Almond milk is the most popular milk alternative. It was first invented in the 13th century in the Islamic middle east. Nowadays, it is known not only as a dairy and lactose free alternative, but also for its distinct creamy texture and nutty flavour.
As its name suggests, almond milk is created from soaking and grinding almonds in water. Surprisingly, the resulting liquid can contain as little as 2% almonds content. However, it almond milk is still a good source of vitamins, with it containing a particularly high amount of vitamin E. Compared to cow milk, it also has a much lower level of saturated fats and cholesterol.
In terms of sustainability, almond milk can be seen as more environmentally friendly than cow and soy milk in terms of greenhouse gases. One litre of almond milk produce 0.70 kilos of CO2. However, an often overlooked issue with almond milk is that it is a thirsty crop, a single almond takes nearly 15 litres of water to produce. This is a particular problem as almonds are being grown in increasingly dry states such as California.
The high cost of production for almond milk makes it a fairly expensive milk alternative. It is available to buy under the brands Silk (USA), almond breeze (USA), Alpro (UK) and Pure Harvest (Australia). As usual with milk alternatives, almond milk can replace cow milk in any recipe or as part of any drink.