Pea Milk Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Pea Milk

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Remember the old bumper sticker, “Visualize Whirled Peas”? These days, there’s a new way to envision blended peas (and drink them, too): Pea milk! Peas have recently joined the ranks of other plants like nuts, soy, and oats as the base of a milk alternative.

Pea milk is a low-carb beverage high made with yellow—not green—peas. Unlike other plant-based milks, pea milk is made by blending, not soaking, its signature ingredient. The end result? A more calorie- and nutrient-dense beverage. While it may be an unconventional choice, this dairy alternative has plenty of health benefits and boasts environmental advantages over many other alt-milk options. Plus, many people enjoy it for its creamy texture and mild taste.

Curious to learn more about pea milk? We’ll take a look at how this alt-milk stacks up as a healthy dairy alternative.

Nutrition Facts

This nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 8 ounces of unsweetened pea milk.

  • Calories: 79
  • Fat: 4.5g
  • Sodium: 139mg
  • Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 8g

Carbs

With just 2 grams in an 8-ounce serving, unsweetened pea milk is definitely low in carbs, making it a suitable choice for people with diabetes or those on a low-carb diet.

Fats

Pea milk contains 4.5 grams from its third ingredient, sunflower oil. This oil is used as an emulsifier and to add creamy texture. Sunflower oil contains both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and, according to the American Heart Association, is a "better-for-you" fat.

Protein

As alt-milks go, pea milk is one of the highest protein options. You may not think of peas as a protein powerhouse, but the little legumes are actually quite high in this macronutrient, providing 8 grams in one serving of pea milk. This is the same amount of protein you’d get from a serving of cow’s milk.

Vitamins and Minerals

Pea milk is fortified with an impressive amount of nutrients. One serving of Ripple brand unsweetened pea milk serves up 45% of your daily value (DV) of calcium, 10% DV of iron, 13% DV of potassium, 10% DV of vitamin A, and 30% DV of vitamin D.

Health Benefits

If you're looking for a healthy, dairy-free milk alternative, pea milk has a lot of benefits to offer.

Compatible with Vegan Diet

Vegans can drink pea milk without concern; this simple beverage is totally plant-based.

Supports Healthy Bones

Added vitamin D and calcium mean pea milk provides more of both these nutrients, ounce-for-ounce, than dairy milk. Vitamin D and calcium intake have both been linked to healthier bones.

Allergy-Friendly

Food allergies and intolerances are among the primary reasons many people seek out alternative kinds of milk. When lactose intolerance or an allergy to whey or casein rules out drinking cow’s milk, pea milk makes a viable next-best choice. Since its primary ingredients are water, pea protein, and sunflower oil, it’s unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. (Peas are not among the most common “top eight” food allergens).

Suitable for People With Diabetes and Low-Carb Dieters 

With its low carb content of just 2 grams per 8 ounces, pea milk can easily be included in a low-carb diet plan. If you have diabetes or are following a keto or Atkins-style diet, pea milk makes a smart choice.

Keeps You Fuller Longer

Protein is a critical factor in keeping hunger at bay. Pea milk's high protein count of 8 grams per cup may help curb cravings, especially compared to lower-calorie, lower-protein alt-milks.

Environmentally Friendly

The production of some alt-milks, especially the nut-based varieties, has given rise to environmental concerns about water usage. According to Ripple, a popular pea milk brand, pea milk uses significantly less water than both almond and dairy milk. 

Allergies

As mentioned, peas are not considered a highly allergenic food, making pea milk a smart choice for many people with food allergies. However, it is possible to have a pea allergy. If you suspect you have a pea allergy, (or are feeding a child you believe may have one) consult your doctor or allergist before trying pea milk.

Adverse Effects 

Adding pea milk to your diet is unlikely to cause adverse effects, but there are certain factors to keep in mind when choosing this beverage. Some flavored varieties may be high in sugar, so read nutrition labels to stay informed on how much sugar you’re getting per serving. 

If you consistently use pea milk as a replacement for all dairy milk, you may also miss out on some nutrients, such as vitamin A and magnesium, as well as total calories. While cutting calories is a good thing for many people, those who need a higher-calorie diet should be wary of replacing all cow’s milk with pea milk. 

Varieties

So far, grocery stores aren’t exactly awash in pea milk varieties. As yet, the Ripple brand dominates the pea milk market. Ripple comes in five flavors: original, unsweetened original, vanilla, unsweetened vanilla, and chocolate. Each contains the same 8g of protein, with the primary nutritional difference of sugar content.

Storage and Food Safety

Unlike dairy milk, pea milk only comes in a refrigerated form (rather than evaporated or powdered forms). Therefore, it does require chilling to stay fresh. You can keep pea milk in the fridge until its printed expiration date, or seven to ten days after opening the bottle. 

How to Prepare

While you can drink pea milk all by itself—or pour it on your morning cereal—this plant-based alternative has plenty of other purposes, too. In smoothies, soups, baked goods, and sauces, pea milk can play a starring or supporting role. When trying pea milk in cooking or baking, use a one-to-one ratio with dairy milk—and remember that recipe doesn’t have to be savory for pea milk to make a useful addition.

If you’re the DIY type, you can also make pea milk at home. Recipes start by soaking dried split peas in water, then cooking them. Blended cooked peas then get mixed with flavor- and texture- enhancers like oil, dates, and vanilla. Adding water finishes things off to create a liquid “milk” mixture. 

Recipes

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