I can still clearly remember the period that cowmilk was advertised as the best fuel for us humans. Several glasses a day were recommended. I also remember the acne and abdominal pain it caused. The doctor who couldn’t find a cause ultimately told my parents I had an irritable bowel. The reason? Stress. I was 10 years old. Besides the stress of losing a ball game I had no stress as a 10 – year-old whatsoever. Life is not only healthier without cow milk, especially since there’re better tasting options than cowmilk.
Still not convinced?
Let me try to explain this to you in a nutshell.
You drink milk that a calf is supposed to drink … This calf must grow, a lot. Approximately 9 times its own weight. When we as humans still needed to grow, we also consumed milk. Milk from our mum (a human). And at one point in time, we also stopped with that. We no longer need to grow that much or that fast.
And what to say about all the antibiotics, pus and other bacteria that are found in cow milk? Yum? I don’t think so.
So which milk do I drink then?
No panic! We are increasingly aware of the disadvantages of cow’s milk so there are more and more delicious and healthier alternatives available such as nut milk, coconut milk or rice milk . My personal favorite because of the taste and all the health benefits is by far almond milk.
Almond milk is also one of the most nutritious milk substitutes. And because almond milk does not contain casein (chemically related to gluten ), almond milk is also suitable for people with a gluten-free diet .
- Almond milk is one of the most nutritious milk substitutes;
- No saturated fats or cholesterol;
- Free of lactose and soy;
- Full of omega-3 fatty acids /Monounsaturated fat (good for the heart health and arteries);
- High in protein;
- Almond milk contains dietary fiber;
- Low in carbs;
- Contains vitamin E. This antioxidant is super effective in preventing cancer;
- Contains copper and manganese. This will stimulate the production of energy (both the cellular and bodily levels);
- Contains selenium;
- Contains magnesium. Magnesium will allow your veins and arteries to relax, which will increase the flow of oxygen and nutrient rich blood;
- Contains potassium. Good for the nerve and muscle functions. It can also help stabilize the heart muscle and blood pressure;
- Contains zinc;
- Contains iron;
- Contains phosphorous;
- Contains calcium;
- Contains flavonoids that will help prevent cancer and slow the signs of aging;
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin). This vitamin is important in energy management, especially for the heart, lungs and brain;
- Vitamin B17 source. The almonds should be raw and unpasteurized though;
- There are studies that have shown that almonds can lower the risk of developing gallstones by 25 percent;
- Weight loss. A study (WHFood’s article) showed that when consuming almonds at least two times per week the test persons were 31% less likely to gain weight than were those who never consumed almonds;
- Some people believe that soaked almonds (for at least 12 hours)/‘activated’ almonds have less phytochemicals (may prevent your body from receiving the full benefit of the nutrients);
- Free of nonsaturated fats, lactose, anti biotics (found in cow milk) and of course artificial sugars.
Although almond milk is nowadays available in most (organic) supermarkets there are unfortunately many other ingredients than just almonds and water in those milks, such as preservatives and very little almonds. Home made almond milk is easy, tasty, healthy and fun to make.
- One cup raw (organic) almonds
- Two cups of water
- Sweeteners like cinnamon or vanilla essence.
- Soak the almonds overnight. In the fridge and uncovered (up to 2 days). The longer the almonds soak, the creamier the almond milk.
- Drain and rinse the almonds. Rinse them thoroughly under running water.
- Combine the almonds and water in a blender. Place the almonds in the blender and cover with water. The amount of water will determine how creamy or thin the milk will be. Add some (soaked) dates and cinnemon/vanilla.
- Pulse the blender a few times to break up the almonds, then blend continuously for two minutes.
- Drain the almonds. Line the strainer with the opened nut bag and place over a measuring cup. Pour the almond mixture into the strainer.
- Squeeze all the almond milk from the nut bag. Squeeze and press with clean hands to extract as much almond milk as possible. Start from the bottom of the bag and milk the nutbag upwards. Yes, indeed milk the bottom of the nutbag like you would milk a cow. Slowly squeeze all the milk out of the bag until you have a dry left over of almond meal.
- You should get about 2 cups.
- Store the almond milk in sealed containers in the fridge for up to two days.
- You can totally experiment with this milk by adding raw cacao or a frozen banana.
- The leftover almond meal can be added to oatmeal, smoothies as it is. Or you can put them into a date for a delicious snack. You can also spread it out on a baking sheet and bake it in a low oven until completely dry (2-3 hours). Dry almond meal can be kept frozen for several months. Or what about adding it into icecream as a cookie dough?
- Or you could make almond cheese by blending the almond pulp in a blender with some lemon juice, Celtic sea salt, pepper, coconut oil or olive oil and some fresh herbs
- Or just crumble it over a salad. The possibilities are endless.
- You will never ever want to go back to store bought. This milk is epic.