I bet when you saw this title, you thought I would take a side leaning towards organic almond milk. Nope, I am not going to take sides. I am going to share researched information on both types of drinks with you. Then you can make a informed decision on what is best for you and your family. Or better yet do added research yourself. I say drinks because my farmer friends remind me all the time that milk is not made from almonds. I understand that correction and certainly respect it. I am grateful for the farmers that produce pure and wholesome food and drink. I also appreciate that people are becoming aware of how important it is to eat and drink food that comes from organic sources. This is creating a higher demand for organics. The demand is bringing about more choices for the public to purchase. With that being said, I am just hoping that the standards will remain strong so we can consume organic products that truly are organic.
Growing up in Alaska back in the 60's and 70's, milk and other dairy products where not cost effective, fresh or even easy to purchase. Therefore I did not grow up on heavy dairy and today for the most part I do not crave it. When I do choose dairy, I am going for organic, grass fed, grass finished and raw. Raw milk is a living food that is full of digestion - enhancing enzymes. If I can get it from Jersey or Guernsey cows, even better. The Jersey and Guernsey cow has less A1 protein in it than the Holstein cow. The A1 protein has been linked to peoples inability to digest it. Maybe it is not lactose intolerant after all! Pasteurized milk is dead food that is highly allergenic and difficult to tolerate. Raw milk is loaded with nutrient value unlike its counter part, commercial industrial milk,as it has not gone through a full blown pasteurization process. Pasteurization in its attempt to kill bad bacteria, kills ALL the bacteria including the good bacteria( we need the good bacteria to promote healthy bacteria in our intestine which impacts our immune system) and much of the nutrients. Raw milk has valuable enzymes that help us to absorb calcium in our bones, and hydrolyze and absorb fats. The butterfat in raw milk helps us to absorb and utilize the vitamins and minerals. When the butterfat is removed in pasteurization, we loose those benefits of milk. Preformed vitamin A and prearranged acids with anti carcinogenic properties are also in the butterfat of raw milk. Raw milk also has a high omega 3 ratio and a low omega 6 ratio which is the advantageous ratio between these two essential fats. Healthy unoxidized cholesterol, conjugated linoleic acid fights cancer and may help in reducing body fat are even more benefits in raw milk. I am sort of getting thirsty for something while just writing this blog. Seriously, if I am going to purchase dairy for a guest, or family member or even for ingredient in a recipe, I am seeking out the best form of dairy out there and that is raw. I want the benefits if I am going to splurge on dairy.
My family prefers almond drink over cows milk! We have a variety of reasons for using almond drink, the biggest usage factor is our smoothies we drink for lunch just after working out. If I am out of fresh coconut water, I resort to our fresh homemade almond mile. Initially when we first started buying it from the store, I was concerned about the ingredients that were listed on the labels of all different brands. It seemed like none of almond drink brands were clean from somewhat harmful ingredients. One day we were at a organic juice bar and they were offering freshly made almond milk. It had three ingredients, organic almonds, sea salt and filtered water. The price was outrageously high, but I bought it anyways. Oh goodness, we never went back to store bought. The difference was so amazing and apparent we needed to learn how to make our own almond drink. We did learn nearly two years ago. We found a great almond company in Chico, California where we can buy our nuts raw! If you buy almonds directly from the farmer, you can buy them unpasteurized. When you buy a raw almond in the store, it has been slightly pasteurized because that is the law mandated by the FDA. Recall from the raw milk information above the pasteurization kills much of the nutrients. So we order them from Chico in 25# lots and store them in our freezer until we need them. The recipe for making almond drink is on my website and so easy to make. Last for about two weeks in the fridge. We usually make it by the quart unless we have guests, then we will make two quarts. It tastes wonderful, but remember, I am not a dairy milk drinker, so I may not make a good comparison for some people. Sometimes when we make it, we will add my homemade vanilla and cinnamon! The flavor is amazing. There is also a recipe for chocolate almond drink on my website that rocks!
Almond drink is naturally low in calories, usually about 60 calories for one cup. There is no cholesterol or saturated fat in almond drink. It has a low sodium content and its high in the healthy fats! That type of fat is omega fatty acids, like what is found in fish. It helps you boost your good fats. The good fats are know to help us keep our heart healthy and prevent high blood pressure. According to the research I read, almonds have only the omega 6's in them. So if you are trying to reduce your omega six numbers to stay balanced with a omega 3 to 6, you may want to limit your almond intake. Almond drink does not offer as much calcium as cows milk but it does offer 30 percent of the daily recommendation, so that sure is a plus. Almond drink boast vitamin D as well which is known for reducing our risks for arthritis and osteoporosis and helps to keep our immune system function optimal. Vitamin D and calcium work together to help keep our bones healthy and form teeth. Lots of Vitamin E in almond drink. Vitamin E contains antioxidant properties that help provide healthy skin and protect it from sun damage. Almond drink is low is carbs! Score! That will help us with our blood sugar levels. Thanks be to the low glycemic index almonds spare, our bodies will use the carbs as energy rather than sugar storing to fat! The Vitamins of B, in this case, iron and riboflavin both are important for muscle growth and healing. Cross fitters, did you see this? This brilliant drink also has fiber. Now come on, who can't always use a little more fiber? People report having trouble digesting the lactose(sugar) in cows milk. Almond drink does not have lactose, nope! Great substitute for people who are lactose intolerant. It does not require a refrigerator, so its easy to take camping and to work, etc. It is so easy to make, really it is. A few takes at it and you will be a pro. Almonds are high in phytic acid which binds to minerals causing us to not be able to digest and absorb them. By soaking the almonds in sea salt as required per the almond milk recipes, you are removing most of the phytic acid! I have one friend whom when ever he comes to visit, he asks us for fresh homemade almond drink and I bet he was raised on cows milk. He loves fresh almond drink too!
I hope I gave you some clarity about raw cow's milk and homemade almond milk. I was asked by a friend again this week to offer a libation page on my website with a healthy vibe to those libations. It is something I am interested in working on and I will pray about it and see what ignites. I hope you all had a safe time and a chance to express your gratitude for the freedom our country offers on the fourth of July.
Love n Peace!