Non-dairy milk is increasingly popular.
From soy to oat to almond, a wide variety of plant-based milks are available on the market.
Ripple milk is a non-dairy milk alternative made from yellow peas. It's produced by Ripple Foods, a company that specializes in pea protein products.
Its high protein content and smooth taste may appeal to people looking for a quality alternative to cow's milk.
Here are 6 reasons for trying Ripple pea milk.
1. An Excellent Source of Plant-Based Protein
Unlike many plant-based milks — such as almond and coconut milk — Ripple milk is comparable to cow's milk in protein content.
1 cup (240 ml) of Ripple milk packs 8 grams of protein — the same as 1 cup (240 ml) of cow's milk .
Other plant-based milks can't compare to the protein found in Ripple milk. For example, 1 cup (240 ml) of almond milk contains only 1 gram of protein .
The high protein content of Ripple milk is due to its yellow pea content.
Peas are one of the best sources of plant-based protein you can eat.
In fact, pea-based protein powders have become popular with consumers looking to boost their protein intake.
Regularly consuming protein-rich foods like pea milk may help regulate appetite and keep you feeling satisfied between meals, possibly promoting weight loss.
High-protein diets have been linked to many health benefits, including lower body weight, increased muscle mass and better blood sugar control .
Pea protein is also rich in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), a group of specialized amino acids that may promote muscle growth and regulate blood sugar .
Ripple milk is much higher in protein than other types of plant-based milk alternatives, providing the same amount as cow's milk.
2. A Good Source of Important Nutrients
In addition to protein, Ripple milk contains many nutrients such as potassium, iron and calcium. Like many other plant-based milks, it's enriched with some of these nutrients.
1 cup (240 ml) of unsweetened, original Ripple milk contains:
- Calories: 70
- Protein: 8 grams
- Carbs: 0 grams
- Total fat: 4.5 grams
- Potassium: 13% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Calcium: 45% of the RDI
- Vitamin A: 10% of the RDI
- Vitamin D: 30% of the RDI
- Iron: 15% of the RDI
Ripple milk is rich in potassium, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D and iron, nutrients which may be lacking in your diet — especially if you are vegan or vegetarian .
In fact, 1 cup (240 ml) of Ripple milk delivers 45% of the RDI for calcium, a mineral that plays vital roles in bone health, nerve transmission and muscle contraction .
Plus, Ripple contains omega-3 fatty acids from algal oil, which is derived from marine algae.
Algal oil is a concentrated, plant-based source of omega-3 fats — particularly DHA .
DHA plays vital roles in heart health, immune function, nervous system function and brain health .
Though low in calories, Ripple milk boasts important nutrients like calcium, iron, potassium and omega-3 fats.
3. A Hypoallergenic, Dairy-Free Alternative to Cow and Nut Milks
Lactose intolerance is estimated to affect over 68% of the global population.
Those who are lactose intolerant must avoid dairy products, including cow's milk, to eliminate unpleasant symptoms like bloating, gas and diarrhea.
Because Ripple is dairy-free, you can enjoy it even if you're intolerant to lactose.
Many plant-based milks are available for people with lactose intolerance. However, some people don't consume soy- or nut-based milks due to allergies, intolerances or health concerns.
Because Ripple milk is soy- and nut-free, it's a safe choice for people with allergies or other health concerns.
Plus, Ripple milk is even higher in protein than soy milk, which is known for its impressive protein content .
Ripple is also gluten-free and appropriate for those following vegan diets.
Ripple milk is lactose-, soy-, nut- and gluten-free, making it a safe choice for those with food allergies or intolerances.
4. Low in Calories, yet Creamy and Satisfying
Ripple contains fewer calories than cow's milk, making it a more weight-loss-friendly beverage.
1 cup (240 ml) of unsweetened Ripple milk provides 70 calories, while 1 cup (240 ml) of skim milk has 87 calories.
Although Ripple milk is lower in calories than cow's milk, it has a richer, creamier texture than many other plant-based milks.
Ripple milk is made by blending whole peas and combining them with other ingredients like water and sunflower oil.
The result is a smooth liquid easily added to a variety of dishes such as oatmeal and smoothies.
While other dairy milk alternatives like almond milk tend to be thin and watery, Ripple milk is thicker and may be more palatable.
Ripple milk is lower in calories than cow's milk, yet has a rich, creamy texture.
5. Unsweetened Ripple Milk Is Low in Carbs and Sugar
Unsweetened Ripple milk is low in calories and carbs, making it an excellent choice for those following low-carb diets.
1 cup (240 ml) of unsweetened Ripple milk contains no sugar and zero grams of carbs.
In comparison, 1 cup (240 ml) of 2% cow's milk contains 12.3 grams of carbs and the same amount of sugar. Both the sugar and carbs come from lactose, a natural sugar found in cow's milk .
Unsweetened Ripple milk may also appeal to people with diabetes who need to keep track of carbs in order to manage their blood sugar.
However, it's important to note that other flavors of Ripple milk — including vanilla and chocolate — contain added sugars.
Unsweetened Ripple milk contains no sugar and zero grams of carbs, which may appeal to people with diabetes or those following low-carb diets.
6. More Environmentally Friendly Than Almond or Cow’s Milk
Ripple Foods claims that pea-based milk is more environmentally friendly than cow's milk or almond milk.
Dairy cows emit vast quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas. Milk also requires a lot of water and energy to produce.
This combination negatively impacts the environment and contributes to climate change .
Though almond milk production emits fewer greenhouse gasses than cow's milk, it requires massive sums of water.
In fact, the state of California uses an average of 3.2 gallons (12 liters) of water to produce just one almond kernel .
Ripple Foods asserts that it takes 86% less greenhouse gas emissions to make pea milk than almond milk. The company also states that cow's milk requires 25 times more water to produce than Ripple milk.
Keep in mind that Ripple's environmental claims don't appear to have been certified by a third party.
Ripple Foods claims that pea milk production takes less water and emits fewer greenhouse gases than that of cow's or almond milk.
Potential Downsides of Ripple Milk
Though Ripple milk provides some health benefits, it has several potential downsides.
Certain Types Are High in Sugar
While the unsweetened version of Ripple milk contains no sugar, the product comes in various flavors — some of which are packed with added sugar.
For example, 1 cup (240 ml) of chocolate Ripple milk contains 17 grams of sugar .
This equals nearly 4 teaspoons of added sugar.
While the added sugar in Ripple milk is much lower than in many brands of chocolate milk, it's still considerable.
Added sugars — especially those from sugar-sweetened beverages — contribute to obesity, diabetes, fatty liver and heart disease .
You should avoid added sugars whenever possible.
Contains Sunflower Oil, Which Is High in Omega-6 Fats
The rich and creamy texture of Ripple milk is partially due to the sunflower oil that it contains.
Though adding sunflower oil may result in a smoother product, it doesn't contribute any nutritional benefits.
Sunflower oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids — a type of fat found in vegetable oils that most people consume in excess — and low in omega-3s, which are beneficial to health.
When consumed too much, omega-6 can contribute to inflammation, which may increase your risk of chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
Fortified With Vitamin D2, Which Isn't as Absorbable as D3
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays many important roles in your body, including regulating bone growth and supporting your immune system.
Vitamin D3 is derived from animal sources while D2 is found in plants.
Ripple Foods uses vitamin D2 in their pea milk, which may be less absorbable than D3.
Recent research shows that D3 is twice as effective at raising blood levels of vitamin D than D2.
Because many people are deficient in vitamin D, it's important to choose supplements and foods that contain vitamin D in a form that your body can use effectively.
Some of Ripple milk's drawbacks include its high omega-6 content and its less effective form of vitamin D. Additionally, certain flavors are high in added sugars.
How to Add Ripple or Homemade Pea Milk to Your Diet
Like other plant-based milks, Ripple milk or home-made pea milk is a versatile liquid that can be added to many drinks and dishes.
Here are simple, delicious ways to include Ripple or pea milk in your meal plan:
- Pour it over rolled oats for a boost of plant-based protein.
- Use it as a base for your favorite smoothie.
- Us it instead of cow's milk when baking or making homemade salad dressing.
- Cut your coffee with Ripple or pea milk instead of cow's milk.
- Combine it with rolled oats, nut butter, cinnamon, chia seeds and apples for a tasty overnight oat concoction.
- Make chia pudding by mixing chia seeds, chocolate Ripple milk and cocoa powder.
How to Make Your Own Pea Milk
To make your own pea milk, combine 1.5 cups (340 grams) of uncooked split peas with 4 cups (950 ml) of water and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer peas until soft for about 1–1.5 hours. When fully cooked, combine the peas in a blender with 3.5 cups (830 ml) of water, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and three pitted dates for sweetness.
Blend the ingredients until smooth and add more water until the desired consistency is reached.
Pea milk can be strained using a nut milk bag for a smoother texture.
If you want to reduce the amount of sugar in your pea milk, simply exclude the dates.
Ripple or home-made pea milk can be added to a variety of recipes, such as oatmeals and smoothies. You can easily make pea milk at home by blending cooked peas with water, dates and vanilla extract.
The Bottom Line
Ripple milk is a plant-based milk made from yellow peas.
It's much higher in protein than most other plant-based milks and provides a good amount of important nutrients, such as calcium, vitamin D and iron.
It's also highly versatile, making it an excellent addition to a number of recipes.
However, Ripple milk contains sunflower oil, which is high in omega-6 fats, and certain flavors are loaded with added sugars.
Nonetheless, unsweetened Ripple milk or home-made pea milk is a smart choice for those looking for a high-protein, hypoallergenic substitute for cow's milk.