Yes, there are plenty of health benefits of almond milk, but today we are going to tell you why “whole” almond milk is best. It seems alternative plant-based milks are turning up in the grocery store every month. Which tells me, the general population is beginning to realize that cow’s milk is really not a good option.
It’s important to know the health benefits of almond milk, when “whole” almonds are used. Plus, some information about commercially produced almond milk. Clean store-bought “whole” almond milk brands DO exist though! See my favorites at the bottom of this page.
Then, the best almond milk recipe full of nutrition and lots of health benefits.
If you saw my recent post about the best plant-based milk alternatives you may have noted that this wildly popular almond milk did not make the cut. That’s because the health benefits of almond milk are practically non-existent unless you are buying “whole” almond milk.
Most almond milk brands do NOT use “whole” almonds in their almond milk. Instead, these almond milks have been highly strained and have added sugars and other additives mixed in.
Clean store-bought “whole” almond milk brands DO exist though! See my favorites at the bottom of this page.
Is Almond Milk Good For You?
We get asked all the time if almond milk is good for you. The truth is, yes, it’s better than cow’s milk. BUT, we don’t believe it’s the most nutritious unless you are getting “whole” almonds in your almond milk.
I know almond milk is all the rage these days with clean eating enthusiasts. Almond milk is good for you only if it isn’t highly strained almond milk. Most companies add in a few tablespoonfuls of sugar which means it’s not really offering much nutrition.
Should Almond Milk be Watery?
I don’t want to bash name brands, but have you noticed how watery it is? Some popular brands of almond milk brands are probably watery and that’s surely because they are not “whole” almond milk.
It’s kind of like the difference between drinking whole milk and skim milk.
Considering that cow’s milk does not do a body good, if push came to shove I would have to choose store-bought watery almond milk over skim milk. That’s not because of the health benefits of almond milk over cow’s milk.
There is only one reason that I would choose choose highly strained store-bought almond milk over cow’s milk. At least the almond milk does not come packaged with all of the negatives associated with cow’s milk. But the point is, watery almond milk is not a nutrient-dense beverage.
The problem with commercially produced almond milk is that the vast majority of brands contain less than 5 percent almonds. Whereas, the rest of the “milk” consists of water with some emulsifiers and added synthetic nutrients.
Almond Milk Ingredients
Almond milk ingredients can differ from company to company. But, we have gone ahead and listed below the almond milk ingredients for the most popular brand available right now:
Almond milk (Filtered Water, Almonds), Cane Sugar, Sea Salt, Natural Flavor, Locust Bean Gum, Sunflower Lecithin, Gellan Gum, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Acetate, Zinc Gluconate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Riboflavin (B2), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D2.
This particular almond milk brand advertises that their product contains 50% more calcium than cow’s milk and that it is an excellent source of vitamin E.
However, this type of marketing is deceiving to the consumer. This brand of almond milk does not naturally contain significant amounts of calcium or vitamin E. Instead the almond milk has been artificially fortified with these synthetic nutrients making their almond milk ingredients less than nutritious.
Companies are doing to almond milk today as they did to flour years ago. Basically, they are processing a food and removing all of the good nutrition and then “fortifying” the food with synthetic nutrients.
The health benefits of commercial almond milk is practically non-existent. For the same reason that enriched white flour is also not healthy. If you have been a Clean Cuisine follower in the past, then you know we are against fortifying foods with synthetic nutrients. Your body will never be able to utilize a synthetic nutrient the same way it can utilize nutrients from whole foods.
Now, let’s talk about the health benefits of almond milk when we use “whole” almonds!
Health Benefits of Almond Milk When You Make It Yourself
As down as I am on most commercial almond milk, homemade almond milk done right is a completely different story.
If you Google “How to Make Homemade Almond Milk” you’ll see a number of different recipes pop up. The problem is almost every single homemade almond milk recipe requires a lengthy process of soaking the almonds overnight (or for up to 2 days). Then using a high speed blender to process the almonds with water and finally straining the almond meal with a cheesecloth.
The straining is the part I have a problem with. Straining the almond meal removes all of the nutrients! Homemade strained almond milk does not have synthetic nutrients added and often contains less sugar than commercial versions. However, that doesn’t make it a super nutritious milk alternative.
It also doesn’t make it a rich and creamy alternative either. In other words, strained homemade almond milk is still going to have the consistency of skim milk. Not good.
There is a better, easier way…
The Health Benefits of Almond Milk Using “Whole” Almonds
I have found the simplest, tastiest and most nutritious way to make homemade almond milk is to simply use raw almond butter. Of course you could always use whole almonds instead of almond butter, but you would definitely need to soak the almonds first. I have found using raw almond butter to be much easier and surprisingly tastier too.
Raw almond butter is uses “whole” almonds and is therefore a “whole” food. There are so many incredible health benefits of almonds from “whole” almond milk with raw almond butter. You get a significant source of REAL antioxidant vitamin E, REAL calcium, trace minerals, plant-protein and so much more.
The far-reaching benefits of whole almond milk verses conventional almond milk can be compared with the benefits of “whole” juice.
The only juice we drink in our house is “whole” juice made from the “whole” fruit. Conventional juice is just a processed food with the anti-inflammatory fiber removed. Once you remove the fiber from the fruit the sugar that is left behind is rapidly absorbed and can elevate insulin levels, promote inflammation, promote fat storage, etc.
When you remove the pulp from “whole” almonds to make almond milk you are, in essence, turning almonds into a refined food to drink. Not nutritious.
There is simply no way around it, almond milk that is strained is just not as nutritious as “whole” almond milk.
The ONE Downside to “Whole” Almond Milk
Yes, there is one downside to “whole” almond milk. You will definitely need to shake it well just before using it, otherwise all of the stuff that is normally strained out when making conventional almond milk will all sink to the bottom.
I like to store my almond milk in these mason jars because it makes them easy to shake. It keeps for about 3 days in the fridge.
3 “Whole” Almond Milk Brands
And finally, store-bought clean “whole” almond milk does now exist! Here are my three favorite brands:
#1: Goodmylk Almond Mylk
Goodmylk Co. makes whole almond milk and packages them in concentrated sleeves that pop in the freezer. When you’re ready to make some almond milk, just let the concentrate sit in the fridge overnight. Then add 22 ounces of water and shake. Remember, you will need to shake before each use.
#2: New Barn Organics Unsweetened Almondmilk
New Barn Organics makes a creamy unsweetened almond milk using just a few natural organic ingredients. You can learn more about their products here. A few of their varieties are made with sugar, so be sure to check the ingredients.
#3: MALK Pure Almond Milk
Malk Organics uses just three ingredients in their cold pressed almond milk: filtered water, organic almonds and salt. That’s it. You can learn more about MALK here.
The Best Almond Milk Recipe
As I mentioned earlier, this almond milk recipe is the simplest and healthiest almond milk you can find. My recipe uses raw almond butter and we love this brand by Marantha.
Of course you could always use whole almonds instead of almond butter, but you would definitely need to soak the almonds first. I have found using raw almond butter to be much easier and surprisingly tastier too.Print
The Best Homemade Almond Milk Recipe
The most nutritious, delicious and best homemade almond milk recipe is also incredibly easy to make using raw almond butter rather than whole raw almonds.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 2 cups 1x
- Category: Drinks
- 1/2 cup raw almond butter, such as Maranatha
- 2 cups filtered water
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons
- Pinch of unrefined sea salt
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and process on high speed for 1 full minute. Transfer to a glass container and refrigerate until serving time.
- Shake well before serving.