How well do you know your milk? How about the almond milk? Well, I’ll admonish you to think again.
Surprisingly, almond milk is a natural drink made from almond plant. The milk before addition of other supplements appears creamy and pale white in its natural state. For domestic consumption, the milk is of tremendous nutritional benefit even at that raw stage of production and this negates the popular belief that the commercially produced variants where many additions have been made to suit preference of consumers are of more nutritional benefits for human consumption.
Unknown to many, the consumption of almond milk dates back to the middle ages. Basically, the consumption was for the periods of fasting like Lent and Ramadan; and the milk continually formed part of many cuisines as explained by the Historian Carolyn Walker Bynum.
In terms of acceptance and commercial worth, statistics have it that the milk is fast overtaking other natural plant drinks like soy milk, owning two-thirds of the plant milk market in the United States. In the United Kingdom, the demand for almond milk is on a constant surge as sales increased from 36 million to 92 million liters in 2011 alone with the trend continuing even till date. In addition, the demand for almond milk accounts for one-quarter of total almond plant supply in the United States alone.
Commercially, almond milk have been produced with many variants and they include unsweetened, sweetened, chocolate and vanilla flavor, and are packed in cans or plastics depending on the temperature, market destination, hygiene and safety conditions. Currently, the almond milk market is expected to grow at about 16% as the product serves as a close substitute for many animal based traditional milk products. With respect to dietary and nutritional content, the almond milk is free of lactose and casein. Also, the milk is low in calorie, vitamin and fat thus making it a perfect fit for health-conscious persons.
Realistically, the exponential demand for almond milk may be evident but meeting such production demand will not be feasible in the nearest future. Almond plants are water-intensive crops and the cultivation is currently hampered due to the drought and climate change experienced lately. Recently, cultivation of almonds have been associated with high price fluctuations and diversion of water resources for irrigation farming and sadly this is the case with California where 80% of the world’s almond supply is grown. Explicitly, almond milk and plants are cash-spinners but as a blessing that it is, their cultivation does come with the aforementioned pitfalls.
How good do you know your almond milk? If you think your knowledge of almond is perfect then you should try this almond quiz.