We live in a world with so much information being brushed on our faces every day.
This is a good thing because I also believe that people should be aware of the various alternatives they have away from what they are traditionally accustomed to.
Speaking of alternatives, there has been a growing number of people who, for one reason or another don’t include dairy milk in their diet.
Their reasons range from health complications such as lactose intolerance, casein intolerance, to social reasons such as vegan dieting, dairy milk inaccessibility, and cultural beliefs.
One interesting belief I came across recently was one of those long WhatsApp posts that went on and on trying to justify why human adults shouldn’t drink dairy milk or milk from any other animal.
As much as I didn’t agree with most of the sentiments in that post, I must say I have been using many different dairy milk alternatives since my childhood.
Not because of any particular belief, but just because I like tasting alternative foods available.
One of these alternatives happens to be almond milk as an alternative to traditional dairy milk.
I have been using almond milk for the longest time and I was amazed when doing a little research on it to see how many people had no clue about it.
Some questions that people kept asking were:
How does it taste like?
Does it taste better than normal milk?
Do you need to sweeten it to make it taste better?
How do I know it is fresh?
How does it taste with coffee or tea?
Well, as expected, almond milk doesn’t taste exactly like dairy milk or other animal milk. Being plant-based milk from edible almond seeds, almond milk usually exhibits a bland but slightly savory taste similar to an Unami sensation with a smooth nutty mouth feeling.
This taste is synonymous with natural almond milk.
But again, in a world where food processing, competition, and innovation thrive, you can expect to find different varieties and flavors of almond milk out there.
Before we move into further details, we need to know what almond milk is and its origin.
Where Does Almond Milk Come From?
As the name suggests, it obviously comes from almond seeds or nuts for the sake of botanical nomenclature.
But, unlike plant oil which is extracted from seeds, almond milk is not extracted from almonds by normal extraction processes such as pressing.
It is basically made by adding fresh water into finely ground almond seeds to make a thick creamy mixture that resembles dairy milk.
You can easily make it at home by following simple recipes available online in recipe blogs or on YouTube such as the one below here.
The commercial ones are available in different flavors depending on the brand that makes them.
What Does Fresh Natural Almond Milk Taste Like?
As earlier noted, the taste of fresh natural almond milk will usually mimic the almond seeds that were used to make it.
Most almonds have a nutty taste with a variation of sensory lexicon in terms of aroma, texture, and flavor in their characterization.
Natural unsweetened almond milk has a bland taste that gives an almost savory or Unami sensation in the mouth.
Unlike other plant-based milk, natural almond milk can be made into a thick liquid by increasing the number of almonds in the mixture.
This enables it to have a smooth and creamy texture just like the normal dairy milk or animal milk.
What About Sweetened Almond Milk Taste?
Some people would prefer sweetening their almond milk with either sugar, honey, or other artificial sweeteners.
Since the bland savory taste of natural almond milk may not be appealing to a section of consumers, some almond milk manufacturers add sweeteners and flavoring agents in the product to reach a wider consumer spectrum.
Sweetened almond milk has a delicious sweet taste, especially when accompanied by flavorings such as vanilla or chocolate.
Does Almond Milk Taste Better than Regular Milk?
The additional nutty flavor from almond seeds enhances the flavor of almond milk making it tastier than ordinary dairy milk.
This answer may however be subjective since a comparison between the two will largely depend on individual taste and preference.
I have personally found almond milk tasting better than dairy milk when it is paired with breakfast cereals.
It also tends to give more wholesome and tastier products when used in baking.
How Does Expired Almond Milk Taste Like?
One thing that you look for when checking the freshness of food products is how the product tastes.
Almond producers have for a long time been having difficulties identifying bad almonds since the seeds mostly look similar from the outside.
This means some bad seeds may occasionally find their way into your almond milk.
Also, almond milk, just like any other food has a shelf life and it does go bad.
So, how do you tell if your almond milk has gone bad?
Other than having an unpleasant smell, expired almond milk will also have an unpleasant sour or bitter taste.
The bitter taste is due to an increase in a toxic compound known as amygdalin that I previously talked about its toxicity in this article here.
So, if you notice your almond milk is turning bitter, it’s time to discard it.
What does Almond Milk Taste like in Coffee?
This will largely depend on the type of coffee you are using; whether drip or instant coffee.
The taste also tends to vary depending on the coffee variety and the coffee’s cup quality.
Ideally, you should expect a blend of the nutty savory aroma from the almond milk and the flowery and fruity aromatic tastes of roasted coffee beans.
The almond milk flavor somehow masks the coffee flavors and acidity and if you are more interested in getting the coffee flavors, adding almond milk might not be the best option.
How Does Almond Milk Taste Like in Tea?
Similarly, the nutty flavor from the almond milk will also stand out when used in tea.
The combination of almond milk flavor essence, especially when boiled slightly, and the aromatic zesty and earthy taste associated with tea often brings out a special taste that most white tea lovers would appreciate.
Again, if you are more into getting the full taste of tea notes from your cup, you should perhaps use ordinary dairy milk.
But if you are into variety and you are not afraid of trying new flavors, you should definitely consider almond milk as an alternative when making your tea.
What does Food Cooked or Baked with Almond Milk Taste Like?
Yes, if you are asking, almond milk can also be used in cooking and baking.
In fact, most people I have talked to that use almond milk prefer it in cooking and baking to ordinary dairy milk and other non-dairy milk such as oat milk, macadamia milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, hemp milk, or soy milk.
For foods cooked with almond milk, the nutty aroma can still be tasted in the food.
Adding it into your recipe is a good way of creatively adding some diversity to your food.
Whether taking almond milk as an alternative or as a substitute to normal dairy milk, you should be aware that its taste will be reflected in almost everything you incorporate in the mix.
I am yet to come across someone who doesn’t like the nutty savory taste that comes with almond milk.
With that said, you can be sure that if you like the natural almond taste, then you will surely love the taste of almond milk in any other form.