Almond milk

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Homemade almond milk

Almond milk is a beverage made from ground almonds, occasionally used as a substitute for dairy milk.

Unlike animal milk, almond milk contains neither cholesterol nor lactose. As it does not contain any animal products, it is acceptable to vegans, and vegetarians, and others who abstain from dairy products. Commercial almond milk products often come in plain, vanilla, or chocolate flavors and are sometimes enriched with vitamins. Almond milk can also be made at home by grinding almonds with water in a blender.

Almond milk is slightly beige in colour and has a creamy texture and nutty taste. It is easy to make at home or purchase in long-life cartons at the supermarket.[1]

History[edit]

Almond paste, used as a quick base to prepare almond milk.

In the Middle Ages, almond milk was known in both the Islamic world and Christendom. As a nut (the "fruit of a plant"), it is suitable for consumption during Lent. Almond milk was a staple of medieval kitchens because cow's milk could not keep for long without spoiling.[citation needed]

Historically, almond milk was also called amygdalate. It was consumed over a region stretching all the way from the Iberian Peninsula to East Asia.[2] Le Viandier, a 14th-century recipe collection, contains a recipe for almond milk and recommends its use as a substitute for animal milk during fast days.[3]

In the United States, almond milk remained a fairly niche health food item until the late 2000s, when its popularity began to increase. In 2011 alone, almond milk sales increased by 79%.[4] In 2013, it surpassed soy milk as the most popular plant-based milk in the U.S.[5] Popular brands of almond milk include Blue Diamond's Almond Breeze and WhiteWave Foods' Silk PureAlmond.[5]

Nutrition[edit]

Almonds are rich in nutrients including fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, manganese, zinc, potassium, iron, phosphorus, tryptophan, copper, and calcium.[1][6] "The UK Institute of Food Research found finely ground almonds contain potential prebiotic properties that could help boost digestive health by increasing the levels of certain beneficial bacteria in the stomach".[7]

Almond milk has less protein than cow's milk and other animal milk substances.[7] For children with atopic dermatitis under two years of age, almond milk is not a suitable replacement for breast milk, cow's milk, or hydrolyzed formulas due to the low protein.[8]

Production[edit]

The basic method to make almond milk at home is to run soaked almonds in a blender with water and honey (or any other sweetener),[9] then strain out the almond pulp (flesh) with a strainer, cheesecloth,[10] or nut milk bag. One can also blend almond butter with water and sweeteners.[11]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Larmer, Christina (2011-01-09). "The pros and cons of almond milk". Adelaide Now. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  2. ^ "Vegetarians in Paradise/Almond History, Almond Nutrition, Almond Recipe". vegparadise.com. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  3. ^ Chiodo, Tony (2004-05-04). "Nuts-and-bolts brekkie". The Age. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  4. ^ David Sprinkle (2012-01-19). "With Almond as the New White Milk, Dairy Alternatives Make Further Inroads". Marketwire. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  5. ^ a b Wong, Venessa (2013-08-21). "Soy Milk Fades as Americans Opt for Drinkable Almonds". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  6. ^ "Nuts-and-bolts brekkie". Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  7. ^ a b Larmer, Christina. "Almond Milk". Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  8. ^ Keller MD, Shuker M, Heimall J, Cianferoni A. (Jan 2012). "Severe malnutrition resulting from use of rice milk in food elimination diets for atopic dermatitis". Isr Med Assoc J 14 (1). PubMed. pp. 40–2. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  9. ^ Spaeth, Matt (2014-09-13). "How to Make Homemade Almond Milk". Paleo Demystified. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  10. ^ Christensen, Emma (2013-05-28). "How to Make Almond Milk at Home". Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  11. ^ "Make Almond Milk Using Almond Butter". August 2013. Retrieved 2014-10-14.