Thursday, 3 May 2012

Anyone for Almond Milk?

OK, I confess, the bad weather has been getting to me. I know we need the rain, but... it has driven me to lots of comfort eating, which I really should be avoiding with the summer (hopefully) just around the corner  - especially if I intend to be seen in a swimming costume! Ho hum! Anyway, the bad weather has finally caused me to give Almond Milk a go!

I bought the Alpro version, a few months ago, but was feeling cautious about trying it as, these days (with my stomach having been quite temperamental) I'm not anxious to take too many risks! 

Also, I've had the odd reaction with nuts in the past - sometimes, as with cashews, gut related (stomach cramps and diarrhoea) sometimes, as with almonds, affecting the lips and mouth (itching/soreness). Then I discovered that Almond nuts are not nuts at all, but are related to the peach and merely the stone part of a fruit. 'Oh well, that's alright then,' I thought.

What they say:
Alpro say, ' tastes heavenly...' (Hmm! Let us be the judge of that!) ''s also a source of of antioxidants, calcium and vitamin E... low in saturated fat... sinfully good.'

What does it contain?
Well this will depend on the brand. Alpro's Almond Milk contains: Water, Sugar, Tri-calcium Phosphate, Sea Salt, Stabilisers (Locust Bean Gum & Gellan Gum), Emulsifier (Sunflower Lecithin), Vitamins (Riboflavin (B2), B12, E, D2). The actual almond content is 2%. 
I notice that Ecomil's Almond Milk has less ingredients, but no added calcium or Vitamin D. Alternatively, you could make your own Almond milk, with just Almonds, Water, Vanilla and Syrup! There are plenty of recipes online.

Daily allowances (adults)
One serving (200ml) of the Alpro Almond Milk contains the following: 

30% of your RDA Calcium Riboflavin (B2), B12, E, D2.
7% of your RDA Sugar
3% of your RDA Fat
4% of your RDA Salt

Allergy advice
There is no soya, but the carton also says that it may contain traces of nuts - so nut allergy sufferers beware! 

The Intial Taste Test
It wasn't unpleasant. The almond flavour definitely came through, although it was not overpowering. I detected some sort of tang that you wouldn't get with cow's milk, but I was prepared to try it with cereal.

Further trials
There's not a lot of cereal in our place at the moment, but I managed to find a packet of puffed rice - stale. The Almond Milk seemed OK, but there was still a bit of a tang of something. 

Frothing the Almond Milk, for coffee, went quite well - in that although it didn't froth as well as cow's milk, it frothed better than previous attempts with rice milk. The Hub's verdict was that it was OK and tasted similar to soy. Further prodding elicited the comment that the nutty flavour came through. 

Not wanting to waste the rest of the carton of Almond Milk, I had a brainwave! 
'OK,' I thought, 'I'll make some porridge!'  I've been longing to give that a go for ages, and it's just what I need, with all the rain that's been around.'

Oats sourced, porridge cooked, it tasted yummy!! 

Any indication of suitability for young children?
Yes. Alpro have been at this game a long time now and know what we want. It's not suitable as a main milk drink, for children under the age of three, but can be used 'as part of a healthy balanced diet' (so in cooking) from the age of one.

My sister-in-law, who has also tried it, thought it was quite nice. The Hub (a man of few words) thought it was OK - similar to soya milk. Obviously, it was no good for me in its 'raw' state. Not only was there the reaction, I preferred it cooked anyway. 

Update 2015: Blue Diamond Almond Milk is also now available in the UK. Both Alpro and Blue Diamond produce an unsweetened version, and a 'fresh' version as well as the original version. Tesco have also recently produced their own brand of almond milk.

Almond milk also tastes nice in custard, although it doesn't thicken so well as some other dairy free milks, like coconut. It also looks slightly grey in colour. My Dad thickens it by adding more custard powder to the mix, but this makes it a bit powdery for my liking! 

I've also used almond milk for making fish pie and I really like using it for this, but if the sweetness is not for you, you can now buy unsweetened almond milk to use instead.


  1. Sound nice especially frothy in coffee - happy three day weekend x

  2. dairyfreebabyandme4 May 2012 at 20:27

    Yay! Happy three day weekend to you too! :)