Almond Milk: Purely Plant-Based Beverage
It seems as if everyone is trying almond milk these days. Vegetarians love the purely plant-based beverage just as much as stars and models. But what is this trendy drink really all about? EAT SMARTER will give you all the facts you need to know about almond milk.
What You Should Know About Almond Milk
The name gives you half the truth. Almonds are actually in the drink; however, milk is not. The milk, like color of the liquid, comes from the finely ground, peeled almonds mixed with water and a couple other ingredients (such as a pinch of sea salt and sweeteners such as agave syrup).
The purely plant-based ingredients make almond milk the perfect cow milk substitute for vegetarians and especially vegans. We have vegans love for this beverage to thank for bringing this drink out of Spain and turning it into a popular drink. Of course, Hollywood stars drinking almond milk left and right are also helping this boom.
Origin & History: Wherever almonds grow, people have also long known almond milk. Even as long ago as in the middle ages, the Spanish and Portuguese drank almond milk for strength.
Even in early Catholic countries, almond milk was looked at as the ideal alternative to cow’s milk during the traditional fasting times.
Today almond milk has spread far and wide throughout Europe, the United States as well as East Asia.
Taste: Almond milk taste similar to conventional wheat, just a little milder and nuttier.
How Healthy Is Almond Milk?
Almond milk is generally known as a healthier alternative to cow's milk; however, some people do not agree with this. Almond milk has the reputation of being a slimming drink even though this is not completely accurate. In fact, almond milk has close to as much calories as regular milk. Compared to cow's milk almond milk also give you no calcium and much less protein. It does, however, give you more fiber.
Of course there are also exceptions to the rule, where the fat content is much lower, calcium has been added. People who pay attention to their sugar intake also know that their products generally come in both sweetened and unsweetened varieties. The unsweetened version contains only 13 calories per 100 ml / 3.5 oz.
For those who suffer from food intolerances or allergies, almond milk contains no lactose, gluten or soy.
|Nutritional values of almond milk per 100 ml / 3.5 oz.|
|Protein||0.9 g / 0.03 oz.|
|Fat||2.9 g / 0.1 oz.|
|Carbohydrate||3.8 g / 0.13 oz.|
|Dietary Fiber||2 g / 0.07 oz.|
Shopping And Cooking Tips For Almond Milk
Shopping: You can buy almond milk in grocery stores, health food stores and even some drugstores. You can choose between sweetened or unsweetened almond milk with additional flavors. Unfortunately, almond milk is more expensive than regular milk.
Storage: Unopened almond milk can even be stored without being refrigerated. However as soon as you open it, you should refrigerate it and consume relatively quickly.
Cooking Tips for Almond Milk:
Chilled almond milk tastes great by itself. You could also drink it in smoothies or with your cereal. In theory, you can use almond milk with anything that you would normally use regular milk (cereal, creams, pudding, baking, etc.).
If you want to use almond milk as a substitute for cow’s milk in savory recipes, you should buy the unsweetened kind. The best, however, is to simply make almond milk yourself! This way the milk costs less and you know exactly what you put in it.
DIY Almond Milk
Making homemade almond milk is not as hard as it may seem. EAT SMARTER will show you how it’s done. If you want to use the milk for savory dishes, simply leave out honey or agave syrup and instead flavor the milk with a little sea salt and possible lemon juice. You can then use it in things like sauces, soups or even mashed potatoes.
A little tip for those in a hurry: Instead of grinding all almonds yourself, you can take a almond purée as a basis for your almond milk.