Milk alternatives made from almonds, cashews, oats, rice, and more have soared in popularity over the last decade. Almond milk, in particular, has become the leading dairy-free nut milk with the largest market share of all plant-based milk varieties.
Whether you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, or just don’t like the idea of drinking cow’s milk, almond milk is the ultimate replacement for regular dairy milk in your cereal, coffee, and anywhere else. What’s more, there are many different flavors and types of almond milk to choose from. Sure beats the standard whole, reduced-fat, and skim options you get with regular dairy milk!
But how do you know which types are worth a try? Keep reading to find out the best almond milk flavors and brands!
How Is Almond Milk Made?
Knowing what goes into almond milk can help you distinguish between brands and better understand almond milk nutrition information.
Like other nut milk varieties, the main ingredients of almond milk are water and the nut in question. Although, most store-bought almond milk usually contains thickening agents or stabilizers, vitamins and minerals, and sometimes sweeteners as well.
To make almond milk, manufacturers blend almonds, water, and any other ingredients together before straining the mixture. This gives the finished smooth and creamy result that almond milk fans know and love.
Different Types of Almond Milk
People from all over the world are tuning into the taste and benefits of almond milk, which you can find more information about here. But is almond milk good for you?
It depends a lot on the specific type or brand you buy. While all milk tends to be fortified with vitamins and minerals, some almond milk also contains sweeteners. As for chocolate or vanilla-flavored almond milk, these can contain as much as 21 grams of sugar per cup!
If you prefer sweetened almond milk or you think chocolate is one of the best almond milk flavors, by all means, have some. But it’s a misconception to think that all almond milk is healthy when there are so many different types out there. Make sure to read almond milk nutrition information so you know what ingredients and nutrients you’re consuming.
How Do You Choose the Best Almond Milk?
With almond milk varying so much across brands, it pays to know how to select the healthiest varieties. Here are some key factors to look for when checking the ingredients:
If you’re new to almond milk, try an unsweetened variety first. Unsweetened versions still have a delicious, sweet flavor but don’t pack in the extra sugar. And, if you plan on pouring your almond milk over a bowl of cereal, you could do with a little less sugar in the mix.
Dairy milk provides a range of vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin D. If you’re looking to replace your dairy milk intake with almond milk, make sure to choose one fortified with calcium and vitamins A, D, and E so you don’t lose out nutritionally.
Some almond milk brands use carrageenan for its thickening and stabilizing properties, although most have removed it due to safety concerns. While research is limited, this potentially inflammatory ingredient is best avoided if possible.
Fewer Extra Ingredients
When checking almond milk nutrition information and ingredients, aim to choose a brand with fewer added ingredients. While you can make almond milk at home using only almonds and water, store-bought almond milk relies on extra ingredients to add texture and keep them shelf-stable. That said, it’s unnecessary for almond milk to contain more than two or three stabilizers.
Our Almond Milk Recommendations
With a clear idea of the ingredients to look for and those to avoid, what are the best almond milk flavors and brands? Let’s take a look at some of the great-tasting almond milk varieties you should try:
Best Overall: Blue Diamond Almond Breeze
This almond milk ticks all the boxes with one of the best almond milk flavors around, an affordable price point, and a good amount of added nutrients. And, as well as packing in 25 percent of your daily value (DV) of vitamin D and 45 percent of your calcium DV, it is carrageenan-free.
Best Flavor: Pacific Foods Organic Almond Milk
With a subtle almond taste and smooth texture, Pacific Food’s almond milk is versatile enough to add to everything from cereal to a vegan mac ‘n’ cheese. The unsweetened almond milk is their healthiest choice, although they also have Original, Vanilla, and Unsweetened Vanilla varieties.
Best Dairy Dupe: Califa Farms Almondmilk
If you’re looking for a nut milk that’s more milk than nut, Califa Farms’ offering is the almond milk most like the dairy variety you know and love. As well as a great taste, the unsweetened variety of almond milk is sugar-free and has a straightforward list of ingredients. Other options in the range include Original, Vanilla, Coconut, Chocolate, and even a Barista Blend for fancy almond milk coffees.
Best Protein Content: Elmhurst Milked Almonds
If the cute packaging doesn’t grab you, you’ll be pleased to learn that even the no added sugar variety of Elmhurst’s milked almond drink tastes great. What’s more, with five grams of protein per cup, it packs a lot more than most types of nut milk.
Best Texture: Silk Almond
If you like Silk’s soy milk, you’ll love this. The flavor is spot-on and the smooth and silky texture lives up to the brand’s name. Nutrient-wise, it has a good amount of calcium and vitamins, while it’s now carrageenan-free in the US. Silk almond is also available in most stores, so if you want to try almond milk, this is likely one of the easiest to get hold of on the list.
Which Almond Milk Will You Try?
Now you have a much better idea of the different types of almond milk and how they compare, which one will you try?
As this guide shows, almond milk can vary on everything from sugar content to added ingredients. So, while taste should be a priority, make sure to compare almond milk nutrition information too.
For more food-based tips and delicious recipes, be sure to check out the rest of my blog!