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 more 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 concerns 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 healthier for the environment to make your own almond milk?
But which milk is the most environmentally friendly? It depends on whatever metric is most important to you: water, land usage, greenhouse gas emissions, or the sum of all climate-change elements. Continue reading to find out whether your favorite milk is an environmental hero or a zero.
We all know how bad dairy is for the environment. For one thing, cows belch and pass gas, adding methane to our atmosphere, which, according to a recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) assessment, is at its highest level in human history.)
According to a study from the University of Oxford, any plant-based milk is better than cow’s milk, including almond milk (because almond trees are thirsty plants). A single glass of dairy milk emits nearly three times the amount of greenhouse gases and consumes nine times the amount of land as a glass of plant-based milk.
So, which vegan milk is the best? It depends on what you want to accomplish: Reduced water consumption, reduced land use, reduced CO2 emissions, and other factors. Almond milk has the lowest overall greenhouse gas emissions because it requires almond trees, which, like all plants and trees, remove CO2 from the atmosphere as they grow. Almond trees, on the other hand, are exceedingly thirsty and require a lot of water to produce all those tiny nuts. Soy milk made the old-fashioned way consumes the least amount of water and emits the fewest pollutants. As a result, you could argue that soy, which has always been a hero, is the winner.
Each type of plant-based milk has its own set of environmental implications to consider. Here’s everything you need to know about your favorite cereal companion, milk or smoothie booster, or straight-up sip.
1 pound of almonds equals how much 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 it true that the almond cow saves money?
Real Food: Because you get to choose your own things to add to your milk, Almond Cow makes eating real food more accessible. For the perfect nut-milk without any added crap, I normally add a pinch of salt, a small splash of vanilla, and one date to mine. Plus, when you use Almond Cow instead of watery store-bought alternatives, the amount of nuts in your milk is much higher.
Save money: Almond Cow has a higher upfront cost than store-bought milks, but if you exclusively buy ingredients from the bulk department of your grocery store, you’ll repay that cost in only a few months. When compared to store-bought milks, you can save 30-90 percent on each serving of milk generated by your Almond Cow.
Help the environment: Because you won’t be buying milk in cardboard or plastic containers, you’ll be helping the environment tremendously!
Save time: With Almond Cow, you don’t have to soak your nuts days ahead of time. I can make cashew milk while my coffee is brewing if I wake up craving it! Almond Cow’s convenience is ideal for my hectic days.
Cleaning is my least favorite part of getting creative in the kitchen because it leaves a mess and spreads germs. Almond Cow is easy to clean and takes less than 2 minutes. Plus, by using Almond Cow instead of hand-squeezing your milk from a nut milk bag, you avoid bacterial contamination on your hands.
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.
What’s the big deal about almond milk?
The Mic Network reports that “Almond milk, the ever-popular soy-free, dairy-free, vegan-friendly milk alternative now found in chic eateries and coffee shops everywhere, is destroying the earth.”
According to a Fortune Magazine article, almond milk has grown in popularity as a dairy-free alternative for vegans and lactose-intolerant coffee drinkers alike in recent years, becoming more popular than other non-dairy milks. The market for almond milk grew by 250 percent between 2010 and 2015.
When compared to dairy milk, many consumers choose almond milk since it has a lower carbon footprint. However, almond milk has a negative impact on the environment in other ways, which may surprise you. The main concerns with almond milk production are water use and pesticide use, both of which may have long-term environmental consequences in drought-stricken California, which produces more than 80% of the world’s almonds.
Commercial almond farming in California necessitates irrigation with ground and surface water diverted from the state’s aqueduct system. According to a New York Times report, it takes around 15 gallons of water to produce 16 almonds, making almonds one of the state’s most water-intensive crops. Almond milk’s reputation as a healthy alternative has been questioned by critics who argue that the nutritional benefits do not outweigh the amounts of water required to cultivate almonds.
Given that California produces more than two billion almonds, it’s simple to see why the amount of water diverted for this purpose is significant enough to be concerning. And, because many almonds are cultivated on land that has been converted from natural areas or farms cultivating low-water crops to fulfill the expanding demand for almonds, the increased irrigation needs have been significant.
Forbes reports that “Almond farms have been established on 23,000 acres of natural land. 16,000 acres of the area had previously been categorized as wetlands. In addition, some agricultural land has been turned to almonds from lower-water crops.”
Because the ground in the San Joaquin Valley, where most almonds are grown, is already sinking due to groundwater depletion, the additional wells farmers are digging to irrigate new orchards could have long-term consequences for California and its residents who rely on groundwater for drinking water.
Pesticide use in commercial almond production has been known to contaminate already scarce water supplies and contribute to the toxification of drinking water for people in California’s farming areas, exacerbating the problem. The USDA Pesticide Data Program has identified residues of nine distinct pesticides on almonds, five of which are hazardous to honey bees, according to the Pesticide Action Network, creating another another environmental threat.
A final point to consider is that certain store-bought almond milk brands contain carrageenan, a stabilizer and thickening chemical that has been linked to gastric issues.
According to the California Almond Board, the almond industry is working to promote sustainable water usage and boost water efficiency, so there are some solutions in the works. And, while just a few million almonds are currently certified organic, more farmers are opting to go this route, resulting in a rise in certified organic almond products on the market.
- Think about your possibilities. You might alternate between several non-dairy milks, as each has its own set of perks and drawbacks. Goat and sheep milk are nutrient-dense and less allergic alternatives to cow’s milk.
- Make your own version. If almond milk is a must-have in your life, try making it at home with organic almonds. At the very least, you’ll be able to manage how much water is used in the milk-making process, resulting in a purer product.
- Purchase organically certified products. Pesticides aren’t used in certified organic almond milk, and there’s often less water used as well. When shopping, pick this option. Inquire if the caf uses certified organic products, and if not, propose they do so.
- Carrageenan-containing brands should be avoided. When purchasing almond milk, read the label carefully and avoid types that contain carrageenan.