Almond milk has long been a popular alternative to dairy milk for the lactose-intolerant. It is lower in fat, a great source of protein and calcium and, for those who avoid dairy for ethical reasons it is cruelty-free. With its creamy texture and naturally sweet flavour, it is the most viable substitute to dairy milk available right now.
But it’s also a rather expensive: expect to pay SG$24 for a 1-litre bottle of raw almond milk from small-batch producers. Almond milk also doesn’t keep well, lasting from three to five days at most. If you’re drinking it every day, or even just on a regular basis, the cost can really add up.
Store-bought almond milk is significantly cheaper, at $3 to $6 for a 1-litre carton, but… it also contains just 5 per cent almonds and is loaded with sugars, preservatives and thickeners. Many also complain that its bland taste leaves much to be desired.
Frankly, if you want good almond milk, you’re going to have to pay for it. The problem is that raw nuts are expensive because they require a lot of water (they’re actually the most water-intensive non-dairy milk to make commercially) and labour-intensive to process. Throw in the fact they’re mostly not grown in Southeast Asia, and you get one expensive product.
Still, good almond milk doesn’t have to cost a bomb. The answer is homemade almond milk: while it’ll set you back about twice the price of the store version (a 400-gram bag of raw almonds costs about SG$8 at the supermarket and yields nearly 1 litre of milk) it tastes way better. So, with a little bit of effort, you can make your own almond milk without breaking the bank.
Kitchen equipment you’ll need:
- A cheesecloth or reusable coffee filter
- A large bowl
Optional: sweeteners or flavourings. Sweeteners include honey, dates or agave. Flavourings include vanilla bean, cinnamon, chocolate or strawberry. Wondering what to do with the almond meal left from straining the milk? Don’t discard it – you can use it to make almond cookies, biscuits and cakes. You can also add it to your smoothies or granola for an extra boost of protein and healthy fats.