Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of information about the disadvantages of drinking dairy milk.  One of my big concerns was with the hormones that dairy cows are injected with to make them produce so much more milk than they are naturally designed to produce.  These hormones are present in the milk we consume and can have a negative effect on our bodies.  Although I don’t drink a large enough amount of milk to be overly concerned, my daughter loves milk and drinks it like water.  I had always believed that milk was good for us because of all the calcium and vitamin D it contains (we all want strong teeth and bones, right?)  but after learning about the disadvantages of dairy milk, I started looking at the alternatives.  That’s when I found almond milk.

Almond milk is a natural product made from ground almonds and water.  It’s easy enough to make at home as well but I prefer the convenience of just picking up a carton at the store.  There are several different varieties available at the grocery store including sweetened, unsweetened, vanilla, and chocolate.  Obviously,  the sweetened and flavored varieties have had flavorings or sweeteners added.

A side by side comparison  of original almond milk and skim milk shows the differences between the two:

Almond milk contains fewer calories per serving that skim milk and 50% more calcium.  This is great news for people wanted to reduce their caloric intake or watch their weight. While neither option contains any saturated fat, almond milk has no cholesterol either.  Skim milk contains more protein, while almond milk contains less sugar and more vitamins such as vitamin E (an antioxidant that aids in the functioning of many of our organs), phosphorus, magnesium, and iron.  Almond milk also contains omega-3 fatty acids, making it a heart healthy choice, and is lactose-free, making it a good choice for those that are lactose intolerant.

Almond milk can be used just like milk: for drinking, cooking, on cereal, and in smoothies.  I start my day with an almond milk smoothie for breakfast.  To make the smoothie, add 8 ounces of almond milk (I personally love chocolate almond milk), a small handful of blueberries, and a few ice cubes and blend.  Sometimes I add a scoop of protein powder to add a few more calories.  You could easily add different types of fruits or mix and match different fruit blends for variety.  It’s a quick and easy breakfast loaded with vitamins and nutrients that I can blend and take on my way out the door.

Do you use almond milk?  What made you switch from regular milk?

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