Chat Leftovers: We crack the secret of almond milk
How to have a perfect Wednesday with the Food section: 1. Start your day with a big glass of local milk. 2. Plan an easy-but-elegant spring dinner party. 3. Tune in at 1 for today's Free Range chat, your chance to ask us any and all food-related questions. We're looking forward to having David Hagedorn on hand to talk about that dinner party. And to having you, too, of course.
As for me, I get the leftovers, those questions we just don't have time to answer during our allotted hour. Or sometimes we do have time to answer them, but we're just not 100 percent sure what the answer should be. That's true of today's question, which came up during last week's chat and made us curious enough to do some research:
How come almonds are high-calorie, but almond milk is as little as 40 calories for 8 ounces? Is it just water with a teeny bit of almond flavoring?
Interesting question! One cup of almonds, 680 calories and 60 grams of fat. One cup of Silk or Almond Breeze almond milk, 60 calories and 2.5 grams of fat. How do they do it?
When you guessed water, you were on to something. But almond flavoring, not exactly. I called the people at Silk, a leading almond milk producer, to find out how the stuff is made, and it turns out there are actual almonds in there.
Here's the response I got in an e-mail from the company's R&D people:
"To make Silk Pure Almond almond milk, we begin with whole almonds that are lightly roasted and ground to produce creamy almond butter. Then we blend in water, natural sweetener, natural flavorings, vitamins and minerals. The combination of ingredients displaces some of the naturally occurring fat found in almonds, creating low-fat, delicious almond milk."
I asked but, unfortunately, couldn't find out how many almonds are in a cup of almond milk. That would have helped shed light on the situation.
But that's okay; I'm just happy to learn something new. Water dilutes the almonds' fat and calories: That's your answer, in a nutshell.
-- Jane Touzalin
April 7, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: Chat Leftovers | Tags: Chat Leftovers, Free Range, Jane Touzalin
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