Nut Milks have been a popular food trend in the past 10 years. Nut milks are a great alternative to dairy for those living a vegan lifestyle or for those who are intolerant or allergic to lactose. A popular nut milk brand, Almond Breeze made by Blue Diamond is facing a $5 million class-action lawsuit. The claim is that Blue Diamond is misleading consumers. The label on Almond Breeze milk states “made with real almonds.” Food Navigator, a consumer advocate claims that only 2% per of the carton ingredients is almonds. The remaining 98% of the ingredients are water, sugar, sunflower lecithin and carrageenan.
Why we are so nutty about nut milks?
- It taste great. It has a nutty flavor and goes well with just about anything, like cereal and even in baked treats.
- It’s low in calories. One cup of almond milk contains 30 calories.
- It’s loaded with vitamins. It’s rich in vitamin E, calcium and magnesium.
- It’s great a alternative for those with an allergy or intolerance to lactose, which is the protein found in milk.
- It’s great for vegans.
Unlike milk, almond milk is lower in protein. Another disadvantage is that since it is a nut, you may need to avoid it if you are prone to nut allergies.
So if you are like me and you want to avoid commercial nut milks to avoid all the unnecessary fillers found in them, or you have digestive challenges with dairy or you simply want to eliminate dairy from your diet because you are a vegan you may want to make your own homemade almond milk. It’s simple to do and involves little prep time. An advantage to making your own almond milk is that you can control the flavor and the amount of added sugar. You can add spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, pumpkin spice just to name a few. Also, you can avoid table sugar and opt for maple syrup or honey. Here is a simple recipe to follow for homemade almond milk:
1 cup raw almonds(soaked in filtered water the night before)
4 cups of filtered water
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
1. Rinse and drain the soaked almonds and place in blender. Add the filtered water. Blend for 1 minute.
2.Use a fine mesh strainer to strain the nut mixture to remove the almond pulp. You may want to strain the milk again in a cheese cloth to remove the finer pieces of the almond pulp.
3. Rinse the blender and add back the almond milk that you just strained. Add the cinnamon, vanilla and salt.
4. Store the almond milk in a glass jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 5 days.
5. Now it’s time to enjoy your homemade milk with cereal or drink it along with your favorite cookie.
6. Tip 1: You can save the almond pulp for baking or use it to make a pie crust.
7. Tip 2: Any nut can be used in this recipe. Experiment with cashews, macadamias, walnuts, etc…
by Marjorie Binette, MD