Dairy-free milk options are all the rage at the moment and as someone who chooses to consume these on a daily basis, I was intrigued to try making my own from scratch.
Firstly, an intro to non-dairy milks. Other than the fact they now appear on nearly every cafe menu in the world (amazing) and oat lattes are in the hands of every health/wellness enthusiast in the country, there are a number of reasons why you might opt for dairy-free alternatives.
Firstly, it is estimated that around 65% of the world has some degree of dairy intolerance  and our ability to produce the enzyme ‘lactase’ after infancy increasingly reduces as we get older. Therefore it is argued that reducing/eliminating dairy may help individuals with symptoms like poor digestion and bloating.
Secondly, many milk and dairy products contain contaminants due to either the process of making it or contamination of the animal source. This means that avoiding dairy could be beneficial for long term health by reducing exposure to harmful ingredients . It has previously been found that milk (even organic) contains pesticides and hormones such as estrogen and insulin-like growth factor I, which have potentially carcinogenic and acne-causing qualities.
Obviously, there are arguments for drinking cow’s milk and it is a personal choice. Cow’s milk contains many nutrients such as phosphorus, magnesium and B12. It is also a source of calcium and Vitamin D .
Despite having a laid-back attitude towards all food-groups, I would say dairy is one that I consume little to none of. Personally I feel that there is a shroud covering the whole process of making dairy products, which has been slightly lifted by documentaries and various conspiracy reports revealing some shocking information. Most of all, I find that not consuming dairy helps my skin massively.
I have been pretty much dairy-free for about three years out of personal choice and am thrilled that it has become so much more accessible, which is why I wanted to put homemade nut-milk to the test.
So, is making your own milk better for cost, taste, convenience and health benefits?! Keep reading.
The current full-price cost of Organic unsweetened almond milk bought from Tesco/Waitrose/Sainsbury’s is £1.70.
Homemade Almond Milk Cost Breakdown:
1 cup of organic almonds = £1.50
4 cups filtered water = £0.00
1 date (optional) = £0.28
Maximum total cost for 1L = £1.78
Without the added date, making almond milk from scratch is cheaper than the shop bought version. YAY!
2// CONVENIENCE & TASTE
I was so surprised to discover how simple it was to make almond milk from scratch. The only downside I can think of is having to buy a strainer from a health food shop. However, the actual process is far from challenging and actually enjoyable! The batch lasted me almost a whole week and I have made it again since with no inconvenience. In my opinion my version was 100 x more creamy with a more distinct almond taste than the shop-bought, so definitely worth the 5-10 minutes taken to whip up my own batch.
3// HEALTH BENEFITS
The big one – is homemade healthier than shop-bought??
By making almond milk at home, you are bypassing the added emulsifiers and oils that are often put in supermarket milks to prolong shelf life. Therefore, homemade is more pure and 100% natural ingredients. There is also a much higher ratio of almonds to water compared to shop bought milk. In the milks found on the shelves, there is often as little as 2% actual almonds in the milk as well as occasional added sugars.
By making your own you are arguably missing out on some of the vitamins that shop bought milks are fortified with. For example, the shop bought variety contains added B and D vitamins. However, that does not mean you are not getting some great nutrients from the organic almonds and nutrients from the optional date.
I think it is 100% worth making your own. There is something tremendously satisfying about knowing exactly what has gone into a food product, including the amount of effort, which in this case is minimal. The cost is highly comparable to the options in the supermarket and when taste and almond:water ratio is taken into account, any expense is completely worth it.
You can also make these incredible creations from the pulp that is leftover, what is not to love! Just combine 1 cup of nut pulp with 1 cup dates, 1/2 cup oats, 2 tsp cacao, 1 tbsp coconut oil & 1 orange segment x