Almond milk is a drink with excellent nutritional properties, especially if prepared at home. Let’s find out more!
Almond milk is obtained from the seeds of the fruit of the almond tree (Prunus dulcis) belonging to the Rosaceae family. It is a very ancient drink, its preparation seems to have its origins in the Middle Ages.
Almonds , belonging to the group of oil seeds , naturally have a good content of fats (about 55%), but also of proteins (about 22%), as well as carbohydrates (for about 5%), they are therefore foods very nutritious , it is no coincidence that the milk obtained from it has excellent nutritional properties. The famous sweet almond oil is extracted from the cold pressure of these seeds, while by chopping the seeds placed in infusion, almond milk is obtained , a vegetable drink without gluten, lactose and cholesterol.
Almond milk: calories and nutritional properties
Almond milk, despite having a high nutritional value due to its composition in macronutrients, nevertheless has a rather low calorie content , equal to about 57 kcal per 100 g, a consequence of the fact that this drink is mainly made up of water (almost 90 %) and followed by carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
It is therefore a highly moisturizing but at the same time nutritious drink. Among the mineral salts the content of calcium, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium is remarkable, all fundamental not only for the composition of the bones, but for many important biological reactions. Among the vitamins we find vitamin E, a powerful natural antioxidant. We see below the table with the nutritional values of almond milk and, to follow, its beneficial properties.
Nutritional values per 100g of almond milk:
- Kcal: 57
- Carbohydrates: 5.5 g
- Fat: 3.3 g
- Proteins: 1.3 g
- Fibers: 0.8 g
- Waterfall: 89.2 g
- Iron: 0.2 mg
- Soccer: 14 mg
- Sodium: 1 mg
- Potassium: 47 mg
- Phosphorus: 33 mg
- Zinc: 0.16 mg
- Magnesium: 16 mg
- Copper: 0.06 mg
- Manganese: 0.10 mg
- Vitamin: B1 0.01 mg
- Vitamin: B2 0.02 mg
- Vitamin: B3 0.18 mg
- Vitamin: B6 0.01 mg
- Vitamin: E 1.56 mg
- Vitamin: B8 3.8mg
Almond milk: the health benefits
Almond milk is a healthy drink that can be included in our diet, even without necessarily having to eliminate cow’s milk . It is rich in vitamins and minerals that help our cells to function at their best and strengthen our immune system, in fiber, unsaturated fatty acids and it is also an ally of our line since it contains few calories.
✓ Beneficial for the bones
Thanks to the presence of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, almond milk is good for the bones by helping to maintain mineralization and for this reason it is also suitable for the elderly.
✓ Helps manage hypercholesterolemia
Almond milk helps restore lipid balance as it counteracts the increase in cholesterol levels in the blood , thanks to its richness in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA).
✓ Excellent for the cardiovascular system
The macro- and micronutrients contained in almond milk, including monounsaturated fats, but also fibers, vitamins including those of group B and vitamin E, contribute to the health of our cardiovascular system by reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases.
✓ Useful in case of diabetes
Although rich in carbohydrates, almond milk can also be used in case of diabetes , since it is a food with a low glycemic index and indeed, it can help for the benefits it brings to the management of fats and in general to the cardiovascular system by lowering the risk levels for these diseases.
✓ Ally of the intestine
The fibers that almond milk naturally contains help regulate intestinal functions and protect the gastrointestinal system.
Vitamin E of which almond milk is rich, gives it antioxidant effects, beneficial for all the cells of our body as they counteract premature aging due to the action of free radicals.
✓ Low calorie content
As we have seen, almond milk has few calories, therefore it is a recommended drink even in cases where you have to lose weight to counter the risk of metabolic diseases or even simply when you want to regain physical shape. Compared to other vegetable drinks, in fact, it certainly has fewer calories.
Almond milk: how to make it at home with and without an extractor
It is possible to prepare natural almond milk at home, that is, without adding any extra ingredients, which are often found in commercially available drinks. Of course, the term “milk” is improper because it is a drink that has nothing to do with milk, a term which should only indicate the product of the mammary glands of mammals, but this is the term that has become commonly used. also for vegetable drinks which are often used as an alternative to milk.
We can prepare almond milk at home whether we have an extractor or if we don’t have it. Let’s see what are the procedures in the two cases.
1.Recipe with extractor
If we have an extractor at home and can’t wait to put it to work, making almond milk is a very good idea.
Ingredients (for 500 ml of drink):
- 100 gr of peeled or unpeeled almonds
- 500 ml of still water
- It begins by rinsing the almonds and then putting them to soak for at least 8 hours; after this time, it is necessary to rinse the almonds and add 500 ml of water;
- We then proceed by inserting the almonds into the extractor one handful at a time, alternating them each time with a little water, until all the almonds and all the water have been inserted;
- The extractor is started and once the milk has been obtained, a second extraction of the “waste” material is carried out, putting it back in the extractor basket and using about 50 ml of water;
- After the second extraction, the milk obtained is filtered with a sieve and kept in the refrigerator;
- It is possible to keep the chopped almonds discarded by the extractor and use them for pastry doughs.
2.Recipe without extractor
Even if we do not have an extractor we can prepare an excellent almond milk at home, it will still be simple, in fact it is enough to leave the almonds to soak and then blend them with water.
Ingredients (for 500 ml of drink):
- 100 gr of peeled almonds
- 500 ml of still water
- You always start by washing the almonds and leaving them to soak for about 8 hours covered with a part of water; after this time, the almonds are drained, recovering the water, to which the necessary quantity will be added to reach half a liter;
- Place the almonds in a container and add the water slowly, blending with an immersion blender. You can then add sugar or salt depending on whether you need a sweetened milk or a milk to be used for savory recipes;
- Chop the almonds as much as possible, then proceed by filtering the almond milk obtained, using a strainer or a clean cloth;
- The chopped almonds can then be used in the dough for the preparation of cakes or biscuits.
Homemade almond milk should be poured into a glass bottle to be kept in the refrigerator and consumed within three or four days. Whether you use the extractor or a blender, you can optimize the doses of the ingredients to your liking, depending on whether you want to get a more or less strong flavor by varying the amount of water between 500 ml and a liter.
What does almond milk taste like?
Almond milk has a flavor that is very similar to that of almonds but less pronounced and more delicate and sweet. Of course, its sweetness will also depend on the possible addition of sugar during the preparation phase, but it is a very pleasant drink even if you do not add sweeteners, indeed, it would be advisable to choose natural almond milk.
Almond milk: some tips for using it
Naturally, almond milk can be used as a drink , both at breakfast, as a snack or to quench our thirst after a session of physical activity. In summer it is particularly thirst-quenching. In this regard, it can also be used as a base for a smoothie to replace cow’s milk or to prepare summer slushes.
It is also an excellent ingredient for desserts such as muffins, plumcakes or donuts, or for spoon desserts such as panna cotta. A very pleasant combination is with coffee, especially in summer to be enjoyed iced.
It may seem strange, but we can also use it for savory first and second courses, where it can be the basis for a sauce or an accompanying sauce.
In general, it is possible to use it instead of cow’s milk, taking into account the fact that it contains less protein than the latter but is certainly less caloric and does not contain lactose.
Almond milk for breakfast: benefits and some tips for using it
Just calling it “milk” reminds us that this almond-based drink can be used for breakfast instead of cow’s milk. As already mentioned, the advantages derive from the fact that almond milk is less caloric than cow’s milk and less rich in fat if we refer to whole cow’s milk. It is also naturally lactose-free. However, it must be remembered that cow’s milk contains more proteins and minerals and in general is not comparable to a vegetable drink. It is also a good drink for a vegan breakfast. We also remind you that it does not contain gluten.
In addition to drinking it with other breakfast foods, almond milk can be used together with cereals, in fact it is excellent with a muesli based on oat flakes, with fruit and seeds, or to make tasty fruit smoothies. It can also be used to make porridge or as an ingredient in baked desserts.
Use of almond milk in DIY cosmetics
Almond milk is not only used in cooking but also in DIY cosmetics. In fact, it has emollient and moisturizing properties, which soften and smooth the skin. It is excellent, for example, as a delicate cleanser and make- up remover for the face and eye area, to be used in the evening; just wet a cotton ball with almond milk and rub it gently on your face.
Almond milk can also be used for the preparation of face masks, together with pureed fruit, starch or clays.
Almond milk: the possible contraindications
We have seen that almond milk is a great drink, but it has some contraindications. Those who suffer from allergy to walnuts and almonds, of course, should not take it and also it would be good not to give it to children as an alternative to cow’s milk since it does not give a protein intake comparable to that of milk.
In addition, some almond drinks that are on the market have a high sugar content, so not only are they not suitable for consumption by children, but not even by diabetics.
If we prepare almond milk at home or buy one without added sugar, this can also be taken by those with diabetes, since the glycemic index is medium-low. Furthermore, the tyrosine contained in almond milk could cause problems in those suffering from thyroid malfunctions or in those who make a very abundant use of it.
Does using almond milk make you fat?
As mentioned, almond milk is inherently low in calories, especially if we prepare it at home and do not sweeten it, so if used in the right quantities (up to 200ml per day), it does not make you fat, if on the contrary we make it. a very abundant use in the belief that it is low in calories, we could have some nasty surprises when we step on the scales.
Almond milk: where to buy and which one to choose
We can find almond milk now in almost all supermarkets and grocery stores, but also online. If we wanted to be sure to buy a good product, which retains all the properties mentioned above, we should choose an organic and natural almond milk, that is, without added sugars or sweeteners, also because this drink is naturally sweet and has no need to be sweetened. We also need to be careful because some almond drinks contain a low percentage of almonds and a high amount of sodium.