9 Surprising Benefits of Almond Milk & How To Make It!
For those of you with a dairy allergy, you are probably well aware that you have alternatives. If you’re not also allergic to almonds, one of the best alternatives is almond milk.
In fact, regular consumers of almond milk may even make it at home. If you have been toying with this idea but need some inspiration and a good recipe, keep reading!
This week, I discuss everything you ever wanted to know about almonds (and more), along with 9 surprising health benefits they provide. As an added bonus, I’m including my super simple recipe for delicious, and nutritious, homemade almond milk!
Interesting Facts About Almonds
Almonds are actually seeds that belong to the stone-fruit family, just like a peach!
The nut that we know as the almond, is technically the hard-shelled fruit that comes from the almond tree. They are grown all over the world, including Spain, Italy, and Morocco, with the top producing country being the United States.
Almonds, believe it or not, can be bitter or sweet. The sweet ones are edible, while the bitter ones are commonly used for making almond oil.
What is Almond Milk?
Almond milk is the product of blending almonds with water then separating the “milk” from the pulp.
It is a great plant-based alternative to traditional dairy milk as it has the same texture, colour, and culinary uses, yet is more nutritious and completely dairy-free.
Unfortunately, many store-bought brands of almond milk contain emulsifiers like carrageenan. Carrageenan can be difficult to digest. When consumed, it often triggers and immune system reaction that causes inflammation, digestive distress, and other unpleasant symptoms like brain fog.
As a result, many people are starting to make their own almond milk at home. It’s surprisingly fast and easy. Oh, and did I mention it’s delicious?
Health Benefits of Almond Milk
Interestingly, almond milk contains even more nutrients that regular cow’s milk. It is low in fat but high in energy, protein, and fibre. It also contains many minerals and vitamins, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, and many of the B vitamins.
All the nutrients it contains, which are essential for proper health, combine to produce several health benefits.
9 surprising health benefits of almond milk include:
Improved vision - Almond milk is rich in vitamin A, an essential nutrient for the proper functioning of the eyes. Increasing intake of vitamin A, therefore, is a natural way to mitigate damage done to the eyes from constant daily use of computers, tablets, and smartphones.
Weight loss - Almond milk contains healthy fats, protein and loads of fibre that can help with weight loss. In addition, it contains magnesium, which helps maintain blood sugar levels and reduces food cravings by keeping you feeling full longer. In turn, this can help maintain body weight. Magnesium is also an excellent source of energy and can help build muscle mass during workouts
Stronger bones - One of the nutrients in almond milk is calcium. Among other things, calcium is required for forming and maintaining strong teeth and bones, relaxing muscles, blood clotting, and maintaining a normal heartbeat. Adding almond milk to the diet will supply calcium with all its benefits to the body, including reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Maintenance of proper blood pressure - Consuming almond milk can help reduce and maintain blood pressure. To ensure the proper movement of blood through the veins, vitamin D and minerals like phosphorus, are required. These nutrients, which may be lacking in people who do not consume dairy or soy, are available in almond milk. So drinking it can be a way of supplementing these lacking nutrients and keep the heart healthy.
A Healthier heart - Almond milk is completely free of cholesterol but high in potassium. Potassium acts as a vasodilator, reducing tension and strain on the heart. So grab a glass of almond milk to not only encourage a strong and healthy heart, but reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, as well.
Stronger muscles - Building muscle mass can be accelerated by consuming the right types of food, especially those containing the vitamins and minerals that have a direct impact on muscle mass. The riboflavin within almond milk works with other nutrients like iron to regulate muscle strength and growth. Almond milk is also a good source of protein, which helps the body’s muscles and tissues maintain and repair themselves.
Kidney support - Minerals such as calcium and potassium can be harmful to the kidneys if present in excess a mounts. Almond milk contains a limited amount of phosphorus and potassium, minerals people with kidney conditions are advised to avoid in large amounts. Therefore, almond milk can serve as a better alternative to milk for people trying to reduce the presence of potassium in their bodies.
Stronger immunity - The various nutrients and minerals in almond milk can help maintain a healthy immune system by working together to protect our body from harmful germs and microorganisms that may cause health issues. Consuming almond milk, then, can help keep the body’s primary line of defence healthy and strong.
Improved Skin - Healthy skin relies on different vitamins and minerals to keep it in its optimal state. Almond milk contains plenty of vitamin E, an antioxidant that can help maintain and improve skin health. Antioxidants also help repair damaged skin. No wonder it’s also used, along with rosewater for maximum benefits, as a skin cleansing lotion.
With so many health benefits and its nutritional content, almond milk is a great alternative for anyone, especially those who have an intolerance to dairy products.
To learn about more health benefits of almonds, be sure to check out my post on how to roast almonds.
Almond Milk for Keto
Those on a ketogenic diet, whether to improve brain health, control seizures, or lose weight, will be happy to know that almond milk and all the beneficial nutrients it contains is keto friendly.
One cup of unsweetened almond milk provides only 1.5 grams of carbohydrates. Compared to the 12 grams contained in 1 cup of 1% milk, almond milk is definitely the better choice if you are concerned about carbs.
How to Make Almond Milk
My super simple recipe was adapted from Danielle Walker’s recipe in Against All Grain. Initially, I had wanted to try it and knew that I should but just couldn’t convince myself that a) it would work, or b) that it would taste good.
Once I finally mustered up the courage to actually make my own almond milk, I was amazed at not only how easy it was, but how delicious it turned out to be! In fact, I got mad at myself for waiting so long before making it in the first place.
So, the moral of the story is if you have wanted to try making your own almond milk but haven’t yet - what are you waiting for? I urge you to give it a try. You’ll be grateful that you did.
The best part about making your own almond milk is knowing that you and your family will be enjoying a delicious and nutritious beverage free of the additives, preservatives, and unnecessary sugars that often accompany store-bought.
Almond Milk Recipe
Serves 8-10 | 15 Min Prep plus 10 hours soaking time | 0 Min Cook
1 cup raw, unsalted almonds
8 cups pure water (divided)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt (divided)
1-2 Pitted dates (optional)
Large bowl for soaking nuts
Nut Milk bag or cheese clot
Soak 1 cup of raw almonds in a large bowl with 4 cups of water and 1/4 teaspoon of salt for 10 hours or overnight.
Drain almonds and discard the soaking water after 10 hours (or more) has past. Rinse nuts.
Place almonds in a high-speed powerful blender (like a Vitamix). Add 4 cups pure water with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, vanilla, and dates (if using).
Blend on high until well incorporated and all almonds have completely broken down. It takes about 1-2 minutes.
Carefully pour the mixture through a nut milk bag while holding the bag over a large clean bowl. The milk will instantly start to drain out of the bag, separating it from the pulp .
Allow it to fully drain then carefully squeeze the bag to collect the remaining drops of milk.
Pour milk into a storage container like a glass mason jar with a lid and refrigerate until you are ready to use.
The almond milk should keep in the fridge for 3-5 days.
To personalize your milk, feel free to add cinnamon or turmeric for flavoured milk, or omit the dates for an unsweetened milk.
And as always, I value your feedback and would love to know what you think. Contact me or comment below with your favourite use for almond milk. I’d love to hear from you!