People like to think that they’re choosing a “healthier” option when they choose almond milk over cow’s milk. But a lot of the popular almond milk options are full of unnecessary ingredients that can actually lead to some not so great side effects.
Let’s take a look at Silk’s Unsweetened Almond Milk, for example. Here are the ingredients:
Almondmilk (Filtered Water, Almonds), Vitamin and Mineral Blend (Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Acetate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2), Sea Salt, Gellan Gum, Ascorbic Acid (To Protect Freshness), Natural Flavor.
The first ingredient, Almondmilk, looks pretty good, right? It’s just water and almonds. Why can’t they just leave it at that? What’s the point of all the rest of the ingredients?
We spoke to Jenny Eu on the Wake Up and Read the Labels Podcast, and she gave us some insider information about why so many additional ingredients get added to nut milks from big brands like Silk. Jenny is the founder of Three Trees, a clean and ethical brand that makes nut milks using the best of the best ingredients.
Three Trees nut milks only contain essential ingredients. Here is what’s in their almond milk.
Filtered Water, Organic Almonds
Simple ingredients you can understand! We love to see it.
Here are some of the tips Jenny gave when it comes to choosing a clean almond milk.
Avoid Gums And Fillers
Just like in the Silk ingredients, you’ll notice Gellan Gum as an added ingredient. This is a food additive that is often added as an emulsifier to help thicken the milk.
Why does the milk need to be thickened? A lot of big name brands are looking to reduce costs as much as possible so that they’re earning more of a profit. They use fewer almonds, the actual nutritional part of the almond milk, and add a thickening agent like gellan gum or carrageenan to make the almond milk still feel like milk when consumed.
Without the added gums and fillers, the almond milk would be incredibly watery, which most people would not want to consume.
When you choose an almond milk without all the gums and filler, you’re choosing an almond milk that is using enough almonds to thicken the milk without needing the additional filler ingredients.
Look For Organic Almonds
When a food manufacturer is using organic ingredients, they usually have high standards when it comes to choosing those ingredients. Organic almonds aren’t going to be sprayed with any pesticides. These pesticides are potentially even carcinogenic and can be dangerous to your body.
When good quality organic almonds are used, you’ll often find that salt is not even listed as an added ingredient in the almond milk.
Jenny explains in our podcast how salt is typically used as a flavor enhancer, and when lower quality almonds are used, salt is often added to try and mask the lack of flavor of the nuts.
Milk Should Separate When Added To Coffee
One of things we constantly get asked when people begin using a clean almond milk is why it separates when added to their coffee.
This does NOT mean that the milk is bad. In fact, it should happen when added to coffee. Coffee is acidic, and when the milk is added, the natural behavior of the almond milk is to separate from the coffee. Usually, a quick stir is all you need to mix it all again.
If your almond milk is not separating from your coffee, then that means that unnatural ingredients have likely been added to keep it mixed. These added ingredients come in forms as gums, fillers, or oils, which are unnecessary and can lead to side effects that make you not feel so great.
Don’t be alarmed if your almond milk separates from your coffee. It actually means you chose better almond milk!
One of our favorite tricks at Wake Up and Read the Labels is to froth the almond milk ahead of time. This will help change the consistency a bit and help keep it mixed. Three Trees Almond Milk is obviously one of our favorites, and it froths incredibly well.
Brands like Three Trees are doing purposeful work in the world to help people feel better, and we love getting to promote a clean brand that actually cares. They are a stark contrast to the big name brands that are adding the gums and fillers to try and fool you just so they can add to their profits.
You can find Three Trees nationwide at Whole Foods and Sprouts. If you don’t have a health food store near you, ask your local grocery store to stock Three Trees. It’s worth a try to access their delicious milks!
Listen to our podcast with Jenny to learn more about their brand and what else they offer.