Nut milks are extremely popular these days among health-conscious consumers like yourself. Indeed, I see more brands of more different nut-milks in more stores every time I shop. There are many reasons that people are turning from dairy products to ones that are both healthier and more sustainable for the planet. Still, not all products are desirable just because they are a preferable choice to dairy.
It’s another “buyer, beware” situation, as I see it.
So, what’s the problem? Mike Adams, noted health writer, says that the mass-produced nut milks sold at the stores suffer from two critical problems in their ingredients – carrageenan and calcium carbonate.
Let’s back up a bit.
What is almond milk? Now more popular than soy milk, almond milk is made by blending almonds and water and then straining the mixture. Sweeteners are sometimes added. It contains about 90 calories per eight-ounce cup. It has no saturated fats or cholesterol and is lactose-free. Almond milk contains half of the daily requirement of vitamin E, a good dose of vitamin D, riboflavin, protein, and fiber. It has a creamy, nut-like taste, making it a good alternative to milk in coffee, and a refreshing drink all on its own. It is low calorie, making it a good food for dieters and those who are lactose intolerant.
Commercial almond milk is now an almost $900 million industry. One of the problems with commercial almond milk is that it contains only 2% almonds. Some of the labels on the commercial varieties list more sweeteners than almonds in the mixture, and the current labeling laws allow companies to use additives instead of the nutritious almonds that consumers expect.
Additionally, for a half-gallon of almond milk, about 144 to 192 almonds are needed. However, only 38 to 50 almonds are used by at least two major almond milk manufacturers, probably more. Instead of almonds, the product is thickened with carrageenan, which is not only void of nutrients, but has been shown to cause numerous health problems, especially in the gastrointestinal tract. Research has shown that exposure to carrageenan could cause ulcers in the colon.
Another problem with commercial almond milk is the added calcium carbonate. Nearly all nut milk producers add this ingredient – essentially powdered limestone—to their products to increase the calcium content. Calcium is certainly a good thing to have in our diets, but there are numerous plant sources where the calcium is enhanced into a much more bioavailable, organic form. Mike Adams suggests that we should never be drinking powdered rocks! Eat more leafy greens. Drink more green smoothies.
If you buy commercial almond milk you are paying mostly for not enough almonds, questionable additives, nice packaging, and lots of water. Water is the main component tin all nut milks, and it is quite heavy (costly) to ship around. Economically, as well as nutritionally, you’re way ahead of the game if you make your own.
EASY ALMOND MILK—REALLY, THERE’S NO EXCUSE!
Almonds are the only nuts that are known to alkalize the blood, while all others acidify blood. Almonds are also highest of all nuts in arginine, an amino acid that boosts the immune system and inhibits tumor growth.
1 cup almonds –as raw as you can get them
3-5 cups water
1 TBS raw honey or raw agave nectar
In a blender or Vita-Mix, blend the almonds and water and sweetener until smooth. Strain through a cheese cloth, nut milk bag, or fine strainer, or use as is.
Note : You can use other nuts such as Brazils, hazelnuts (filberts), cashews, or seeds, such as sunflower or hemp.
If you need a Nut Milk Bag, I recommend this one
Click here for Nut Milk Bag