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Blog Posted in avatar   Jonathan Farrell's Blog

Almond Milk is a tasty alternative to Soy and of course dairy

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By Jonathan Farrell
Posted May 22, 2013 in Food
Walking along the dairy aisle of any supermarket it is easy to discern that the non-dairy beverage selection has expanded dramatically over the past few years. It used to be that soy milk was limited to health food stores and speciality markets. The only readily available non-dairy beverage item for years was non-dairy creamer.
But now with all the health-consciousness that has been increased, more non-dairy beverages have become mainstream. Soy milk is now packaged just like regular milk, in cartons. While people's tastes have expanded to included hemp milk, rice milk and coconut milk, this reporter's favorite is Almond milk.
There has been some concern about soy milk, especially with regards to men. Soy according to some researchers cause a spike in estrogen hormone.
What is really odd about soy is that like high fructose corn syrup, some form of soy is in lots of food items these days.
That is why I have turned to almond milk. As the non-dairy beverage market has increased, so has the number of brands of various types of beverages offered as non-dairy. Almond milk is a prime example. If I can recall, not too long ago there was only one now there are more than tree major brands. Blue Diamond Almonds was smart to capitalize on the craze and introduce its own version of almond milk. And, why not, they grow almonds!
Yet, to date, my favorite brand is a new almond milk put on the market by Califa Farms. It was introduced to me by friends at Sonoma Market. One thing I look for in any product is how much of it is natural. When I happened to ask a local chiropractor Dr. Markus Striebeck, DC in San Francisco that I know what he thought of non-dairy beverages, he said, "the fewer the ingredients the better."
And, really that makes good sense because why do we need extra ingredients in something that should be just basic. Almonds and water. That is what Califa brand upholds, simple basic wholesome ingredients. Yes, there is some sugar in the sweetened variety. But this brand has no corn syrup or soy.
And, yeah, okay, I am partial to the brand because I am a Californian and "Califa" is derived from the original inspiration for the name of the State of California. It also helps that the milk is nicely packaged. The bottle to me is shaped liked an old fashioned milk bottle. That is helpful because as more brands emerge on the market of this non-dairy craze, having a distinctive bottle, label or package makes it easier to find in the grocery store.
Almond milk just might be the best non-dairy alternative out there for now. But who knows, what the next discovery of a plant-based food will be in this growing non-dairy market? Has anyone thought of sunflower seed milk yet?

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