The Almond Milk Scam Is Shocking, Here’s How to Make Your Own In 30 Seconds!

By Gillian B

There are many reasons to snack on whole, raw almonds. They are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants, for starters, and almond skins even contain beneficial phenols, flavonoids. Also, phenolic acids, which are typically associated with vegetables and fruits.

Drinking almond milk may, therefore, seem like a smart choice, one that may offer you the health benefits of almonds in beverage form – but it is not as healthy as it would appear, particularly if you buy commercial varieties.

What exactly is almond milk? It is typically a combination of almonds, water, sweetener, a thickener such as carrageenan (more on this below), and, often, fortified nutrients such as vitamins A, E, and D.

A Handful of Almonds in a Carton…

The amount of actual almonds in a half-gallon carton of almond milk is shocking: research suggests it is just over a handful. In one analysis of the UK almond milk brand Alpro, almonds made up just 2 percent of the beverage, and the Almond Board of California noted that ingredients are pretty similar between UK and US almond milk brands.

If you’ve ever wondered how almond milk can be so low in calories – about 30 calories in a cup, compared to 160 calories in a serving of almonds – it is because it is mostly water … not almonds.

“Based on these numbers,” Business Insider reported, “to get the nutritional value of a handful of almonds, you’d have to drink not just a few cups of the almond milk but an entire carton of it.”

15088790672_24ed3df572_bFlickr

Almond Milk Sales Soar as Consumers Get Ripped Off

One maker of plant-based milk, White Wave, reported first-quarter sales in 2014 had increased 50 percent over the prior year. In the US, almond milk tops the plant-based milk market, taking up two-thirds of the share (followed by soy milk, at 30 percent, rice, and coconut milk).

In all, sales of alternative milks are soaring and are expected to reach $1.7 billion by 2016, with almond milk leading the way. However, as a consumer, you have to question what you are really paying for, and how much it is costing you. In the case of almond milk, you are paying much money for what is essentially water and sweetener with a handful of almonds.

According to Mother Jones: “…the almond-milk industry is selling you a jug of filtered water clouded by a handful of ground almonds, which leads us to the question of price and profit. A jug of almond milk containing roughly 39 cents worth of almonds, plus filtered water and additives, retails for $3.99.”

Other Health Concerns

Commercially produced almond milk is full of a bunch of extra ingredients that you really do not want in your body. Carrageenan, the thickener commonly used in almond milk, is linked to a whole bunch of digestive health issues. Some experts believe it isn’t safe to consume for extended periods of time.

Another common thickener is soy lecithin. Soy lecithin is commonly made from GMO soy which we should all avoid for many different health reasons.

If you want some delicious almond milk, the best bet would be to make your own.

Making Your Own Is Much Easier than You Think

Almond milk by nature is not bad for us, but the store-bought varieties are filled with preservatives, stabilizers, sugar, etc. For the most part, it is more deceptive than anything, as you are paying a premium for mostly water and could get better nutrition from eating a handful of actual nuts.

Still, if you enjoy the taste of almond milk and don’t want to give it up, making your own almond milk is far more economical and healthier than buying a ready-made version.

Here are 4 reasons why you should experiment with making your own:

  1. More Nutritious: One benefit of consuming almonds this way is that they’ll be soaked before you eat them. Soaking helps to get rid of the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors, which can interfere with the function of your digestive and metabolic enzymes. Phytic acid, which is found in the coatings of nuts, is an ‘anti-nutrient’ responsible for leeching vital nutrients from your body. Phytic acid also blocks the uptake of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. Enzyme inhibitors in nuts and seeds help protect the nut as it grows, helping to decrease enzyme activity and prevent premature sprouting. When nuts are soaked, the germination process begins, allowing the enzyme inhibitors to be deactivated, increasing the available nutrition of the nut significantly, as well as making them much easier to digest.
  2. Less Toxic Additives: Another benefit of making your own almond milk is you get to avoid the scary additives. The approval of the use of the stabilizing agent, Carrageenan, has long been controversial due to research showing it causes gastrointestinal inflammation and can be a big problem for those with leaky gut syndrome. The World Health Organization lists one type of carrageenan as a “possible human carcinogen” …this means it potentially causes cancer. Carrageenan can be found in most milk substitute products, infant formula, cottage cheese and some flavored coconut waters regardless if the product is certified organic by the USDA.
  3. No Waste: When you make your nut milk at home, be sure not to throw out the nut pulp that is the byproduct of nut milk. There are so many ways to use this nutrient dense pulp such as in healthy dessert recipes and more!
  4. Customizable: Many store-bought brands contain SUGAR and other unnecessary flavorings. However, when you make your own, you can add healthy alternatives like dates, honey, cacao powder or even vanilla beans that will light up your taste buds, naturally!

So with that in mind, there are steps that you can take to protect yourself from all of the garbage out there in our food supply and prevent getting ripped off. Making your nut milk sounds complicated and time-consuming but it is really as easy as 1-2-3!

Recipe Picture

Raw, Organic, Dairy-free Nut Milk

What you’ll need:

1 cup raw, organic nuts or seeds of your choosing

5 cups of filtered water

1 small, fine mesh strainer or nut milk bag

1 large mason jar

Preparation:

Step 1: Soak 1 cup of nuts overnight to strip away the enzyme inhibitors that prevent you from getting the most from your food.

Soaked Almonds

Step 2: In the morning, rinse the nuts and place them with 5 cups of filtered water into the blender.

Almonds and Water

Step 3: Blend on high for a few minutes until all of the whole nuts have been processed.

Blending

Step 4: Place a very fine, conical shaped strainer or nut milk bag over a mason jar and pour small portions of the blender contents in at a time. Stirring and emptying out the strainer after each small batch. One can also use a nut milk bag.

Straining

BAM! You have your own homemade, delicious nut milk. I like mine just like this, but you can add vanilla bean or a little natural sweetener of your choice. It will last just under a week in the fridge.

Check out David Wolfe making almond milk!

Sources:

www.businessinsider.com

www.mercola.com

www.eatlocalgrown.com

www.gillianb.com

Gillian

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23 comments
Joshua Gribschaw-Beck - December 27, 2015

I appreciate the info and what you do David. For me…I don’t drink almond milk for nutrition, I drink it to substitute for milk in the food I like….paying the extra money saves me the work of doing it myself yet I hear you and appreciate the knowledge and insight. Thanks for the info on carrageenan, I’ll have to look in to that..I see it’s even in my organic no sugar almond milk.

Reply
Jenni M King - December 27, 2015

I agree, but it takes way longer than 30-seconds. Processing it might take 30-seconds, however squeezing the nut milk bag to get all the milk out takes a lot longer. I love making my own almond/ coconut milk… but we are a family of five and the amount of effort to keep us stocked in it versus the ease of buying in the store has led me to taking the quick & easy route more often than I’d like to admit. Just note that saying it takes 30-seconds is very misleading. Homemade tastes great, and for sure is way healthier, but as with everything else there is some work to put in and people should be aware of that going in, in order to not be discouraged that they aren’t done in half a minute.

Reply
тнeresa presтon - December 27, 2015

Almonds can get very expensive and the one cup of almonds you use to possibly make 4 cups can be costly. I do appreciate the video/article. I could make my own sure, but I can buy a lot from Costco for a lot cheaper than I can make it myself. Also, it would be helpful to post a few links to list what you can do with the extra pulp you have left over.

Reply
    guruurug - May 23, 2016

    All it takes is a internet article to make people buy expensive stuff lol Hey you want to eat healthy spend more, more. It’s time to raise the price of X bag of peanuts. Hey did you know your peanut butter is fake, make your own, it’s easy, just buy our $20 bag of peanuts stupid.

    Reply
Kimberly Quick - December 27, 2015

Thanks for the video! Any thoughts about how long will this last in the refrigerator?

Reply
    Randy Dean - December 27, 2015

    “BAM! You have your own homemade, delicious nut milk. I like mine just like this, but you can add vanilla bean or a little natural sweetner of your choice. It will last just under a week in the fridge.”

    Reply
      guruurug - May 23, 2016

      But the nuts are fake so there ya go.

      Reply
Anna - December 27, 2015

It is very clear when you check out the nutritional info on the carton. It contain just 0 to 1 gram protein. I never bought almond milk and also warned others.

Reply
Sharlee - December 27, 2015

I see a lot of ppl posting the loss of convenience or cost of almonds as an issue. My goal is nutritional health over cost and convenience. The only thing we use almond milk in is our morning smoothie so we don’t even bother to strain it. Just soak almonds overnight, plop in blender with water and then start adding all the other good stuff! So, that might help for the convenience for some. And almonds at Costco are affordable.

Reply
    guruurug - May 23, 2016

    ..My goal is nutritional health over cost…

    Something rich people say

    Reply
Anna - December 27, 2015

For vegetarians milk is an important source of protein. Almond milk with zero protein is not for them.

Reply
    Ethan - December 27, 2015

    You can get plenty of protein without having to resort to drinking cow’s milk

    Reply
    SarahA - December 29, 2015

    Milk is an unnecessary source of protein for everyone. The average woman needs only 46g of protein daily, and the average man 56g.

    I can easily reach my daily requirement from the following menu which is practical for me as I am on the go most of the day (I just quickly threw this together using cronometer, and I think we can all agree does not involve jumping through any crazy hoops to squeeze in more protein)

    breakfast – bowl of raisin bran with Almond breeze milk, glass of orange juice, and a banana
    morning snack – blueberry zucchini muffin
    lunch – peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a tossed salad
    afternoon snack – small handful of cashews and an apple
    dinner – breaded tofu shnitzels and home fries with a bowl of orange veggie soup as a starter, 2 cookies for dessert
    hydration (aside from juice) – 2 litres of water.

    this provides a very balanced diet that meats my nutritional requirements

    Reply
Nicole Arena - December 29, 2015

That is actually very amazing and it doesn’t really look like it takes too long! The reason he is saying make it yourself is because of some of the bad stuff they are putting in some almond milk, so making it at home is so much healthier! And cheaper!! This is great! I just hate the advertisement’s at the bottom of these pages, the pics are so gross and they really ruin the moment for me, cuz they turn my stomach so much! But, I like this idea so much, I’m gonna go to his youtube video on this so I don’t have to look at the gross-ness! I love this idea, just love it!

Reply
SarahA - December 29, 2015

This is kind of a ridiculous observation. Of course almond milk is mostly water. I wouldn’t really expect otherwise.

It is extremely simple to make your own almond milk. You can simply make almond butter by blending almonds in a food processor for 12-15 minutes. Then blend in a blender 1 tbsp of almond butter + 1 cup of water and presto – almond milk with no need to strain it through a cheese cloth (which, let’s not forget, is the process that reduces your almond milk to mostly water).Sweeten with date syrup if you want it sweetened.

Ultimately, the choice is an easy one – buy almond milk for convenience; buy it because you prefer a fortified milk; or make your own because you want to know exactly what went into your milk, but let’s not delude ourself that homemade almond milk has substantially more protein than store bought.

Reply
    SarahA - December 29, 2015

    I should add that this ^^^ method I describe for making almond butter and then milk has the benefit of 1. you getting to enjoy homemade almond butter (which is good in the fridge for 6 months easily), 2. you make almond milk as you need it and will not end up with sudden pressure to drink a liter or two of almond milk in just the 3-4 days it is recommended to consume it, and 3. You aren’t left with a giant sack of almond pulp to then either toss wastefully or have to dry out to be able to integrate into other recipes.

    Reply
      тнeresa presтon - January 18, 2016

      Can you link to your almond butter recipe?

      Reply
    CrazyAuntJane - February 3, 2016

    Blend 15 minutes???

    Reply
Joanne Karohl - December 29, 2015

Or, just eat the almonds and drink some water.

Reply
simhedges - December 29, 2015

How can I make my own in 30 seconds if I have to blend the nuts for “several minutes”? (even assuming that soaking the nuts overnight takes no time at all).

Reply
Mahhn - January 3, 2016

Nice information on saving and ensuring a quality product for people that like this. Good article thanks for sharing.
I do find it funny though, the huge amount of people with good teeth going out of their way to have their food pre-chewed for them.

Reply
Tao - January 8, 2016

perhaps soak almonds for 2 days (and dump soaking water) prior to blending?

Reply
guruurug - May 23, 2016

The cost of almonds and other nuts gets higher and higher. So you’re going to spend more just to show those hucksters, jokes on you.

Reply
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