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Almond and soy milk are marketed as the top alternatives to cow’s milk. While they do have the same consistency and the same appearance, these are easily distinguishable from the other. Some of the nutrients that they share include protein, calcium and potassium, albeit in varying percentages.
Soy milk is widely known to be the closest milk product to the nutritional components of raw milk. In spite of this, soy milk is a controversial product because most of the conventional factories that produce soy milk use genetically modified crops. This means that there’s an increased possibility that you’re consuming glyphosate and other toxic chemicals added to GMO crops.
Additionally, the use of unfermented soy in soy milk production poses grave threats on the health of consumers. Unfermented soy contains high amounts of phytic acid, trypsin inhibitors, and aluminum. Phytic acid and trypsin inhibitors are linked to growth problems because of their ability to block the absorption of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium and copper. Meanwhile, the high amount of aluminum in unfermented soy is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys.
Almond milk, on the other hand, contains a much lower nutrient content compared to both soy milk and raw milk. Almond milk may contain high amounts of vitamins and minerals, but it comes lacking when compared to real raw milk. It has even been suggested that one carton of almond milk only has the same nutritional component as a handful of almonds.
Another factor that should be considered is the use of carrageenan, a seaweed-derived thickener that keeps the ingredients together in both soy milk and almond milk. This ingredient has been linked to inflammation, the destruction of the digestive system and even an increased risk for cancer. Hence, before buying plant-based milk products, make sure that you’re buying non-GMO and carrageenan-free brands to make sure that you’re not unknowingly exposing yourself to harmful toxins.
Once you take all of these factors into the equation, it’s pretty obvious that raw cow’s milk is still the best choice for milk consumption due to the numerous nutrients, minerals and vitamins it offers, minus the various health risks posed by commercially manufactured milk alternatives. Even though raw milk has been widely demonized by health institutions, it actually contains good bacteria, digestive enzymes, raw fats and vitamins, which are usually removed in pasteurized milk and absent in milk substitutes.
For people who choose not to consume raw cow’s milk, it would be a better choice to consume homemade almond milk rather than the store-bought kind. This does not only limit the possible toxins, but it also helps you determine the amount of almonds necessary for you to get the maximum amount of nutrients per serving.
Homemade unsweetened almond milk contains little to no toxins, unlike soy milk or other commercialized products. It may have a lower amount of nutrients, but it does not expose you to possible harmful components.
How to Make Almond Milk
Because commercialized almond milk rips you off by utilizing the lowest amount of almonds they could get away with, it would be best that you consider making your own. This will ensure that you not only choose only the finest ingredients, but that your end product will actually contain an adequate amount of almonds to get the nutrients that almond milk should actually have. Here is a guide from The Kitchn that you can follow to make your own almond milk:
|1 cup raw organic almonds||2 cups water, plus more for soaking||Honey, to taste (optional)|
- Soak the almonds overnight for up to two days. Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with about an inch of water. They will plump as they absorb water. Let stand on the counter, covered with a cloth, overnight, or refrigerate for up to two days. Note that the longer the almonds soak, the creamier the milk will be.
- Drain the almonds from the water and rinse them thoroughly under cool running water. The almonds should feel squishy if you pinch them. Discard the soaking water.
- Place the almonds in the blender and cover with 2 cups of water.
- Pulse the blender a few times to ground the almonds. Blend the mixture until the water is opaque and the almonds have the same consistency as fine meal.
- Using a cheesecloth, strain the almond meal and extract the liquid. Squeeze and press the cheesecloth/meal to extract as much almond milk as you can.
- Add honey to taste.
- Refrigerate the almond milk. This usually lasts up to two days.
Here Are a Few Health Benefits You Can Get From Almond Milk
Even though some of the nutrients do not get carried over from almonds, almond milk still contains significant amounts of vitamins and nutrients. Here are a few health benefits that you can get from almond milk:
- Doesn’t raise blood sugar. Homemade unsweetened almond milk does not contain high amounts of glucose, which can help prevent insulin resistance. It’s also low in carbohydrates. This is beneficial for diabetics and overweight people, as it can help maintain the glucose levels in the blood. Cow’s milk contains high amounts of lactose, which is converted into glucose.
- Lactose-free. Dairy milk contains lactose, which may cause digestive problems for people who are lactose intolerant. This means that they cannot digest the nutrients that raw milk contains, causing problems such as bloating and diarrhea. Drinking almond milk provides you with essential vitamins without compromising comfort and digestive health.
- May help reduce the risk of heart disease. Almond milk contains high amounts of healthy fatty acids that can help in the prevention of high blood pressure and the promotion of heart health.
How Is Almond Milk Used in the Culinary World?
Almond milk can be added to desserts and milk-based beverages such as smoothies, ice cream and pastries. Main dishes that require dairy milk can also use almond milk as a vegan-friendly alternative.
During the medieval times, almond milk was considered a staple food for the majority of the population, especially for Christians during religious periods when fasting was exercised. The almond pit left after the production of almond milk was added to other recipes or used to make thinner almond milk so as to minimize wastage. It was also used as a milk substitute because animal milk had a shorter shelf life and they had difficulties keeping it fresh.
Try These Creamy and Nutrient-Rich Almond Milk Recipes
Almond milk can be used in recipes that require cow’s milk or goat’s milk. This provides a unique flavor to the dish and offers a different take on traditional dishes. Here are a few tasty and healthy almond milk recipes you’ll surely love:
Vanilla-Almond Chia Breakfast Pudding
|2 cups unsweetened homemade almond milk||1/2 cup chia seeds||1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract|
|1 to 2 tablespoons raw honey||Seasonal fruits for topping||Almonds or other nuts for topping|
- Combine almond milk, chia seeds, vanilla and honey in a bowl. Mix well until combined or until the mixture thickens.
- Store covered in the refrigerator overnight or for at least an hour.
- Add fruit and nut toppings. Stir well before serving. Add a bit of water to the pudding if it becomes too thick.
(Recipe adapted from DailyBurn and article – Dr. Mercola)
Almond milk contains a significant amount of vitamins and minerals you can surely benefit from, but note that it’s only a small portion of the nutrients that raw milk provides. To take advantage of the wide array of these healthy components, raw milk remains the best choice. However, keep in mind that you’d have to drink raw organic cow’s milk from trustworthy sources instead of pasteurized kind or other milk substitutes available in the market.
If health restrictions like lactose intolerance stop you from consuming raw cow’s milk, almond milk may be a good alternative. As much as possible, consume homemade unsweetened almond milk to ensure that you’re not getting exposed to chemical additives found in commercial milk products.
Lynn often combines Holistic Nutrition with Time Line Therapy(R) with Emotion Code Energy Healing and / Or Hypnosis!
To Your Health, Results and Success!