Almond milk has gained popularity as a dairy-free alternative in recent years. It is rich in nutrients, low in calories, and has a creamy taste that is similar to cow's milk. However, not all almond milk is created equal. Commercial, high processed almond milk may not be as good for you as you think. In this article, we'll explore the pros and cons of almond milk, and show you how to make it at home so you can enjoy all its health benefits.
Pros of Almond Milk
Almond milk is a great source of vitamin E, which is essential for skin health. It is also rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. These nutrients help to build strong bones, regulate blood pressure, and support heart health. Almond milk is low in calories and sugar, making it a good option for people who want to maintain a healthy weight or have diabetes.
Cons of Commercial Almond
Milk Commercial almond milk is often loaded with additives, thickeners, and preservatives. These additives can cause digestive issues, allergies, and inflammation. High-processed almond milk may also lack nutrients and have a lower almond content than homemade almond milk.
Another issue with commercial almond milk is the use of carrageenans, a common additive used to thicken and stabilize the texture of the milk. Carrageenans are extracted from red seaweed and have been linked to gastrointestinal issues, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). There is also some evidence suggesting that carrageenans may be associated with the development of rheumatoid arthritis and colon cancer. In fact, the European Union banned the use of carrageenans in infant formula due to concerns about its safety. While some studies suggest that the amount of carrageenans in almond milk is relatively small, it is still a cause for concern, especially for those with existing gastrointestinal issues or a family history of colon cancer. It's important to read the labels carefully and choose almond milk without carrageenans, or better yet, make your own almond milk at home.
The Solution: Homemade Almond Milk
The good news is that you can easily make your own almond milk at home, with just a few simple ingredients. Homemade almond milk is not only healthier, but also cheaper and more delicious than store-bought almond milk.
Here's how to make it:
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 4 cups water
- 1-2 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- Soak the almonds in water overnight, or for at least 4 hours.
- Rinse the almonds, and add them to a blender with 4 cups of fresh water.
- Blend for 2-3 minutes, until smooth and creamy.
- Strain the almond milk through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth, into a bowl or jar.
- Add maple syrup and vanilla extract (if using), and stir well.
- Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Homemade almond milk is a healthier and more natural alternative to commercial almond milk. It contains no additives or preservatives, and is rich in nutrients that are essential for your health. It is also easy to make, and can be customized to your taste with different sweeteners and flavors.
In conclusion, almond milk can be good or bad, depending on how you make it. Commercial, high-processed almond milk is often loaded with additives that can be harmful to your health. On the other hand, homemade almond milk is a natural and healthy alternative that is easy to make and delicious to drink. By making your own almond milk at home, you can enjoy all the health benefits of this nutritious drink without any of the negative side effects.
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