Which is Healthier? Alpro Nut Milk or Homemade Nut Mylk

Ready-made nut mylk is appearing in supermarkets, but it’s a bit more sugary than making your own – but, how easy is that, exactly. We decided to find out….

two bottles of almond milk with straws in next to a bowl of almonds

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My mission started when a carton of the new Alpro nut milk range appeared on my desk – it seems the soy people are branching out.

One of the cartons had the intriguing name ‘Hazelnut Drink’ and in my normal Alice in Wonderland style it was in a tumbler before you could say ‘Drink Me’.

And boy it’s nice…..really nutty and with a good creamy taste. It makes a great afternoon snack with a piece of fruit, gives you 3.6g dose of vitamin E and because it’s fortified, provides 240mg of calcium with it. It’s not too bad on the calories either – 58 per 200ml tumbler and 3.2g of fat – most of it healthy unsaturated types.

However, it does let the side down a little by having 6g of sugar (about 1.5tsp) – which surprised me as it doesn’t taste ridiculously sweet.

Because I’m currently attempting to avoid too much added sugar, I started thinking – what would happen if I attempted to make my own nut milk?

A quick google answered that with ‘absolute kitchen armageddon’ – most of the methods I saw seemed to involve you blending the nuts with water (so far so good) and then squeezing them through a muslin bag to get the juice out; I could already see how that was going to go and its name was ‘disaster and mess’ so I turned to my favourite raw food guru Ani Phyo.

In her book Raw Food Essentials she has recipes for what she calls Nut Mylks – and, instead of straining the milks she simply blends them.

This makes them high in fibre, super filling – although impossible to use in tea or coffee unless you want to filter your drink through your teeth (not recommended, it’ll stain them).

How to Make Nut Mylk

Here’s the recipe

1/2 cup hazelnuts (or any nut) – that about 80g of my measuring

1/2 cup pitted dates – also about 80g of my measuring

A pinch of sea salt

5 cups of water

I got the smoothie maker out and voila – homemade nut milk. And it was gorgeous – really creamy, really nutty, just sweet enough and the bits of nut my smoothie maker hadn’t quite broken down actually added to the taste.

However, it only made about five tumblers full and so then I did the calorie maths – according to my calculations, each tumbler contains 162 calories, 8.4g fat (again though mostly unsaturated) and 9.8g of natural sugars. At this point, I nearly cried.

So, which milk wins The Great 2012 Nut Milk Battle?

Homemade is healthier, but even with the added sugar Alpro nut milk has far fewer calories.

You can make the raw recipe with Stevia which would knock about 50 cals off but still, homemade nut milk is going to have to go into the treats pile for me right now – especially as some studies show that your body doesn’t register liquid calories and adjust your appetite downwards in the same way it would if you’d eaten a handful of nuts and dates.

If you’re with me, you’ll find the new Alpro nut milk range in supermarkets now. If you’re not watching your weight though, fire up the smoothie maker, you won’t regret it.

Who is The Wellness Nerd?

My name is Helen Foster and I’m a health journalist and wellness author. Publications I’ve written for include Women’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Body and Soul, Good Health at the Daily Mail and more. I have also written 16 books on health and nutrition.

1 thought on “Which is Healthier? Alpro Nut Milk or Homemade Nut Mylk”

  1. What’s worrying about Alpro is it seems there Soy milk is gmo. I personally had an allergic reaction to it. Also the fact that all their dairy milk substitutes that they do seem to be full of preservatives, sugar (as you have mentioned) and other additives along with very little nut or soy content – only a few percent.

    I recently made my own organic almond milk on the back of being disappointed with store bought and plan on making (and rotating) all nut based milks i.e. cashew, brazil nut, pistachios, and hazelnuts.

    Recipe is simple – as you posted but no need for any sweetener really in my opinion or salt. Keep it simple – nut + water and perhaps vanilla pod for a slight flavour or you could go with cinnamon etc


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