Almond Milks FP

What are the Healthiest Almond Milks for Vegans & Vegetarians in Australia?

Photo by Tetiana Bykovets on Unsplash

I was researching this topic for my own needs as I transition to a vegan diet. I am one of those people – slightly obsessed with health – who actually read and research the ingredients of various products I regularly consume. It might seem over the top, but I think it’s essential to understand exactly what I am putting into my body. 

Food Sensitivity & Soy

Today I got the results back for a food sensitivity test which I did out of curiosity more than anything. Apparently my body is sensitive to soy, so for milk I’m going to opt for almond milk as almonds got the green light in my food sensitivity test. So they are a better option for me than soy products.

Making Your Own Almond Milk

In the past, I have actually made my own almond milk at home, which wasn’t too hard and tasted great. However, I don’t always have the time or forethought to make almond milk before I end up needing it. So I would like to find a store-bought brand that I am reasonably happy with using. 

Healthy Criteria

In this article I will compare a few different brands commonly sold in large and small grocery retailers in Australia. My criteria for health are:

  • minimal or no use of flavours and additives – including ‘natural’ flavours
  • no added sugar (unsweetened) 
  • organic
  • added minerals and vitamins useful for vegans/vegetarians

Contestant 1: Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almond Milk 1l

Ingredients:

Filtered Water, Ground Whole Almonds (2.5%), Tapioca Starch, Mineral Salt (Calcium Carbonate [Ground Limestone]), Salt, Stabiliser (Carrageenan), Emulsifier (Sunflower Lecithin), Natural Flavour.

Conclusions:

  • Not organic
  • Provides Calcium
  • Has added salt
  • Uses a stabiliser, emulsifier, starch and natural flavouring

I would not choose to use this product due to the additives, the fact that it is not organic, has added salt, and has a low percentage of almonds at only 2.5%. The only plus is that it has added calcium. 

Contestant 2: Sanitarium So Good Long Life Unsweetened Almond Milk 1l

Ingredients:

Filtered Water, Almonds (2.5%), Mineral (Calcium), Emulsifier (Sunflower Lecithin), Natural Flavour, Salt, Mineral Salt (Sodium Bicarbonate), Vegetable Gum (Gellan), Antioxidant (Ascorbic Acid), Vitamins (B12, B2, B1). All ingredients are of non-animal origin.

Conclusions:

  • Not organic
  • Provides Calcium, Vitamin B12,B2,B1
  • Has added salt
  • Uses a stabiliser, vegetable gum, emulsifier, antioxidant, and natural flavouring

I wouldn’t buy this one due to the long list of additives, but if, as a vegan or vegetarian you are looking for supplementation of Calcium, and B Vitamins it does provide that. Also this one is not organic. 

Contestant 3: Vitasoy Almond Milk Unsweetened 1l

Ingredients:

Filtered Water, Whole Almonds (Min. 3.8%), Minerals (Calcium Phosphate), Emulsifier (Sunflower Lecithin), Sea Salt, Vegetable Gum (Gellan), Natural Flavour.

Conclusions:

  • Not organic
  • Has a medium percentage of almonds 
  • Provides Calcium
  • Has added salt
  • Uses vegetable gum, an emulsifier, and natural flavouring

I still wouldn’t buy this one due to the additives. I feel there may be better options out there, which we will hopefully come to find soon in this list. 

Contestant 4: Almo Unsweetened Almond Milk 1l

Ingredients:

Filtered water, 5%*Australian grown almonds, calcium, non GM xanthan, sea salt.

Conclusions:

  • Organic
  • Has a relatively higher percentage of almonds 
  • Provides calcium
  • Has added salt
  • Uses xanthan

This product seems a lot better than some of the above options, but I am disappointed that it includes xanthan, which can be irritating to the digestive system in some people. For that reason I would probably hold out to find a better option than this one, but at least this product is heading in the right direction in terms of less additives and a greater percentage of almonds. 

Contestant 5: Inside Out Calcium Enriched Almond Milk 1l

Ingredients:

Filtered Water, Activated Almonds (11%), Vegetable Gum (Gellan), Sea Salt

Conclusions:

  • Not organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Has a relatively higher percentage of almonds 
  • Does not provide calcium
  • Has added salt
  • Uses vegetable gum

I like the way they have kept additives to a minimum and that there is no sweetener. I like that lack of GMO but I’m disappointed that this product is not organic. The high percentage of almonds is definitely a plus. Aside from the non-organic thing, this is a good option for people who don’t mind pesticides. 

Contestant 6: Nutty Bruce Unsweetened Almond Milk 1l

Ingredients:

Filtered Water, Activated (Activated Nuts are soaked in water for 12 hours before being used) Organic Almonds (7%) (Almonds, Water), Organic Brown Rice, Sea Salt.

Conclusions:

  • Organic
  • Has a relatively higher percentage of almonds 
  • Does not provide calcium
  • Has added salt
  • Uses brown rice
  • On packaging says milk & soy may be present

This product is pretty good in that it is organic, doesn’t have a heap of additives – using only sea salt and brown rice – and has a high percentage of almonds. I don’t really like the taste that adding brown rice gives to the almond milk, but as a sweetener it is better than sugar or unnatural substitutes. This is a reasonably healthy option I think. Not sure why milk and soy would be present in the product though. I’m assuming they mean cow’s milk?? WTF?

Contestant 7: Califia Farms Unsweetened Almond 750ml

Ingredients:

Water, Almonds (Tree Nuts) (2.3%), Calcium, Emulsifier (Sunflower Lecithin), Sea Salt, Acidity Regulator (Potassium Citrate), Flavourings, Stabilisers (Locust Bean Gum, Gellan Gum)

Conclusions:

  • Non-GMO
  • Has a relatively low percentage of almonds 
  • Provides calcium
  • Has added salt
  • Uses emulsifier, acidity regulator, flavourings and stabilisers.
  • Vegan

This one just has too many additives for me to touch it, plus, it isn’t organic. It does provide calcium and is vegan-friendly, yet the almond percentage is pretty dismal. I wouldn’t buy it.

Contestant 8:  Macro Organic Almond Milk 1l

Ingredients:

Filtered Water, Organic Almonds (4%), Organic Rice Syrup, Organic Sugar, Organic Sunflower Oil, Plant Calcium, Sea Salt

Conclusions:

  • Organic
  • Has a low-medium percentage of almonds 
  • Provides calcium
  • Has added salt
  • Uses multiple sweeteners 

I wouldn’t buy this one because although it does not have horrible additives and it is organic, the third ingredient is organic rice syrup – another name for sugar! Then they add organic sugar as well! Geez louise, count me out!

Contestant 8: Pureharvest Almond Milk Unsweteened 1l

Ingredients:

Filtered Water, Organic Activated Almonds (7%), Organic Brown Rice, Sea Salt, Natural Almond Essence. 

Conclusions:

  • Organic
  • GMO-free
  • Vegan
  • Has a relatively high percentage of almonds 
  • Does not provide calcium
  • Has added salt
  • Uses a natural flavour 

As I said above, I don’t like the taste of the brown rice in my almond milk, but apart from that this seems to be a pretty good option. Not sure of the health benefits or detriments of natural almond essence, but it seems to be better than some of the other additives listed above in other products. I have bought this product before and I will probably buy it again as it does pretty well against my criteria. The main thing is that there is no sugar in this product. 

Contestant 9: Australia’s Own Organic Almond Unsweetened 2l

Ingredients:

Filtered Australian Water, Organic Almonds (3%), Organic Sunflower Oil, Salt

Conclusions:

  • Certified Organic 
  • GMO-free
  • Vegan
  • Has a relatively low percentage of almonds 
  • Does not provide calcium
  • Has added salt
  • Has added sunflower oil

This seems to be the healthiest option in terms of having less additives – in fact barely any – and all of them being natural. I haven’t bought this product before but I would be willing to give it a go. I would be curious to see if the low percentage of almonds makes the product more watery than other options I have bought before. 

Contestant 10: Coles Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk

Ingredients:

Filtered Water, Organic Almonds (5.0%), Organic Brown Rice, Calcium Carbonate, Sea Salt, Natural Flavouring.

Conclusions:

  • Organic 
  • Has a medium-high percentage of almonds 
  • Provides calcium
  • Has added salt
  • Has added brown rice
  • Has added flavouring

This one actually isn’t too bad, and is much along the lines of the Pureharvest and Nutty Bruce brands in that there are minimal additives, the use of brown rice and generally higher percentages of almonds in the mix. This one differs though by incorporating calcium while the other two don’t. This one could be worth a try. 

Overall Conclusions:

The best pick: Australia’s Own Organic Almond Milk Unsweetened

Other decent choices:

  • Pureharvest Almond Milk Unsweetened
  • Nutty Bruce Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • Coles Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk
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