Almond milk has become a staple in many households, but there are a few things most people don’t know about the delicious and nutritious drink.
Processed and packaged almond milk typically contains only 6-8 almond with the remaining ingredients being water, and other miscellaneous sweeteners and shelf stabilizers. Aka, you’re not getting much nutrition, and you’re paying a premium for 6-8 almonds, water, and a chemical shit storm.
You can do homemade almond milk easily for 1/10 the price, and it will be packed full of nutrients with no toxic additives!
Homemade Almond Milk vs. Store Bought
Mass produced foods in general, set up production to provide as little nutritive value as possible. Methods of production severely impact health benefits, from pasteurization, which effectively boils away all of the good a food has to give, to the addition of unnecessary, even harmful additives to increase profits.
If we’re trying to eat a particular food for its health benefits, why would we want a modified, almost Frankenfood version of the food we want?
The additives favored by mass produced foods aren’t necessarily natural. Costs are the most important factor, so if synthetic vitamins and minerals are cheaper, they’re chosen over more expensive, healthier ones.
Raw almonds are packed with essential nutrients, including Vitamins E and B2, as well as phosphorous, copper, magnesium and biotin. They’re also loaded with dietary fiber and monounsaturated fats, which can lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. Homemade almond milk is rich in potassium and zinc, helping to boost the immune system.
Natural almonds, and homemade almond milk are loaded with health benefits. They don’t need additives or anything to make them “better”. Nature creates foods as perfectly as possible. It takes human ingenuity to mess everything up.
In mass produced almond milk, it isn’t just the additives: largely synthetic versions of vitamins and minerals, are troubling too. There are fillers, including dangerous ones like carrageenan, added to processed almond milk to improve shelf stability. Carrageenan is incredibly toxic and dangerous. It inflames the digestive system to such an extent that the World Health Organization has listed it as a potential human carcinogen.
A Natural Side Effect
Like all things, though, the almond isn’t perfect. Nuts, grains, seeds and even legumes have to be treated before they’re safe for consumption. Why? It’s because they contain toxic substances and nutritional inhibitors—enzyme inhibitors, phytates (phytic acid), goitrogens and polyphenols (tannins).
When consumed, these toxins and inhibitors essentially block the nutritive value of the foods we eat. Inhibitors attack enzymes, which our bodies need for almost every function, from digestion to metabolism, regulating the central nervous system and brain function.
Phytates (sometimes called “anti-nutrients”) combine with minerals like zinc, copper, magnesium and iron in the intestines , preventing the body from absorbing them into the bloodstream. Diets high in foods with high phytate levels can result in severe mineral deficiencies as well as bone loss.
Phytates and inhibitors may sound terrible, but they serve a very good purpose—at least to plants. In nature, these elements help protect nuts, seeds and grains until they’re ready to grow. When the seeds are exposed to moisture, they grow, bringing all of their benefits to the surface and the inhibitors and phytates wash away naturally.
To neutralize inhibitors and phytates in a home kitchen, we mimic nature in a sense by soaking nuts, grains, seeds and legumes. This process helps release the toxins and inhibitors, just as precipitation releases them in nature.
The Steps to Homemade Almond Milk
Homemade almond milk is incredibly easy to make at home. After soaking your nuts, simply combine the almonds with water, a tiny pinch of salt and a few dates for texture. Strain after blending and refrigerate. The homemade almond milk can keep in the refrigerator for up to five days.
- 1 cup raw organic sprouted almonds - soaked overnight (this step reduces the level of phytates)
- 4 cups pure filtered water
- vanilla bean (optional)
- dates (optional)
- Soak the almonds for 12 hours in filtered water with ½ tsp sea salt. Soaking almonds in water with a sea salt overnight is important to breaking down phytic acid.
- Pour out the water the nuts were soaking in. Rinse with fresh water several times.
- Blend almonds with filtered water in blender.
- Blend several minutes until smooth and creamy.
- Pour blended mixture into a large bowl through a cheese cloth.
- Put liquid strained back into blender with vanilla, soaked dates (optional).
- Pour into glass jar or pitcher and store in fridge for up to 5 days.
- Throw away almond pulp, or save for other recipes to be used immediatly.
*Learn how even Healthy Nuts can be bad for our bodies when consumed improperly.