Plant-based milk options like almond, soy, and coconut have surged in popularity, sharing shelf space with traditional cow’s milk varieties. Almond milk, especially in its unsweetened form, has gained traction for its low-calorie profile, appealing to lactose-intolerant and health-conscious consumers. But how is almond milk made?
The Production Process Of Almond Milk
Creating almond milk at home is straightforward. Soak a cup of raw, unsalted almonds overnight, then blend them with three cups of cold water. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag. Registered dietitian Kat Benson suggests flavoring with vanilla, salt, or sweeteners. Commercial producers often blanch, peel, and process almonds with additional ingredients for mass production.
The Advantages Of Almond Milk
Almond milk is a low-calorie alternative to cow’s milk. For instance, a cup of unsweetened Silk brand almond milk contains only 30 calories, compared to 85 calories in skim milk, 125 in 2 percent, and 160 in whole milk. Additionally, almond milk is a suitable choice for individuals with lactose intolerance.
What Ingredients Constitute Almond Milk?
In reality, almond milk primarily consists of water. A notable 2015 consumer lawsuit claimed that Blue Diamond’s Almond Breeze comprises approximately 2 percent almonds, a case that the company eventually settled. The key components include water, almonds, sunflowers, and canola oil for texture. Added elements like vitamins A, D, and E, calcium, salt, sweeteners, or vanilla (depending on the variety) complete the formulation.
Health Benefits Of Almond Milk And Cow’s Milk
Almond milk offers fewer calories but falls short in protein content compared to cow’s milk (1g per serving versus 8g). According to Benson, a registered dietitian, it is also lower in carbohydrates, particularly in the unsweetened varieties, and is relatively low in fat. Therefore, it may not fully substitute the essential macronutrients found in dairy milk, particularly for growing children.