Do you want to refresh the flavors of your childhood? Or make your kid’s health drink tasty? If so, malt powder is the key. It is equal parts healthy and tasty. Whether you add it to a smoothie, ice cream, or pancakes, this versatile ingredient works wonders. But if you ever run out of malt powder while preparing a recipe, you can use a malt powder substitute.
Best Alternatives For Malt Powder
Malt powder is made from barley and a small proportion of wheat. Their kilns are dried and ground as soon as they begin sprouting. The combination of these two grains gives it a soft texture and a sweet, nutty flavor.
However, the malt powder available for cooking purposes is usually malted milk powder. It includes dry milk along with malt powder. Both powders have the same texture but malted milk powder has a denser flavor.
1. Malt Syrup: Vegan Substitute
If you’re looking for a vegan malt powder substitute, try out malt syrup. It has a more intense flavor, so remember to use it in lower quantities. Also, it doesn’t contain milk. If you want a malted milk powder substitute, dilute this syrup in milk.
Malt syrup contains gluten. It is diastatic and contains enzymes that can convert starch into sugar. So it adds a smooth and fluffy texture to the dough. When added to cake batter, it brings a bright and nice crust color. You can also use it in bread, bagel, and frosting sugar.
2. Coconut Milk Powder: Gluten-Free Option
Coconut and malt have very different flavors. So you can’t use coconut milk powder in place of malt powder as a flavoring agent. However, they are equal in terms of fat proportions. So, it can be a replacement where you’re concerned with texture.
To use coconut milk powder in desserts as a substitute, you’ll have to add a sweetener. Sugar syrup, maple syrup, honey, or any other sweetener would do. In savory recipes, you can add the powder directly. It adds a thick consistency and a creamy texture to the recipes.
This powder can also be used in the dough for cake, bread, and other baked products. Coconut milk powder adds a fluffy texture to them. It can be used in equal proportions as malt powder.
Being non-diastatic, this powder has low sugar content. So you can add it to health drinks, or desserts. It is a gluten-free substitute. Coconut milk powder contains lauric acid that boosts immunity and promotes brain development.
3. Ovaltine Powder: Easily Accessible Alternative
Like malt powder, ovaltine powder is also a favorite among children, which is why it’s so easy to find. And since it already contains malt powder too, it is an apt alternative.
Ovaltine powder comes in different varieties. Most popular is the chocolate-flavored one. It contains malt powder and chocolate. You can also find unflavored ovaltine powder. It contains barley malt and whey along with added sugars. Some of these powders have milk and some don’t. So check the labels before buying.
Ovaltine is non-diastatic and contains gluten. However, it can be too sweet for some dishes. So when using it instead of malt powder, either add it in small amounts or dilute it in milk or water.
Add it to puddings, milkshakes, ice creams, brownies, or a cake to get the malty flavor. It also has a very nice nutty and sweet aroma. You can add a little amount to your coffee for a hint of malty flavor.
4. Soy Milk Powder: Dairy-Free Vegan Substitute
Soy milk powder is another vegan substitute. An added advantage is that it is dairy-free too. So lactose intolerant people can also consume it without any worries.
Soy milk powder is made by grinding soaked soybeans, then boiling and filtering them. You can easily find this powder in the local market. Moreover, it has a long shelf life. Since it is made from soybeans, this powder doesn’t have much taste. To recreate the flavor of malt powder, you’ll have to add some sweetener.
Soy milk powder is non-diastatic, so it has low sugar content. However, you can add it to cookie dough or cake batter. It adds a nice fluffiness to the food. Use it in small amounts in savory dishes to give them a dense consistency and a mild, creamy texture. This powder is not the best option when making beverages.
Soy milk powder may or may not contain gluten. This depends on the manufacturing company. So while buying this powder, check the description to make sure the product is gluten-free.
5. Maca Powder: A Healthy Alternative
Maca powder is made by drying and grinding the maca roots. Even with such distinct origins, this powder is very similar to malt powder in taste and texture. But it can be difficult to find in some places.
It has an earthy, nutty flavor with sweeter and malty undertones, but it isn’t as sweet.
In savory dishes, you can use this powder directly. But remember to use it in small amounts to add consistency to the dish. When working with beverages or desserts, add some sweetener to the powder. Maple syrup works best with this flavor.
Add it to smoothies for a nutty and malty flavor. You can even employ it in coffee and other warm beverages. Maca powder is diastatic, which means it helps soften the dough. It can also be used in baking recipes to enhance the flavor and add fluffiness to them. Use it in the same amount as malt powder.
Maca powder is gluten-free. It is known to provide strength to the body and lower stress levels.
6. Almond Powder: Vegan Substitute For Paleo Diet
Almond powder is the best alternative for those who are on a paleo diet. It consists of finely ground almonds and differs from almond flour. The powder also has a nutty almond flavor with a hint of sweetness. However, malt powder is slightly sweeter than almond powder.
This is an advantage when working with spicy or savory recipes. In desserts, you may add maple syrup or another sweetener if needed. Almond powder can replicate the taste and texture of malt powder in many dishes. Use it to make pancakes, cookies, biscuits, or smoothies. It can also be employed in soups for a dense texture. To use almond powder as a substitute, follow a 1:1 ratio.
It is non-diastatic and naturally has low sugar content. This powder is also gluten-free. Moreover, it is rich in antioxidants and vitamin E that boost our body’s immunity.
7. Regular Milk: Most Easily Available Malted Milk Powder Substitute
If you can’t get your hands on any other malted milk powder alternative, go with a regular milk powder. Although it lacks the malty flavor, it’ll give a nice flavor to the recipe.
Regular milk powder is usually unsweetened, so you’ll need some sweetener too. You can use this powder to prepare drinks as well as baked desserts. Follow a 1:1 ratio while using it in place of malted milk powder.
It is non-diastatic but can sometimes contain gluten. It depends on the manufacturer. Check the label before buying the type you want.
Choosing The Right Substitute For You
We discussed many options ranging from non-dairy, gluten-free, diastatic, and non-diastatic to paleo-friendly diets. All these alternatives can work as substitutes in most recipes. Consider the factors your recipe requires, the availability of the substitute, and your diet plan, if any. These points will help you determine the best malt powder substitute for your recipe.