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%.


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.


(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).


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.


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.


(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


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.


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.


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

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.

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?

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

MORE: Dark Chocolate: The Best and Worst Brands


  • 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.


  1. Bhagwan Goklani 12 months ago

    I can make decent almond milk with just almonds and water.
    I let almonds soak in warm water and then take the skin off. I like to add water about four times the volume of almonds. Then I put them in the blender and viola, you have the best almond milk with no added garbage in it. It can last about 3 days in refrigerator. Make enough to last 3 days. You can make it thicker or thinnner by varying the quantity of almonds depending on your taste

    • RoadWarrior 11 months ago

      I agree with the garbage in store bought almond milk. I recently developed a consistent heartburn after meals and have been taking Tums almost daily. I did not like the idea of taking the antacid so often. When I found out almonds after meals tend to relief the heartburn due to the alkalinity in almonds, I started eating it. It actually helped, so I looked into almond milk at the store. When I checked the ingredients, I was very disappointed. The one common ingredient in all the almond milks is calcium carbonate. It is also the active ingredient in Tums. I believe the almond milk producers are spiking their drinks with an antacid to make you feel good.
      I immediately bought a Blendtec blender to make my own almond milk with water.

  2. Mal

    Making almond milk is not an option. Almonds are just too expensive. Depending on the brand too, it’s also expensive. Almond Breeze is most popular due to how inexpensive it is especially when you buy it from Costco. I did notice Starbucks using Almond Breeze and not whatever their own brand. I see how of other baristas use Almond Breeze most likely due to the cost of cheap it is.

    • word 12 months ago

      You apparently don’t realize that making it yourself is absolutely the most cost-effective option. The cost/amount of the almonds used to make the milk should be the same regardless of whether you make it or someone else. In reality, you’re getting less almonds for the price paid for an equivalent amount of almonds.

  3. Melissaღ

    Wow I need to try the New Barn almond milk. Hate Silk and Blue Diamond. They are so thick and taste disgusting.

    • Monalisa

      It probably tastes disgusting because of the sunflower oil / letchtin in it. I noticed that whenever it has sunflower in it, I can’t drink it. Tastes horrible to me. I can only do Pacific or So Delicious brands. And yeah, the NewBarn looks good.

  4. Jessica Hardy

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  5. Lucylula

    Any idea the almond % in three trees? Ingredients: filtered water, organic almonds. I found it at Whole Foods, Monterey, CA.

    • JamesF

      Nice find. They don’t list almond %, but looking at their nutritional label it’s clear that the drink is high in almonds – I would say well over 5%

    • Tartufi

      Three Trees has 4 x the amount of protein of brands like Silk and Blue Diamond, and the ingredients are just water and almonds, so extrapolation would mean it has 4 times the amount of almonds, so 6-8% by weight. That’s like 20% by volume.

    • Melissaღ

      Just almonds and water? Nice. I need to try it. ?

  6. Lucylula

    Any idea the almond % in three trees? Ingredients: filtered water, organic almonds.

  7. Lucylula

    Try Three Trees. Ingredients: almonds. That’s it. One ingredient. I purchased it at Whole Foods in Monterey, CA.

  8. Clay Pendleton

    Yeah, but do they tell you that the almond milk your consuming may have been sprayed with PPO gas? Carrageenan is not exactly what I would be worried about if choosing to drink almond milk. Most of the almonds sold in the U.S. have been fumigated … to kill bacteria and prevent salmonella contamination by using a closed chamber to be fumigated with propylene oxide gas. How do you know if the almond milk your drinking hasn’t been sprayed with PPO gas before turning it into milk? Obviously, they are not going to put that on their labeling. Why is it that chemical companies in America are allowed to sell this stuff to companies in order to treat food products that are slowly poisoning us so they can make a profit. You maybe drinking to your cancer demise.

    • JamesF

      Organic certified milks must only use steam treated almonds. Otherwise you can assume that all non-organic use the PPO treatment.

    • Shayra Rosario

      But did they die tho?

      • Clay Pendleton

        Who knows, they could have?

      • Pamela

        Worse, painful living. What we’re all dealing with..

  9. Ryan Hill

    All you could find was an australian brand with 4%… Just lol. do your research man. What about the “PureHarvest” brand in Australia, i am a regular consumer myself and i know for a fact it contains all organic ingredients with at least 10% ‘soaked’ almonds.

    • JamesF

      We did have the Pure Harvest brand listed further down (under Non-US brands), but failed to update the content at the top of the post, so thanks for the reminder. How do you find Pure Harvest compares pricewise?

  10. Just Sayin

    Almond Breeze, as of 8/19/2016, there is still carageenen in the US version. It’s in my fridge right now.

    • Christine May 11 months ago

      That’s weird..just looked again at my Blue Diamond unsweetened original almond milk and no there’s no carageenan listed. I began buying it for that very reason at least 3 years ago. I live in Washington, could there be different versions out there for different areas?

  11. YoNeighbor

    US Costco has an Organic entry now-
    Saw them for the first time today.

    Kirkland Signature Organic Almond Vanilla non-dairy beverage.
    *Organic almond base
    *Organic vanilla flavor
    *Sea salt
    *Sunflower lecithin
    *Organic locust bean gum
    *Gellan gum
    *Vitamin A palmitate
    *Ergocalciferol – Vit D2
    *DL-alpha-tocopheryl acetate – Vit E
    *Riboflavin – Vit B2
    *Zinc gluconate
    *Cyanocobalamin – Vit B12
    Sugars 0
    6 – 32oz tetra-pak/$7.99

    • JamesF

      Thanks for the info.

  12. aisoa

    Hi james thank you again for your time in making this article. What do you think of Rude Health Almond Milk?

    • JamesF

      This is a UK brand? The almond milk is more of a rice milk with 14% rice and 1% almonds. But it is probably the most natural of all ‘almond’ milks I’ve seen. Ingredients: Natural spring water, organic rice (14%), organic italian almonds (1%), organic cold-pressed sunflower oil, sea salt.

      I wonder what it tastes like?

      • aisoa

        This company is based on the Uk but can be purchased in some U.S retailers, two I just found out so far are: Wholefoods and I was actually referring to rudehealth ‘Ultimate Almond milk’ above, it only has: Natural spring water, and 6% organic italian almonds. I havent had it yet but I’ve heard of how good it is.

        • Theresa

          Rude Health is amazing and my favorite!!! I miss it when I am in the US. I live part time in the UK and it is the only brand I drink. Alpro is mentioned above but it has a soy emulsifier in it (I believe) which is as bad or worse than carrageenan.

      • Theresa

        Rude Health is amazing. My favorite. I miss it when I am in the US. I wish it was sold in the US. Nothing over here compares to Rude Health. When I am here I live with 365, but Rude Health is seriously good.

  13. elmhursharvest12

    First of all, i really thanks full to you for gives the important information regarding to milk. Milk is must necessary for the good health but its all depended upon the quality and type of milk. From this article we are also get the knowledge about the

    The Best and Worst Brands of the milk. If you want to get the more knowledge about the milk then you can visit our website The Best Nut Milk Product in US

  14. AllyCat77

    Hi James, I researched Califia and they don’t state it in their ingredients but their Vitamin A is actually Vitamin A Palmitate derived from palm oil. I talked to them via their fb page about this.

    New Barn is the only brand, that I have found in the US, that doesnt use palm oil. It is sold at Whole Foods.

    • JamesF

      Thanks for confirming this.

      • AllyCat77

        My pleasure.

        • AllyCat77

          James, I was just checking So Delicious and their regular Almond Milks (Not the 5X Protein) does not have Vitamin A Palmitate in it now. They are using Vitamin A Acetate.

          • JamesF

            Thanks for the heads up. I have confirmed this and updated the post. However the Almond Plus range (the 5x protein) still seems to be available in the larger cartons. Not sure if they will phase this one out or not.

  15. Dan

    What about provamel almond milk 6.5% almond, water, sea salt nothing else…

    • AllyCat77

      Isnt this a UK brand?

      • JamesF

        Provamel is part of Alpro – a company in Belgium. Very difficult to source from the US.

        • AllyCat77

          Alpro I’ve heard of because it’s big in the UK. I checked all 6 of their Almond milk options and none of them contain palm oil. Though, like you said, it’s not available in stores in the US. I’ve heard from people living in England that they have other Almond milks that also don’t contain palm oil. It seems in the US that it’s a healthier choice to make Almond Milk yourself. A lot easier on the wallet as well.

          • Jenny Eu

            Have you all tried Three Trees? I am the founder. I started making pure clean almond and other nutmilks at local farmer’s markets 3 years ago. Our organic almondmilks are completely free of any additives– just organic almonds and water. Give us a try!

  16. Hazel (London, UK)

    Hi James, thank you so much for taking your time to share the information you have made available to us above.

    I sincerely appreciate the knowledge shared and I am encouraged to be more diligent and invest more care and attention to my health.

    I intend to pay much more attention to my diet/what I am putting into my temple thus gaining better control over my weight and general health.

    Your information will enable me to make better informed choices in the even where I may have to temporarily rely on the shelf long-life Almond Milk.

    Best Wishes to you, and thank you most kindly once again.

    • JamesF

      You’re welcome.

  17. Hazel (London, UK)

    I was horrified when I examined the ingredients in the Blue Diamond-Almond Breeze and discovered that it only contained 2% of Almonds. I was annoyed to also note that it consisted of starch, emulsifier and other ingredients I must certainly will not consciously add into my diet.

    The horror motivated me to treat my body better as such I made the decision to commit to making my own homemade Almond Milk, which I can assure you is so very simple to make.

    First soak a half cup/200g of raw almonds in hot water for approximately 1 hour. Then give each nut a good squeeze/pinch using your thumb and index finger, this will seperate the brown skin from the white nut.
    Dispose of the skin, and rinse the nuts under fresh water before placing them in a blender. Add 1 cup of water and blend for approx 4 minutes until nuts are truly minced to dust size in the liquid.

    Once the Almonds are thoroughly desolved in the liquid, add another 2 cups of water and swiftly blend for just a few more seconds. Although not at all necessary, I do take the liberty of also adding a very small drop of Almond Extract at this point, just for a more distinct Almond flavour.

    Using either a Muslin Cloth or a nut milk bag, strain the milk. Place it in your fridge and store as you would any fresh milk. I like to store my homemade Almond Milk in Glass bottles.

    Always give your bottle a good shake before using and consume within 5 days.

    Apart from the 1 hour the Almonds need to be left soaking in boiled water, the milk making, straining and bottled and the tidying up process only takes about 20 minutes 🙂

    I promise you this: you will not ever want to return to the shop branded, deceitfully packaged, fake Almond Milk ever again 🙂

    Raw Almonds can be expensive, I have found Costco to have one of the best value thus far 🙂

    Hazel – From London, UK

    • JamesF

      Thanks for sharing how you make the milk. When I made some of my own I found it was important to get good almonds as it really reflects in the taste of the milk.

    • Great Music

      Horrified? Really? When I found out someone had Cancer, I was “Horrified”……OMG. Relax.

    • Just Sayin

      I don’t know what Almond Breeze you are buying but as of 8/19/2016 there is still carageenen in the US version. It’s in my fridge right now.

  18. Eddie Garza

    Just a note: Carrageenan causes insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. There was a study done on this. You can see it a PubMed.

    • Idomybest

      Thank you for this info. I have insulin resistance and glucose intolerance and am prediabetic. I drink almond milk every day. Oakhurst (a Maine company) made great almond milk but was bought out by a big company and they have just stopped making it. I’m thinking of making my own, but I want every bit of the almonds, including the skin, included.

      • Eddie Garza

        I had insulin resistance, but by changing my diet I have corrected it in 2 months. My insulin levels went from 12.2 to 3.3 in eight weeks. I sleep much better now. Best.
        PS: Making your own is best, but there are some good milks out there that are carrageenan free.

        • Sara Brown

          I am curios how you were able to turn your insulin levels around so quickly? I am at a 6.3 right now and I want to lower them, but need help figuring out how to do that quickly. Congrats to you for that drastic and good change 🙂

          • Eddie Garza

            Hi Sara, I eliminated all processed products, legumes, grains, dairy, sugars and almost all fruits. You need to eat low glycemic foods that are also low insulin producing foods. Absolutely no starchy vegetables or fruits. No potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, corn, sweet potatoes, pineapples, melons, mangos, etc. Eat quality lean proteins and lots of low glycemic veggies. Get your fats from nuts, avocadoes, olive oil, coconut oil, and ghee. Shoot for a fasting insulin level of 4.8 to 5. You want your fasting gluscose at around 80 to 85. Have your HA1c checked. That is more important than fasting glucose.

            Check out the Glycemic/Insulin score for potatoes. They have more that a candy bar.


            Be well.

          • Matt McConaughey 9 months ago

            Sounds like a ketogenic/metabolic/ borderline paleo diet

          • Eddie Garza 9 months ago

            Matthew, All I can say is ‘All Right, All Right, All Right’

  19. Vaness

    I also heard that gellan gum is the worst one.. Anyone else hear about that ?

  20. Renee

    At least some of the Califia varieties now have no sugar. The toasted coconut almond milk (which is amazing, by the way) has no sugar and uses monk fruit extract.