Are you aware that your average almond milk contains 2% actual almond?
It's amazing how many people are astonished that almond milk actually doesn't contain that much almond at all. In fact recently, there was some court case in America about it (see here). To understand why, this is so, you need to have some idea of how it's made.
Basically almond milk is made by soaking then blending almonds before straining water through them. You can do it yourself, at home, with the aid of a blender and a nut milk bag. See this recipe or this recipe to find out how. Once you've made your 'milk', you can then add a sweetener of your choice and, if you're a manufacturer, you may made add extra vitamin supplements and thickeners as well.
Why am I waffling on about all this? Well, new to the market is a new almond milk, which unlike the others on the market is made with a greater level of almond - 7% in fact. You might well wonder whether an extra 3% makes all that much of a difference, so did I, so I decided to find out.
Here it is:
|NEW Plenish Almond Milk|
Straight away, as you look at the packaging, it's obvious that this is a drink that is aimed at the health market. Health buzzwords like: 'organic', 'nutrition', 'natural', 'simple', etc. are plastered all over the place. I'm not here for a health fix, I just want a decent milk substitute. So, what is it like?
What is it like?
First glance, at the milk as I pour it out, it definitely appears to be slightly thicker than the brand leader. I taste it. It's unsweetened. Generally I prefer sweetened almond milk, so I probably wouldn't drink it by itself, but of course you can flavour it yourself, if you like. It has a pleasant creaminess, that comes through on cereal and works well in custard, I could see myself using it in rice pudding, too. I like it.
'Baby' is not so keen. Even in custard. But like I've said before, she is extremely sensitive to tastes and can distinguish between brands, so she's a tricky little girl to please!
What's in it?
Three ingredients: Almond (7%), Filtered water, Himalayan Salt. At this point I'm not so impressed! It calls itself an 'organic almond drink' but two of the ingredients are starred. Actually, the water and the salt are not organic. Hmm! Not so organic then, in my opinion! Apparently it's not possible to claim that water or salt is organic, but given that water is the main ingredient... It's definitely something worth bearing in mind, when looking at other 'organic' drinks too!
As it's a drink manufactured for the health market, and supposedly organic, there are no added vitamins or minerals (as in some of the mainstream brands), and for that reason I wouldn't drink it everyday - I tend to make up some of my daily calcium allowance from dairy free milk, so maybe it's something I would use if I wanted to make something particularly more creamy.
It does, to be fair, contain some naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin E and Copper, but for me, as on the whole I think I eat a fairly balanced diet, it's calcium and Vitamin D that are my main concern.
Where it majorly differs from other almond milk is in the calorie content. This is something that interests me, as young children who are dairy free need a higher calorie content in their milk. Not containing any added sugar, the calorie content in this milk comes purely from the almonds from which it is made. That said, it still doesn't match up to the calorie content of the Alpro Plus 1 Soya milk that is usually recommended for young children (over the age of one). Neither does it contain as much in the way of protein - also important for growing little 'uns. Alpro Plus 1 contains more protein - much nearer the amount contained in cow's milk. See this post for a comparison or the values of the main brands.
Obviously, it contains nuts - specifically almonds - and these are highlighted in the ingredients. It says it's dairy free. Although there are no gluten-containing ingredients, there is no claim to be gluten free, so presumably they've decided not to test it for the purposes of accreditation. That doesn't mean it's NOT okay, just that it's not been tested to prove it.
Hmm! Not cheap!! At Ocado (if you're quick) it is currently £2.99. It's soon going to be priced at £3.49. That's almost £2 more than the brand leader in almond milk, but slightly cheaper than Rude Health, another Organic brand (which contains 8% almond).
Where can I buy it?
Ocado. Their range of juices are sold mainly through certain London outlets, so I imagine they will soon also become available in the same stores. For a list of current stockists, see here.
Can be stored at room temperature, until opened.