What’s in your milk?

almond-milk

Almond milk is an excellent substitute for cow’s milk. It does not contain any saturated fat or cholesterol- but it does contain omega 3 fatty acids which are good for heart health.  Almond milk is low in calories, only about 40 per 8oz serving.  It is also low in fat, like rice milk, only having about 3 grams. Almond milk does not need to be fortified because it is already rich in vitamins and minerals and only contains about 2 grams of carbohydrates per serving.  Vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, iron, fiber, zinc and calcium are all naturally occurring in almond milk.

Who benefits from almond milk?

The milk contains no lactose, which makes it a great choice for those who are lactose intolerant.  It also does not contain soy which makes it safe for those with soy allergies.  While dairy milk contains casein (a milk protein that is chemically similar to gluten), almond milk does not, which makes it a good choice for those with gluten allergies and sensitivities as well.

Almond milk is a better choice over soy or rice milk for those with an allergy or sensitivity that keeps them from dairy milk.  Rice milk has minimal nutritional value, so it is recommended to only buy commercially produced fortified rice milk if this is your choice to ensure you get the nutrients you need. Soy milk is FULL of sugars.  If you don’t like dairy milk due to its flavor or you have an allergy/sensitivity try almond milk. It tastes NOTHING like dairy milk! It is light, nutty and refreshing. It can be used in smoothies, coffee, cooking/baking or just for drinking.

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Side by side these nutrition labels show that unsweetened vanilla almond milk is clearly the more nutritious of the two. With 11 grams more sugar, 80 more calories, more carbs, cholesterol and saturated fat, added hormones and antibiotics there is no comparison!

milk

Unless you are buying organic (no hormone no antibiotic) milk, the cow providing the milk has been injected with hormones to make it produce more milk than ever intended and antibiotics to keep it healthy and producing. The US government has deemed this “safe” but many organizations feel the FDA approval of hormone injections were too hasty.

You can make your own almond milk easy at home!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

1. Soak the almonds overnight (between 6-12 hours).

2. Add in the vanilla, and blend together

3. Strain the almond milk. This is the most important step and cannot be skipped. Gradually pour in the almond milk into the strainer lined with a cloth, close the edges of the cloth and press out all of the milk, being careful not getting any pulp out of the sides of the cloth. When you have successfully pressed out all of the liquid and set the cloth and almond mix aside.

4. Pour the now strained almond milk into a glass jar (add sweetener if so desired) and close with a lid (or use something similar and airtight). You should store this in the fridge, and it will hold nicely for 5-7 days. Remember to shake the milk before consuming, as almond milk has a tendency to separate itself slightly. Do not throw away the left-over almond meal! You can use sprinkle it on top of salads, oatmeal, or even use it in smoothies or baking

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Cow’s milk is higher in carbohydrates, sugar, saturated fat, and cholesterol.  Most contain antibiotics and hormones that could be harmful. The only benefit to cow’s milk over almond milk is the protein level.  However if you are getting protein from other sources you may consider the switch to almond milk one worth taking. Keep informed. Be educated, make decisions for yourself. EARN YOUR BODY.

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