Whether you’re vegan, lactose intolerant or dairy free by choice, almond milk is becoming more and more popular as the go to dairy-free milk of choice. Recently I saw on Instagram some speculation about the additive carrageenan, so I decided to look into it further. What I found was not good.
Studies have found that carrageenan is a harmful chemical additive, that causes intestinal issues, and even colon cancer. It is found in nut milks and low fat products, to change the texture, with no change to the flavour. It is a similar concept to MSG, where it’s not needed in the products but is added anyway.
“Carrageenan, a food additive extracted from red seaweed, does to your intestines what poison ivy does to your skin. It’s a common ingredient in ice cream and chocolate milk, dairy alternatives, sliced turkey, canned soup, frozen dinners—in other words, a buffet of foods and beverages popular in the American diet. The material adds no nutritional value or flavour; it is used solely to change the texture of food… Animal studies have repeatedly linked the material to gastrointestinal inflammation and higher rates of intestinal lesions, ulcerations, and even malignant tumours.“
Overall, this concerning information has lead me to trial making my own almond milk. Honestly, it’s a lot more work than buying it (but anything home-made is), yet at the same time it is quite a calming, and enjoyable process.
As a buyer, we need to be aware of what we are consuming and how it effects us. When I read the ingredients in Blue Diamond Almond Breeze or So Good Almond Milk, they always looked pretty natural to me, so I trusted in the product. However now that I know the story behind carrageenan, the trust is gone!
Homemade Almond Milk Recipe – by Naked Treaties Byron Bay
1 cup of raw almonds
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 dessert spoon of coconut oil
1/4 cup of agave nectar, honey or your sweetener of choice (optional)
1 nut milk bag, cheese cloth or pillow case (I cut out the corner of a pillow case)
A large blender or smoothie maker
A large bowl to strain milk in to
1. Soak 1 cup of raw almonds over night in water (completely covered in water)
2. Drain almonds
3. In a large blender place soaked almonds, 1 dessert spoon of coconut oil, 1/2 teaspoon fine grain salt, 3-4 cups of water (the more water the less creamier it will be). You can also add 1/4 cup of agave, honey or your chosen nectar to sweeten it – I omitted this bit.
4. Blend for a few minutes until almonds are completed disintegrated into the milk.
5. Place a nut milk bag or pillow case in a large bowl. Pour the nut milk into the bag and squeeze out excess milk.
6. Pour milk into a jug and voilà! Store in the fridge for up to three days.
Note: Do not throw away the leftover almond meal in the nut milk bag, store it and use it as almond meal in desserts so there’s no waste.
Naked Treaties wonderful video of how to make almond milk.
So there you go, creamy, dreamy, almond milk, without the nasty carrageenan. You can add vanilla essence or chai spices for a flavoured milk too, yum.