Almond Milk – Is it Everything It’s Cracked Up to Be?

Afke Zonderland, Chef and Founder, Okanagan Rawsome

Afke Zonderland, Chef and Founder, Okanagan Rawsome

Resident Raw Foodie,’ Afke Zonderland shares her personal and professional insights into the health benefits – or lack thereof – of commercial milk substitutes.  Her comments – and accompanying recipe – provide plenty of food for thought!

A shining star within the gluten-free and health conscious community in British Columbia and beyond, Afke is a Raw Food Chef and Co-Founder of Okanagan Rawsome. Her delicious whole-food philosophy is a wonderful encouragement for making the healthiest choices for yourself and your family.

gluten free milk substitutes

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Almond Milk! Is it Everything it’s Cracked Up to Be?

On the surface,  unsweetened, organic almond milk looks like a great alternative for people who choose to avoid cow’s milk. Look a little deeper and you may be surprised.

Reading the ingredient list on some of the more popular milk substitutes, you will find three additives that truly need to be avoided. You will find these three innocent appearing nasties in most milk substitutes. Soy milk, (a definite avoid for kids) coconut milk, cashew milk (the new kid on the block), rice milk, and almond milk.

  • Vitamin A Palmitate is a synthetic vitamin that you also find in many multi-vitamins. The Organic Consumers Association warns that isolated synthetically produced Vitamins are not recognized by the body and cannot be metabolized as the vitamin A that you find in carrots for example.
  • Vitamin D2 is manufactured industrially by irradiating yeast. It should never be added to food, especially if this food is intended for children.
  • Carrageenan is a compound so toxic to the human digestive system that it is now formally classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Milk alternatives are often sweetened and flavored; rice milks offer a very poor nutritional profile and more and more,  children are exhibiting nut allergies. So, what are moms and dads to do?

almond milkHomemade Almond Milk with a Twist

  • 2 cups raw almonds, soaked in filtered water overnight
  • 2 tsp quality salt
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 cup raw honey
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 tsp pure almond extract

Rinse and drain almonds; Slip off the peels and discard. Blend the almonds to a thick paste with 1 cup of filtered water until a smooth paste is formed. Mix this almond paste with the remaining ingredients and add more filtered water to a 2 quart glass jug. Cover tightly and leave on the counter for 1 day if you wish to ferment this delicious milk into a kefir like ‘cocktail’. Refrigerate. Stir before serving.

Also by Afke:

Afke Zonderland and Co-Founder/daughter Anna, have turned Okanagan apples and carrots into a made-in-BC success story.  They’ve mastered mixing what farmer’s grow in the Interior with carefully sourced spices and sprouted seeds, nuts and fruit. The tincture of time + low temperature results in convenient, portable power-packed crisps in four flavors! Great gluten-free fuel for the health conscious, celiacs and athletes alike! Watch the video!

Okanagan Rawsome

Choose from sweet, savory and even spicy crisps!

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