Got Almond Milk?

By: | Posted in: Blog, Featured | Wednesday, Aug 7, 2013 - 5:21pm

Got Almond Milk?  You’ve heard me say this before.  When it comes to healthy bones I don’t recommend drinking milk.  Yes, milk is high in calcium.  But it’s also an acidic food that over time can lead to weaker – not stronger – bones.

Americans rely on milk for their bones thanks to a huge marketing push by the dairy industry.  But studies are increasingly showing that higher dairy consumption is associated with a higher risk of broken bones.

Almond Milk

That’s one reason why I pass on cow’s milk and have almond milk with my oatmeal in the morning.  Of all the tree nuts,almonds have the highest levels of calcium.  In addition, they’re a good source of magnesium and potassium – both important for strong bones.

Of course, you can buy almond milk at most supermarkets these days but here’s why it’s not such a good idea.  Most almond milk is loaded with sugar.  And too much sugar in your body will eventually leach minerals right out of your bones.

Another reason to avoid processed almond milk is that many brands are full of additives, stabilizers, preservatives and thickeners.  For example, a common thickening agent added to almond milk to make it creamier is carrageenan.  That’s a gummy substance made from red seaweed.  It’s in almond milk made by Pacific Organics and Almond Breeze among others.

But here’s the thing.  There are two forms of carrageenan – degraded and food grade.  In animal studies, the degraded form of carrageenan has been proven to cause tumors.  It’s classified by The National Research Council of the National Academy as a “possible human carcinogen.”

But the food grade form of carrageenan is not much better.  According to the Cornucopia Institute, tests show that food grade carrageenan also contains some of the degraded form – in some cases as much as 25%.

Even the food grade carrageenan has been shown to cause inflammation, and colon cancer in animals.  And when we consume the food grade carrageenan, it can breakdown and become degraded in our gastrointestinal tract.

No, thank you!  I make my own almond milk because it’s easy to do and that way I know what’s in it.  Here’s a great video with Dani Spies showing how you can make your own at home.

 

 

As you’ll see in the video, at the end of the process you’ll be left with fresh almond milk but also with almond meal or pulp.  The pulp is actually all of the fiber from the almonds and contains both protein and fat.  So don’t just throw it away.

You can spread the pulp on a cookie sheet and dry it out in the oven at low heat until you have a crunchy topping for your oatmeal or yogurt.  I also like to use it as a binder instead of bread crumbs when I make black bean burgers or meatloaf.

Almonds, almond milk, almond meal – they’re all great treats for your bones.

Your comments inspire me and my bones!

Was this blog helpful?  Have you wanted to try to make almond milk? Leave your comments below the blog or leave your comment on my Facebook page for everyone to see.

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From my delicious bones to yours,

Irma

 

 

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16 comments

  1. Thanks, Irma!  I’ve been making my own almond milk for some time, now, but never knew what to do with the pulp!  I will definitely use your suggestions.

    Comment by lynnetolk on August 8, 2013 at 9:03 am
  2. lynnetolk So nice to hear from you, Lynne.  I was literally thinking of you in my yoga class today. Thanks for your comment.  Take good care.

    Comment by ijennings on August 8, 2013 at 11:24 am
  3. Love and appreciate your blogs, especially this one on almond milk.  I drink almond milk every day, but I was chagrined to read the info about my brand, Pacific Organics.  Is there any off-the-shelf brand you’d recommend?  I tried making my own almond milk one time, and it didn’t turn out so well.  Thanks!

    Comment by krista1 on August 8, 2013 at 6:51 am
  4. Good morning, Krista~ Thank you for your inspiring compliment. It gives me energy!
    Since I don’t purchase almond milk off-the-shelf, take a look at the ingredients and notice what the ingredients are. I haven’t found one that doesn’t have carrageean in it. If you do, please come back and share. Enjoy your day, Krista.

    Comment by Irma on August 8, 2013 at 7:27 am
  5. krista1Krista~ Thank you for your inspiring compliment. It gives me energy!
    Since I don’t purchase almond milk off-the-shelf, take a look at the
    ingredients and notice what the ingredients are. I haven’t found one
    that doesn’t have carrageenan in it. If you do, please come back and
    share. Enjoy your day, Krista.

    Comment by ijennings on August 8, 2013 at 11:46 am
  6. ijennings krista1

    Comment by msg323 on August 20, 2013 at 9:19 pm
  7. ijennings krista1  Silk Pure Almond milk does not contain carrageenan.  It does contain other fillers though.   You can also get it unsweetened.

    Comment by msg323 on August 20, 2013 at 9:20 pm
  8. msg323 ijennings krista1 Thanks so much for that info – But now, you know what?  I tried Irma’s recipe and I LOVE this almond milk!  I think, where I went wrong before, was using only almonds and no sweetening agent.  I’ve already made a few batches because I go through it so fast.  Love it, love it, love it!

    Comment by krista1 on August 21, 2013 at 11:24 am
  9. krista1 msg323 ijennings I still haven’t tried making my own yet.  Just not sure what I will do with all the left-over almond meal.

    Comment by msg323 on August 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm
  10. msg323 krista1 ijennings If you’re willing to try something interesting,  flatten the meal thin (not too thin) put it on a cookie sheet in the over for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Keep you’re eye on them so they won’t burn. You’ll have almond crackers.   We’ve also used the almond meal to bake with.

    Comment by ijennings on August 21, 2013 at 5:26 pm
  11. krista1 msg323 ijennings Wonderful, Krista!  Thanks for posting your progress!

    Comment by ijennings on August 21, 2013 at 5:27 pm
  12. msg323 krista1 
    Here’s another idea for almond meal from the almond milk; a recipe that I used at my Healthy Bones cooking class and was met with smiles from ear to ear.
    Lemon Coconut Bars adapted from Ani Phyo’s recipe.  I use organic ingredients whenever possible.

    Makes 12 bars
    1 cup almonds (instead use your almond meal)

    1 1/2 cups pitted dates
    seeds of 1 vanilla bean (or a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
    1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    Zest of 1 lemon
    2 Tablespoons lemon juice
    1 cup dried shredded coconut
    In your food processor, if you’re using whole almonds, process almonds into small pieces.  Use some of this nut powder to “Flour” the bottom of a 9 inch square baking pan.
     If using the almond meal, skip this step.
    Place chopped almonds or almond meal and the remaining ingredients and process some more until well mixed.  
    I use the pulse button as you want to watch the consistency.
    Press into baking pan.
    Chill for a couple of hours until firm.  Cut into squares.

    Comment by ijennings on August 22, 2013 at 9:13 am
  13. ijennings msg323 krista1 Oh, you know I’ll be trying these – I keep most of these ingredients on hand all the time as it is.  Thanks so much!

    Comment by krista1 on August 22, 2013 at 12:56 pm
  14. krista1 ijennings msg323 I agree!  These sound delicious!  Thank you both for motivating me to make my own almond milk!

    Comment by msg323 on August 22, 2013 at 1:03 pm
  15. msg323 krista1 ijennings There’s nothing like community!    I love being part of the conversation…and so do our bones 🙂

    Comment by ijennings on August 22, 2013 at 4:27 pm

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