Health

Which is the best unsweetened almond milk under $5?

Whether you have an intolerance to lactose, are vegan, love it for baking, want to reduce your intake of dairy, or really just like the taste – almond milk is more popular than ever.

And while it’s great that there is so much choice available in the supermarket aisles, sometimes it can feel a little overwhelming.

What percentage of almonds should you go for in your milk? Should you choose sweetened or unsweetened? How much are you willing to pay? And which one tastes the best?

Let The Healthy Mummy help you decide!

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We’ve broken it into different categories – sweetened vs unsweetened, almond content, price and energy – to help you decide which brand is best for YOU.

Sweetened vs unsweetened

It depends on what you are using it for, but in general it will be much healthier for you to choose an unsweetened milk. Many brands sweeten their milk with cane sugar or rice malt syrup for instance, but we think it tastes great in its natural state.

If you are using it in your Healthy Mummy Smoothie, the fruit or veggies you add will give it enough sweetness.

For the purpose of this article, we are focusing on unsweetened and unflavoured almond milk (some contain vanilla, coconut or chocolate for instance).

Our pick: For flavour, is the Sanitarium So Good Almond Milk Unsweetened ($3.70 at Woolworths) 2.5% almonds 173kJ.

Try this: Super Greens Smoothie, with almond milk, yoghurt, avocado, Kiwi fruit and baby spinach.

Super-Greens-Splice-Smoothie

Almond content

Recently Choice published an article where they compared 36 different brands of almond milk (including some that were sold fresh in the chilled section, that are much more expensive). They found a big difference in the actual almond content of the milks – from 1.3% up to 12%.

For the almond milks available from the shelf that are under $5, the range is between 2.5%-7%.

For many people, preference for a particular almond milk would have more to do with taste and price than almond content. Think of it this way, if you’re paying $3-4 per litre, surely you would prefer more than 2.5% of the contents to be almonds.

More almonds means more protein and more almond flavour, which is an important consideration.

Our pick: Pureharvest Activated Almond Milk Organic Unsweetened Original ($3.41 at Coles) contains 7% almonds. With more than double many of the other brands we looked at, Pureharvest is the winner by far.

Try this: Blueberry Tea Cake with almond milk, wholemeal flour, coconut sugar and blueberries.

Blueberry-Teacake

Price

There is a range of prices for almond milk, and the outline here for prices is based on the RRP (not the ‘on sale’ or special price) for online shopping July 2017.

The good thing is that the tetra packs can be stored for a long time, so if you see the milk you love on offer – grab a few and stash them.

Our pick: Home brand milks from Coles, Woolworths and Aldi tend to be the cheapest, although, of course, there are often other brands of almond milk on sale for a reduced cost, or for a 2 for 1 offer.

Try this: Chocolate Thickie, with almond milk, pear, oats and chia seeds.

Healthy-Chocolate-Milkshake

Energy

Almond milk is generally lower in calories than cow’s milk. Pureharvest has the highest calories per 250ml than any of the other brands, but this makes sense as its almond content is more than double most of the other brands.

Our pick: Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almond Milk ($3.25 at Woolworths) has 2.5% almonds and 168kJ per 250ml.

Try this: Choc Berry Chia Pudding for a healthy yet filling breakfast.

Choc-Berry Chia Pudding

Ask a nutritionist

We asked our Healthy Mummy nutritionist, Nikki Boswell, for her top advice on choosing almond milk:

  • To assist meeting the recommended intake of calcium, your almond milk should be fortified with at least 100 mg of calcium per 100 ml (not all have calcium, so check the nutrition panel). For instance the Sanitarium So Good Unsweetened Almond Milk contains 120 mg per 100 ml.
  • Go for the highest protein level you can find, which is usually linked to the almond content. This is where the Pureharvest brand is strong.
  • Have you tried making your own? You’ll get a much higher almond percentage and you can also use the leftover blended almonds to bake a healthy cake or biscuit – meaning less wastage than commercial milks.

The breakdown

Aldi Inner Goodness Almond Milk Unsweetened

$2.29 at Aldi with 2.5% almonds (280kJ/250ml)

Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almond Milk

$3.25 at Woolworths with 2.5% almonds (168kJ/250ml)

Australia’s Own Organic Almond Milk Unsweetened

$3.80 at Woolworths with 3% almonds (230kJ/250ml)

Coles Almond Milk Unsweetened

$2.30 at Coles with 2.5% almonds (172kJ/250ml)

Pureharvest Activated Almond Milk Organic Unsweetened Original

$3.41 at Coles with 7% almonds (308kJ/250ml)

Sanitarium So Good Almond Milk Unsweetened

$3.70 at Woolworths with 2.5% almonds (173kJ/250ml)

Vitasoy Almond Milk Unsweetened

$3.79 at Woolworths with 3.8% almonds (210kJ/250ml)

Woolworths Select Unsweetened Almond Milk

$2.29 at Woolworths with 2.5% almonds (170kJ/250ml)

Now it’s over to you. We would love to hear which of these is your favourite!

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