Today on Naturally Nutritious we are taking an in depth look at almond milk, it’s key nutrients and how Almo Milk compares to others in the market.
It’s the better kind of different, which is why we love it so much.
So, almond milk has been a “thing” for a while now. You’ve seen it on the supermarket shelves, in recipes, it’s even offered at most cafes now, adding a new flavour dimension to beverages and meals. It’s often offered as a natural dairy-milk alternative for those following vegetarian and vegan diets, it’s also a suitable substitute for those who suffer from dairy/lactose intolerance and allergies. Almond milk allows them to still enjoy a milky creamy hot chocolate or a lovely morning coffee!
I actually really love the taste of plain almond milk. I drink it on it’s own, I use it to make hot drinks (you must try my matcha latte), I bake with it, use it in sauces, and basically anywhere you would traditionally use dairy milk.
So what is almond milk? Well, put simply - it’s a “milk” made from almonds. It’s not a milk in the traditional sense of the word, that is, it doesn’t contain any of the same basic elements as a dairy milk as it uses emulsified almonds and water. The almonds are not “milked” (hehe could you imagine?!) rather, they go through a number of processes to extract the flavour and nutrients from the almond nut which is then diluted in water to create a delicious, creamy nut milk.
Sounds simple, right? You may have even had a go at making almond milk yourself at home. I know I have, you soak the almonds, discard the water then blend them up with fresh water, strain the pulp out and hey presto!
It’s important to mention though that not all ready-made almond milks are created equally. Supermarket shelf brands vary greatly with their almond content, pulp extracted, amount of dilution in water, additives used and sweeteners added in.
Almo Milk is made completely different to all of the other brands. It starts with whole almonds that are ground into a creamy almond butter paste, and looks similar to creamy white thickened cream (so AMAZING) then the paste is emulsified and diluted with water. The pulp is not strained out like in other almond milk brands. And for this reason, it doesn’t need to have any added carrageenan, vegetable oils, corn starch or other preservatives to achieve a rich and creamy almond milk. Now I know some of those words sound like a different language so here’s a quick explanation of one of the additives I get asked about a lot – carrageenan. Carrageenan is a common additive in foods, and is actually made from seaweed, but has been associated with causing gastrointestinal upset. You can read more about it via the link.
Almo Milk use double the amount of almonds in their milk than other leading brands, creating their trademark creamy texture. Even if you added a whole litre of water to Almo Milk, it would still contain more almonds than the current leading brands, which usually have to use those additives we talked about to avoid their products being watery and very diluted. So you can see that not all almond milks were created equal right?
The list of things we love about Almo Milk are kind of endless. It’s a pretty amazing product and we feel really privileged and excited to be able to tell you guys all about it. Not only are all of the almonds used 100% Australian, they are local to Melbourne too! Supporting 140 farmers in Victoria and South Australia, it’s also low in food miles. Tick and Tick. I guess as nutritionists, the thing we love most about this almond milk is the added nutrition from utilised the whole almond. …and also the bottle design too because it’s so pretty and makes us feel #fancy in the kitchen.
The benefits of almond milk are endless. But let’s start with the health benefits, Almond milk is a super nourishing drink, and here is why…… Almo can offer an increased source of protein when compared with other almond milks. This is where Almo becomes a rockstar, particularly because they use double the almonds and don’t extract any pulp, meaning more protein goes into their milk. Protein is an essential macronutrient, our bodies use it daily to keep us fighting fit with our body’s muscle mass and immune system. Australians need to have anywhere between 60-100g of protein per day, depending on a range of factors including age, gender, and stage of life. One tall glass of Almo Milk has 3g of protein contributing to between 3-5% of the daily protein requirements. Every little bit counts!
Almond milk is a great source of fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamins A, E, D and K. Nuts are a great source of “good fats” and stored within these “good fats” are these fat-soluble vitamins. Does this mean that these vitamins will dissolve my fat?!? Oh gosh I would be rich if that were the case! But no, they are called fat soluble vitamins because they are useful to our bodies when we eat and drink foods that contain these vitamins; fat has to be present too, otherwise we can’t actually use or absorb them through the gut! This is also why it’s recommended that these vitamins, when taken as a supplement for deficiencies, are eaten with healthy fats.
Almond milk also contains a number of minerals. Namely, calcium and sodium (salt). Calcium is great, and boy do we need it! Our bodies would quite literally fall to the ground without enough of it, because our bones are giant calcium reservoirs. Calcium is also really important for a fantastically functioning nervous system, and just as important is a fully functioning arsenal of immune boosting cells that are at the ready to fight infections and heal wounds as they appear, ultimately keeping us well. The calcium found in almonds is often easily lost during the milk making process, this is why Almo Milk is fortified making it a source of calcium.
Salt (sodium) is a mineral that Australians traditionally have too much of in their diets. Usually as an added salt, but salt occurs naturally is lots of foods. It’s an essential nutrient, but too much of a good thing can be harmful to your health by causing dehydration and high blood pressure. Luckily, Almo Milk is low in naturally occurring and added salt, so it’s a no brainer :)
I guess the most common nutrient of all is – total energy. Also known as calories or kilojoules, it’s the most basic primal reason we eat food to begin with! We need it for energy to power our bodies and brains, but again, too much of a good thing (total energy consumed daily) can be less than ideal. Almond milk is significantly lower in total energy than dairy milk, with an average of 1/3 of the total energy per cup (250mL).
So all in all, you can see the benefits of Almo Milk are wide and far-reaching. Why not add it into your smoothies, or give it a go in your morning coffee? Let us know how you go or tell us how you enjoy it best!
This post is in partnership with Almo Milk but as always, all opinions and thoughts are honest and my own.