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Old 11-13-2011, 03:00 PM   #1
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Almond milk...

Have any of you tried almond milk? If so i'd like to hear your thoughts about it or if you have any special recipes for it. I usually buy the original flavor but today i grabbed vanilla by mistake. Since we shop out of town and i'm not going to drive 25 miles just to exchange it, i tried a glass. The original is good, but the vanilla taste like a melted vanilla milk shake!!! I was all set not to like it but all i can say is what a taste treat, i made a decaf latte with it and didn't need to add any sweetener. I don't even mind that it has 90 calories instead of the 60 plain has. So if your looking for a calcium rich treat give it a try. I'll try it on shredded wheat for breakfast tomorrow. I don't buy it very often, but when i do it is a treat i can feel good about. I know it can be used like regular milk, but so far i haven't used it in general cooking. Any ideas? take care...phyllis
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:23 AM   #2
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Re: Almond milk...

Quote:
Originally Posted by phylwill1152 View Post
Have any of you tried almond milk? If so i'd like to hear your thoughts about it or if you have any special recipes for it. I usually buy the original flavor but today i grabbed vanilla by mistake. Since we shop out of town and i'm not going to drive 25 miles just to exchange it, i tried a glass. The original is good, but the vanilla taste like a melted vanilla milk shake!!! I was all set not to like it but all i can say is what a taste treat, i made a decaf latte with it and didn't need to add any sweetener. I don't even mind that it has 90 calories instead of the 60 plain has. So if your looking for a calcium rich treat give it a try. I'll try it on shredded wheat for breakfast tomorrow. I don't buy it very often, but when i do it is a treat i can feel good about. I know it can be used like regular milk, but so far i haven't used it in general cooking. Any ideas? take care...phyllis
I havent posted here in a long long time but I found this site again while browsing and saw your post here. I am a vegan (nine months now) and I drink almond milk quite often, usually the unsweetened variety. I have used it for cooking and baking and it works just fine in place of dairy milk for just about anything. The only recipes it doesnt work well for are those calling for "buttermilk". You can make a buttermilk replacement by adding lemon juice or cider vinegar to a plant based milk but I have only had luck doing this with soymilk to get that curdling (not that I use recipes calling for buttermilk more than a few times a year if that). Almond milk is too low in protein to work, but it is a good source of fortified calcium. I do not rely so much on the plant milks I drink for my calcium needs (for variety I also drink hemp, oat, rice, and very rarely soy milk but with thyroid issues I limit my intake of soy). I consume a ton of leafy greens, put a tablespoon of molasses or carob powder in hot cereals or on fresh fruits/veggies (both surprisingly have very high calcium and other minerals and are healthy substitutes for sugar), eat real almonds, occasionally tempeh as sources of calcium. And of course due to having osteoporosis (long before going vegan and due to being underweight, having hypothyroidism for years, genetics, small body frame, history of anorexia, and losing my ovaries at the age of 33 six years ago) I do supplement with calcium, magnesium, and ergocalciferol (D2 plant based hormone) and I am on hormone replacement (bioidentical estradiol).

Getting back to the almond milk. I have found that it has the closest consistancy to dairy milk as far as thickness, but sometimes it depends on the brand, and if you make it yourself it would be much thinner. Rice milk is too thin in my experience for baking and hemp milk has an off taste that shows up in baking. Almond milk works well because it has a neutral flavor. Hope this helps!

 
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:59 AM   #3
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Re: Almond milk...

Hi Elaine, thanks for the tips. I don't keep it on hand all the time but will try it in more recipes the next time i buy it. So far i've manly used it to drink, in coffee and on cereal. I've also make oatmeal with it. I am a big fan of molasses too, i sometimes put it in my morning coffee along with milk, taste like gingerbread. I also add it to all bean recipes since it helps the bean to stay intact while cooking. Favorite cookie..molasses sugar cookies. Do you use black strap or regular molasses? I prefer the strong taste of the black strap, but that is a matter of taste. Another good source of calcium is dried figs which also has a good amount of iron. Have a good weekend and thanks for answering. take care...phyllis
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:00 PM   #4
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Re: Almond milk...

You are welcome! I use blackstrap molasses also. I hadnt thought of using it in bean recipes. I eat a lot of various beans and legumes. I add a little bit of kombu or wakame to a pot of dried beans when cooking them to help with digestibility. The figs sound good too!

 
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:51 PM   #5
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Re: Almond milk...

Hi Elaine, to lessen the effects of beans i don't soak them. Instead i put them in a pan with enough water to cover them well and then bring to a boil. When it boils add a couple tablespoons of baking soda and let cook just a minute or two. The chemical reaction that occurs lessens the gas effect. Then drain, rinse and make your beans however you want. I've b een doing this for a long time and it seems to work. take care...phyllis
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Old 12-10-2011, 05:33 PM   #6
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Re: Almond milk...

I haven't posted in a long time, either.

I use almond milk exclusively for baking and in cereals, puddings, etc. because I can't drink any other type of milk. I make my own and I also buy it. I like the taste of the homemade milk better than the processed, so I use the homemade in pudding and cereals. I use the processed in baking.

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Old 01-03-2012, 08:22 AM   #7
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Re: Almond milk...

I haven't posted here in a long time, but when I read this thread about almond milk I wanted to add some info. I used to drink almond milk regularly, but the brand I was buying added soy lecithin to it so I stopped buying it. The store had a big sign on the almond milk display indicating the almond milk was a soy alternative, even though it now contains soy! Another controversial ingredient in some commercial almond milks is carrageenen, which is seaweed treated with solvents (used as a thickener), and suspected of causing stomach and breast cancers. It's so easy to make almond (or any nut) milk at home, just add one third cup of nuts to 2 cups water, add your favorite sweetener (optional) and mix in blender. Buy organic nuts if possible.

Last edited by jacal5; 01-03-2012 at 08:24 AM.

 
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:41 AM   #8
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Re: Almond milk...

I agree that almond milk is very easy to make. I blanch the almonds first to remove the skins, then blend 1/2 cup almonds with 2 cups of water for two minutes. I strain the pulp from the milk using a paint thinner bag, easily purchased at any paint store. I like to strain it even further, so I cut a square of finely woven nylon organza and stitched the edges. Then I strain it a second time with the organza in a strainer. I dehydrate the remaining pulp and blend it to make a fine almond flour.

 
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:36 PM   #9
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Re: Almond milk...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacal5 View Post
I haven't posted here in a long time, but when I read this thread about almond milk I wanted to add some info. I used to drink almond milk regularly, but the brand I was buying added soy lecithin to it so I stopped buying it. The store had a big sign on the almond milk display indicating the almond milk was a soy alternative, even though it now contains soy! Another controversial ingredient in some commercial almond milks is carrageenen, which is seaweed treated with solvents (used as a thickener), and suspected of causing stomach and breast cancers. It's so easy to make almond (or any nut) milk at home, just add one third cup of nuts to 2 cups water, add your favorite sweetener (optional) and mix in blender. Buy organic nuts if possible.
Almond Breeze unsweetened almond milk now uses sunflower lecithin, not soy lecithin. They may have recently started doing this as this is becoming a trend apparently due to concerns about soy. My carton lists sunflower lecithin on it, not soy. Although "lecithin" raises red flags too.

I can understand the hesitancy to buy and regularly consume something that has carageenan in it as there does seem to be a lot of controversy surrounding it. The same can be said of casein in regular milk and other dairy products (not to mention all the other hormones found in dairy that isnt labeled), and although Tempt Hemp milk does not have soy or carageenan in it, it has xanthm gum which is another ingredient people are concerned with. It probably is best to make your own milk. Almonds however are not cheap and I would think it would take quite a few to make enough milk for drinking and cooking on a regular basis. I have not tried it yet but have wanted to. I have ground my own raw whole cashews, almonds, and pecans for other homemade recipes including sauces, making my own flourless crackers, and gluten free muffins, and also to make my own larabars but I do this on rare occasion due to cost. Other homemade milks are banana, oat, and rice. I wonder though, how much calcium you would get from these homemade milks? Although almonds have some calcium, it would take quite a few to be of significance. I guess if you were drinking them for taste, cooking, and other nutritional value they would be good, but if for another source of calcium in your diet, they may not be the best choice unless you add in other calcium rich foods or a pure calcium powder (then again you also have to wonder how useful "fortified" drinks and foods are for vitamin quality and absorbability/useability by the human body). I actually just ordered a pure calcium powder so I may just give that a try with the homemade almond milk. Always lots to think about when it comes to food these days. Even fruits, vegetables, and other "whole" raw foods are processed and tampered with.
Thanks for the thought provoking information!

 
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:59 AM   #10
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Re: Almond milk...

Thanks to the posters here for all the tips on making almond milks and other items from the nut pulps, I forgot to mention about straining the pulp in my post on making almond milk, I just use a regular small strainer and keep squeezing the milk out of the pulp with a spoon and into the milk bottle. The lack of calcium in homemade nut milks concerned me also, but now I know I can order calcium powder.

I had a bad reaction to carrageenen one evening, my stomach burned so bad that i thought I was getting an ulcer, so I'll avoid it now. I didn't realize carrageenen was the culprit until I read about it on-line and then checked the ingredients of everything I consumed, and sure enough, it was in three food items that I consumed at one meal. Carrageenan is in so many products used as a thickener that it's hard to avoid, and sometimes it's not on the label, or it's contained in an ingredient used to make a product (like soy milk used to make commercial mashed potatoes), but you would never know it unless you react to it.

Last edited by jacal5; 01-05-2012 at 08:07 AM.

 
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:00 PM   #11
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Re: Almond milk...

I'm not sure if we can post where we buy products, but I purchase my almonds at Sam's Club. A 48 oz. bag (3 lbs.) costs about $10 and contains 9 cups of almonds. Costco sells a bag for a similar price.

I soak about 2 cups of almonds overnight before I make the almond milk. They swell (and the milk is sweeter when the almonds sprout), so I'm able to make 64 oz. of milk using a ratio of 1/2 cup almonds for every 2 cups of water. I can make four 64 oz. containers of milk from a 3 lb. bag for a cost of $10. Each 64 oz. (1/2 gallon) costs about $2.50 to make. That cost is usually cheaper than purchased almond milk.

It takes me 30-45 minutes to make the milk. I don't boil the water first and haven't noticed any difference in perishability using boiled and non-boiled milk.

 
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