Once you’ve tasted homemade almond milk, you’ll never want to store bought again. This recipe is ridiculously easy, and ridiculously delicious! To learn about some of the health benefits of switching to dairy alternative milk, continue below. Enjoy!
· 1 cup raw organic almonds
· 1L filtered water
· Generous pinch Himalayan or Sea salt
· ¼ tsp cinnamon
· ½ tsp vanilla
· 1-2 pitted medjool dates (optional)
· Drizzle of maple syrup (optional)
· Soak raw almonds over night by placing in a bowl and covering with water.
· Drain them into a sieve or colander and rinse with fresh water.
· Add 1L of filtered water to your high-powered blender (like a Vitamix), add nuts.
· Add salt, cinnamon and vanilla. For a sweeter tasting beverage, add dates and maple syrup.
· Blend on high for two minutes until smooth and frothy. Adjust flavouring as desired.
· To achieve a silky smooth texture, you’ll want to sift your milk. Grab a big bowl, a thin t-shirt, cheesecloth or nut milk bag. Milk in stages; strain ¼ portions of milk at a time through your t-shirt, cheesecloth or bag. Keep milking until every drop is in the bowl.
· Transfer milk from the bowl into a glass bottle and store in the fridge. I like using a funnel for easy no mess transfer.
· Your milk should stay fresh for about one week – if it lasts that long!
Benefits of switching from dairy to non-dairy milk
We’ve been taught that dairy, especially milk, is an essential staple in our diet. The emphasis on promoting dairy intake stems from concern for adequate skeletal growth and development, sufficient protein intake, and prevention of deficiencies of important nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus and vitamin B. 2-4 servings of dairy per day based on age has been recommended to ensure children and adults are getting their nutritional requirements.
On paper, milk is a nutrient-dense food. It is a rich source of protein with approximately 8g per one cup serving, it provides roughly 25% of our daily calcium requirement, and is also a good source of magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium and vitamin A. So why are more and more people switching away from cows milk to alternative drinks such as soy, almond, rice or cashew?
The issue with factory farmed foods
Most cows milk purchased from your local grocer is of factory-farmed origin. Dairy cows are injected with antibiotics and genetically engineered growth hormone to increase milk production, are never pastured, fed the cheapest grains, and raised in crowded conditions where they stand in their waste. Due to excessive milk production, the lactating cows become malnourished, and their swollen irritated udders become readily infected. This laces our milk with pus and blood. The presence of higher levels of growth hormone and IGF in foods consumed by humans has been shown to reduce the insulin sensitivity of our adipocytes causing weight gain. High levels of growth hormone and IGF have also been linked to vascular disease, hypertension, diabetes and cancer.
There is increasingly compelling evidence that unhealthy cows are creating unhealthy people
In addition to the exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones, and pesticides, consumption of cows milk has been linked to weight gain, excess mucous production, bloating, gas, iron deficiency in children, and increased risk of fracture and osteoporosis, to name a few. Despite popular opinion, dairy can actually deplete your calcium levels because of its acidic nature. Our body naturally pulls calcium from our bones to buffer the acid, which can actually lead to decreased bone density!
Nutritional benefits of almond milk
Though lower in fat than whole almonds, almond milk is an excellent source of protein and fibre. It contains calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, vitamin E and vitamin B. It is lower in calories than regular milk and is heart healthy given its content of monounsaturated fat.
If you are a diehard milk lover still, consider switching to an organic, unpasteurized source to eliminate the concern of pesticides, antibiotics and growth hormone.
By Dr. Alaina
For more information click on the link below:
1. Carboni, J. (2008). Health Concerns Of Factory Farmed Foods. Retrieved January 16, 2017 from http://ndnr.com/environmental-medicine/health-concerns-of-factory-farmed-foods/
2. Ireland, E. (2016). How To Make Creamy, Homemade Almond Milk. Retrieved January 16. 2017 from http://itstodiefor.ca/homemade-almond-milk-recipe/
3. Self, L. (2016). Dairy Removal In Kids: Rewards & Risks. Retrieved January 16, 2017 from http://ndnr.com/pediatrics/dairy-removal-in-kids-rewards-risks/