Once you’ve tried fresh homemade almond milk, you’ll never want to drink store bought again! Healthy, rich and creamy -this recipe is ridiculously easy; it will become a regular weekly staple. Scroll to the bottom of the article to learn about some of the health benefits of switching to dairy alternative milk.
• 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 in by placing in a bowl and covering with water.
• Once your nuts have soaked, drain into a sieve or colander and rinse with fresh water.
• Add 1L of filtered water to your high-powered blender (like a Vitamix), and add the freshly rinsed nuts.
• Add salt, cinnamon and vanilla. For a sweeter tasting beverage, add dates and maple syrup, or sweetener of your choice.
• Blend on high for about two minutes until it is smooth and frothy. Sample, and adjust flavoring as desired.
• Milk time! (note: 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, being careful not to spill. Keep going until every drop is in the bowl.)
• Transfer milk from the bowl into a glass bottle and store in the fridge.
• Your milk should stay fresh for about one week – if it lasts that long!
Benefits of switching from dairy to non-dairy milk
The emphasis on promoting dairy intake for children and adults surrounds concern for adequate skeletal growth and development, sufficient protein energy intake, and prevention of deficiencies of calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus and vitamin B.
We’ve been taught that dairy, especially milk, is an essential staple in our diet. When it comes to dairy, 2-4 servings per day based on age have been recommended to ensure adequate intake that meets recommendations for these nutrients. 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 per serving, and is 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 cow 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, lacing milk with pus and blood. The presence of higher levels of growth hormone and IGF in foods consumed by humans leads to a reduction in insulin sensitivity by adipocytes causing weight gain, and high levels of growth hormone and IGF have 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 acidity, which can 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 fiber. 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 Overton, ND
January 16, 2017
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/