Food Choices

Almond Milk: The Best and Worst Brands

Do you drink Almond milk? Here is a round-up of the best and worst almond milks, and what to look for in a brand.

Almond milk is one of an ever-growing line of non-dairy alternatives to traditional cow’s milk.

The current list includes: oat milk, soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, flax milk, hemp milk, and coconut milk hybrids. Oh, and don’t forget hazelnut milk, and even cashew nut milk.

2019 Updated Edition

We’ve added a bunch of new milks, and revised everything else.

Since first publishing, we’ve noticed that many manufacturers have reformulated their milks. Almost all of them have removed carrageenan as an additive.

Disappointingly – still almost none of the US manufacturers list the percentage of almonds.

We’ve also added some thoughts about Tetrapak recycling.


Their range includes Original (7g sugar per cup), Vanilla (16g sugar), Light (5g sugar), Light Vanilla (11g sugar), Unsweetened, Unsweetened Vanilla.

Ingredients (original): Almondmilk (Filtered Water, Almonds), Cane Sugar, Contains Less Than 2% Of: Vitamin & Mineral Blend (Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Acetate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2), Sea Salt, Natural Flavor, Sunflower Lecithin, Locust Bean Gum, Gellan Gum, Ascorbic Acid (To Protect Freshness).

  • Uses non-GMO almonds.
  • Carrageenan free.
  • Almond Percentage: Unlisted.

(Discounted at Amazon).

Califia Farms

Their range includes Original (5g sugar per cup), Vanilla, Unsweetened, Chocolate, Coconut, and even a Barista Blend.

Ingredients (original): Almondmilk (Water, Almonds), Pure Cane Sugar, Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Potassium Citrate, Natural Flavors, Locust Bean Gum, Gellan Gum

  • Almond Percentage: Unlisted.
  • Non-GMO project verified.
  • Carrageenan free.

(Discounted at Amazon)

Blue Diamond Almond Breeze

Range includes Original (7g sugar per cup), Vanilla (13g sugar), Chocolate (20g sugar !) Unsweetened, Unsweetened Vanilla. They also have chocolate flavors.

Ingredients (original): Almondmilk (Filtered Water, Almonds), Cane Sugar, Calcium Carbonate, Sea Salt, Potassium Citrate, Sunflower Lecithin, Gellan Gum, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, D-Alpha-Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E).

  • Almond Percentage: 2% (source: bluediamonduk)
  • Also has a coconut milk blend.
  • Uses non-GMO almonds.
  • Now carrageenan free in the US.
  • In other countries like the UK, it still may contain carrageenan and it doesn’t contain added vitamins.
  • Chocolate flavoring is from ‘dutch process’ chocolate (read more here).

(Discounted at Amazon)

So Delicious Almondmilk

Range includes Vanilla (13g sugar per cup) and Unsweetened (0g sugar). There is also an almond blend with cashew.

Ingredients (unsweetened): Almondmilk (Filtered Water, Almonds), Contains 2% Or Less Of: Vitamin And Mineral Blend (Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Acetate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2), Sea Salt, Natural Flavor, Sunflower Lecithin, Locust Bean Gum, Gellan Gum, Ascorbic Acid (To Protect Flavor).

  • Almond Percentage: Unlisted.
  • The 5+ range contains extra protein (pea and rice protein).
  • Uses non-GMO almonds.

(Discounted at Amazon)

Elmhurst Milked Almonds

Elmhurst have a single almond milk (sweetened with sugar – 7g per cup).

Ingredients: Filtered Water, Almonds, Cane Sugar, Salt, Natural Flavors.

  • Carrageenan free.
  • Non-GMO.
  • Almond Percentage: Unlisted – although they mention 18 almonds per cup.

(Discounted at Amazon).


Malk have an unsweetened almond milk, unsweetened vanilla, and a pecan milk (!)

Ingredients (unsweetened): Organic almonds, Himalayan salt, filtered water.

  • Carrageenan free.
  • Non-GMO and USDA organic.
  • Almond Percentage: Unlisted

What’s interesting is that the sprouted almond used have a higher amount protein than other beverages.

Malk can be found at Kroger, and some Whole Foods markets.

Pacific Organic Almond Milk

Range includes Original (7g sugar per cup), Vanilla (10g sugar), Unsweetened, Unsweetened Vanilla.

Ingredients include: Almond Base* (Water, Almonds*), Dried Cane Syrup*, Potassium Citrate, Sea Salt, Carrageenan, Riboflavin (B2), Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2

  • Almond Percentage: Unlisted.
  • Non-GMO almonds.
  • USDA certified organic almonds and sugar

(Discounted at Amazon)

Almond Dream

This company has mostly Rice and Soy milks, but has a single unsweetened Almond milk.

Ingredients include: Almond Base (Filtered Water, Almonds), Sunflower Lecithin, Tapioca Starch, Tricalcium Phosphate, Carrageenan, Sea Salt, Gellan Gum, Natural Flavors, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin E (D-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate), Vitamin D2, Vitamin B12.

  • Almond Percentage: Unlisted.
  • Non-GMO almonds.

naturaNatura Almond Milk

This Canadian range includes Original (7g sugar per cup), Chocolate (18g sugar), Vanilla (15g sugar), Unsweetened.

Ingredients include: Filtered Water, Almonds, Cane Sugar, Calcium Carbonate, Sea Salt, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavours, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Gellan Gum, Zinc Sulfate, Riboflavin, Vitamin D2, Vitamin B12, Vitamin A Palmitate.

  • Almond Percentage: Unlisted.
  • Non-GMO almonds.

Trader Joe’s Almond Beverage

Range includes an unsweetened original, and unsweetened vanilla.

Ingredients include: Almond Base (filtered water, almonds), tricalcium phosphate, sea salt, gellan gum, dipotassium phosphate, xanthan gum, sunflower lecithin, vitamin A palmitate, Ergocalciferol (vitamin d2), d-alpha tocopherol (vitamin e).

There is little information about the source of almonds, however the above ingredients list has been verified against the package nutrition label.

wholefoodsalmondWhole Foods Market 365 Almond Milks

Ingredients: Organic almond milk (filtered water, organic almonds), organic evaporated cane juice, tricalcium phosphate, sea salt, xanthan gum, potassium citrate, sunflower lecithin, vitamin A palmitate, ergocalciferol (vitamin d2), dl-alpha tocopherol acetate (vitamin e).

  • No carrageenan, but uses Xantham Gum as a thickener.
  • They use organic almonds and sugar.
  • Available in original, unsweetened, and vanilla

newbarnalmondmilkNew Barn Almond Milk

The New Barn range includes original (7g sugar per cup), unsweetened, vanilla, and unsweetened vanilla.

Ingredients (original): Organic Almondmilk (Water, Organic Almonds), Organic Maple Syrup, Organic Acacia Gum, Sea Salt.

– USDA Organic
– Only available at certain stores.

Simply Nature Almond Beverage

Simply Nature is an organic brand from Aldi stores.

Ingredients: Organic almondmilk (filtered water, organic almonds), tricalcium phosphate, sea salt, potassium citrate, organic locust bean gum, gellan gum, organic sunflower lecithin, vitamin A palmitate, Vitamin D2, d-alpha-tocopherol acetate (vitamin E).

  • No carrageenan

Friendly Farms Almondmilk Original

Also a brand from Aldi, this is NOT organic. Aldi reports that this brand contains about 2% almonds.

Ingredients: almondmilk (filtered water, almonds), evaporated cane syrup, tricalcium phosphate, sea salt, gellan gum, dipotassium citrate, xanthan gum, sunflower lecithin, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, d-alpha-tocopherol acetate (vitamin E).

  • No carrageenan

three trees almond milkThree Trees

Three Trees offers unsweetened almond milk and unsweetened vanilla.

Ingredients (unsweetened): Reverse osmosis filtered water, organic almonds.

  • Carrageenan free.
  • Non-GMO and USDA organic.
  • Almond Percentage: 20%

Three Trees is thicker without the use of thickeners because it contains a lot more almonds than many mainstream brands. Because it contains more almonds, their almond milk is higher in calories than other unsweetened almond milks. Three Trees contains 20% almonds.

Three Trees is in over 400 stores nationwide (USA).

Notable Mention

Beber – This boutique almondmilk is made in California using local ingredients. Just two ingredients – filtered water and organic almonds. Only available in smaller outlets in California.

Starbucks Almond Milk

Starbucks offer an Almond Milk (the call it almondmilk)that is their own formulation. This is not a separate product as such, but can be chosen in some stores instead of dairy milk. It has less sugar per serving than any other milk product in their stores.

Ingredients: almond milk (filtered water, almonds), sugar, tricalcium phosphate, sunflower lecithin, sea salt, xanthan gum, guar gum, vitamin A palmitate, and vitamin D2.

Per serving: 60 calories, 4 grams fat, 110 mg sodium, 5 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 3 grams sugar, and 2 grams of protein

  • Almond Percentage: 3%.
  • Carrageenan-free

Almond Milk Nutrition Issues

A texturizing additive derived from seaweed. Regarded as safe by the FDA, although some people report gastro-intestinal issues (see more). It is used predominantly in dairy and meat products, but does sometimes turn up in Almond Milk. (Here’s a large review, if you’re really concerned.)

Different kinds of thickeners and gums can be found in non-dairy milks. Chris Kesser sums this up well “gums can be problematic for those with digestive issues simply because they’re mostly indigestible, but it’s very unlikely any of them will actually cause harm.”

Vitamin A Palmitate
Many ready-to-drink products are fortified with vitamins. There is some controversy surrounding vitamin A palmitate, as it may be sourced from palm plantations that are damaging to ecosystems.

Many commercial almond milks contain Vitamin A Palmitate. If you wish to avoid additives, the only way is to make your own.

“Chocolate Almond Milk Has How Much Sugar?!”

One thing I learned: A cup of Almond Breeze Chocolate Almond Milk has almost as much sugar as Coca-Cola!

  • Chocolate Almond Milk: 20g
  • Coke: 26g

Which Almond Milk is Best?

This comes down to your preference for price, taste, mouthfeel, and nutrition. In terms of nutrition, aim for unsweetened varieties. If you can’t handle the blandness, then try an unsweetened vanilla.

For the best nutrition, try Elmhurst, ThreeTrees, or Malk (if available near you). For a cheaper milk, try Silk.

For something different, get frozen almondmilk concentrate delivered from Good Mylk Co (order via Amazon).

If you’re in Australia, the Australia’s Own Organic or Pure Harvest is a great product.

Beware the Packaging

Most beverages of this kind are shipped in Tetrapak cartons. Despite the considerable info on sustainability on their site, Tetrapak recycling is not straightforward. There are two issues:

  1. 1. Many local authorities do not accept these cartons for recycling (so they go to landfill).
  2. 2. Where recycling is accepted – it is a complex affair. Tetrapak are clever packages allowing liquids to sit on shelves for a long time, are lightweight, and can be packed in bulk efficiently. However they are made up of paperboard, polyethylene (plastic), and 5% aluminium. Recycling is expensive and complex (and in reality can only be downcycled).

Other non-US Brands

  • Almo Milk (Australia) – A boutique milk with just 5 ingredients: Filtered water, 5% almonds, calcium, non GM xanthan, sea salt.
  • Almond Fresh (Canadian) – similar sugar content, contains carrageenan.
  • Vitasoy – This Hong Kong based company markets to NZ and Australia. Almond milks contain 3.8% almonds and contain no carrageenan..
  • So Good (NZ & Australia) – Contains carrageenan. Sweetened and unsweetened varieties. Almond Percentage: 2.5%
  • Australia’s Own Organic (Australia) – Certified organic, no carrageenan, lightly sweetened with Agave Syrup. Almond Percentage: 3.
  • Macro Organic Almond Milk (Australia / NZ) – A store brand (Woolworths/Countdown) with 4% almonds.
  • Pure Harvest (Australia) – Certified organic, uses Rice Syrup to sweeten. Claim 7% almond content (activated almonds).
  • Alpro Almond Milk (UK) – No carrageenan. Slightly sweeter than other brands.
  • Earth’s Own So Fresh (Canada) – No carrageenan, but uses Gellan Gum, Locust Bean Gum, and Soy Lecithin

Almond Pasteurization

Many nutrition labels list almonds as raw. This is not strictly true as (from 2007 onwards) all almonds grown in the US must be pasteurized (after some outbreaks of Salmonella during the early 2000s). This process is either done by steam treating the almonds, or by using the fumigant Propylene Oxide (PPO) (see more). PPO is an animal carcinogen, but the USDA and EPA consider the dosage levels on almonds to be so low as to be completely safe.

If you wish to avoid almond milks that were sterilized with PPO you must choose an organic source which will have been treated with steam.

Back to Basics

If you want straight Almond milk – make your own. The recipe is simple: try this one here at Nourishing Simplicity.

We’ve made Almond milk at home. I found the taste reflected the quality of the almonds. Sometimes I find that almonds I buy are old, and have that slightly… hmmm… rancid undertone?

I recommend using a nut milk bag to strain the almonds.

MORE Brand Comparisons:  


  • Pan, Z., Bingol, G., Brandl, M. T., & McHugh, T. H. (2012). Review of current technologies for reduction of Salmonella populations on almonds. Food and Bioprocess Technology, 5(6), 2046-2057.
  • Chang, S. S., Han, A. R., Reyes‐De‐Corcuera, J. I., Powers, J. R., & Kang, D. H. (2010). Evaluation of steam pasteurization in controlling Salmonella serotype Enteritidis on raw almond surfaces. Letters in applied microbiology, 50(4), 393-398.
Last Updated: June 25, 2021


  1. Kathryn M Ellison 6 months ago

    Please someone tell me about WALMART brand of almond milk?

  2. M Greenwald

    Do you have an opinion on Orgain vanilla unsweetened Almond milk?

  3. Jamie

    Hi! what about 137 degrees almond milk ? They also have walnut milk and pistachio milk with cashew blend.

  4. Dolly

    I think it should be noted that some of these brands used on this site are the shelf stable variety. I buy 365 refrigerated brand and it does not have all of those added things in it. That was the main reason I decided to go with this brand 5 years ago, replacing the SIlk and Almond Breeze brands I used before.

  5. Janis

    On “organic” labeling ensuring the almonds have been steamed for purification, not by the use of PPO. I’ve read that Trader Joe’s labels its almonds “organic” even though they use the PPO pasteurization method. Hmm….

  6. Jane

    I think that any brand using palm products should be on the “worst” list. Trying very hard to cut palm oil and all its derivatives out of my life but it is almost impossible.

  7. New York

    The conclusion of this article is a way of thinking. I believe Three Trees is the best almond milk, meaning the healthiest, and least mixed with many other additives, and comes from 20% almond. And all organic and USDA certified. Available at Whole Foods stores, so I am going with those.
    The additives in other brands can be really hard on the digestive system, then better eat pure almonds.

  8. Maria Mora

    YAY! I was wrong! Thank you for putting this comprehensive list of almond ‘milks’. You listed several with no safflower, no sunflower, and carrageenan! Now all I have to do is locate the stores that sell them! I wish the Rice milk companies wouold do the same!

  9. Tim Liao

    I own a coffee shop in Southern California and can tell you I love and use Pacific products such as their Soy, Oat, and Coconut but the one I go with another brand is the Almond. Pacific seems to taste and odor like Play Doh or erasers. The brand I really like is Costco’s Kirkland brand unsweetened Almond Milk.

  10. Scarlett Clark

    Any ideas on how to find out if these beands use bees to pollinate and which brands also use pesticides on their almonds? Basically any idea where these brands acrually get their almonds?


    I strongly recommend you review, and hopefully include in this list, So Delicious Organic Almond Milk With Cashew (which us is not the same as the So Delicious Almond Milk you reviewed in this list). Has only 6 ingredients. No calcium carbonate. Please check it out, curious as to your thoughts.

  12. Steve

    Kirkland (Costco) almond milk Original unsweetened ,no mention of carrageenan. How to find out if it does?

    • Ted Kallmyer

      If it’s not listed in the ingredients, then it doesn’t contain it.

  13. Lynette Henk

    I do a healthy chocolate protein shake twice a day and I love it with unsweet vanilla almond milk. I used to use Silk brand but after finding this organic brand at Sams, I love it so much more. Do you have any feedback on this brand? Would love your input since I use so much of it. Says it does not have carrageena. It’s called Member’s Mark Organic Unsweetened Vanilla Almondmilk.

  14. Thomas J

    This article doesn’t do justice to ELMHURST! They are the ONLY brand that is rich and creamy and contains NO GUMS or other additives to make the product creamier. They use more almonds instead. WHAT A CONCEPT! It is by far the best tasting and ONLY almond milk I would ever use. P.S. Tried to like MALK but it is thinner than water and has an odd after taste. Most of the others I wouldn’t even put in my mouth because of the additives.

    • JJ Watt

      But Elmhurst is LOADED with sugar. Yuck.

      • Jenn

        Except they have unsweetened varieties, so that’s invalid.

  15. Jessica

    Article says best and the worst? So what are the bad ones and which ones are known to use the PPO method?

    • Konstantin Snytko

      Yeap, same here lol

  16. LR

    Seeking an unsweetened non-dairy milk that doesn’t contain vanilla, due to dietary restrictions. Is there any way to tell? Most list “natural flavors”- does that include vanilla, even in the products that aren’t labelled as Vanilla flavored?

    • Ted Kallmyer

      Most of the almond milks labeled as “plain” do not have vanilla flavoring.

  17. Carrie Keuthan

    Thank you for putting the research together. It is helpful, comprehensive, and easy to obtain the answers to my questions.

  18. Laura Rime

    I am trying to get a “clean” product and the only organic I can find here is Pacific, which has carrageenan in it. I think it’s better to have an organic product even if it has this in it, or is carrageenan so bad for you that it’s better to take your chances with other chemicals?

    • James

      In the article you can see 3 milks that fit your brief: Malk, Three trees, and New Barn.

  19. Sharon M Bookwalter

    Why would some of these be labeled NonGMO almonds? There are no GMO almonds on the market?

    • James

      This means they’ve been examined by the non-GMO project. One could argue that it’s a marketing exercise.

  20. Dess

    Am I the only one who hates all these alternative milks? Either taste funny or too bitter or just plain yuk. Want a better alternative.

    • James

      I guess calling them milk is odd. These are water + ground nuts (or oats etc). So they are never going to have the texture of cow’s milk.