.
What about health benefits?
Potatoes aren’t lacking in nutrients, despite what you may have heard. One large spud contains about 10g of fiber, 1,500mg of potassium, and 40mg of vitamin C. Potatoes also contain folate, niacin, magnesium and vitamin B6.
Most nut milks are made with mostly water, meaning that most of them aren’t particularly nutrient-rich. On the other hand, Dug’s potato milk does contain a small amount of fiber and protein, along with solid chunks of your daily needed calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, B12, and folic acid.
Dug has been enriched with additional vitamins to pack more of a nutritional punch, and also adds some pea protein to the mix. It also uses rapeseed oil that’s naturally high in omega-3s, which are harder to come by if you’re vegan or plant-based since most strong sources of omega-3s come from fatty fish and meat.
Another point for Dug’s scoreboard: It’s not loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners like some non-dairy alternatives. All in all, potato milk is hardly a multivitamin, but it certainly can be considered a healthy dairy alternative — and it’s definitely a sustainable one.
Where can I try potato milk?
While Dug is only available in Europe at the moment, we’re looking forward to getting to try it here stateside soon. If you live on the other side of the pond, The Vegan Kind, Navesu, Amazon, and Ocado are currently supplying Dug’s products to many EU countries.