Almond milk has been around since medieval times. Used as an alternative to cow’s milk, almond milk has been used for cooking, baking, and a straight-up drink. Unlike animal milk, this milk-like drink made from ground almonds contains no lactose or cholesterol. It is helpful for those with allergies to gluten or casein.
Nutritionally, almond milk offers many of the same benefits that almonds do. Including magnesium, vitamin E, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, iron, fiber, zinc, calcium, and several phytochemicals. Unsweetened versions are also low in calories, containing about 40 calories per 8-oz serving. Compared to cow’s milk, the only area that almond milk offers less nutrition is in protein. With only a gram per a serving, compared to the eight grams that cow’s milk offers.
You can make your own, which helps remove the anti-nutrients inherent in the nuts. This is the healthier and preferred alternative if you are trying to avoid the processed, chemically-laden store-brought brands. Their labels sport a host of not-so-good-for-you ingredients like preservatives, sweeteners, and carrageenan.
WHAT DO OTHER PALEO EXPERTS SAY?
Diane Sunfilippo says: “Personally, I vote for homemade (almond milk) or none at all. You have NO way of knowing what ‘other natural flavors’ (on a label) means.”
Mark Sission says: “Is almond milk Primal? Sure, in theory. Grind up some almonds, mix with water, and strain them to produce a ‘milk’ ,uses nothing but Primal ingredients and practices. There’s nothing overtly ‘wrong’ with that. But there’s also nothing very exciting… Personally, I’d just eat the almonds.”
Loren Cordain says: “Yes, almond milk is a Paleo-friendly food. You can also use hazelnut and coconut milk.”
IS IT PALEO?
Yes, but use it in moderation and make your own when you can.
Almonds are Paleo, so it should follow that their milky output might be too. If almonds are ground, mixed with water, and strained to produce a “milk”. It’s pretty far from an industrial-processed food so it’s allowable according to most Paleo experts.
However, commercially produced forms are highly processed. This can defeat the real-food, healthy intentions for Paleo-diet followers if used too frequently.