You and I have been drinking it by the litre, cafes are now stocking it for your latte, and the media are bashing it. Almond milk has been taking the world by storm. But it’s not all what you want to hear. Find out why I’m breaking up with almond milk, but only temporarily…
- Unknown ingredients. You may have heard of carrageenan and the argument around its inclusion in some store-bought almond milks. The fact of the matter is that the evidence isn’t conclusive. Personally, I agree with Chris Kresser and recommend you avoid it. Find out more in Chris’ article, Harmful or Harmless: Carrageenan.
- Added sugar. Some store-bought almond milks are worse than soy milk in this department. As always, please read the label. If you’re going to go for store-bought, always purchase an unsweetened version.
- Cost: Some companies charge over $13/L. Enough said.
- Omega-6. Something to consider with almonds in general, is quantity. Although heart healthy, almonds also contain omega-6, an inflammatory polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA). We need to keep our perspective here, as almonds are natural (and our omega-6 intake can be lowered by removing seed oils, cooking only with saturated fats and eliminating processed food products, deep fried food and refined sugar), but we also need to mindfully consume. Read more in my article, Almond flour: the scoop!
- Intolerances. Did you know you can develop an intolerance simply by eating (drinking) too much of the one thing? Almonds, along with gluten, eggs and coconut are the more common culprits here.
So what’s the answer then? I hear you ask.
The answer, as always, is rotation. I’m definitely not saying that you shouldn’t drink almond milk, but I am saying this:
Homemade always trumps store-bought.
Variety is key.
Read on to find out how you can make your own nut milk OR nut free milk using any nut or seed you like (e.g. hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds..)
Homemade Nut/Seed Milk
- 1 cup nuts/seeds
- 5 cups water (ideally filtered)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon rice malt syrup (optional)
- Soak the nuts/seeds for at least six hours in one cup of water.
- Drain and rinse the nuts/seeds and blend with four cups of water.
- Add the cinnamon and rice malt syrup and blend again.
- Pour through a strainer into a large bowl.
- Pour liquid yield into a tightly sealed bottle and store in the fridge for up to a week.
Not sure what to do with your pulp? Here’s the answer:
Homemade Nut/Seed Flour
- The pulp from your homemade milk
- Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Spread your pulp out evenly and as thinly as possible.
- Bake in an oven on a very low heat for 3 hours, stirring regularly.
- Remove and allow to cool before blending in a high-speed blender, like a Vitamix. If you’re not using the flour straight away, simply store in an airtight container in the fridge and aim to use within the week.
So nutritious, cost effective and waste free. What will you start with? Me, I’m loving hazelnuts.