These days, you can "milk" just about anything. Oats, almonds, coconuts, hemp—you name it. But one thing we never expected to see in the alt-milk section of the grocery store is a carton of potatoes.
The thought of potato milk might make you wrinkle your nose at first, but think about it. We love eating potatoes in any form (hello, French fries!), so can drinking it really be that bad? According to Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, a plant-based registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Master the Media in Stamford, CT, it's both delicious and nutritious. Not to mention a win for the planet.
What Is Potato Milk—and Is It Good for You?
Generally, potato milk is exactly what it sounds like: milk made from peeled and boiled potatoes. But unlike other plant-based milk options, like oat milk and soy milk, there isn't a wide variety available to buy in-store. In fact, there's only one.
Dug, the company behind the world's first potato milk, has completely taken Europe by storm. It currently has three varieties available: original, barista, and unsweetened. While it's not in the United States yet, word is that it will be making its way here soon.
So, what's Dug's "secret sauce"? Being that it's commercially produced, the ingredients list is a little longer than it would be if you made potato milk at home: "It contains water, potato, maltodextrin, pea protein, chicory fiber, rapeseed oil, fructose (a sugar), sucrose (a sugar), acidity regulator, calcium carbonate, sunflower lecithin (an emulsifier), natural flavor, and vitamins," Gorin says.
If you're into the idea of drinking potatoes, great news: Overall, it's actually pretty good for you.
"You get protein and fiber, both of which help you feel fuller for longer. Per eight-ounce serving, the milk contains about 3 grams of each nutrient—making it a good source of fiber," Gorin says. "Store-bought potato milk is also fortified with calcium and vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B12, and folic acid."
Does Potato Milk Benefit the Planet?
Okay, so now you know potato milk is a thing and that it comes with some health benefits. But does it benefit the planet, too? In general, plant-based milk tends to be more sustainable than dairy. If you put potato milk in a lineup with other popular alt-milks, you may be surprised at how eco-friendly it is.
Potatoes are one of the most laid-back crops around. They don't need much to thrive; you kind of just let them do their thing. Because of that, they tend to be more sustainable than almonds, oats, soybeans, and other plant-based milk.
According to DUG, potato milk's climate footprint is 75% lower than cow's milk. In addition, it needs 56 times less water to grow than almonds, which "helps conserve water to prevent shortages and droughts." Even its land usage—or lack thereof—is impressive: It requires half as much land as growing oats.
"Overall, potato milk is a sustainable choice," Gorin says. "It uses less resources than oat milk and less water than nut milk."
DUG also shares its climate footprint for each product—something you don't see from other milk brands or food products in general. Planet-friendly grocery shopping is getting easier, folks!
How to Make Potato Milk at Home
Potato milk might not be available in the United States yet, but you can still make it at home. "The milk is very thick and creamy and is slightly sweet," Gorin says. "It foams very nicely for espresso beverages and would also make a nice coffee cream." Here's how to make it, step-by-step.
Potato Milk Recipe
1 large Russet potato
Dash of maple syrup
1. Peel the potato and compost the scraps. Boil in a few cups of water with a little salt.
2. Once soft, add both the potato and cooking water to a blender.
3. Add a dash of maple syrup for sweetness, and blend until smooth. Optional: You may also add vanilla for flavor.
4. Add additional water, if needed, until the potato milk is at your desired consistency.
5. Strain through a nut milk bag and store in an airtight container in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to three days.