Almond milk is a beverage that has been consumed since the Middle Ages. In the vegan community, it serves as tasty alternative to dairy milk; and recently almond milk sales have surpassed soymilk sales in the United States, making it the most popular dairy milk alternative on the market today. It is also quite popular among those who suffer with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance. Commercially made almond milks such as popular Blue Diamond Almond Breeze and Silk Pure Almond brands can be readily found in many grocery stores or in natural foods markets, usually available in a few varieties such as sweetened ‘original’, vanilla, unsweetened (no added sugar), and even chocolate.
During the holiday season, almond 'nog varieties are often sold in pumpkin and "egg" nog flavors.
Alternatively, fresh almond milk can easily be made at home. To make a fresh batch of almond milk, simply soak about 1 cup of almonds in a bowl of water for 6 hours, up to overnight. Then, drain the almonds and place them into a high speed blender along with enough water to cover (about 3 cups). Blend on high speed until a smooth slushy forms. Keep blending until the almonds are almost completely blended. Strain the mixture into a cheesecloth to remove all of the almond milk. Use the leftover pulp for an extra nutritional boost: add to smoothies, oatmeal, cookie batter, and so much more. As with most foods that are homemade, fresh almond milk generally tastes better than the commercial varieties, and is worth trying out, especially if you have already tried the store-bought varieties. Moreover, making your own almond milk at home allows you full control of its sweetness (and sweeteners used), texture/thickness, and allows for more daring flavors such as strawberry or blueberry.
Many recipes can be found online for homemade almond milk, such as this delicious version of Blueberry Almond Milk from Young and Raw.
The flavor of almond milk is light, sweet, and slightly nutty, and its texture is creamy-- all in all, it's not far from the taste and texture of dairy milk. Those two qualities add up to a vegan milk that is quite drinkable plain, delicious on cereal, and an easy one to one vegan substitute for dairy milk in most recipes.
Nutritionally, almond milk one of the most valuable milks available as it is is naturally high in antioxidant vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, copper, manganese, and vitamin E. The fat content in almond milk includes omega-3 fatty acids that can aid in mental function and lower cholesterol. By comparison to dairy milk, almond milk is lower in calories, and 100% free of lactose, cholesterol, saturated fats.