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How is Almond Milk Made? The Science Behind the Dairy Alternative


How Almond Milk Is Made Barista Underground


When people think of milks in general, they often picture a pasture full of cows roaming around the grassy areas. This is because there was a period of time during which milk only came from cows. Before the dawn of the alternative milks era, milk was only made by, quite literally, milking female cows and collecting the milk that they released from their udders. 


Innovative people started realizing that milks can be made from plants, nuts, and artificial substitutes. The public’s view on milks started to drastically evolve, around the early 2000s. Interestingly enough, almond milk was the very first plant-based milk to hit the market. It originated in the 13th century, but it resurfaced and garnered serious attention as of late.


If you’re a fan of the popular beverage, you’ve probably wondered, “How is almond milk made?” Almond milk sounds like a drink that takes a lot of work to perfect, but in actuality, the process of making almond milk is very simple! 


Well, you're in for a treat! Get ready to learn everything there is to know about the process of making almond milk—before the next time the question hits you!


Making Almond Milk: A Five-Step Process

Milk made from almonds only requires three ingredients, and there are just five short steps involved in the making. However, you will need to start the preparations for your almond milk two days prior to the day you intend to make the milk. 


To prepare for making almond milk, soak the cup of almonds in a bowl. The specific amount of water to soak the almonds in is not terribly important. As long as the almonds are completely covered in water, you are good to go. 


Almonds Barista Underground


Almond Milk Ingredients and Baking Equipment

To make almond milk, you will need…


  • 2 cups of water 
  • 1 cup of raw, unsalted almonds 
  • Honey, coconut sugar, or maple syrup, if desired


The Recipe for Almond Milk

When trying to figure out how to make the perfect almond milk, look no further than this almond milk recipe:


  1. After the almonds have soaked in water for two days, drain the water from the bowl.
  2. Rinse the almonds in the sink, and then place the almonds into the food processor. 
  3. Process the almonds for at least four minutes, adding more time if necessary. 
  4. Take your milk strainer, and use it to separate for the almond pieces from the liquid. 


Tip—Instead of immediately tossing the almond pieces, squeeze them until no more liquid is left.


1. Do a taste test, and add your sweetener of choice until the almond milk is to your liking!


The Health Benefits of Drinking Almond Milk 

When it comes to figuring out if almond milk is the right alternative milk for you, we advise that you think about why you drink milk in the first place. There are a number of health benefits of milk made from almonds, such as:


  • High concentration of vitamins and minerals 
  • Very low amount of sugar per serving 
  • Low in calories
  • Amazing source of calcium 
  • An excellent source of Vitamin D 
  • Perfect for people with lactose allergies 
  • Suitable for every type of diet, except for nut-free lifestyles 
  • Great balance of potassium and phosphorus


Let’s talk more in-depth about three of the health benefits of almond milk! 


High Concentration of Vitamins and Minerals with Few Calories

Almond milk provides the body with an abundance of natural vitamins, as well as many minerals that improve our body's overall functioning. Let's take a look at the macronutrients in both almond milk and low-fat dairy milk. This will give you a better idea of how almond milk numerically compares to the calories found in dairy milk from cows. 


Calories are calculated by adding the respective amounts of carbohydrates, fat, and protein in a food or drink item. For every gram of carbs and each gram of protein, there are roughly four calories. So, a serving size of almond milk contains around 30 calories, and those calories are the sum of the fat, protein, and carbs in the glass of almond milk. 


Please note that all brands of almond milk differ slightly, so this is a general discussion of the caloric content of almond milk. Look at the nutritional information of the almond milk you use for a more precise macronutrient breakdown.


Almond milk contains:


  • 1.5 grams of carbohydrates 
  • 2.9 grams of fat 
  • 1.6 grams of protein 


Dairy milk from cows, on the other hand, usually contains:


  • 12.2 grams of carbohydrates 
  • 2.4 grams of fat 
  • 8.2 grams of protein


As you can see, there are fewer grams of carbohydrates in almond milk than in dairy milk. On the other hand, there are more grams of both fat and protein in dairy milk than in almond milk. For this reason, almond milk makes for a great alternative milk option in coffee drinks because the lightness of almond milk keeps drinks from feeling too heavy. 


When opting for almond milk over dairy milk from cows, be sure to supplement your diet with an additional protein source. Your body will likely notice the change when going from dairy milk to almond milk, so adding some protein into your diet will help to balance out the macronutrients you’re consuming. 


Almond Milk Barista Underground


Very Low Caloric Content Compared to Dairy Milk

Almonds in their natural whole form contain a very high percentage of fat, and the nuts are a decent source of protein as well. But, milk made from those nuts is an entirely different story. Almond milk is very low in calories, and this can be shocking to many people.


The reason for this disparity in calories between almonds and milk made from almonds can be attributed to the abundance of water in almond milk. When making almond milk, you add quite a lot of water, and as a result, you end up with a low-calorie alternative to dairy. Almonds are very dense nuts, whereas almond milk introduces finely chopped almonds to a vast amount of water. 


The water-to-almond ratio is calculated in a way that makes almond milk very much akin to low-fat dairy milk. This characteristic of almond milk might deter you from using almond milk as a substitute for dairy coffee creamers. That being said, almond milk pairs very well with espresso, especially when your goal is to make an iced latte. Any time you are looking for a thicker milk alternative, almond milk might not be the best option in that moment. 


Even so, you shouldn’t ever discredit something until you try it, so we suggest that you try almond milk in your drip coffee, and make up your own mind. You never know! It might just be your new daily pick-me-up combination. Pair almond milk with some of your favorite seasonal drink recipes, and you’ll see what we mean!


Enhances Health Benefits in Superfood Drinks

Almond milk brings a lot to the table all on its own. When you pair almond milk with superfood powders, you end up creating a concoction that is chock-full of healthy antioxidants. Almond milk contains anywhere between 20 and 50 percent of your daily Vitamin E requirements. The exact amount of Vitamin E that you get depends on how the almond milk is made, as well as how much almond milk you drink in a day. 


Try following this matcha tea latte recipe, and use almond milk as your milk of choice. We suggest using warm or hot almond milk with matcha powders. When frothed, almond milk makes for the perfect light and airy tea-based beverage. Save cold almond milk for coffee beverages. We recommend adding espresso to almond milk with ice.  


The Biggest Benefit of Making Your Own Almond Milk at Home

Almond milk offers you far more vitamins and minerals than dairy milk, at a fraction of the calories. This is a true point, no matter which brand of almond milk you purchase and drink. Barista Underground offers many different types of almond milk, so be sure to check them out!  


While there are so many incredible almond milk brands to choose from, it is also a lot of fun to make your own almond milk at home. Now that you have learned how almond milk is made, why not give the recipe a try and make your own almond milk? You might just fall in love with the process, and end up wondering why you didn’t try making your own almond milk sooner! 

October 24, 2019 by Staff @ BaristaUnderground