First it was soy, then it was oat, but this year, it looks like pea milk will be everyone's favourite plant-based dairy alternative.
While we know that pea, oat or almond 'milks' aren't really milk - that's a term reserved only for animal-based dairy products - they have really grown in popularity over the past number of years as levels of veganism have risen around the world and in Ireland.
For a while, almond milk was the biggest plant-based milk on the market, replacing the original favourite, soy milk. However, almond milk is actually terrible for the environment, requiring around one gallon of water to grow just one almond in drought-prone California. Once this information came to light, almond milk fell out of favour, replaced by oat milk, hemp milk and more varieties.
Over the past few months, we've started to see pea milk popping up all over our Instagram feeds as well as in certain stores, like Sainsbury's and Whole Foods in the UK.
Made from yellow split peas, this drink (thankfully) isn't green or yellow in colour; it's actually quite creamy and resembles cow's milk in colour and flavour.
Allegedly, pea milk is also one of the better alternatives to add to your diet when compared with its counterparts: Pea milk is thought to contain eight times more protein per glass than almond milk, twice the calcium of cow's milk and is very low in saturated fat. It also requires far less water to produce than other types of milk, around 25 times less than cow's milk and 100 times less water than almond milk.
What to expect from pea milk this year
As of right now, we haven't seen pea milk pop up in Irish stores, but we'd bet it will appear fairly soon. It's unlikely that chains like Starbucks will add pea milk to their roster of alternative milks, but we wouldn't be surprised if speciality coffee shops start to experiment with this intriguing new drink.
Currently, the most popular brands in the UK are Mighty Society and Ripple, so expect to see them available in health food stores very soon.
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This article was originally published by our sister site, FOOD AND WINE.