January 11, 2009

You Ask, I Answer: Almond Milk

I am trying out almond milk and wondering why calcium is listed [on the nutrition label] as 0% [per serving] when it is made from almond base made from almonds.

What are your thoughts about almond milk, anyway?

-- Dennise O'Grady
Bay Head, NJ

"Almond base" is basically a combination of almonds and water.

In order to save money, many companies that sell almond milk use a pretty high water to almond ratio.

Consider the following: 23 almonds contain 7% of the Daily Value calcium.

Thereby, if your brand of almond milk contains zero percent of the calcium Daily Value per serving, it's fair to conclude that each serving probably contains two or three actual almonds (eleven almonds provide 3.3 percent of the Daily Value, 6 almonds provide 1.82 percent, and three almonds provide .91 percent.)

Almond butter, meanwhile, lists almond as its sole ingredient.

It is no surprise, then, to see that two tablespoons provide ten percent of the calcium daily value (this means that it takes approximately 35 almonds to make two tablespoons of almond butter!)

My thoughts on almond milk aren't particularly strong either way.

I enjoy the taste quite a bit myself, but I wouldn't suggest that anyone specifically seek it out or avoid it.

I do, however, recommend that people choose varieties fortified with calcium and vitamin D, particularly if they are vegan.

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