By Alyson S—It's the freshest milk substitute leaking onto our cafe menus since soy and is flushing out yogurt from our smoothies with the promise of freedom from… just about everything. No lactose, no gluten, no casein, no soy, no cholesterol and no worries of grass-fed this or corn-fed that. Consider it a 21st century nutritional strainer; we're getting all the good stuff without the controversy. And the best way to get a hold of it? Make it yourself.
Five easy steps to making sprouted almond milk:
1. Soak 1-part organic almonds to 4 cups filtered water covered overnight and away from direct sunlight (to avoid heating the water).
2. Drain the organic almonds and rinse with cold water. Don't be alarmed if the water is brown—completely normal.
3. Place almonds into a Vitamix or High Speed Blender with 3 parts filtered water.
4. Blend until smooth. Grits in the sprouted almond milk is fine (especially once in a smoothie) but if you are drinking it plain, some people prefer to strain it out.
One cup of sprouted organic almond milk contains a trillion (okay, maybe not quite that) vitamins and minerals including vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, manganese, phosphorous, selenium, iron, fiber, zinc & calcium! PHEW. And despite its nutty full flavor, almond milk is lower in fat than other dairy products.
We like to call it the path of least resistance. Essentially, when you sprout or germinate your grains, legumes or seeds, you aid the absorption and digestion of nutrients in the body. Phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors prevent the absorption of the good stuff by binding to essential nutrients or preventing digestive enzymes from doing their job. After soaking/sprouting your grains and seeds, these bio-blockers are neutralized to ease the transition of nutrients in digestion (or that's the theory, anyway).
Homemade vs. Store Bought
First things first, let's get this straight. Store bought almond milk undergoes a process called pasteurization to prevent foodborne illness. While these efforts promote food safety and shelf stability, they have jeopardized the nutrient density in our food. So the best way to guarantee the most bang for your buck when it comes to almond milk, is to blend it up yourself!
Have you embraced the latest dairy-free trend? Coconut milk, soy, almond –which are your favorites?
This story originally appeared on the lululemon blog.