No, Almond milk does not have dairy. It is considered a dairy substitute made with non-dairy ingredients. In addition to almond milk, there are several other non-dairy milk options that include soy milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, oat milk, and others. You should not expect to see dairy as an ingredient in almond milk for any major brand found in grocery stores.
Almond Milk Ingredients
Below are the ingredients of some of the most popular almond milk brands. You will notice no dairy in any of these products. They are primarily made from filtered water, almonds, and sugar when sweetened.
Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Original – almondmilk (filtered water, almonds), cane sugar, calcium carbonate, sea salt, potassium citrate, sunflower lecithin, gellan gum, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, D-Alpha-Tocopherol (natural vitamin E).
Silk Almond Milk Original – Almondmilk (filtered water, almonds), cane sugar, vitamin and mineral blend (calcium carbonate, vitamin e acetate, vitamin a palmitate, vitamin d2), sea salt, gellan gum, sunflower lecithin, locust bean gum, ascorbic acid (to protect freshness), natural flavor.
Califia Farms Almond Milk Original – Almondmilk (water, almonds), pure cane sugar, sunflower lecithin, sea salt, potassium citrate, natural flavors, locust bean gum, gellan gum.
So Delicious Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk – Organic almondmilk (filtered water, organic almonds), organic cashews, sea salt, gellan gum, natural flavor.
How is Almond Milk Made?
Generally, almond milk is made by soaking almonds in water. The almonds are then ground in fresh/filtered water until the almonds are broken down. This mixture is then strained to remove the pulp. Once the pulp is collected, creamy almond milk remains. Of course, flavoring can be added during the process. Popular flavorings include vanilla, chocolate, and honey.
Almond milk is super simple to make at home. Additionally, homemade almond milk allows you to eliminate the gums, thickeners, and other unwanted ingredients that are often found in commercial products. It also enables you to control its flavoring and sweetness.
The video below shows how to make almond milk using a blender, strainer, and cheese cloth for the primary tools. While this recipe uses vanilla extract, a date, and salt for the flavoring, feel free to experiment with your own flavoring.
What is Dairy?
If almond milk is not dairy, what exactly is considered dairy? Dairy is made from the milk of mammals. The most popular milk-producing mammal in the world is the cow, which accounts for approximately 85 percent of the supply. However, it can also be sourced from many other animals such as goats, yaks, buffalos, and camels. The milk from these mammals is used to make dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, sour cream, and cottage cheese. Today, it is not uncommon to find dairy-free substitutes for many dairy products.
Does Almond Milk Have Lactose?
No, almond milk does not have lactose. Lactose is a sugar found in dairy milk that is difficult for some people to digest. Since almond milk is naturally dairy-free, it does not contain lactose. Many people who are sensitive to lactose or are lactose intolerant opt to drink dairy-free alternatives like almond milk.