By: Alisa Mae Fernandez
What is it?
Almond milk is a plant based “milk”. It is one of the popular options for consumers along with coconut milk, soy milk, and rice milk. Almond milk can be easily found in stores nowadays. There are many brands of almond milk and consumers can purchase different flavors depending on their preferences. We can even make it at home. It is also versatile meaning it can be substituted in recipes that use milk.
How is it made?
Almond milk is made by blending almonds and water. Manufacturers can fortify the milk with nutrients such as protein and calcium to boost nutrition. They also add other ingredients to help with shelf life and consistency.
Making almond milk at home is quite common as well and as an experiment, I decided to try to make some. I researched so many different recipes for almond milk but the process of making it was very similar between all the recipes. First, the almonds need to soak in water for at least 12 hours. Then the almonds are drained and placed into a blender with a batch of fresh water. Many recipes call for 3 to 4 cups of water per 1 cup of almonds. Both the almonds and water are blended for at least 1 minute. The mixture is then strained using a cheese cloth or a nut milk bag. The milk can also be flavored to one’s liking; many recipes used dates as a sweetener. For my almond milk, I used vanilla extract. Overall, it turned out quite well and I would love to experiment with this more in the future.
Why is it a good substitute?
Almond milk is a suitable alternative to dairy milk, especially for those who are unable to consume milk, such as those who are lactose intolerant or those who are vegan. People who are lactose intolerant can choose this option because it is lactose free. It is lower in calories compared to dairy milk and contains no saturated fat. However it is lower in protein, calcium and vitamin D, unless it is fortified. It is important for consumers to make sure they are getting enough of these nutrients from other sources of food.
Triple Berry Banana Smoothie
1 cup frozen berries (I used strawberries, blueberries and raspberries)
1 banana (can use fresh or frozen)
1 cup almond milk
- Add all ingredients into the blender.
- Blend until smooth.
Pour into a cup and enjoy!