Almond milk. Everyone’s drinking it. Indeed, it’s recently overtaken soy as the most popular dairy-alternative. Everyone, I fear, also seems to think it’s the clean and green cousin at the lactose-free barbeque. I’m really sorry, guys, I have news for you…
There’s a bunch of factors not commonly discussed. It’s time they should be.
1. The water.
Ouch. But it gets worse. Almost 82 per cent of the world’s almonds are grown in California, one of the most drought-affected places in the world. Australian almonds? Um, same issue.
2. The waste.
Almond milk is essentially a big bunch of almonds, blended with water and strained to extract the “milk”. The almond meal that’s left behind is tossed when almond milk is commercially produced. Very sad stuff.
3. The carbon footprint.
The majority of almonds used to produce almond milk (even in Australia) are grown in the US. This means they have to be shipped around the world. Add the environmental cost of the packaging and you have yourself a small environmental disaster.
4. The dose of additives.
Most brands are packed with thickeners, emulsifiers, sugars, and other crap stuff.
5. The nutritional value.
Yes, almonds are full of vitamin E and B2, magnesium and copper. But most brands only contain about two per cent of the precious nut. The rest is water (and additives).
Also. This. When you eat almonds, you’d only be eating a very small handful in one sitting. Drinking two lattes on almond milk a day will certainly add up to more than that. Seems rather excessive.
6. The price.
Almond milk is one of the most expensive milk-alternatives out there. Prices range from $2.99 to $7.99 AUD. Considering the low percentage of almonds that is actually used, these prices seem simply exorbitant.
My Simplicious verdict:
Just eat the nut. And a glass of water.
If you are, however, intolerant to lactose and insist on having a milky coffee or milky cereal:
Make your own almond milk
And re-use the leftover almond meal in brownies or cookies or breads.
What’s your opinion on almond milk? Do you buy it, or make your own? I came across a cafe in Canberra that makes their own and then makes AMAZING gluten-free buns…you know of similar joints that you’d like to plug here?