With the increase in allergies and rise of people now following plant-based diets, almond milk has become a popular dairy milk replacement. Read on to find out why almond milk is a healthy option and find out how to make almond milk easily at home.
Why drink a dairy milk replacement?
There are now a lot of dairy milk alternatives readily available on supermarket shelves- soy, rice, oat and almond are among them. Having these options is a relief for people who suffer from dairy allergies which is often related to being lactose intolerant. Much of the world is actually unable to properly digest lactose in milk .
There is another reason that a lot of people shirk dairy milk, which is due to the way that milk is produced. Despite being led to believe that dairy milk is a necessary part of a healthy diet, it is now known that dairy milk is not really so good for us.
Problems with dairy milk
Pasteurised milk, the kind that is sold in most shops and drunk by the majority of the population of dairy milk drinkers, is not of the same kind of quality that milk which was produced in the 19th century. The industrial, mass production methods used to make milk in the 21st century has changed the composition of dairy milk. These days, un-organic, pasteurised milk contains man-made ingredients such as hormones, antibiotics and pesticides.
These non-milk ingredients come from the food that is fed to the dairy cows as well as from drugs given to them to keep them healthy and producing enough quantities of milk to meet the demand of the dairy farmers.
Health risks relate to dairy
Cow’s milk is, in fact, meant to be for baby cows to drink- it isn’t a substance designed for humans to consume. Even though many people are lead to believe the calcium content of dairy milk is necessary in order for humans to have strong and healthy bones, it has now been revealed in recent studies that dairy can lead to osteoporosis of the bones . This is because humans don’t absorb much of the calcium in cow’s milk and it can actually contribute to calcium loss from the bones.
Dairy milk is also high in calories, has been linked to causing acne , and it is also known to produce excess mucus in the body. Dairy is also an acidic animal protein that can increase inflammation and the risk of the body acquiring diseases including cancer.
So now that you may not be interested in drinking dairy milk or consuming dairy products in the form of yoghurt, ice cream, and cheeses you might be wondering how you can replace dairy in your diet. This is where plant based milks such as almond milk are so great.
Almond Milk Nutrition
Almond milk does not contain the same nutritional profile as dairy milk, so it can’t be drunk to completely substitute the levels of protein and calcium that you would find in dairy, so be sure to consume these nutrients from other areas of your diet.
However almond milk is a great, healthy alternative to dairy. One cup is only 60 calories, it is low GI and it doesn’t contain cholesterol or saturated fat as it is a plant food. It is low in sodium and high in essential fatty acids. Almond milk has 30% of the recommended daily value of calcium and is also high in vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B12 and riboflavin.
How to make almond milk
Store bought almond milks vary in quality and it is important to look at the label to make sure it doesn’t contain too many preservatives or additives. Better still, try making almond milk at home. Follow this simple recipe:
1. Soak 1 cup of almonds uncovered in water for 6-8 hours
2. Drain and discard the soaking water
3. Rinse the almonds
4. Blend them on high with 2 cups of fresh water. Add a little vanilla, 6-8 pitted dates or liquid sweetener and/or 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
5. Strain well using cheesecloth or a nut milk bag to remove the liquid from the pulp
6. Serve- will keep in an airtight bottle in the fridge for 3-4 days
You can drink almond milk as it is- the taste is not exactly like dairy milk but it is very nice and easy to drink and has a similar consistency to dairy. You can also use it in baking, have it with your tea or coffee, with cereal, or any way that you would normally drink dairy milk. If you are interested in making almond milk a part of your regular routine, you can try having it while on our Bootcamp where you can have almond milk with your morning oats and muesli at breakfast. You can even check out how to make almond milk and to see for yourself how easy it is to make at home so you can have a healthy new addition to your diet.
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