Being on a low carb or keto diet means that you need to lower the number of carbs you consume. This means that you are going to have to give up on regular dairy milk, as it contains a form of sugar called lactose.
For this reason, many people in the low carb and keto community, as well as the plant-based community are turning to dairy milk substitutes to replace the creamy, white, cow’s milk with plant-based milk such as almond milk.
However, can you consume almond milk when you are on the keto diet? Here is everything you need to know!
What Is Almond Milk?
Almond milk is plant-based milk that is made from almonds that have been soaking in water overnight. This milk has a pleasant nutty flavor with a slight sweetness. Its texture is thick and creamy.
It is widely available in most stores and markets. Some brands that manufacture almond milk often add preservatives, additives, and sugar to make the milk sweeter and last longer. If you are buying this milk, it is crucial to choose unsweetened almond milk to avoid excess carbs.
If you want your milk to be as pure as it can, then you can easily make it at home. That way you will have control over what goes into your homemade almond milk.
How to make almond milk at home?
To make plain almond milk all you need are almonds, water, and a blender. To make the milk even more flavorful, you can add some vanilla seeds or vanilla extract and a pinch of salt to bring out the flavors even more.
The process of making this nut milk is very simple. You need to soak the almonds in water for 6 to 8 hours beforehand. After you soak them, you need to put them in a blender with more water and then blend them for approximately 1 minute or until all almonds are ground up. At this stage, you can add a pinch of salt and some vanilla seeds or vanilla extract for extra flavor.
The next step is to separate the ground up almonds from the almond milk. You can do that by straining the mixture through a cheesecloth or a gauze. The drained liquid is the milky, white milk and the ground up almonds are left in the gauze or cheesecloth.
You can still use the leftover ground up almonds or almond meal by drying it and using it as a keto-friendly bread crumb alternative.
You can use different ratios to make the milk however, the 1:4 ratio is one of the most commonly used. This means that for 1 cup of almonds, you need 4 cups of water (1 cup for soaking and then add 3 more cups when you blend them)
Almond Milk Nutrition Facts
In the table below is the nutritional information on 1 cup or 244 grams of almond milk. (*)
If you are buying from a store, make sure that you read the label. Every brand will have different nutritional information depending on what and how much salt, sweetener, and other additives and preservatives they use.
|Total Carbs||3.2 grams|
|Net Carbs||2.72 grams|
Is Almond Milk Healthy?
Almond milk is a very nutritious plant-based milk, which is packed with many beneficial nutrients. It is vegan, dairy-free, lactose-free, and when unsweetened- naturally low in carbs.
Just like almonds, its milk is rich in vitamin E, calcium, and vitamin D.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble, essential vitamin that has many roles and functions in the human body. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps combat oxidative damage to cells from free radicals. It also has a role in our immune systems, as well as promising anticancer effects and a role in the cardiovascular system. (*) (*) (*) (*)
Calcium is a mineral that has a role in bone health, brain aging, and long-term memory, as well as a key role in smooth and hearth muscle contraction. (*) (*) (*)
Almond milk comes in two forms: unsweetened and sweetened. Generally, sweetened almond milk is less healthy than unsweeten as it often contains added sugars (depending on the sweetener). Also, sometimes, artificial additives, flavors, and preservatives are added to the milk, which makes store-bought almond milk less healthy than homemade version.
Almond milk is also not a good choice if you have an almond allergy or other nut allergies, as it is made from almonds and it may trigger a reaction.
Can You Drink Almond Milk On The Keto Diet?
Per one cup or 244 grams of unsweetened almond milk, there are 36.6 calories, 2.3 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein, 3.2 grams of carbs out of which 2.7 are net carbs and 0.5 grams is fiber.
This milk is a low-calorie and low-carb dairy milk substitute that has a rich, nutty, and slightly sweet flavor and a smooth, creamy texture. It is rich in vitamin E, calcium, and vitamin D. It is not only tasty, but also contains beneficial nutrients.
Overall, homemade, unsweetened almond milk with approximately 3 grams of net carbs is both low-carb and keto-friendly, and it can make your keto journey even more enjoyable.
How to use almond milk on the keto diet?
You can use almond milk in a variety of ways on the keto diet. One of the most common uses is in coffee, so if you previously enjoyed dairy milk in your morning coffee, now you don’t have to give it up for plain, black coffee, but you can just substitute it with unsweetened almond milk.
If you like your coffee a little “extra” or you want to experiment with your drinks, you can try our Vanilla Almond Milk Coffee which is completely sugar-free and keto-friendly!
Baking with almond milk can be a little different if you are substituting dairy milk, but it would be okay if the recipe already uses almond milk. Most of the time you can use a 1:1 ratio to replace dairy milk with almond milk.
However, you may need to accommodate the baking time or the amount of almond milk depending on the dryness of the pastry.
In 1 cup or 244 grams of unsweetened almond milk, there are 3.2 grams of carbs out of which 0.5 are fiber and 2.7 are net carbs.
Yes, to replace dairy milk with almond milk, use a 1:1 ratio.
Yes, almond milk is ketogenic as it contains 2.7 grams of net carbs per cup.
Giving up regular milk might be hard when you first start on a low-carb or a keto diet. However, dairy milk alternatives- such as almond milk can make the experience a little easier.
Unsweetened almond milk is keto-friendly, plant-based milk that is made from almonds. It is packed with nutrients and is low in carbs. When using store-bought almond milk, make sure you read the nutritional information and the ingredient label, as some brands add artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and additives to their product. You can control what goes into your milk by making it yourself.
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*image by porosolka_balt/depositphotos