The Best Nut Milk Alternatives
The internet frenzy around almonds and the California drought (which is well infograph-ed in Alex Park and Julia Lurie’s article on Mother Jones) hit a nerve at goop, in large part because many of us are nursing serious almond milk latte addictions. Though we know that eating fewer almonds is far from a cure-all for California’s drought woes, it takes an astonishing gallon of water to grow just one nut—while this includes the nut and shell, which are used as livestock feed, as residents of a state that produces almost all of the country’s almonds, we have a feeling that it can’t hurt to cut back. And in doing so, resist the urge to rush into the arms of other nut milks, as all nuts are unilaterally thirsty—and as it turns out, soy milk is likely not healthy for women.
So, armed with our Soyabella nut milk maker, we set out to test some alternatives. Here’s the thing about the Soyabella: It makes insanely creamy and delicious milks—and requires no straining, nut bags, or intensive cleaning rituals. And perhaps most importantly, besides being drought tolerant, homemade milks are free of artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and other additives you might find in store-bought varieties. That, and you don’t have to feel guilty about throwing away tons of impossible-to-recycle Tetra Paks.
Even if you can tolerate dairy, it’s good to remember that cow’s milk has some serious environmental downsides, too—on top of the water it takes to grow grain for feed, cows release methane, a greenhouse gas even more potent that carbon dioxide. (That said, if you have a responsible local dairy farmer that you trust, and whose milk doesn’t have to be shipped a great distance to get to your door, the benefits can quickly start to outweigh those costs.)