Almond Milk – Yea or Nay?

by Her Happy Balance on April 25, 2013

Perhaps I am living under a rock, but I only tried almond milk for the first time this past weekend. Growing up, my parents poured me a great big ol’ glass of 2% cow’s milk for dinner each night. Neither me nor my brother have a lactose allergy, so this was the only type of milk I’d ever had before. Now, as an adult, I cannot tell you the last time I actually chose to have a glass of milk at a meal. ย I might have had a glass once or twice during my college years…maybe? I’m not overly worried about my calcium levels because I eat obscene amounts tons of yogurt and cheese and take vitamins. But I get the craving for a healthy milkshake every once in a while…enter almond milk.

Why Almond Milk?

  • Great for people who are lactose intolerant as it does not contain any lactose
  • Contains more vitamins and minerals (iron, magnesium, potassium, etc.) than both soy and rice milk
  • Does not contain hormones, like some cow’s milk does
  • High in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Low in calories, and does not have any saturated fats or cholesterol
  • One serving of almond milk contains about 1g of fiber
  • High in antioxidants (vitamin E and selenium) which help destroy free radicals that can be responsible for cancer
  • Does not need to be refrigerated until after you open the container
  • You can make it at home!

I chose to buy an unsweetened, organic container of almond milk. You should know that because I chose organic, it was a bit pricy. I paid about $4 for four cups of milk. Also, being as it does not come from a cow, it does not taste like cow’s milk. It has a crispy, slightly nutty flavor to it. You mean a milk made from nuts, tastes like nuts!? Why yes, boys and girls, it does taste like almonds. I like the taste, it’s pretty mild.

The type I bought (source)

The type I bought
(source)

Something else to consider with almond milk is that you don’t get anywhere near the amount of calcium you would get from cow’s milk. ย That’s true for all non-dairy alternatives. Because of this, most non-dairy milks are fortified with calcium and vitamin D. And in case you’re a baker and you want to give your next recipe a healthy twist, you can easily substitute almond milk for cow’s milk, you do not need to change the measurements at all ๐Ÿ™‚

Healthy Milkshake:

1 scoop of Vanilla protein powder (I used GNC brand whey)

1 cup of unsweetened almond milk

2 drops of NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia (I’m sure a drop or two of vanilla extract would work just fine)

2 tbsp of ground flax seed

1 tbsp of chia seeds

Add all of your ingredients to a blender bottle, and shake it up! Enjoy with a smile! Yes, I’m corny and just said that.

I promise I'm not getting paid by Nutrishop to show off their blender bottle all the time...they just give me a free one every time I buy something so I have a LOT of them

Dessert! I promise I’m not getting paid by Nutrishop to show off their blender bottle all the time…they just give me a free one every time I buy something so I have a LOT of them

Now considering this “milkshake” does not contain any ice cream or dairy, it does not have that thick and creamy consistency to it. ย If you want a thicker shake, I would recommend adding fresh strawberries to a food processor with a little vanilla Greek yogurt and puree them together. Then mix in the remaining ingredients and serve as a strawberry shake. It’s not a Frosty or a McFlurry, but it won’t have you feeling badly about indulging either.

There's an ecard for practically anything.

There’s an ecard for practically anything.

Sources:

Fitday, LIVESTRONG, and About.com

Thoughts??

Do you drink almond milk? What do you think of the taste?

Do you drink another dairy milk substitute?

Did you parents make you drink milk every night too?

 

 

 

Comments on this entry are closed.

Sharsti@theblondehairblueeyedrunner April 25, 2013 at 1:31 pm

My son and I are lactose intolerant(not horribly bad but gotta watch how much we intake), so he drinks soymilk. It’s so tasty! It’s also really good in milkshakes, love it!

Her Happy Balance April 25, 2013 at 6:40 pm

I’ve heard soy milk is pretty delicious. Hows the sugar content in it? Is it thick like dairy milk?

Meghan April 25, 2013 at 1:39 pm

YEA to almond milk! I have some unsweetened in my fridge right now! Yet again, you have proven our bestie-ship is legit – I haven’t had cow milk in sooooo long. It’s kinda gross at this point, if you ask me. Almond milk is the way to go and it’s worth the extra cost! Rebekah even made some herself, too! So cool. Haha that eeCard. <3 I've tried soy milk before but it's really not as good, or good for you, as almond milk!

Her Happy Balance April 25, 2013 at 6:43 pm

I’ve heard that soy milk has a lot of added sugar. I think of the dairy free milks almond has the best stats. And yay for Rebekah making homemade almond milk! It seems like it would be pretty easy if you had the right cloth for straining…which I definitely do not…so would Rebekah like to send me some in exchange for my undying thankfulness? Yes? No? She’ll think about it? Okay I can work with that ๐Ÿ™‚

meredith April 25, 2013 at 3:17 pm

I still buy skim milk – organic/no hormones added. I haven’t bought into the almond milk trend, partly because I am allergic to raw almonds and don’t want to rock the boat on it lol. I have tried a drop in my coffee and wasn’t thrilled. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great, it was just there. Eh. With so many movements for dairy, against dairy it is so hard to really know if we need to avoid cows milk drink cows milk etc. For now, cows milk is in my fridge. I use it really only for a drop in my coffee, a drop in my son’s oatmeal or if he wants chocolate milk. The protein and calcium content as you say is much higher in the cows milk so in my opinion, for my son at least, I am sticking with this milk. It works for us.

Her Happy Balance April 25, 2013 at 6:46 pm

You have a legitimate reason for not wanting to try almond milk. I’m so sad that you have a raw almond allergy though! Just almonds? Or other nuts too? The taste of the almond milk is definitely different. Not as creamy tasting. I’m not sure if I would just drink it straight from a glass with no fixings, but I don’t drink milk straight up hardly ever anyway. But you definitely have to go with what works for you, it sounds like you’ve picked the healthiest version of cow’s milk ๐Ÿ™‚

Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl April 25, 2013 at 5:12 pm

I LOVE almond milk on my cereal, but it is definitely an acquired taste. Recently I discovered unsweetened vanilla coconut almond milk and it is amazing!! I also love using the plain variety when cooking and baking.

Her Happy Balance April 25, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Anything with vanilla AND coconut and I’m totally sold! What brand do you use/where do you get it?

Sarah April 25, 2013 at 9:22 pm

I keep saying I should try almond or soy milk – but I love dairy milk so it is hard to talk myself into it!

Her Happy Balance April 26, 2013 at 1:41 pm

It’s definitely fun to try new things, but I can totally understand sticking with old faithful!

Brooke @ Running In Heels April 25, 2013 at 8:25 pm

I absolutely LOVE almond milk!! I get the unsweetened vanilla and it is the BEST for smoothies and protein shakes! And baking too ๐Ÿ™‚

Her Happy Balance April 25, 2013 at 8:43 pm

I think I’d really enjoy a vanilla flavored version, it’ll be next on my grocery list!:)

Meredith April 26, 2013 at 1:18 am

I have only tried my Mom’s unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and I really liked it. She actually warms it up and pours it over her cereal to make “hot cereal”. I enjoyed it! My parents always had my sisters and I drink milk with dinner, too. Now I can’t even fathom drinking milk with chicken or salad or anything dinner related for that matter!

Her Happy Balance April 26, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Yes, the idea of just drinking a big glass of milk is odd to me too. I pretty much only ever use it to cook with. Glad I’m not the only kid who was gulping down some milk with dinner as a kid though. I’ll probably make my kids drink it at dinner too haha

Kristina April 26, 2013 at 4:55 am

I only use almond milk. At some point growing up I drank bad milk and my stomach is still turned off to it. I like unsweetened vanilla almond milk in my coffee. I cut out creamers and sugar so the vanilla flavor adds a little sweetness. It does take some getting used to, but I think you’ll like it.

Her Happy Balance April 26, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Oh goodness, the idea of drinking curdled milk makes me shiver. I can totally understand how you’d be turned off from it. I liked the plain almond milk, but anything with vanilla in it has to taste better ๐Ÿ™‚

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