Question: Is Almond Milk Okay?

With the 2012 Paleo Challenge underway here at CrossFit Nyack, it’s time to begin answering some questions we hear often.

In the beginning days of the challenge, you might be looking at some of the regulars of your “neolithic” diet, and determing if they are going to make the cut during these thirty days. Some, like junk food, bread, pasta, etc, are obvious. For a lot of people, diary is a tough one to let go off. Many grocery stores offer substitutes like soy and almond milk. Soy is a legume and therefore is off limits. So what about almond milk? Almonds are paleo, so almond milk should be fine right?

Short answer: yes.

Long answer: Unless you make your own almond milk, the almond milk you buy in the store is basically a food engineer’s greatest accomplishment. Ever try making your own almond milk. It’s comes out really really watery. These mad scientists have created this super food that tastes as good or even better than milk, contains the same vitamins (A and D), and same texture. Not to mention it’s probably lower in calories and fat. Score one for the food engineers!

Today I went out to see if I could find any almond milk worth buying.

Take one. Silk’s Pure Almond

Here are the ingredients

I see some added sugar, some bean gum AND lecithin, and a bunch of vitamins and minerals added so they can say it has the same nutrition as a regular glass of milk.

FAIL.

Take two. Pacific’s Almond Milk

Here are the ingredients

A bit better, as I don’t see as many ingredients. Oh look rice, awesome. Rice and almonds, together at last! Some natural flavors, as almonds were not good enough, and once again more vitamins.

FAIL.

Take three. Blue Diamond’s Almond Breeze

Here are the ingredients

Same idea here. Instead of rice, they got tapioca starch. Of course this is unsweetened, but adding tapioca starch is still, in the end, more sugar.

FAIL.

Coconut Milk To The Rescue?

What we recommend is coconut milk. But be careful! Coconut milk from a carton, as you will see, has the same sort of issue’s we ran into with the almond milk.

FAIL.

Coconut milk from a can!

Now that is much better! Three ingredients, one of which, guar gum, is not ideal, but not the end of the world either, considering the rest of your diet is gonna be awesome.

Cans do bring with them another issue: BPA. So we need coconut milk from a bpa free can. Well good news, I have confirmed that the brand “Native Forest” uses BPA free cans!

You can find Native Forest at Old World Market in Nyack, and Matter of Health in Nanuet.

Make Your Own!

Of course you could always make your own almond milk. A simple google search comes up with a few good links.

Here’s one I found – http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/organic-almond-milk-recipe.htm

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