If you just look at the figures, the conclusion is obvious: it’s usually cheaper to buy packaged milk than to make your own. This is most likely due to the fact that nondairy milk companies buy large quantities of nuts in bulk, lowering costs dramatically. Many manufacturers also stretch their products by adding extra water and thickeners and emulsifiers like carrageenan, xanthan gum, or guar gum to the milk. These chemicals aren’t inherently harmful; they simply skew the curve.
Is making your own almond milk less expensive?
Whole raw almonds from the bulk section at my local Whole Foods cost $12.99 per pound. Making 2 cups, or 16 ounces, of almond milk costs roughly $4.05 when using a 1 cup almond to 2 cup water ratio. Alternatively, 32 fluid ounces of 365 Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk costs $1.99. This was, admittedly, the cheapest almond milk I could find. The prices of the other brands I noticed ranged from $2.29 to $4.00.
Is homemade almond milk superior to store-bought almond milk?
Due to my personal food allergies and intolerances, I live a dairy-free lifestyle and avoid cow’s milk products, as do many others.
I’ve been drinking plant-based and nut milks for a long time. They’re great in drinks, cereal, baking, cooking, smoothies, hot chocolates, and on their own. It’s safe to say that I’ve tried practically every brand on the market. However, how can you pick the best nut mylk? Here are my advice for selecting homemade nut milk over store-bought nut milk as a dietitian and a foodie who lives for flavor.
There are a variety of reasons why you would want to incorporate nut milk into your diet. Living a vegan lifestyle, avoiding animal products, or for health reasons are examples of this. Perhaps you’re intolerant to lactose (a sugar present in milk) or allergic to casein (the protein found in milk). Alternatively, you may enjoy the taste and variety of preparing your own, like I do.
Certainly not. Because there are so many kinds of nut milks, the most common of which is almond milk, the components are all the same (almonds + water). What distinguishes an excellent almond or nut milk is the “extra” or added components.
Nut milk is simply a mixture of soaked nuts and water in its most basic form. However, there are a few things to watch out for when considering elements like shelf life, consistency, the nature of how milk separates, and, of course, the profitability of a product. You can determine a good almond or nut milk from a bad one by the amount of nuts to water, additions, thickeners, added sugar, and flavors.
It’s possible that the cheapest almond milk on sale at the grocery isn’t the healthiest. In fact, you could be paying a lot of money for water that only has a few nuts in it.
To begin, the ratio of nuts to water should be as high as possible. The more nuts in the milk, the more nutrients it has. This is where you’ll find the nice stuff. Choose a brand that uses a significant amount of nuts in its production. This is something you can easily check on the label. For example, a popular grocery brand of almond milk lists the following ingredients: “Filtered water, Ground Whole Almonds” (2.5 percent ). More almonds are utilized when the percentage is higher, which equals more nutrition.
Then you’ll want to look for thickeners and additions. Ingredients like carrageenan, stabiliser, and thickener can be found on the ingredient panel. This gives it a richer mouthfeel while also preventing the milk from separating and splitting. When you follow a genuine food philosophy or prefer to eat food as close to its original state as possible, these additives aren’t suitable as a regular component of your diet. It’s also likely that these additives will have an effect on your stomach, especially if you’re sensitive or following a gut-healing plan. Bottom line, additives have little nutritional value, so I’m going back to my “eat genuine food” attitude.
Keep an eye out for sugars that have been added. Is it really necessary to sweeten almond milk? Not at all. However, while creating a marketable product, it is included because our palates assist us in purchasing their goods. Let’s get back to the basics. Look for brands that say “unsweetened” on the label. If you have a sweet tooth, add modest amounts of honey, dates, fruit, or other natural sweeteners to your smoothies or drinks (real food).
There are other factors to consider as well, such as low-quality oils. Sunflower oil, for example. Sunflower oil is a cheap, flavorless oil that can sneak into foods in more ways than you might realize if you read the labels.
If you drink nut milk on a daily basis or consider it a mainstay in your diet, the brand you use at home should be as close to its natural state as possible. For example, those made primarily of nuts and water. There are no unknown additives or preservatives, numbers, or components.
What’s the difference between homemade and store-bought nut milk? Homemade is my preference. There are various fantastic nut milk brands on the market, especially in health food stores or the cold department (where shelf life isn’t as important). Making your own nut milk is good for getting the most nutritious value out of it when include nut milk in your diet. I understand the feeling of not having enough time as a working mother. However, I assure that making your own nut milk is easier than you think if you follow the easy instructions below. Even if you create your own some of the time and rely on high-quality brands the rest of the time, this will still be a healthier alternative for you and your family in terms of nutrition.
Making your own wins hands down every time when it comes to value for money. Instead of paying for pricey water or almonds with a low percentage of almonds, making your own ensures that you are drinking high-quality water.
Making your own eliminates all additives, preservatives, and thickeners, ensuring that you are drinking it in its purest form.
Homemade nut milk is also far superior to store-bought! It has a natural nut flavor, and you may customize it with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, dates, maple syrup, or vanilla bean.
By utilizing different nuts to make your own nut milk, you may experiment with new flavors, try new combinations, and add more variety to your diet. Almond milk, cashew milk, macadamia nut milk, or a combination of the three can be made. If you don’t want to eat nuts, you can substitute tigernuts (a little tuber) or even coconut.
It’s easier than you think to make your own nut milk. All you need are your ingredients, nuts, and water, as well as any additional delicious flavors you want to add like cacao, turmeric, dates, or spices, and a few tools to make the process go smoothly. A basin for soaking the nuts, a mesh strainer, nut milk bag, or cheesecloth for straining the milk, and a sterilised glass jar for storing your nut milk in the fridge are all required. Simple!
- To begin, soak your nuts for the appropriate period of time* (see table below). Almonds and other tougher nuts require more time than softer nuts like cashews.
- To make a creamy liquid, mix with water in a high-powered blender or food processor.
- Using a mesh, cheesecloth, or nut milk bag, strain your liquid. To capture the nut mylk, place a basin below. You may either leave it as is or add flavors like dates, spices, or chocolate to the liquid in your blender.
To make things easier for you, I did some research and discovered a Nut Mylk Kit that includes everything you’ll need to get started producing your own. To avoid a mess, it comes with the ideal straining bag and straining stand. This stand, without a doubt, revolutionized my nut mylk-making life. For years, I struggled to strain over a bowl, spilling it all over the place. Here’s where you can learn more about the kit and what’s included.
If stored properly, your homemade nut milk will last several days in the fridge, up to five days. If you haven’t finished your nut milk by the expiration date, freeze it in ice cubes to use in smoothies.
Instead of throwing away the leftover pulp, use it to make cookies, breads, or crumble toppings.
You can create cashew nut milk without soaking them overnight, which saves time. Their natural creaminess, combined with the absence of tough skin, makes it simple to blend with water and strain.
I hope you find these suggestions useful! Please leave your thoughts and questions in the box below. Here I come, with hot cacao chocolate on handmade almond milk and gluten-free cookies.
This post was created in conjunction with Mad Millie, a company that makes it simple to produce real food at home.
Is it worthwhile to invest in almond milk producers?
A Vitamix blender can cost as little as $290 for a certified refurbished unit and as much as $700 depending on the model. These blenders can be found online (affiliate link) as well as at a number of stores throughout the world. My Vitamix A3500 Series blender is powerful enough to make nut milk, but any model from this brand is.
- a tamper useful for blending thicker combinations, but not necessary for making nut milk
- Soak the nuts or seeds (optional not essential), then blend them with whatever quantity of water in the blender. Depending on the size of your Vitamix, you can prepare nut milk batches as little as one cup or as large as 4-8 cups. You can prepare your milk with any number of nuts, seeds, or cereals.
- Strain the combined mixture into a big glass basin using a nut milk bag.
- Place the finished nut milk in a glass jar in the refrigerator. You can also take the nut pulp out of the bag and utilize it whichever you want.
- Consistency: The Vitamix gives you a lot more flexibility when it comes to the creaminess ratio and the amount of nut milk you want to prepare. Not only that, but it “milks” the almonds better: when compared to the same quantity of nuts used in the Almond Cow, the finished product is more opaque and more creamier in terms of consistency and mouthfeel.
- Vitamix’s versatility comes in handy for making nut milk, but it may also be used to produce smoothies, soups, sauces, and nut butters.
- High-speed blenders are notoriously expensive, with costs ranging from $290 for certified reconditioned units to $720 for top-of-the-line new versions. Payment arrangements are, nevertheless, available. These blenders do go on sale from time to time, and any model will create nut milk. When compared to the Almond Cow, a machine that can manufacture nut milk as well as a range of other recipes can cost as little as $90 more.
- Extra Work: Making nut milk in the Vitamix takes a little longer because you have to filter it through a nut milk bag into a separate bowl. The cleanup, on the other hand, is simple and takes roughly the same length of time as the Almond Cow. My nut milk bag was much easier to clean than the metal strainer.
The Nut Pulp
The nut pulp produced by the Vitamix is darker, finer, and spongier than that produced by the Almond Cow. This is because the Vitamix nearly liquefies the nuts or seeds as they blend, leaving only the fiber left once they’ve been strained.
This nut pulp, like the Almond Cow, can be discarded, composted, or reused. It has a denser, thicker texture than Almonds and does not taste like them. However, it may still be used in these Banana Nut Pulp Cookies, or frozen and blended into smoothies or incorporated into oatmeal.
The Vitamix makes creamier nut milk, finer pulp, and has more culinary applications, but it costs more. Overall, if you have the extra funds, I would recommend investing in a Vitamix (or equivalent high-speed blender).
The Almond Cow, on the other hand, remains an excellent value for handmade nut milk and more versatile pulp. If you already have a blender but can’t make nut milk with it, this is an excellent alternative.
A pound of almonds yields how much almond milk?
For every 1 cup of raw almonds out of the shell, you’ll need roughly 3 cups of water. Soak in enough water to cover with a little more water the next day to allow for swelling. If you wish to produce 2 quarts or 2 liters at a time, 1 pound (or nearly a half kg) of raw almonds out of the shell makes a half gallon or 2 quarts or roughly 2 liters of creamy, rich almond milk when enough water is added after squeezing. Of course, you can cut the water in half to make an almond cream suited for coffee creamer, nog base, cream pies, and other applications where milk is too thin.
Which non-dairy milk is the most affordable?
Soy was shown to offer the most balanced nutritional profile of all the plant-based milk replacements in a 2018 study. Silk’s version offers 80 calories per cup, four grams of fat, seven grams of protein, and three grams of carbs, making it similar in protein and fat to a glass of 2 percent milk. Silk also adds gellan gum to thicken its soy milk and fortifies it with vitamins A, D2, and B12.
Soy milk is the cheapest of the plant-based optionsa half-gallon costs anywhere from $1 to $3and the easiest to get in any grocery store because it’s been around the longest. The main disadvantage is that soy milk is heat sensitive and will curdle at high temperatures. As a result, almond milk has become a popular milk substitute in coffee shops.
Is making your own plant-based milk less expensive?
It’s less expensive! Making your own plant-based milk is a fraction of the cost of buying a carton of store-bought alternative milk, so you can truly save money. It costs roughly a dollar per litre for me to create my own milk.
It is beneficial to your health! Shop-bought milk is loaded with chemicals, sweeteners, and preservatives to keep it fresh for as long as possible. You can avoid all of these unnecessary additives by creating your own milk. When compared to animal-based milk, it is also better for digestion.
It’s good for the environment! While some plant-based milk is available in glass bottles, the majority is still marketed in cartons with single-use plastic tops. This garbage spends years in a landfill or, worse, in the water. Isn’t it better to make ZERO waste in the first place, even if your plant-milk container is constructed from recycled materials? The only waste product when making plant milk at home is the ‘pulp,’ which is compostable and may be used to produce tart bases and plant-based crackers.
Almond milk has only 1 gram of protein per cup (240 ml), compared to 8 and 7 grams in cow’s and soy milk, respectively (16, 17).
Protein is required for a variety of body processes, including muscular growth, skin and bone construction, and the generation of enzymes and hormones (18, 19, 20).
Beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, tofu, tempeh, and hemp seeds are among the high-protein dairy-free and plant-based foods.
If you don’t mind eating animal products, eggs, fish, poultry, and beef are all good sources of protein (21).
Unsuitable for infants
Cow’s or plant-based milks should not be given to children under the age of one year because they can inhibit iron absorption. Until 46 months of age, breastfeed or use infant formula exclusively until solid meals can be introduced (22).
Offer water as a nutritious beverage option in addition to breast milk or formula at 6 months of age. Cow’s milk can be given to your infant’s diet after the age of one (22).
Plant-based drinks, with the exception of soy milk, are inherently low in protein, fat, calories, and a variety of vitamins and minerals, including iron, vitamin D, and calcium. These nutrients are necessary for development and growth (23, 24).
Almond milk has only 39 calories per cup, 3 grams of fat, and 1 gram of protein (240 ml). This is insufficient for a developing infant (5, 24).
Continue to breastfeed or see your doctor for the best nondairy formula if you don’t want your kid to swallow cow’s milk (23).
May contain additives
Sugar, salt, gums, tastes, and lecithin and carrageenan can all be included in processed almond milk (types of emulsifiers).
Texture and consistency are achieved by the use of emulsifiers and gums. Unless ingested in really large quantities, they are harmless (25).
Despite this, a test-tube study indicated that carrageenan, which is often used as an emulsifier in almond milk and is generally considered harmless, may disturb intestinal health. Before any judgments can be drawn, however, further thorough research is required (26).
Despite these issues, many companies avoid using this ingredient entirely.
Furthermore, many flavored and sweetened almond milks include a lot of sugar. Sugar consumption can lead to weight gain, tooth problems, and other chronic illnesses (13, 14, 27).
Almond milk is low in protein, lipids, and nutrients necessary for an infant’s growth and development. Furthermore, many processed kinds contain sugar, salt, flavors, gums, and carrageenan, among other things.
Which nut milk is the most nutritious?
There are several ways to assess the nutritional value of foods, and each of the nut milks listed above meets distinct nutrient requirements.
Almond milk and cashew milk, on the other hand, have the best overall nutritional profile.
One cup of each delivers approximately 25 to 50 percent of your daily calcium and 25 percent of your daily vitamin D in an extraordinarily low-calorie package. Both are high in vitamin E, with cashew milk providing 50% of the recommended intake and almond milk providing 20%.
Despite the fact that both cashew and almond milk are low in protein, many health experts believe that Americans consume enough of this macro in their diet. So, for the most part, cutting back on protein in nut milk shouldn’t be an issue.
Another nut milk, on the other hand, might be preferable for you if you have special dietary needs, such as more protein or higher-than-average calories.
And, sadly, if you’re allergic to peanuts or tree nuts, you’ll have to avoid all nut milks. Instead, use soy, coconut, or hemp milk.
Is almond milk or oat milk the healthier option?
- Gluten may be present in some oat milks, rendering them unsuitable for gluten-free diets.
- More sugar and preservatives may be present. This is done to extend the shelf life of the milk and improve its flavor.
How to make oat milk
You may have had McQueens oat milk before, but have you ever attempted to make it yourself? It’s easy to make your own oat milk, and it only requires one ingredient.
To produce your own oat milk, all you need is 100 grams of porridge oats. It’s easier than you think to make your own oat milk. You can control exactly what goes into it if you make it yourself.
- Fill a bowl halfway with water from the tap and add the porridge oats. Allow the bowl to sit for 4 hours or overnight after covering it with a tea towel. Do not store it in the refrigerator.
- After allowing the oats to soak overnight or for 4 hours, strain the mixture through a strainer, allowing the water to drain. Rinse the oats for a few seconds under the tap.
- Combine the oats, 750ml cold water, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt in a blender or food processor. Blend until the mixture is perfectly smooth, with no visible oats. The creamier your homemade oat milk is, the more you combine it.
- Place the sieve over a basin or jug and let the liquid to drain. Allow for 1 hour of straining time.
- Take the sides of the cloth together and squeeze tightly to remove the oat milk once the majority of the mixture has been drained.
- You can now bottle it and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to drink it. If the oat milk is too thick for you, add 50ml of cool water until it reaches the desired consistency.
Oat Milk vs Cow’s milk?
If you’re lactose intolerant and looking for a dairy-free, gluten-free milk substitute, oat milk is the way to go. The contents in both are dramatically different, with oat milk containing significantly less calcium than cow’s milk. Although certain oat milks contain calcium, it is recommended to get calcium from cow’s milk. Vitamin D and B12 levels are higher in oat milk. This isn’t to suggest that cow’s milk doesn’t include these essential vitamins; but, if vitamins are vital to you, we recommend choosing cow’s milk.
Oat Milk Calories
You might be shocked to learn that oat milk has a low calorie count. Although the number of calories in oat milk varies depending on the brand, the average number of calories in oat milk is around 130. With 39 calories, this is the least calorie-dense of our Oatly barista-style oat milk. Oatly full milk has 160 calories per 100ml, semi-skimmed milk has 46 calories per 100ml, and skimmed milk has 37 calories per 100ml.
Some people can’t or won’t drink cow’s milk because they don’t enjoy the flavor. Of course, oat milk is preferable. However, if you want to get all of the beneficial nutrients from cow’s milk, this is the way to go.
Which is the best milk alternative?
There is no clear winner because almond and oat milk both have their own set of advantages. Oat milk is also thought to have more calories than almond milk. Lactose-intolerant people will benefit from oat milk. It has 120 calories per serving against 60 calories in almond milk, so it may be the better choice if you’re looking to save calories.
Almond Milk vs Oat Milk The verdict
Both of these plant-based milks have numerous advantages. There are a range of options available depending on what you’re searching for in a plant-based milk. Whichever alternative milk products you choose, we’re confident you’ll enjoy them. Oat milk is one of the best tasting oat milks and is ideal for lactose intolerant individuals. Because of its creamy and nutty flavor, almond milk is ideal for cereal. The dispute between almond milk and oat milk has no clear winner; each have their advantages, and it comes down to personal preference.