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Health Benefits of Pea Milk

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on October 06, 2021

What Is Pea Milk?

Pea milk is a plant-based alternative to cow’s milk. It’s made from yellow field peas milled into flour. The protein is separated from the fiber and starch, which gives it its white color. Then the protein is purified and blended with water and other ingredients.

At first, this type of protein was only available in powder form in specialty stores. But companies like Ripple have recently launched pea milk options. The brand Silk made a protein nut milk drink that added pea protein to a blended formula of almond and cashew milk. Kate’s Farm also offers a line of oral pea protein. And other companies with pea protein milk options include Veggemo and Bolthouse Farms.

Is Pea Milk Healthy?

Traditional non-dairy milk beverages -- like almond, soy, or oat milk -- are a great option for those who’re allergic to dairy or lactose intolerant. But for some people, especially children, milk alternatives don’t have enough calories, protein, and other essential nutrients.

Pea milk has at least 7 grams of protein per 8 ounces and is fortified to include 150% more calcium than cow’s milk.

One 8-ounce cup of sweetened pea milk has about:

  • 100 calories
  • 4.5 grams of fat
  • 6 grams of carbohydrates
  • 6 grams of sugar

Pea milk also contains iron, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin D.

How Does Pea Milk Compare to Other Options?

Pea milk’s taste and creamy consistency are very close to cow’s milk. This makes it a great option for those who don’t like the thin consistency and nutty taste of other milk alternatives.

It comes in many flavors. Ripple sells unsweetened, vanilla, and chocolate variations of its original blend.

Unsweetened pea milk has:

  • 70 calories
  • 4.5 grams of fat
  • Zero sugar
  • 8 grams of protein

Vanilla pea milk has:

  • 130 calories
  • 4.5 grams of fat
  • 15 grams of sugar
  • 8 grams of protein (which is very similar to 2% cow’s milk)

Chocolate pea milk has:

  • 150 calories
  • 4.5 grams of fat
  • 17 grams of sugar
  • 8 grams of protein

Pea milk is also an environmentally friendly choice. Yellow peas are easy and cheap to grow. So it uses less water than almond milk and has a smaller carbon footprint than cow’s milk.

The only major drawback to pea milk is that it’s not widely available in all grocery stores.

How Can I Use Pea Milk?

You can use pea milk to replace cow’s milk in almost any recipe. As long as it doesn’t require full-fat milk, you’re good to go. Try pea milk in smoothies, creamy sauces, desserts, oats, cereals, or your other favorite recipes.

Show Sources

SOURCES:

Practical Gastroenterology: “Moo-ove Over, Cow’s Milk: The Rise of Plant-Based Dairy Alternatives.”

UNC Health: “Non-Dairy Beverages: What’s New and Trending?”

Massachusetts General Hospital: “Pea Milk.”

Ripple: “Plant-Based Milk.”

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