Almond milk is a beverage commonly used as a milk substitute. Almond milk has been used as a milk substitute since the Middle Ages, when people preferred it over fresh cow’s milk because of its long shelf life. However, it may not be right for everyone.
Almond milk is a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E, so it can help prevent cancer and slow the signs of aging. The flavonoids in almond milk also help to reduce the number of free radicals in the body, protecting you from a number of degenerative diseases that occur with aging, such as osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes.
Unlike cow’s milk, almond milk contains no cholesterol and no saturated fats, so it won’t damage your cardiovascular system. Almond milk is also high in omega-3 fatty acids to help lower your levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and protect your heart. You’ll also enjoy the other benefits of adding omega-3 fatty acids to your diet, such as improved cognitive function.
Compared to soy and rice milk, almond milk has the highest concentrations of vitamins and minerals. Almond milk contains the following vitamins and minerals:
Almond milk is a great milk substitute choice for those who are trying to lower their fat and calorie intake. Almond milk is very low in calories; it has only 40 calories per serving. It contains about three grams of fat per serving, but they’re all healthy fats that help protect your heart. It’s also suitable for vegans and vegetarians because is lactose free, and contains no gluten or casein, so it’s an appropriate and safe alternative for those who suffer from lactose intolerance, or who are allergic to gluten and casein. However, almonds are a tree nut, so almond milk isn’t safe for consumption by those who suffer a tree nut allergy. If you have a tree nut allergy and you drink almond milk, you could suffer a dangerous allergic reaction.
Almond milk doesn’t contain the nutrition of breast milk and baby formula, so it isn’t an acceptable substitute for feeding infants. Feeding almond milk to infants may cause tree nut allergies to develop.
While cow’s milk, rice milk and soy milk are often fortified with various minerals and vitamins, all of these nutrients occur naturally in almond milk. This means that you can make almond milk yourself at home, and it’s just as good for you as any almond milk you might buy in the store.
Homemade Almond Milk
2 cups skinless raw almonds*
2 teaspoons of sea salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice or raw apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup of beet sugar, coconut palm sugar or raw honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Soak almonds overnight in the filtered water and sea salt.
Drain off soaking water and process almonds in a food processor until you get a smooth paste.
In a 2 quart glass jug, mix almond paste with the rest of the ingredients and enough water to fill the jug. Cover tightly and leave on the counter for 2 days.
Refrigerate, and make sure to stir well before serving.
* If you happen to have the raw almonds with skin, don’t worry. Heat some water and let the soak there for a few minutes. Make sure the water is not boiling, that way the almonds don’t lose their nutrients.