Are you curious about how many almonds it takes to make a litre of almond milk?
With the rise in popularity of plant-based milks, almond milk has become a popular alternative to dairy milk. However, there are concerns about the environmental impact of almond milk production, particularly the amount of water needed to grow almonds.
In this article, we’ll explore how many almonds are needed to make a litre of almond milk and provide tips on making your own homemade almond milk.
So, let’s dive in and discover the truth behind this popular non-dairy milk.
How Many Almonds To Make A Litre Of Almond Milk?
To make a litre of almond milk, you will need approximately 1 cup of raw almonds. However, the exact amount can vary depending on the recipe and personal preference.
It is important to note that before making almond milk, the almonds should be soaked in water for at least 8 hours or overnight. This helps to soften the almonds and make them easier to blend.
Once the almonds have been soaked, they are blended with fresh water and any additional ingredients such as salt, vanilla, or sweeteners. The mixture is then strained through a nut milk bag to remove any pulp or solids, leaving behind a smooth and creamy almond milk.
While homemade almond milk typically contains a higher percentage of almonds (around 10-20%) compared to store-bought versions (which often contain only 2% almonds), it is still important to consider the environmental impact of almond milk production.
According to one source, it takes approximately 1.1 gallons of water to grow a single almond. This means that producing a litre of almond milk requires approximately 384 litres of water.
While this may seem like a lot, it is important to note that cow’s milk production requires even more water – approximately 1016 litres per litre of milk.
The Almond Milk Production Process
The almond milk production process starts with soaking the raw almonds in water for at least 8 hours or overnight. This step is important because it softens the almonds and makes them easier to blend.
After soaking, the almonds are drained and rinsed before being added to a blender along with fresh water and any additional ingredients such as salt, vanilla, or sweeteners.
The mixture is then blended on high speed for 1-2 minutes until it becomes smooth and creamy. At this point, some recipes may call for an optional emulsifier such as sunflower lecithin to help keep the fat from separating from the liquid over time.
Next, the mixture is poured through a nut milk bag into a mixing bowl. The nut milk bag helps to strain out any pulp or solids, leaving behind a smooth and creamy almond milk.
Finally, the almond milk is ready to be enjoyed or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
While homemade almond milk typically contains a higher percentage of almonds compared to store-bought versions, it is important to consider the environmental impact of almond milk production due to the amount of water required to grow almonds. However, when compared to cow’s milk production, almond milk still requires significantly less water.
Environmental Impact Of Almond Milk Production
Despite the growing popularity of almond milk as a dairy alternative, its production has come under scrutiny due to its environmental impact. Almond trees require a significant amount of water to grow, and with over 80% of the world’s almonds grown in California, which has been in severe drought for most of this decade, water consumption is a major concern. It takes a staggering 1,611 US gallons (6,098 litres) of water to produce just one litre of almond milk.
Moreover, almond plantations are causing environmental damage in California. Farmers are ripping up relatively biodiverse citrus groves to feed rocketing demand for almonds, creating a monoculture fed by increasingly deep water wells that threaten statewide subsidence issues. This also leads to the loss of a large part of the almonds’ nutrients, as manufacturers are left with an almond pulp byproduct that is hard to reuse in other products.
Furthermore, the high demand for almonds is leading to the destruction of wildlife habitats and the loss of biodiversity. The intensive industrial production of almond milk can also expose bees to pesticides and other harmful chemicals, leading to high mortality rates.
While almond milk has a lower carbon footprint than cow’s milk, it is still a water-intensive crop and requires vast amounts of water to produce. As such, it is important for consumers to consider the environmental impact of their dietary choices and explore other dairy alternatives that have a lower environmental impact, such as oat or hazelnut milk.
Tips For Making Homemade Almond Milk
Here are some tips to help you make the best homemade almond milk:
1. Soak the almonds overnight or for at least 8 hours to ensure they are soft and easy to blend.
2. Use a high-powered blender like a Vitamix for the creamiest and smoothest almond milk.
3. Add any additional ingredients like vanilla, salt, or sweeteners to enhance the flavor of your almond milk.
4. Strain the blended mixture through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth to remove any pulp or solids and achieve a smooth texture.
5. Save the leftover almond pulp to use in other recipes like baked goods or as a protein-rich addition to smoothies.
6. Store your homemade almond milk in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
7. Shake well before using as separation may occur.
By following these tips, you can easily make delicious and creamy almond milk at home with just a few simple ingredients.
Other Plant-Based Milk Alternatives To Consider
If you are looking for alternative plant-based milk options, there are many to choose from. Here are a few to consider:
1. Oat milk: Oat milk is made from oats and water, and has a creamy texture and slightly sweet taste. It is also one of the most environmentally friendly options, as it requires less water to produce than almond milk.
2. Soy milk: Soy milk is made from soybeans and water, and has a mild, nutty flavor. It is a good source of protein and is often fortified with vitamins and minerals.
3. Hemp milk: Hemp milk is made from hemp seeds and water, and has a slightly nutty flavor. It is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and is often fortified with vitamins and minerals.
4. Coconut milk: Coconut milk is made from the flesh of mature coconuts and water, and has a rich, creamy texture and sweet flavor. It is also a good source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are believed to have health benefits.
5. Cashew milk: Cashew milk is made from cashews and water, and has a creamy texture and mild, nutty flavor. It is also a good source of healthy fats.
6. Rice milk: Rice milk is made from milled rice and water, and has a thin, watery texture and mild flavor. It is often fortified with vitamins and minerals.
7. Pea milk: Pea milk is made from yellow split peas and water, and has a creamy texture and slightly sweet taste. It is also a good source of protein.
8. Flaxseed milk: Flaxseed milk is made from ground flaxseeds and water, and has a slightly nutty flavor. It is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
When choosing a plant-based milk alternative, it’s important to consider factors such as taste, texture, nutritional value, environmental impact, and personal preferences. Experiment with different options to find the one that works best for you.