In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Is almond milk vegan?” and provide information on why almond milk might not be consumed by some vegans, the benefits of consuming them, how to prepare them as well as its alternatives.
Is almond milk vegan?
Yes, almond milk is vegan. Almond milk is prepared from almonds, water, and sweetened with sweeteners. Apart from this, it can also contain a bit of salt and emulsifiers. Emulsifiers can be added to commercially prepared almond milk.
Almond milk is thinner in texture compared to cow’s milk. It has a nutty flavor with a mild sweetness if sweeteners are added.
Why almond milk is not consumed by some vegans?
Almond milk can be considered non-vegan by a particular group of people. This is because certain commercially prepared almond milk is prepared using sweeteners like white sugar or cane sugar.
Many vegans avoid consuming both of these sugar varieties. Apart from this, almond trees in the US can require regular pollination from honey bees. This can disrupt the normal life of a honey bee and put them under stress. Many honey bees tend to die too.
Almonds also require a lot of water to grow. Many almond plantations are grown in arid areas. As a result, the farmers have to resort to artificial water sources which can increase the risk of droughts.
Thus, as the growth of almond trees is not environment-friendly, many vegans might avoid consuming almond milk.
What are some benefits of consuming almond milk?
Commercially prepared almond milk is fortified with a host of nutrients like calcium, B vitamins, vitamin A, and vitamin D. Traditionally prepared almond milk contains lesser nutrients compared to cow’s milk.
Almond milk can contain good amounts of vitamin E. Vitamin E has antioxidant properties. This can be protective against cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
Unsweetened almond milk is a good source of protein and fats. As a result, it can be consumed by diabetics as there would be no increase in blood sugar levels.
The majority of the fats present in almond milk are monounsaturated. Monounsaturated fats can increase HDL levels and lower LDL levels.
Can you prepare almond milk at home?
Yes, you can prepare almond milk at home and flavor them according to your own liking. This way you can avoid consuming preservatives and sweeteners added to commercially prepared ones.
For preparing almond milk at home, soak ¾ cup of raw almonds in water for 6 hours or overnight.
Once the soaking period is over, drain the water from the almonds. If you do not like the skin of almonds, you can peel them too. This is optional.
Filter 2-4 cups of water. You can then transfer the filtered water, almonds, and 2 pitted dates to a blender. Dates are added to sweeten the milk. If you want an unsweetened version, skip adding them.
Blenderize the mixture. You can control the amount of water you wish to add and modify the texture of milk. Add more water to make the milk thinner.
Use a nut milk bag or strainer to strain the milk thoroughly. Pour the milk into glasses and serve them. If you have leftover milk remaining, add them to a container and keep them inside the fridge.
What are some alternatives to almond milk?
- Soy milk can be a good plant-based alternative to almond milk. There are 8 grams of protein present per cup of almond milk.
Apart from this, soy milk is low in fat and high in calcium. It has a creamier texture which makes them suitable to be used or cooked.
- Rice milk has a very watery texture. It is sweeter compared to other kinds of milk. It is also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin D, and calcium. It does not contain much protein.
- Oat milk can be fortified with vitamin D. Some commercial varieties can be fortified with calcium and other nutrients. It has a nutty flavor.
- Coconut milk has a creamy and rich texture. It can be added to curries, stews, or soups. It has a thicker texture compared to other kinds of milk.
What are some drawbacks of consuming almond milk?
Commercially prepared almond milk can be sweetened. This is not beneficial for people suffering from diabetes or people who wish to lose weight.
Individuals with nut allergies should avoid consuming nuts or nut-based products. Excessive consumption of almond milk can cause stomach discomfort and bowel issues.
Almonds or almond-based foods are goitrogenic. People suffering from hypothyroidism should not drink almond milk.
In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Is almond milk vegan?” and provided information on why almond milk might not be consumed by some vegans, the benefits of consuming them, how to prepare them as well as its alternatives.