Almond milk is a creamy-textured, nutty-flavored milk derived from almonds. The plant-based drink is both lactose and cholesterol free, which is excellent news for those who avoid consuming dairy products, particularly the lactose-intolerant and vegans. It’s also gluten free, so gluten-intolerant people need not worry when consuming it, either.
Most mass-produced commercial brands have been fortified with important vitamins and minerals and come in a variety of flavors, such as sweetened, unsweetened, vanilla, plain, and chocolate. No wonder people find them so yummy! Almond milk is readily available in your nearby grocery store or supermarket, and you can even make it at home if you have a blender, some water, and almonds on hand.
Almond milk is naturally low in calories, and its sweet flavor makes it a great substitute for dairy milk in smoothies and baked goods. However, those with nut allergies should steer clear.
Is Almond Milk Vegan?
Is almond milk dairy free? Almond milk is made from almonds, so it is a plant-based milk that has no connection to any animal. This non-dairy milk is ideal for vegans, including those who have soy allergies as it does not contain any soy. The nuts themselves are very nutritious, having protein, fiber, vitamin E, and calcium, so your health is in safe hands.
How Is Almond Milk Made?
1 cup organic almonds
2 cups of water
Sweetener (i.e. sugar, honey, maple syrup, or agave syrup)
- Soak the almonds in a bowl of water overnight (or for up to two days in the refrigerator). They will absorb the water and become fatter. Tip: The longer you soak the almonds, the creamier the almond milk will be.
- Drain the soaking water and rinse the almonds with cool running water. The almonds should be a bit soft when you pinch them. Dispose of the soaking water as it contains harmful phytic acid.
- Put the almonds in a blender and cover with two cups of water. Blend the mix at high speed for around two minutes. Pulse the blender until the almonds break down into fine pieces. The water should be white and cloudy.
- Strain the almonds with a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Press all the almond milk from the almond meal. Extract as much almond milk as possible by squeezing and pressing the cheesecloth.
- You will probably get two cups of almond milk. Taste the almond milk and add any sweetener as per your choice.
- Voila! Your almond milk is ready to be served.
Almond Milk Nutrition Facts
Serving size: Custom Food (240 g)
|Total Carbohydrate||2.0 g||1%|
|Total Fat||2.5 g||4%|
Almond milk contains 35 calories, some carbohydrate, fat, and protein. However, a 240-gram serving does not contain any vitamins or minerals. It is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, however, which makes it very good for consumption.
Top 8 Almond Milk Benefits
Best Dairy Milk Replacement for Diabetics
Plain, unsweetened almond milk is naturally low in sugar. In fact, you’ll find just one to two grams of carbs in one cup (240 ml). Dietary fiber comprises most of the carbohydrates. On the other hand, one cup of dairy milk contains 13 grams of carbs, almost all of which is sugar.
Unsweetened almond milk could be exceptionally beneficial for people with diabetes who need to restrict their daily carbohydrate intake. Diabetics can replace dairy milk with almond milk to keep their numbers low.
Just remember to avoid sweetened or flavored commercial brands of almond milk that contain added sugars. These will have between five and 17 grams of sugar per cup (240 ml). So always check the nutrition label and ingredients list.
Good for Immune Health
Almond milk is usually fortified with larger amounts of vitamins A, D, and E than found naturally in dairy milk. These vitamins help keep your immune system running smoothly. Our immune system protects our body from various germs and microorganisms that may be harmful to us and cause diseases. Almond milk is also rich in added B vitamins and iron, both of which promote healing and muscle strength. Drinking almond milk helps to keep our immune system robust and effective.
Helps in Maintaining Blood Pressure
According to a 2016 study published in Food and Nutrition Sciences, consumption of almond milk can help lower and maintain blood pressure.
Blood moves throughout our body through veins, which must be able to expand and contract easily to allow the free flow of blood. Vitamin D and phosphorus, which help make this happen, are present in almond milk. People who do not consume soy or dairy products may be lacking in these nutrients. Blockage and reduced movement of blood within your veins may lead to high blood pressure, which could prove fatal.
Improves Bone Health
There is very little calcium in almonds, so to make the nutrient profile of almond milk closer to dairy milk, it is enriched with calcium. Calcium is vital for building and maintaining strong bones.
A 2011 study published in Health Reports found a rather high prevalence of inadequate calcium and vitamin D intake among those diagnosed with osteoporosis, a condition associated with weak bones and fractures. So people who are intolerant to lactose, allergic to milk, or strictly vegan should consume almond milk enriched with calcium.
Aids in Digestion
Almond milk may be a boon for people who suffer from acid flux or heartburn because of its alkaline composition, as it can neutralize the stomach acid and provide relief. On top of that, it doesn’t cause any digestive problems for people who cannot tolerate lactose as the milk is lactose free.
Good Source of Vitamin E
Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, and depending on the brand, one cup of almond milk (240 ml) can provide 20% to 50% of your daily vitamin E intake. On the other hand, dairy milk contains absolutely no vitamin E. Vitamin E, being a powerful antioxidant, fights stress and inflammation in the body.
In addition, vitamin E has been found to boost brain health and improve mental performance. According to a 2014 study published in the journal Nutrients, vitamin E may promote healthy brain aging, potentially reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and also slowing its progression.
Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
Eating almonds regularly reduces the risk of heart disease, as per observational studies, partly because they contain high amounts of vitamin E and healthy fats. Almond milk is one percent oil by weight, of which 90% is unsaturated fat. It contains oleic acid, which has been associated with beneficial changes in blood lipids.
In a 2002 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, healthy adults who ate 66 grams of almonds or almond oil daily for six weeks were able to reduce their levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, by six percent and triglycerides by 14%. Their “good” HDL cholesterol increased by six percent.
The vitamin E in almond milk protects the lipids from oxidation and reduces the levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol, which may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Good For Eye Health
Given the widespread usage of computers, smartphones, and tablets in today’s age—both in the office and at home—it is no surprise that they’re having an affect on our vision. Almond milk is rich in vitamin A, which greatly helps in the proper functioning of our eyes. Drinking almond milk regularly could possibly help treat vision problems.
How to Add Almond Milk to Your Diet
- Have a cupful of almond milk daily. It’s super-tasty and delicious on its own, plus it contains 60 calories per cup versus the 90 calories in a cup of skim milk.
- Add it to your coffee or tea in place of dairy milk.
- Pour it over your cereal instead of regular dairy milk.
- Forget dairy milk and use almond milk in your baked desserts.
- Replace dairy milk or yogurt with almond milk in your favorite smoothie recipe. (Strawberries and almond milk make an out-of-this-world strawberry milk drink!)
- Make dairy-free almond milk ice cream or pudding.
- Substitute almond milk and olive oil for milk and butter when making mashed potatoes.
- Make your soup creamier by adding almond milk instead of dairy milk.
- Use almond milk as a replacement for buttermilk in recipes, which will significantly reduce the number of calories in your dish.
Is Almond Milk Better Than Cow’s Milk?
In the battle of almond milk vs. cow milk, almond milk has an edge in terms of calories and fat. One cup of vanilla-flavored, sweetened almond milk contains about 90 calories and 2.5 grams of fat as compared to the 120 calories and five grams of fat present in one cup of cow’s milk. Of course, these numbers differ depending on the brand of almond milk you use. For example, plain almond milk may have only 30 calories per serving.
As a plant-based product, almond milk has no saturated fat or cholesterol. This makes it a healthy substitute for dairy milk for people suffering from heart disease. The downside is that almond milk contains only one gram of protein per cup as compared to the eight grams per cup found in cow’s milk. It also has more carbohydrates than cow’s milk.
The Final Word on Almond Milk
Almond milk is a creamy plant milk made from almond nuts. It is not a derivative of any animal product, so it’s very suitable for vegans. Moreover, it’s free of both lactose and gluten, so people who are intolerant to either can consume it, too.
Almond milk provides many potential health benefits, such as improving your immune system, maintaining blood pressure, improving bone health, helping in digestion, lowering the risk of heart disease, helping in eye health, and being a good source of vitamin E, as well as having low sugar content that makes it an ideal dairy milk replacement for people with diabetes.
You can use almond milk in practically any recipe that calls for dairy milk and still have a great-tasting dish on your table. It has fewer calories and grams of fat when compared to cow’s milk, which is another good reason to use it regularly. So, if you’re free of nut allergies, try almond milk today and enjoy all its myriad benefits. Why not milk it for all its worth?
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