We’re Pretty Nuts About These 5 Almond Milks

As we sat down at a table littered with cartons of pasteurized nut beverage, Sporked editorial assistant Naajia Shukri summed up the way a lot of us think about almond milk: “It gets the job done.” If you’re allergic to soy or if dairy makes your stomach gurgle, almond milk is a totally serviceable thing to pour on cereal, blend into a smoothie, or splash into your coffee.

I guess what I’m pleased to report is that despite its ubiquity and the shrug it can get for being the lesser alternative to other milks, there’s a surprising amount of nuance to almond milk. Shelf-stable almond milks tend to be a little creamier than refrigerated almond milks. Sweetened almond milks are dramatically different than unsweetened varieties. And vanilla almond milk is such a treat it feels like a cheat. We bid dairy adieu and sipped more than a dozen of these nutty milk alternatives to find the best. Here’s where the shells fell.

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Best of the Best

Almond Breeze Original Almondmilk

Did you know that a lot of brands spell almond milk “almondmilk” (this feels like a real Mandela effect thing to me—I swear I’ve never seen it even though I buy almond milk, like, weekly)? I digress. Almond Breeze is a fridge staple for millions—it’s the top-selling almond milk in the U.S. by a landslide—and we can totally see why. Its mild nutty flavor and silky consistency make it highly drinkable and super versatile. Sporked staff writer Jordan Myrick didn’t get a whole lot of nut flavor, but she didn’t mind. “It tastes like skim milk that’s a little bit sweet,” she said. “I think this is good.”

Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Best for Smoothies

Silk Original Almond Milk

We liked Silk’s Original variety just about as much as we liked Almond Breeze’s, but we also agreed that there’s something slightly odd about the fact that all of Silk’s fake milks sort of taste the same—soy, almond, oat. The good news is, they all taste good. While other almond milks smacked of the bitter, papery part of an almond, this one was pleasantly sweet and really smooth—the perfect thing to loosen up a smoothie. Or, if you have some dairy-free ice cream in the freezer, you can really go nuts. “Honestly, you could make a bangin’ vegan milk shake with this,” Jordan suggested.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Best for Baking

Sprouts Organic Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

Okay, full disclosure: we did not bake anything with this. But we imagine this would be a great substitute for milk in dairy-free cakes or cookies. Creamy and refreshing, Sprouts Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk has a marshmallowy flavor that suggests sweetness without actually being sweet, so it won’t throw off the sugar content in whatever you’re cooking up. It would also be great frothed up in a latte or poured over a bowl of Lucky Charms.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Best Unsweetened

Trader Joe’s Organic Unsweetened Almond Beverage

Shelf-stable milks (even nut milks) are a little weird. Maybe it’s because they come in the same cartons that soups and broths come in? I don’t know, but this one ended up being one of our favorites. It’s thick, creamy, and actually tastes like almonds. This would be great in an at-home latte, especially if you don’t like your coffee sweet or opt for artificial sweeteners (unpopular opinion: Splenda is good). All in all, it’s not bad for something you can store in your panic room. 

Credit: Ryan Martin

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Best Vanilla

First Street Almondmilk, Vanilla

“Oh yeah, this is like liquified pudding,” said Sporked staff writer Danny Palumbo. We all kind of went nuts for this sweet budget beverage. Its thick, luscious consistency rivals heavy cream, making it a great addition to a cup of coffee or dessert in a glass on its own. And, honestly, if you don’t want to drink pudding, we just can’t relate. A bummer: First Street doesn’t make chocolate almond milk, but if they did we can only imagine it would be really good. And puddingy. Get on it, First Street.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

The 7 Best Oat Milks

Sure we live in hell, but we’re also in a golden age for alternative milks. Oat milk is making serious gains among socially conscious consumers, and for good reason. It’s the most allergen friendly of the alt milks, it’s vegan, and it’s only second to almond milk in lowest carbon emissions.

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About the Author

Gwynedd Stuart

Gwynedd Stuart, Sporked’s managing editor, is an L.A.-based writer and editor who spends way, way too much time at the grocery store. She’s never met an Old El Paso taco or mozzarella stick she didn’t like.

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