Got almond milk?

Posted by on Aug 24, 2011 | 0 comments

As a college student in California, I had regular access to delicious, non-homogenized raw milk from Claravale Farm. But raw milk is controversial (check out the pros and cons for yourself), and in many states, it is illegal to sell non-pasteurized milk. My home state of Maryland is one of them.

As a believer in real, unadulterated food, it was distressing to face this reality when I returned home to Baltimore. Not only was there no raw milk, but I couldn’t even find cream-top, non-homogenized pasteurized milk, which is legal in all 50 states.

Rather than settle for processed milk, I decided to find an alternative. However, all of the soy, almond, and hempseed milks that I found in natural food stores were full of sugar and had suspiciously long shelf-lives, so I decided I would just have to make one of these milk alternatives myself.

I found a recipe for almond milk in a Thai cookbook, The Elements of Life, by Su-Mei Yu, and decided to try it out. The recipe, as adapted in the recipe section, turned out to be incredibly easy and yielded delicious results. Almond milk is rich and creamy to the palate and has a a pleasantly nutty aftertaste.

For those of you real-food traditionalists who may be skeptical of almond milk as a substitute for cows’ milk, almond milk is actually an ancient food. Before refrigeration, fresh milk could only be consumed immediately after milking, and therefore most milk was left to sour and went into making cultured dairy products like yogurt, butter, and cheese. Almond milk, on the other hand, could last for an entire week.

While dairy products are delicious and nutritious foods, it may be wiser for lactose-sensitive people to consume cultured dairy products (in which most of the lactose has turned into lactic acid) and opt for almond milk for fluid milk consumption. Even if you are not sensitive to lactose and have access to non-homogenized milk, however, you should give almond milk a try because it is absolutely delicious in its own right and offers a different array of nutrients. Make sure to try it in a steaming cup of hot cocoa for a delicious and comforting treat!