*Source: US Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service. The calorie content and content of other nutrients such as Calcium may vary according the the brand
Almond milk is one of the most popular non-dairy options for those who are lactose intolerant, vegan or just want to cut out dairy. It has many benefits that make it an excellent substitute to cow’s milk, including being rich in antioxidants and containing healthy fats. It also tastes delicious!
Almond milk can also be used for just about any recipe, from pancakes to smoothies, in coffee or poured over your morning cereal. This article will introduce you to all of the benefits of almond milk, its nutritional information compared to other dairy alternatives, as well as how to make your own almond milk at home.
8 Benefits of Almond Milk You Should Know
1. It's very low in calories
Compared to cow's milk and other dairy alternatives, almond milk is significantly lower in calories. For every 100ml of unsweetened almond milk, there's only about 15kcal, whereas the same quantity of whole cow's milk contains around 60kcal [1, 2].
This can seem a bit counterintuitive as almonds are notorious for being high in fats. Almonds themselves have a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) that are considered helpful in weight loss and weight management . Unfortunately, because of the way almond milk is made, very little of the original product is left in the milk, so a lot of this goodness is stripped away.
That’s why you’ll find versions that are fortified with additional nurtrients like calcium, vitamin d and protein to make them more similar to cow’s milk in terms of nutritional value (though without the additional calories).
2. It has no saturated fat
Almond milk has no saturated fats, unlike cow's milk. In fact, it contains heart-healthy fats that have been shown to play a role in lowering bad cholesterol and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease .
3. It has very little sugar
4. It's naturally lactose and dairy free
La leche de almendras no es realmente “leche” en el sentido tradicional. No contiene lactosa ni productos de origen animal, lo que la convierte en una excelente opción si eres intolerante a la lactosa o simplemente sigues una dieta vegana .
5. It can be a good source of calcium
While almonds themselves have relatively little to no calcium, manufacturers of almond milk generally add this during the making to give almond milk a nutritional boost (making it similar to cow’s milk in terms of nutritional value).
The recommended daily intake of calcium for adults 19-50 years old is 1000mg and 1200mg for women over 50 . In a typical unsweetened almond milk found in the grocery store, there can be roughly 184mg of Calcium added per 100ml (482 in one cup).
In terms of the daily recommended amount, this equates to approximately:
|% DV in 100ml||% DV in one cup (262ml aprox.)|
6. Es alto en vitamina E
La leche de almendras tiene un alto contenido en vitamina E – un antioxidante potente. Los antioxidantes pueden ayudar a mantener las células sanas, a mantener adecuadamente el consumo de alimentos y a equilibrar los “radicales libres” que causan el envejecimiento y las enfermedades. La vitamina E también ayuda a producir colágeno, que contrarresta las arrugas provocadas por condiciones externas como el frío o la sobreexposición al sol [11, 12].
Every 100ml of unsweetened almond milk provides approximately 6.33mcg of Vitamin E, which equates to:
|% DV in 100ml||% DV in one cup (262ml aprox.)|
7. It can be a good source of Vitamin D
Many store-bought almond milks have been fortified with Vitamin D to help mimic the nutritional benefits of cow’s milk.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb and retain calcium for strong bones and teeth and together with calcium helps prevent osteoporosis . It also boosts our immune system to decrease infections, and is vital in maintaining healthy metabolism for muscles and regulating hormone levels to stabilize moods .
One cup (262ml) of unsweetened almond milk, depending on the brand, can contain around 2.62mcg of Vitamin D. The daily recommended amount for adults 19-70 is 15mcg, so this is approximately 17.5% of your daily intake .
8. It's easy to add to your diet
Because of its smooth taste and texture, you can use almond milk in many different recipes as a dairy alternative and easily incorporate it into your diet. It can be used in your morning coffee, smoothies, poured over your breakfast cereal or in pancakes.
Almond milk can also be used in baking instead of 2% milk. If the recipe calls for whole milk, using almond milk instead might make it bake a little faster as it contains more water.
Nutritional information of almond milk compared to other plant-based milks (unsweetened) and cow's milk (whole).
[per 250g - aprox. 250ml / 1 cup]
|Cow's milk (Whole)*||Almond*||Soy*||Oat*||Rice*|
*The calcium content of dairy-alternative drinks may vary depending on the brand, as nutrients such as Calcium and Vitamin D are added to the milk during its making and are not naturally present.
How can I make almond milk at home?
Almond milk is available in a range of different varieties and brands from the grocery store. Many almond milks you'll find in the grocery store are fortified with additional nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D. There are also sweetened and unsweetened versions, so always check the ingredients to make sure there are no unnecessary additives, particularly if you want to watch your sugar intake.
Almond milk is also relatively easy to make at home. One major benefit of making your own almond milk is that you know exactly what you're getting. You can control the taste, texture, and nutritional content of the milk by adding different spices, sweeteners, or protein powders. Almond milk is also much cheaper to make once you have all of the ingredients.
Here is a guide to making your own almond milk:
What you'll need
- 2 cups of raw organic almonds (soaked overnight)
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- 2 litres (8 cups) of water
- A cheese cloth or coffee/tea filter for straining the milk
- A large bowl to strain into
- Another container to store the almond milk in (preferably glass)
- A blender or a food processor
- Optional: sweetener of choice (natural sweeteners like stevia or agave nectar are preferable), cinnamon, extra water to achieve desired consistency, ice cubes if serving cold.
How to make almond milk
In order to make your own almond milk (Does not take more than 1 hour):
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spread almonds onto a baking sheet.
- Bake the almonds for 5 minutes and then take them out of the oven and let cool.
- Place 2 cups of your soaked almonds into your food processor or blender with 8 cups of water and 1 tsp of vanilla extract (2 dates if no vanilla) Blend on high for 1-3 minutes until you have a creamy consistency, adding more water as needed.
- Pour the mixture into your strainer and use a spoon to stir it around over a large bowl, ensuring that you get all of the delicious milk from the ground up almonds.
- Squeeze out as much milk as possible and store in sealed container(s) in fridge for up to 3 days. You can add optional ingredients such as sweetener, cinnamon, vanilla extract, or ice cubes into your milk before drinking if desired.
If you want to add some extra protein to your almond milk, add a scoop of protein powder before you start blending. You can also add chia seeds to for some extra health benefits.
If you would like to drink the pulp that is left over after straining out the milk, simply add it back inside your blender with 1 cup of water for every 2 cups of pulp and blend on high again for about 1 minute. Strain this mixture as you did with the milk to get clean pulp. Add this pulp back into your original container of milk before storing in fridge for up to 3 days.
Almond milk and coffee
Almond milk can be great in coffee. Coffee is roasted to carbonate the natural sugars and proteins. This creates a toasted flavor that is nutty at its base. Almond milk has a sweetness that offsets the acidity of the coffee and gives it a more cream-like flavor.
However, vegetable based milks like almond and soy milk have a tendency to curdle when added to coffee. This is because the acid from the coffee curldes the proteins and/or fats in the milk, catalysed by heat. One way to minimise this is to let your coffee cool before adding it to your vegetable milk, and also adding the coffee into the milk gradually. Also using a coffee will low acidity will help.
If you use coffee pods, Nespresso's website advises that in general there tends to be lower presence of acidity in higher roasted coffees . Personalmente, he utilizado las cápsulas “Nicaragua” e “India” de Nespresso sin problemas y estas son de mayor intensidad, según su clasificación.
One of my favourite things to enjoy with almond milk is my morning coffee. I add one spoon of cocoa powder for a bit of extra richness and sweetness, making a delicious almond mocha! It’s great hot or cold!
Almond milk is a healthy alternative to cow's milk, and it has many nutritional benefits. It's high in Vitamin E - a powerful antioxidant - and can be fortified with additional nutrients such as calcium and protein. Almond milk is naturally lactose and dairy-free making it a fantastic option for vegans and people who are lactose-intolerant.
It's also very low in calories, with the lowest calorie content of most plant-based dairy alternatives, making it a great choice if you're trying to lose weight!
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