Even if you have never tried it before, you have surely seen almond milk in your local supermarket, but what exactly is almond milk? The simple answer is that it is a plant milk made from almonds. It is usually marketed to people who are lactose intolerant or vegan, because it does not contain lactose or animal products.
How does it taste?
In its “pure” form, it has a creamy texture and full-on nutty flavour. It tastes like what it is: really finely crushed almonds mixed with water. The beauty of really finely crushed almonds is that they form super-fine powdery particles which absorb lots of water and air. This makes for a very smooth, creamy mouth-feel (in terms of texture, it is like full-cream dairy milk) and a rich, almond flavour.
Of course, if you buy the almond milk from the supermarket anything goes. Depending on the brand, you could get something that tastes very different. Since the product is usually marketed as a cow-milk or soy milk alternative, manufacturers try to get their product to taste like… cow milk and soy milk. This means that flavourings, emulsifiers, acidifiers, preservatives, sweeteners and fillers are added.
When people think about almond milk nutrition, they usually try to put it in perspective by comparing it to cow’s milk or soy milk. We think that this is a bit like comparing apples with oranges, because the comparison is useful only if you plan to substitute on for another. It is quite possible (even preferable) to simply add almond milk to your balanced diet, rather than making a straight swap.
That said, how does it compare to dairy and soy? Generally speaking, it is less nutritious. Almond milk contains significantly less protein, fats, carbohydrates and most micronutrients than either. On the plus side:
Make your Own
Making your own almond milk is easy. There are two main ways to do it. One way is easy and the other way is easier. First, the easy way:
- 1 cup raw almonds, soaked
- 3 1/2 cups water
- Small pinch fine salt
- Place almonds in a bowl and cover with a couple centimeters of water. Soak the almonds in water overnight (about 8 to 10 hours). For a quick-soak method, soak the almonds in boiled water for 1 hour. Rinse and drain well.
- Place drained almonds into a blender along with the water.
- Blend on the highest speed for 1 minute.
- Place a nut milk bag over a large bowl and slowly pour the almond milk mixture into the bag. Gently squeeze the bottom of the bag to release the milk.
- Rinse out blender and pour the milk back in. Whisk in the salt.
- Using a funnel, pour into a large glass jar and secure lid. Store in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. Shake before drinking.
Or, you can use this easier method:
- 3 tablespoon almond butter
- 3 cup water
- Place ingredients in the blender.
- Blend until fully mixed.
That really is all there is to it!
Of course, you can add your own flavourings like sugar, honey, cinnamon, cocoa or vanilla to either recipe. Try adding this milk to your breakfast cereal, or heating it for a relaxing evening beverage.