What exactly is almond milk?
We all know there are almonds involved, but what else is in there? Well, the answer is pretty simple actually.
The milk is composed of almonds and water, but people tend to add sweeteners (hopefully natural ones, like agave nectar or vanilla) to jazz it up a bit.
Just blend it up, strain the pulp, and voila! It's a little more to it than that, but we walk you through the process of making almond milk step by step.
As far as taste is concerned, well that'll vary by brand or your personal spin on the milk recipe. In general, it's nutty (obviously) with just the right amount of sweetness.
The texture is usually smooth (again, this will vary). Some are slightly more "watery" than others, and this depends heavily on the water to almond ratio of the recipe, as well as how thoroughly the milk was strained.
If you prefer a flavored milk, that's available too. There's sweetened, unsweetened, vanilla, and chocolate right in the grocer's fridge!
The Health Benefits of Almond Milk
In addition to the obvious animal/eco-friendly nature this nutty beverage, it also possesses many benefits for the human body as well.
This milk contains absolutely no saturated fats. A rather significant amount of saturated fat is found in cow's milk, and has been proven to lead to heart disease.
Other heart healthy components include flavonoids, Omega-3 fatty acids, and potassium.
Research has shown flavonoids & Omega-3 fatty acids promote cardiovascular health; and potassium helps to regulate blood pressure.
It also improves the immune system (selenium), strengthens bones (manganese), and promotes weight loss (antioxidants).
The link between almond milk and weight loss has been getting much attention lately. The low calorie, low fat, zero cholesterol, and high mineral combination definitely helps when trying to shed those extra pounds.
Vitamins & Minerals
How to select the right brand
Almonds are rather expensive these days, which means companies are going to cut costs other ways. Most commercially distributed milks have a low amount of almonds in them. These are those "watery" milks I was referring to earlier.
The absence of an adequate amount of nuts also produces a decrease in the vitamins and minerals present in the milk. Some brands have resorted to compensating for this by adding synthetic vitamins to their products.
The best advice I could ever give you: Make Sure You Read The Label. The label will tell you who is cutting corners or making unnecessary additions. The label never lies.
If you are not pleased with what you find in your grocer's fridge, make your own. We'll show you how.