When I started searching for alternative options to drinking raw cow milk (too expensive at almost $9 for half of a gallon!) I wanted to find something that my family would both enjoy drinking as well as a source from which they would receive calcium and other important nutrients. Almond milk fit the bill and, at the same time, reduced our weekly food bill, even when purchasing raw, organic almonds. Keep in mind that “raw” almonds from Trader Joe’s and other stores are in truth pasteurized. Some stores and farmer’s markets have found a loophole and therefore they are able to sell truly raw almonds. Do some investigation before making your purchase.
If you are planning to consume almond milk, making your own milk is imperative to achieving health. My nutrition clients used to laugh in my face when I requested that they make it from scratch. “Honestly, it’s simple! Two ingredients: almonds and water,” I would tell them. Their responses: Too much work! How would they find the really raw almonds? No time in my life. Life is already overwhelming.
I know we are all busy and the “list of things to do” never ends, however, when you buy the almond milk on the shelf at the store you are doing more harm to your body than good. Most people turn to alternative milks as a way to improve some gut related conditions (Crohns, colitis, autoimmune diseases, weight, allergies) and unfortunately, one of the ingredients that is present in every store bought alternative milk is Carageenan. Although some might call it “natural” it is anything but good for you! Carageenan is an algae used to improve texture and has been proven to contribute to both gut and inflammatory disorders–the exact problems many are trying to abate when choosing to avoid dairy in the first place. It is also pasteurized. Pasteurization kills any enzymes present in the milk. Enzymes aid in our digestion giving our bodies a break from breaking down foods and accessing vitamins and nutrients. Pasteurization also damages many of the beneficial nutrients.
So, armed with this information, “now what?” you ask. Carve out only 15 minutes at some point during your weekends and make enough milk for the week, and then freeze it! I know you can do it! You could even skip hitting the fast forward on your DVR during commercials and use that time to blend your milk. It really only takes 15 minutes (or less) to make enough milk for the entire week. Also, you can have fun with it making different flavors…strawberry, chocolate, vanilla…what is your favorite?