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.

What’s prompted this post is my experiences with almond milk. I purchase almond milk every now and then (and this varies for me depending on price).

I find the “original” varieties to be over-sweetened.

To add insult to injury, some manufacturers make single serve formulations of these beverages. Often with almost identical packaging, the single serves can contain a whole lot more sugar.

Silk and Almond Breeze are both the target of a class-action lawsuit claiming that they only contain 2% almonds. Unfortunately, labeling requirements in the USA allow manufacturers to withhold the percentage of almonds in the beverage.

We were unable to find Almond percentages for any USA brands. However, one brand’s exported product (Almond Breeze) did show the percentage at 2%.

The highest percentage we were able to find is an Australian brand (Pure Harvest) at 10%.

silkSilk

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

Ingredients can include: Almondmilk (Filtered Water, Almonds), Cane Sugar, Sea Salt, Natural Flavor, Locust Bean Gum, Sunflower Lecithin, Gellan Gum. Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Acetate, Zinc Gluconate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Riboflavin (B2), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D2.

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

More: silk.com

(Discounted at Amazon).

almondbreezeBlue 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 can include: Almondmilk (Filtered Water, Almonds), Evaporated Cane Juice, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Citrate, Sea Salt, 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).

More: www.almondbreeze.com

Discounted at Amazon.

sodeliciousSo Delicious Almond Plus

Range includes Original (7g sugar per cup), Vanilla (8g sugar), Unsweetened.

Ingredients can include: Almond Milk (Water, Almonds), Dried Cane Syrup, Pea Protein, Rice Protein, Calcium Phosphate, Magnesium Phosphate, Carrageenan, Natural Flavor, Locust Bean Gum, Kosher Sea Salt, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D-2, L-Selenomethionine (Selenium), Zinc Oxide, Folic Acid, Vitamin B-12.

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

NOTE: There is now a newer range (simply called Almondmilk) from So Delicious that is Carrageenan-free, and uses Vitamin A Acetate.

More: Sodeliciousdairyfree.com

Discounted at Amazon

elmhurstElmhurst Harvest

Their range includes Original (7g sugar per cup), Unsweetened (0g sugar), Chocolate (18g sugar).

Ingredients can include: Almondmilk (Filtered Water, Almonds), Cane Sugar, Calcium Carbonate, Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Gellan Gum, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin).

  • Carrageenan free.
  • Almond Percentage: Unlisted.

More: elmhurstharvest.com

(Discounted at Amazon).

pacificorganicPacific 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

More: www.pacificfoods.com

Discounted at Amazon.

naturaNatura Almond Milk

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.

More: www.nutrisoya.com

tradejoesTrader Joe’s Almond Beverage

Range includes Unsweetened and Vanilla Unsweetened.

Ingredients include: Almondmilk (filtered water, almonds), tricalcium phosphate, sea salt, gellan gum, dipotassium phosphate, xanthan gum, natural flavors, sunflower lecithin, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin d2, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate (vitamin e).

  • Almond Percentage: Unlisted.

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 (this may have been updated to Gellan gum and Locust Bean gum).
  • They use organic almonds and sugar.
  •  Available in original, unsweetened, and vanilla

newbarnalmondmilkNew Barn Almond Milk

This newer milk is USDA organic, contains no carrageenan. Available at Whole Foods Market. Unsweetened, sweetened, and vanilla.

Ingredients (unsweetened): organic almonds, spring water, organic acacia gum and sea salt.

califiafarmsCalifia Farms

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

Ingredients can include: Almondmilk (Water, Almonds), Pure Cane Sugar. Contains Less Than 2% of the Following: Vitamin/Mineral Blend (Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin D2, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, Zinc), Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Potassium Citrate, Natural Flavors, Locust Bean Gum, Gellan Gum.

Note that Califia says: “We are in the process of replacing carrageenan across all of our product line, and we will have an entirely carrageenan-free portfolio by the end of 2015.” They have completed this and we’ve updated the ingredient list above.

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

More: califiafarms.com

Discounted at Amazon

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

Carrageenan
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.)

Additives
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.

All commercial almond milks listed here (except possibly New Barn) appear to 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

The Best Choice Is…

Look for unsweetened varieties. If you can’t handle the blandness, then try an unsweetened vanilla.

Carrageenan-free brands offering unsweetened varieties (available in the US) include: Silk (buy online), and all other brands except So Delicious and Pacifica.

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

Getting Almond Milk

PS. Have a look at Thrive Market – a subscription based site where premium organic products are heavily discounted. We spotted both califia farms and other brands organic almond milk. Membership is about $45 per year (but apparently they will negotiate this).

Other non-US Brands

  • Almond Fresh – Canadian, similar sugar content, contains carrageenan.
  • So Good – NZ & Australia. Contains carrageenan. Sweetened and unsweetened varieties. Almond Percentage: 2.5%
  • Australia’s Own Organic – Almond Percentage: 3% – Probably the best find of everything reviewed here. Certified organic, no carrageenan, lightly sweetened with Agave Syrup.
  • Macro Organic Almond Milk (Australia / NZ) – A store brand (Woolworths/Countdown) with 4% almonds.
  • Pure Harvest – Australian. Certified organic, uses Rice Syrup to sweeten. Claim 10% almond content (activated almonds).
  • Alpro Almond Milk – UK. No carrageenan. Slightly sweeter than other brands.

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?

MORE: Dark Chocolate: The Best and Worst Brands

References

  • 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.

Comments

  • sonya

    Unsweetened taste salty i donno why the companies add suly any way! I hope they read this feedback and cut the sult

  • SSranger

    Re: Whole Foods Market 365 Almond Milk

    Apparently, still available, since fussy-food-eater daughter and Whole Foods shopper gave me a quart of it just last night . . . and which I’m drinking right now. Delicious. Especially cold.

    Ah, but the sugar, little as it is. If only they tested truly natiural Stevia as a “sweetener” and ran drinking tests through national Focus Groups for high-score acceptance, I’d pay more for the expected price increase (and “health benefit”) Stevia brings.

    But they’d have to really “fine-tune” the amount of Stevia put into their product; too little: no hint of sweet; too much: whoa! overbearing and, for my taste, excessive and, well, “sickeningly ‘sweet.'”

    Maybe I’ll write them.

    • Jacque Christy

      I do use stevia in my iced tea, but honey tastes better. Stevia leaves a weird aftertaste for me.

  • Jennilee

    Whole Foods Market 365 Almond Milks- The one you have pictured is sugar free. I drink it all the time. There is also a vanilla sugar free. They have non vanilla and vanilla with sugar too. We love it at our home.

  • 나는 호주사람 ㅋㅋ

    I use Macro Organic Almond milk here in Australia it is Woolworths Organic brand (one of big super markets) 4.8g sugar but only 4% almond.

  • 48south

    Has anyone noticed that Silk Almond milk no longer has b12? Not sure when they took it out. Being vegan, that was my main sourse of b12. Now I have to look for another option.

    • Jacque Christy

      SwansonVitamins.com is a good option.

      • scmaize

        I like iherb.com better.

  • FPL

    Like one of the comments below, I found this article to be a bit unclear as it relates to its title of “best to worst” Almond Milk brands. I was expecting some type of ranking or grouping. Information appears to be incomplete and a bit misleading. Looking at the info you supplied on Califia original, for example, it has the wrong sugar content – should be 5g per serving. Also, you do not mention that their almond milk is Non-GMO project verified. Were there any other misses for the other brands that were later caught? To be fair, perhaps some ingredient decks changed since this article was written.

    Although subjective, nothing was offered on comparative flavor and taste. Difficult to do in the case of Trader Joes, which does not appear to offer an “original” sweetened product.

    • JamesF

      Thank you. The califia entry is fixed. The best and worst is very much a matter of personal opinion. I’ve attempted to list some salient details so the reader can make their own mind up.

      • scmaize

        Is the one listed first (Silk) supposed to be the best, and the one listed last the worst? I didn’t think the ranking was clear, either, though I thank you for the information that is provided.

  • 48south

    Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk no longer caries B12. I wrote them, and the representative who wrote back said that they took it out, but “The quality of the product is unaffected”, not true if you are a Vegan and relied on it as your primary source for B12

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      I would recommend getting a good sublingual B-12 supplement.

    • Are you Thriving?

      Looking for a great source all natural vitamins and minerals that are non-GMO certified? Check out thrive by Le-Vel!!
      http://www.GoTo.Le-Vel.com

    • KT Kacer

      I use Jarrow brand 5000mcg B12, love it.. went from 1000 in no time at all.

    • Jacque Christy

      Hey B12 is cheap. Silk should be able to lower the price since they no longer have the expense of processing the B12 in to their. Try SwansonVitamins.com for great deals on vitamins & other healthy products.

    • Kat

      Just buy it separately. What is the problem? I don’t want any artificially created vitamins added to my food

  • John

    Sweetened chocolate cononut is probably the least dietetic of them all – has 5 times the calories of non diet drinks

  • Anonymous

    My health food store gets me “Tree of Life” brand Almond Milk. You can get vanilla or plain. I get unsweetened vanilla. It has no carageenan.

  • Are you Thriving?

    Looking for a great source all natural vitamins and minerals that are non-GMO certified? Are your tired and in need of a nap after lunch? Not anymore! With THRIVE you can expect to see all day, long lasting energy WITHOUT the need of a heavily caffeinated product! Le-Vel uses only the purest all natural raw ingredients to provide you with a premium product! Check out thrive by Le-Vel!!
    http://www.GoTo.Le-Vel.com

  • Sean Alexander Sollars

    Fine, but any product that uses the term Natural Flavors makes me angry..too many companies adding things to our food that we were never meant to eat. Chemicals that taste like food but are bad for our health etc.

  • gscott10

    BREAKING NEWS: According to Time, a new lawsuit brought against Almond Breeze maker Blue Diamond claims the “almond milk” contains just 2% of almonds. It’s mostly made up of water, sugar, carrageenan, and sunflower lecithin. No word yet on how much “breeze” is actually included.

    • BL_LAB

      Then why was I paying so much for that crap? Ugh

  • Maxwell Goldstein

    This article would be far more valuable if you were to include the percentages of almonds in each brand — especially considering the recent revelations that some major brands, such as Almond Breeze and Silk, contain a measly 2% almonds –meaning what many of us have been buying all this time was not a nut milk, but an almond-flavored carrageenan-thickened water. They have both ruined their brands, as far as I’m concerned. Consumer trust is everything.

    • JamesF

      Excellent suggestion. Frustratingly – almost all manufacturers neglect to list the percentage. However, we will update all listings within any information we can track down.

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  • Kelly Foster

    Hello. I just discovered a new brand – or at least one I had never seen before at Whole Foods. The brand is called New Barn. Ingredients listed are: organic almonds, CA spring water, organic acacia gum and sea salt. I don’t know what % of almonds it contains. I went to the site and couldn’t tell either… here is the link. They make an unsweetened (which is what I got), a regular almond milk, and a vanilla. I was looking for a carrageenan free brand. http://www.thenewbarn.com/#product

    • JamesF

      Nice find, thanks.

  • Linda Puiatti

    your report doesn’t mention PPO. Do you know brands without toxic propylene PPO? http://naturalsociety.com/discovered-dirty-little-secret-almonds/

    • JamesF

      Only almond milks listed as organic will be free from PPO.

      • Linda Puiatti

        Do you know this for fact? Some almond milks are made from organic almonds but when they are processed, PPOs are used.

        • JamesF

          From http://www.almonds.com/processors/processing-safe-product#tc-pasteurization

          “Steam processing. A short burst of steam treats the surface of the nutmeat only. This process meets USDA National Organic Program standards, and does not diminish the nutritional value and sensory attributes of almonds.”

          Indicating that PPO does not meet USDA Organic standards – only steam processing does.

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  • Shrabean

    Hi. Thanks for the article. The Pure Harvest brand has activated almond milk with 10% almonds. Organic and no cane sugar. Quite nice in taste. Link below…

    http://www.pureharvest.com.au/product/organic-almond-milk-10-activated-almonds

    • JamesF

      We do list pureharvest – under non-US brands as it is only available in Australia.

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  • TurksCaicos

    Hi there, Even the New Barn above looks it is OK, but I prefer not to buy any Almond Milk, why? because they were made for at least few weeks or month ago, they lose all the nutrients, what you see in the nutrition fact is taken just after they were made. the nutrients get lost and the sugar get higher. Plus the bottle then on plastic bottle or paper box coated with a thin coat of plastic , like paper cups for coffee, in order not to leak. There is nothing like you make your own Almond milk at home, by blending some raw almonds with clear water or fresh pressed fruit juice (if you want it sweet) or just stir in some raw almond into the blender when you make vegetable or fruit smoothie, it is so simple. (of course you can do that if you are not lazy)

  • Ted Robb

    Hi, this is Ted, one of the co-founders of New Barn. Just wanted to be fully transparent, and also say thank you so much for including us in this article. I’ve enjoyed reading all of the comments and dialogue here, and would be healthy to answer any questions about our almond milk if that would be helpful. Also, happy to get you an actual picture of our bottle if you’d like! 🙂 Thanks again!

    • JamesF

      Thanks Ted, Could you tell us the amount (percentage) of almonds in the milk?

      • Ted Robb

        Hi James – thanks for your response!

        I am checking with my team on how we would like to share this information. Just so you know, we are completely committed to transparency, but we need to ensure that we don’t give away our formulation in the process. Bear with us while we figure out a way to communicate it, but still in a manner that makes everyone feel good. I hope you can understand that this is an area of sensitivity for most almond milk producers. Back to you soon!

        • Piranhagoat

          It’s been a month, Ted. What’s your answer? Transparency, my ass. The corporate speak is hilarious though, if typical.

          • Ted Robb

            Piranhagoat – I am sorry it has taken me so long to respond. We are a small company, and there has been a lot going on lately. Apologies for the slow reply. Please see my response to James above. Thanks

            PS – you can e-mail me anytime ted@thenewbarn.com with any questions. That’s as transparent as I can be. 🙂

      • Ted Robb

        Hi James (and all),

        Apologies on taking a while to respond to this thread. It’s been busy lately for our company. I apologize in advance for the long post here, but I want to honor my original statement of transparency. I hope the information below is helpful to your readers.

        As I shared earlier, the percentage of almonds in almond milk is a complicated question for almond milk companies to answer. To some extent, it is a bit of a trap question. The percentage of almonds actually has more to do with taste and texture from a formulation and manufacturing perspective. For example, almond milk with 30% almonds would be like a cup of heavy whipping cream, where as 2-3% almond content would be equivalent to fat free milk. Because the vast majority of customers prefer thinner milks – just look at Starbucks using 2% dairy milk as their standard – brands formulate their products to try and please the largest group of consumers. Even homemade almond milk contains a lower percentage of almonds than one might think. There is actually quite a lot of water in any nut or dairy milk. For example, here is the water percentage of dairy milks according to the USDA:

        Whole – 87.7% water

        2% – 88.4% water

        1% – 89.5% water

        Skim – 90.4% water

        I think it is fair to say that most companies don’t want to give their percentage away as it sounds worse than it really is. I personally believe, like many food products, that most brands are simply trying to find a balance of ingredient costs, customer preferences, and retail price points. Much of this is driven by the consumer and what they are willing to pay for almond milk. If shoppers constantly demand cheaper almond milk, there will be fewer almonds in it..that part is pretty simple.

        For me, the larger issue is actually about what holds the almonds and water together in suspension, as your original article suggests. When you make almond milk at home, it’s pretty straight ahead: almonds, water, etc…When you make it in a large scale manufacturing format, it’s not that simple. You have to account for the many things it will face in distribution, like shipping, temperature swings, etc. These all have a major bearing on formulation. I can offer from recent personal experience, that it is way more complicated than we originally thought. Our original vision was to make it just like we did in our own kitchens. However, If we simply did that, and put it in a bottle, nobody would like the end result. You would have a bottle of solids on the bottom, and nasty looking liquid on the top. After a while, it would become so settled that it wouldn’t properly come back together, and that would result in a terrible pouring experience. Think gross water followed by glop. That’s pretty tough to sell. This is the reality of nut milks – they settle – aggressively. The challenge is figuring out ways to hold it all together, deliver a high-quality product, and not have it cost too much.

        Now I will say, I personally feel that this is where most store bought almond milks fall a bit flat; at least for my shopping dollars. They often add things I find unnecessary for a quality nut milk. Additives like flavorings, fortified vitamins, additional stabilizers, etc. I believe many of these additions do nothing to help taste, or even real nutrition, but are more about matching the nutritional profile of dairy milk, or fighting the separation aggressively and assuring that the final product can withstand a wide range of outside influences. For example, take almond milk sold in the summer in Arizona. It goes from a cold refrigerator in the store, to a hot car to be transported home, and then back to a cold fridge. This is really hard on the product. From a manufacturing standpoint, it is simply easier to add things like lecithin’s, carrageenan, etc to ensure that it doesn’t have any performance issues when the end user goes to pour it out.

        However, these additives DO make it much easier to use a lower percentage of almonds in product formulation. Not only because they help prevent separation, but because fewer almonds means fewer solids to settle. The combination of a lower percentage of almonds and added stabilizers makes for a very stable product. This is what the marketplace demands: low cost, easily distributed, and long shelf-life. Until recently, not many people even asked questions like what percentage of almonds are in your milk. Almond milk was historically a “healthier” alternative to diary milk, much like soy, rice, etc…

        So with all of that context, here’s our answer. One our team feels proud to share…

        We have approximately 60 organic almonds in each 28oz bottle of New Barn.

        We chose to go with a much higher percentage of almonds to help counter the variables discussed above. It is also why you will taste actual almonds in our milk, as well as a thicker consistency. We formulated our brand to be more like the consistency of whole dairy milk. We made a choice to leave out as many additives as possible. We also chose to leave out the fortified vitamins and flavorings. Our feeling was that there were other customers out there who felt like we did. We can get nutrients like vitamin B12 from other, higher quality sources in our everyday diet. And we personally like the flavor of almonds more than “natural flavors”.

        So there you have it. Short of telling you our exact process for making New Barn, this is our story and reasoning for how we created our brand. I am proud to share it with your readers, and I am grateful that you have created this forum. I look forward to more discussion if you, or your readers, have additional questions. As I shared in a comment below, please feel free to e-mail me personally anytime – ted@thenewbarn.com

        Thanks so much!

        • Ted Robb

          PS – one more thought. The easiest way for folks to quickly figure out how many almonds are actually in almond milk is to look at the calories, protein and fat on the nutrition panel. More calories, fat and protein, means more almonds.

        • JamesF

          Thanks for the comprehensive reply. I think consumers need to accept that if they want shelf-stable, convenient food – then there is a compromise over homemade. If I blend up almonds at home, I need to be drinking it pretty quickly before it starts to break apart.

          If I want the convenient of having some long-life almond milk cartons sitting in my pantry I accept that there has to be some kind of extra processing going on.

  • Theresa

    I drink the unsweetened 365 Whole Foods brand all the time. Yes it is available and it is great..a bit salty (which is weird) but works well in smoothies and cooking.

    • Neil Rosenbaum

      I would say around June, 2016 I realized that Whole Foods 365 unsweetened is no where near as good AS IT USED TO BE. Previously, I found it much much better than Almond Breeze or Silk due to it’s more smooth and fatty consistency. Now, it has lost it’s fatty and smooth consistency and appears to me be more skim milk like whereas previously it was more 2% milk like or better. I found out they changed their recipe and replaced Xanthan Gum with the likes of Locust Bean Gum and Gellan Gum (similar to the Silk or Almond Breeze formula).

  • Maggie Kontra Palmer

    I have been wondering why Trader Joes calls theirs an Almond BEVERAGE.now I see it is probably because of the minimal amount of Almond that i s,actually in the elixer..However..it is tasty and no carrigian…Stopped using ALMOND BREEZE after learning about the additive..switched to SILK..LOVE CALIFA taste but don’t drink it anymore cause of Carrigian (spl?)
    I am leaning toward making my own..Just need a powerful blender..Wonder if food processor would work? Any idea??

    Maggie

    • JamesF

      The blender is going to do a better job. Why not have a go with a food processor and see what you can get out of it?

      • Maggie Kontra Palmer

        Thanks..will give it a go

    • Renee

      I think they call it almond beverage because it literally just is not a milk.

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  • Piranhagoat

    None of these can lay any claim to being healthy as long as they contain sugar, syrup or any other kind of sweetener.

    • Blaice

      I get unsweetened silk almond milk from costco in a 3 pack. It is cheap, and literally just about the only processed food I eat (with cereal or in smoothies all consisting of whole foods [the cereal i eat is single ingredients like kamut, millet, etc. with organic raisins on top]).

      The brand still has a few things I wish it didn’t (“natural flavors” and the vitamin a, the “gums”, and more salt than I would prefer), but it also has no added sugar, saves me time, and has added calcium. So, I will concede on one processed food since I eat incredibly healthy otherwise (all whole plants with my only other vice being organic soy sauce).

      • AllyCat77

        The Vitamin A Palmitate is just another word for Palm Oil and that’s bad for the animals and you.

        • Blaice

          You know, scientific debate requires citations to be considered valid. Your personal opinion does not suffice. Provide some peer reviewed research to back your claims please. Palm oil, not great for the environment, but your steak is much, much worse.

          http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/retinyl_palmitate

          • AllyCat77

            Im Vegan and this is a comment page. I’ve done my research. You must do your own to be convinced.

          • Blaice

            I have, and I’m not convinced. Obviously you aren’t either with a response like that.

          • AllyCat77

            Im absolutely convinced that palm oil is bad for people. And I absolutely know that palm oil is causing the deaths of Orangutans, Rhinos and Tigers. It is also causing great harm to any people who are unlucky enough to live near any of these palm plantations. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t think people should have to wear masks to be able to live on their own property.

          • Blaice

            Well, you being convinced is not convincing me. Once again, the argument is not about it’s effect on the environment (which is more of an anthropological effect aka the pesticides require the masks not the trees…). My argument is you claim “do your own research,” yet have provided zero biochemical or physiological effects of consuming vitamin A palmitate from any reputable source, or in general.

            Once again, this is concerning your comment about human health, and we are talking about CONSUMPTION here. Consumption, is all I was even considering until you brought up tangents I’m not arguing about.

          • AllyCat77

            I have done the research. I can’t do yours as well.

          • Blaice

            No, no you haven’t. You can’t claim one single adverse physiological effect. You are just full of shit.

          • Blaice

            “The Vitamin A Palmitate is just another word for Palm Oil and that’s bad for the animals and YOU.” claiming something without any substance to back it up is what a child would do, and your responses are that of a child as well. It is bad for you because I say it is! Ha.

          • AllyCat77

            If you had been nicer I would have done your research for you.

          • Blaice

            No, no you wouldn’t have. You can’t provide what isn’t there.

          • AllyCat77

            The information is there. You just have to read it. No matter how you try to bait me I am not going to do the research for you.

          • Blaice

            I’m not baiting anything. Just merely telling you you are wrong. You can’t find what is not there. I love you say “bad” for humans and can’t even articulate or comprehend why. It is amusing. Lies are not appealing, even if it is on the internet XD.

          • AllyCat77

            I comprehend just fine. You have all the time in the world to berate me but you have no time to check the facts for yourself.

          • Blaice

            Can’t find what isn’t there, but you can’t seem to comprehend that, despite saying so. I can actually show you research showing vitamin a palmitate was beneficial as a concentrated drug to populations with low vitamin a. You making up health issues from the concentration present in almond milk tho is amusing. I really would like to see some research from a peer-reviewed paper, but it’s too bad there doesn’t seem to be any that indicate adverse effects. I’m really interested on where you found your, and what they entail? Even more curious on where these studies and “research” you conducted are from.

          • AllyCat77
          • Blaice

            … K, now I see why you were trying to hide your “source”. I would have to.

          • AllyCat77

            Ok, I’ll bite. What’s your problem with the truth? I get it. I didnt realize I upset a palm oil plantation owner.

          • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

            Saturated fat from plants such as avocado, coconut oil or palm oil does not cause heart disease. This is based on old research that has since been refuted and found not true. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/08/31/saturated-fats-heart-disease.aspx I stopped watching the video at that point. Yes, palm plantation are bad for the environment when they destroy native forests, but as a food source, they are not harmful and certainly better than the trans fat they now replace in products.

          • AllyCat77

            Wow, did the meat industry and our government pay for that article? Yeah, use lard from cows and pigs. Then they threw in OR coconut oil. Lard… Lard? Isnt that what we DON’T put down our kitchen sink so we don’t clog it up. Tho, it’s ok to consume it?

          • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

            As a biologist, I can’t even respond to that as it shows you don’t understand how the human body works and metabolizes fats or the basic principles concerning states of matter.

          • AllyCat77

            Oh, so because Im not a biologist Then Im stupid and can’t possibly understand? I understand completely. You have an agenda and you are sticking to it.

          • AllyCat77
          • AllyCat77
          • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

            Vitamin Palmitate is a form of vitamin A and not another name for palm oil. Chemically it is not the same thing. http://www.drsinatra.com/the-straight-scoop-on-vitamin-a/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retinyl_palmitate

          • AllyCat77

            Palmitate is a synthetic salt of palmitic acid produced by a process of esterification. Palmitic acid is a saturated fatty acid found in a variety of plant and animal sources. The most prolific of these natural sources are palm oil, palm kernel oil, and coconut oil. Palmitate is an antioxidant and source of vitamin A used as a dietary supplement and as a fortifying agent in dairy products. The effects of vitamin A palmitate are well documented, and its use as a supplement should always be controlled by a medical professional.

            Palmitic acid is a naturally occurring saturated fatty acid made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen found in fats, waxes, body lipids, and several plant oils. Palm and palm kernel oils, coconut oil, olive oil, dark green vegetables, liver, full cream milk, and carrots are common sources of palmitic acid with palm oils being among the strongest sources and the origin of the name. Palmitate is a synthesized salt of palmitic acid produced by a process of esterification or alcohol oxidation of the acid. A strong antioxidant and source of vitamin A, it is used as a fortifying food additive or as a dietary supplement.

          • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

            so yes, as you pointed out, since it can come from many sources, it can’t be said that it’s another name for palm oil. So the term doesn’t always mean a palm oil sourced ingredient.

          • AllyCat77

            Yes, you are correct. It can come other sources and can even be synthetic.

          • AllyCat77

            Tho, it really is another name for palm oil.
            Palmitate (more formally known as retinyl palmitate) contains palmitic acid, a 16-carbon saturated fatty acid, which is the major fatty acid found in palm oil. The palmitic acid is attached to the alcohol form of vitamin A, called retinol, to make vitamin A stable in milk.

          • AllyCat77
          • Blaice

            Nah, no you wouldn’t have. You can’t provide what isn’t there.

          • RATM

            Where exactly? imright.com?

  • Vaughn ONeal

    “If you only ate raw, unprocessed food, you’d likely be malnourished.” This implies that God/nature is deficient in providing us with needed nutrition. If you ate fresh veggies and fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and lean meats, you would be highly nourished. Humans do not “need” processed food.

    • Kert

      Think about it this way. Cooking food is processing. By cooking, humans are altering the chemical composition of the food. Cooking release nutrients and can concentrate nutrients. It can even remove harmful germs. Without cooking, we humans would need to eat for a long time to get all the calories and nutrients we need. Same applies for other processing such as blending and hydrolysing.

      • Vaughn ONeal

        I see what you mean if you’re referring to cooking, blending, juicing, etc as processing. I’m glad you weren’t promoting Cheez-Its or hot dogs as a necessary part of our diet…lol.

    • AllyCat77

      Or meat.

      • Vaughn ONeal

        No but we do need chocolate.

        • AllyCat77

          Absolutely! The one thing we would never survive without.

    • AllyCat77

      Humans don’t “need” meat either.

  • Vaughn ONeal

    I just went to WFM last night. They didn’t carry the New Barn brand. Has anyone tried MALK? I grabbed it just to try it out but it seems a bit expensive for such a small amount. Like $8 for 28oz. Three smoothies and I’ll have to get more. I might look at homemade.

  • Frank

    The 365 is sold at Whole Foods.