Drink Your Nuts?

Image snagged from internet...

I was up at 3 am thinking about what to write about (I’m not kidding, let’s hope this is not a frequent occurrence). Here’s what I came up with. Trend alert! My two cents on a beverage I’ve personally been guzzling for years, and the food industry seems to have just caught onto- Almond Milk . I am not a personal fan of cows milk for more reasons than one, you lactose intolerant people catch my drift here (I am also not looking for a debate on milk right now).  I love the stuff (almond milk that is). I use it in smoothies, oatmeal and anything else that I can come up with simply because it tastes good and it digests well. There are a few brands (Pacific, Almond Breeze, Almondine) and I’ve been asked many times whether it’s better for you than cows milk. So here goes.

Image snagged from Almond Breeze website.

Nutrition Facts

The Breakdown Below is for a 8 oz (1 cup serving)

Nutrients                   Cows Milk                          Almond Milk

(Horizon Organic Whole)        (Almond Breeze-Vanilla, Unsweetened)
Calories:                         150                                           40
Protein:                           8 grams                                  1 gram
Fat:                                   9 grams                                  3.5 grams
Saturated Fat:                5                                               0
Cholesterol:                   125 mg                                    0
Calcium:                         30% DV                                  30%
Vitamin D:                     25%                                         25%
Vitamin E:                      0                                              50%
Iron:                                 0                                              4%

Nutritionally Speaking

Almond milk is not necessarily superior to cows milk, however, certain brands are fortified (ya know, when they add stuff that wasn’t originally there in the first place, OR they add it back into the food because it’s so processed that all the nutrients were lost) which makes it more equal on the playing field.  Milk gains its reputation mainly from the nutritive value, Oh…and the Dairy industry does a good job at this, hence the “Got Milk” adds.

Based on the above chart, from a Protein standpoint, Cows milk trumps Almond milk and nutrients like Calcium and Vitamin D are naturally occurring, however, Almond milk has no dietary cholesterol (for those of you with heart issues watch out). Almond milk is also high in Vitamin E (a known antioxidant) which is good for your ticker, has equal amounts of Calcium and Vitamin D (yes it’s been fortified-not natural), is low in calories, and tastes good! I am not comparing whole, natural almonds here, just cows milk and almond milk.  My final thoughts are simple: Almond milk is not natural unless you make it yourself (see recipe below), however it has its perks so why not give it a try?
Why Bother?
  • If you have a Milk, Soy or  Casein allergy it’s a good alternative as well as those who are Lactose Intolerant
  • If you just hate or dislike the taste or anything else about Milk-Try it.
  • Note: Anyone with a nut allergy (particularly almonds, will not be able to drink this beverage-a severe allergic reaction can occur).

Use:

Smoothies, Baked goods, Oatmeal, Cereal, really anything you would use milk for.

Home Made Almond Milk: Oh Yeah!

Here is a recipe for homemade almond milk that I found from the World’s Healthiest Foods website:

  • 1 cup almonds, soaked overnight
  • 3 pitted dates
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 cups water

1. Combine almonds, pitted dates, salt, and water in a blender and blend on high for two minutes.

2. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into a large measuring cup or bowl. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to three days.

ENJOY!

-J


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One thought on “Drink Your Nuts?

  1. Pingback: I”ll have what she’s having… « A Girl and Her Carrot

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