Growing up, I would visit my aunt's New York City apartment and always eat dark chocolate covered almonds for dessert. Along with that, every time I took a trip to my grandparents house, I searched the candy bowl for an almond joy candy. I grew up with almonds all around me, in all different forms and sizes.

Now fast forward to when I moved to New York City for the summer. I was eating yogurt and drinking iced coffee with milk everyday before work, until I developed stomach aches and decided to ditch dairy. Almond milk was my new best friend. Here's what I learned the first week of having almond milk in my life.

How is It Made?

Almond milk is simply made by grinding up almonds in a blender, or an alternative way of mashing the nuts, and then straining the "mush." The milk that is released out of these nuts is now considered almond milk. Super easy. 

So then what's the difference between making almond butter and almond milk? When making butter, you need to roast the almonds in the oven first, and then grind them slowly. This will create a creamy and soft texture, which then is almond butter. 

How is It Healthy?

Almond milk has 50% less calories than cow milk. Because the drink has no animal products in it, it is cholesterol free. While almond milk doesn't have the protein that cow milk does, it is rich in nutrients and minerals. Vitamin E, Thiamin, Riboflavin, and Magnesium are four popular nutrients that almond milk contains. 

Also, enriched almond milk can almost add to your body's calcium levels. One cup of enriched almond milk can contain up to 45-50% of your body's calcium for the day. One cup of cow milk only contains about 28-31% of what you need for the day.

How is It Different?

One of the main difference between cow milk and almond milk is that almond milk is free of lactose, saturated fat, and cholesterol. For those lactose intolerant people out there, I highly recommend almond milk as a substitute. 

Almond milk is made from almonds. Soy milk is made from soybeans. Yes- cow milk is made from cows. Overall, cow milk is using animal products and almond milk is not.  

Is It Actually Good For You?

Almond milk is low in calories, high in Vitamin E, low in sugar, and lactose free. Is there anything almond milk doesn't do? The answer is yes. 

nut, almond, walnut
Torey Walsh

Almond milk has low protein levels compared to other milks. This might sound weird because the actual almond nut has tons of protein. But when you grind up the nut, most of the protein is lost. The milk is also low in calcium, which does not help those with osteoporosis. 

Overall, I love the idea of almond milk. Especially for the lactose intolerant and vegan people out there, what a great way to substitute dairy. I use it for almost everything now!