Almond milk and other plant-based milk alternatives have quickly become a staple in Americans’ diets. For 3Natives, almond milk isn’t just another option; it’s become a star player in our menu. Whether blended in one of our signature smoothies or stirred into our coffees, almond milk offers a delicious twist while packing in nutritional benefits.
In this article, we’ll explore why almond milk is more than a trend at our locations. From its nutrient content to its dietary flexibility, almond milk is a simple switch with significant perks for your well-being. Learn more about the benefits of almond milk and how you can work this nutritional powerhouse into your diet.
The Nutritional Profile of Almond Milk
Almond milk starts its journey as whole almonds, which are soaked in water, blended, and then strained to create a smooth, nutty-flavored liquid. This simple process creates a beverage that’s naturally low in calories and free of saturated fats and cholesterol.
Almond milk is lighter in calories than soy or cow’s milk, and unlike coconut milk, it’s not high in saturated fats. It even has an edge over rice milk, which typically contains higher carbs. Almond milk is a fantastic option for people with dietary restrictions because it doesn’t contain dairy or lactose. Plus, almond milk is often fortified to provide calcium and vitamin D levels comparable to dairy milk.
Nutritionally, almond milk offers more than just a milk alternative. It’s a source of vitamin E, a potent antioxidant, and comes with a dose of healthy fats essential for heart health. Though it’s not as protein packed as cow’s or soy milk, its profile of minerals, including magnesium and potassium, makes it a smart addition to any meal.
Considering calories, a cup of unsweetened almond milk can boast as few as 30 to 50 calories, compared to about 150 calories for whole milk. For those mindful of their weight, it’s a simple switch that can save calories without sacrificing taste or texture.
The Health Benefits of Almond Milk
Almond milk is more than just a tasty addition to your morning cereal or acai bowl; it comes with a handful of health benefits.
Almond milk is naturally free of cholesterol and has a modest amount of healthy fats—mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These are the same types of beneficial fats found in olive oil, known for their role in lowering the risk of heart disease. Using almond milk instead of regular milk can help control cholesterol levels, which is critical for a healthy heart.
While almonds aren’t a calcium powerhouse, most commercial almond milk is fortified with calcium and vitamin D to support bone health. These nutrients are vital for building and maintaining strong bones and can play a role in preventing osteoporosis. Whether you’re enjoying a pour of almond milk in your latte or blending it into a smoothie, you’re contributing to your daily calcium and vitamin D intake.
Almond milk is a subtle beauty booster thanks to its vitamin E content. This vitamin is known for its antioxidant properties, helping to protect the skin from the damaging effects of free radicals. Antioxidants in almond milk can contribute to skin health, keeping it supple and glowing. Consider almond milk a drinkable step in your beauty routine that complements topical sunscreens and creams.
Blood Sugar Management
For those keeping an eye on blood sugar levels or in need of a diabetic-friendly option, almond milk is a smart choice because of its lower glycemic index. With a lower glycemic index than dairy options, almond milk doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar.
Unsweetened almond milk is particularly low in carbs, which is beneficial for blood sugar control.
Finally, almond milk is naturally lactose-free, making it a perfect plant-based option for those with lactose intolerance or a sensitivity to dairy. No more missing out on creamy smoothies or rich soups—almond milk provides the creamy texture you crave without digestive discomfort.
Creative Ways to Enjoy Almond Milk All Day
Almond milk is a versatile ingredient that can be enjoyed from sunrise to sunset. Here are some simple and delicious ways you can incorporate almond milk into meals and snacks, whether you’re at home or grabbing a bite at 3Natives.
- Smoothies and Shakes: Blend almond milk with your choice of fruits, a scoop of protein powder, and a handful of greens for a nutrient-packed start to your day. At 3Natives, we use almond milk in eight of our smoothie recipes!
- Cereal and Oatmeal: Use almond milk as a base for your cereal or overnight oats to add a nutty flavor and creamy texture without the heaviness of dairy.
- Coffee and Tea: Lighten up your morning brew with almond milk! It steams well for lattes and doesn’t curdle, making it an excellent dairy-free option.
- Soups and Stews: Substitute almond milk in recipes that call for cream to create lighter versions of your favorite soups and stews.
- Dressings and Sauces: Whisk almond milk into dressings and sauces for a dairy-free creaminess that’s perfect for drizzling over salads or enhancing savory dishes.
- Dips and Spreads: Use almond milk in your favorite dips or blend it into spreads for a health-conscious alternative to heavy, cream-based recipes.
- Baking: Almond milk can be used as a substitute for dairy milk in almost any baking recipe, adding a subtle almond essence to muffins, bread, and pancakes.
Whether you’re looking for a light breakfast option or a satisfying snack, almond milk is an excellent choice for those who enjoy good food that’s both delicious and healthy.
Try Almond Milk in Your Next 3Natives Order
At 3Natives, we’re always finding new ways to showcase the versatility of almond milk. We offer a variety of healthy breakfast and lunch options, and many of our menu items use almond milk for additional health benefits.
All menu items with cow’s milk can be replaced with almond milk, and eight of our smoothies are made with almond milk as standard. Plus, we offer almond milk as an option for any of our coffee drinks in select locations! For additional nutrition, you can also add almond butter to any acai bowl.
For your next nutritious meal, visit a 3Natives location near you. We make it easier than ever to get a nutritious and delicious breakfast or lunch to fuel your workday. Order online and get your favorite smoothie bowl and breakfast sandwich delivered to your door.