Many people have been switching to nut milks, due to poor quality and hormones in cow’s milk, lactose intolerance, and minimal inflammatory response. I have been receiving questions regarding the ingredients in nut milks, which one do you purchase… or do you make it from scratch.

Almond Milk-homemade

2 common ingredients to look for that we do not want more of are: Carrageenan & Soy Lecithin

What Is Carrageenan?

Carrageenan is a common food additive that is extracted from a red seaweed, Chondrus crispus, which is popularly known as Irish moss. Carrageenan, which has no nutritional value, has been used as a thickener and emulsifier to improve the texture of ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, soy milk and other processed foods.

Dr. Tobacman research has shown that exposure to carrageenan causes inflammation and that when we consume processed foods containing it, we ingest enough to cause inflammation in our bodies. She explained that all forms of carrageenan are capable of causing inflammation.

What is Soy Lecithin?
It is used as an emulsifier which means it makes oil and water mix together to extend shelf life of the product. While lecithin is naturally occurring in soybeans, it’s usually extracted using harsh chemical solvents.  Another major concern regarding soy lecithin is that, like most soybean products, it is usually derived from genetically modified (GM) soybean plants.

Some almond milks are using sunflower lecithin, which can be extracted without harsh chemical solvents like hexane and acetone. Using a cold pressing system similar to what is used to obtain things like olive oil, sunflower lecithin is the only kind of lecithin that can be obtained raw and chemical-free. This is a step in the right direction.

So…Make your own. If that doesn’t work for you, rotate between brands that don’t contain carrageenen (Trader Joe’s brand) or one that doesn’t have soy lecithin (Blue Diamond Brand & Pacific).

Make your own Almond Milk:
Fresh, homemade almond milk is easy to make from scratch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • water for soaking nuts
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 dates (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)

Preparation:

Soak the almonds in water overnight or for at least 6 hours.

Drain the water from the almonds and discard. Blend the 3 cups of water, almonds and dates until well blended and almost smooth.

Strain the blended almond mixture using a cheesecloth or other strainer.

Homemade raw almond milk will keep well in the refrigerator for three or four days.

Shake it up,
Heather Fleming