Just because something becomes popular, does that make it a fad? The difficulty is being able to tell when something is an amazing new discovery or if it is just having its 15 minutes of fame.
So, almond milk – age old genius invention or 21st century nonsense? Well considering almond milk has been around for centuries, evidence even suggests since the middle ages, it is pretty safe to say we aren’t looking at a fad. Saying that, despite being around for so long, it is only really in recent years that we have seen its popularity grow so rapidly that almond milk is now overtaking soy milk as the most popular plant-based milk.
Typically almond milk is purchased as a cow milk substitute. People must be switching for some reason – what is it that they believe makes almond milk so much better for them? Well firstly you won’t find any cholesterol in it, good or bad! Nor will you be able to source any saturated fat. That sounds like a good start and we haven’t even considered the people making the change for issues such as lactose intolerance and veganism.
Just like with cow’s milk, almond milk can be flavoured with all sorts of things, including the ever popular chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.
If you are lucky enough to own a cow you can expect milk virtually on tap. Most of us don’t own a cow though and have to rely on shop bought milk. Another good thing about almond milk is that it is relatively easy to make at home. All you need is a blender, the almonds and water. Once you mix them all together and remove the pulp you’ve made yourself almond milk. You can even add a natural sweetener like honey to make it even tastier!
What about the health benefits? Firstly almonds are high in dietary fibre, which as we know is great for our digestive health. Specifically, almond milk is associated with the healthy bacteria that’s found in the gut, known for aiding digestive movements.
Vitamin E is also found in relatively high amounts and helps to protect us from the harmful effects of the sun. Other nutrients found in almond milk include:
One nutrient that cow’s milk doesn’t provide more of is protein. As we all know, when you are training this is the most important nutrient for a lot of us. Fortunately we don’t usually identify milk as a major source of protein, so any that you miss out on by switching can easily be made up elsewhere.
Incorporating almond milk into your diet isn’t as difficult as you might think. With things like cereal it can be as simple as making a direct swap for cow’s milk. It also works great as a base for smoothies, especially if you prefer a creamy texture and water is boring you. In fact you can swap cow’s milk for almond milk in a lot of cooking – it is perfect if you enjoy making desserts like mousse and rice pudding.
So whether you are looking to lose weight or just mixing up your diet don’t be afraid to try alternative milks, whether almond, coconut or whatever else you can you find!