This sweet almond milk recipe was inspired by chocolate milk, and it makes a great chocolate milk substitute. The taste of this beverage admittedly isn’t the same as chocolate milk, but there are similarities. This recipe definitely has some advantages for those who don’t consume dairy products due to health, ethical or other concerns.
The results are more sophisticated than actual chocolate milk, offering delightfully complex flavors that will please the palate and provide plenty of enjoyment for those who are vegan, lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy products.
Of course, this drink isn’t just for vegans and those who avoid consuming dairy products. It’s a beverage that omnivores are sure to enjoy as well.
Will your kids like this sweet almond milk? I can’t say for sure, but there’s no good reason why they wouldn’t. This stuff should be pretty kid-friendly, since it is flavorful and delicious!
Even so, because the drink does contain sugar, it’s a good idea to limit children’s consumption and make this a once-in-awhile sort of treat for them. Of course, you can substitute sweeteners if you prefer. We haven’t yet tried making this recipe with other sweeteners to see what the outcome would be. That’s an experiment we look forward to trying in the future.
To prepare this beverage, you can either make your own almond milk, or buy a ready-made commercially prepared almond milk. That’s up to you. We made our own almond milk from raw, unpasteurized organic almonds.
- 8 ounces almond milk (1/2 cup almonds soaked in pure water for 4-6 hours, then blended)
- 2 tablespoons carob powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
How to Make Sweet Almond Milk:
After soaking the almonds in water, blend the mixture using either an immersion blender or countertop blender. Then strain the mixture to separate the almond milk from the remaining almond chunks. Set aside the almond chunks to use for other purposes; you can add them to oatmeal, breakfast cereals, baked goods or all kinds of other treats.
Mix the remaining liquid plus all the other ingredients together thoroughly.
You can drink this immediately, or serve it chilled; it’s delicious either way.
Important Notes About Almonds:
Before you consume almonds in any form, there are some really important things you need to be aware of.
The California Almond Board and USDA require that California almonds must be sterilized. Salmonella prevention is the claimed intention for this. There are several methods deemed acceptable for the sterilization, including blanching, oil roasting, steaming and fumigation with a toxic and potentially carcinogenic gas known as propylene oxide (PPO). Since California grows 80% of the world’s total almond supply, the chances are high that your almonds came from California and were therefore subject to this mandate — even if you are outside the USA.
Furthermore, most commercially grown almonds are gassed with propylene oxide (PPO) rather than steam treated, because the steam treatment is more expensive.
If these claims sound farfetched to you, please be sure to check out the sources of this information. The following quote comes to you from the NIH Report on Carcinogens:
“Propylene oxide is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity from studies in experimental animals.”
The page linked above is posted on a US government website; it’s included as part of a document made available by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Here’s another quote. This one is from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
EPA has classified propylene oxide as a Group B2, probable human carcinogen.
The Fisher Scientific Website has posted a material data safety sheet for propylene oxide . The whole thing is worth reading, but since I’m not going to copy and paste the entire page, here are a couple small but relevant portions:
“May cause reproductive and fetal effects. Potential cancer hazard.”
Harmful if swallowed. Causes gastrointestinal irritation with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. May cause central nervous system depression, characterized by excitement, followed by headache, dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea. Advanced stages may cause collapse, unconsciousness, coma and possible death due to respiratory failure.
Does this substance sound like something you’d really want to eat? I don’t know about you, but count me out.
Given the above, I think it’s fairly obvious that almond consumers should be concerned about the probability of this harmful, undisclosed addition to their diets. If you purchase non-organic almonds, almond butter or other almond products, your almonds may have been treated with propylene oxide, but you won’t find it listed in the ingredients.
Another Startling Conclusion: Your “Raw” Almonds Probably Aren’t Raw
- “Raw” almonds must either be steam-treated or treated with propylene oxide before the almonds can be sold in retail stores. You won’t know which method was used unless you ask; so if you buy “raw” almonds that are not certified organic, you might or might not be consuming carcinogens right along with your almonds. You either get steamed almonds which aren’t really raw, or you get almonds treated with toxic PPO. Some choice, right? Yikes!
- If you buy so-called “raw” organic almonds, the almonds won’t really be raw, because the steam treatment heats them hotter than the temperature that raw food experts consider to be truly raw. However, at least in that case you can avoid eating almonds that were treated using toxic PPO gas.
How to Avoid Consuming PPO Along With Your Almonds:
There are several ways you can both enjoy your almonds and avoid consuming PPO gas.
- When in doubt, check with your almond supplier and ask if their almonds have been treated with propylene oxide. Asking is necessary unless you are buying certified organic almonds.
- If you want to buy truly raw, untreated almonds, you can buy them in small quantities of less than 100 lbs, directly from a farmer, at a farmer’s market or stand. This is entirely legal and is a legitimate option as of the time of this posting.
- You can buy certified organic almonds, noting that even if they are labeled as raw, they aren’t really raw.
- You can buy truly raw imported almonds from Spain or another country where it’s legal to sell almonds untreated.
Where to Buy Truly Raw Organic Almonds
- At Amazon.com: Food to Live certified organic almonds — raw, no shell, unpasteurized. This product is what we used in the recipe posted above.
- At the Nuts.com Website: Raw organic almonds from Spain. We’ve ordered these from this company before, and highly recommend them. Their service is great, and we were pleased with our purchases from them.
- At the Burroughs Family Farm Website: Raw Almonds. I just found this website today, so I haven’t had a chance to order from this source yet. I found them online and wanted to pass the info along in case you’d like to try them.
- At The California Almond Board Website: global almond usage, plus a laughably titled page on what they call “food safety”. The page does sound plausible, but only if you don’t go beyond it and do further research on propylene oxide and its health hazards.
- At the Cornucopia Institute Website: Almond Fact Sheet