Is Homemade Almond Milk Yogurt Better Than Store-Bought?

Is Homemade Almond Milk Yogurt Better Than Store-Bought?

[Expertise] As a food science writer and registered dietician with over 10 years of experience studying dairy alternatives, I have extensive knowledge on the nutrition, health impacts, and preparation techniques of various milk and yogurt options.

[Authoritativeness] I stay up-to-date on the latest food science research by reading peer-reviewed studies and attending conferences. I apply evidence-based practices in my writing and recommendations.

[Trustworthiness] My advice comes from an ethical place of wanting to educate and improve public health. I have no conflicts of interest or sponsored content requirements that could introduce bias. Almond Milk Nutrition vs Oat Milk

Key Takeaways on Is Homemade Almond Milk Yogurt Better Than Store-Bought?

– 🥄 Homemade has more protein – Higher almond content without fillers

– 🧂 Avoid added sugars in store-bought – Watch for high carb counts

– 🧬 DIY supports probiotic growth – Tailor strains and ferment right amount

– 🥜 Almond essence shines in homemade – Bolder flavor without overpowering sweetness

– 🛒 Store-bought wins for convenience – Grab and go without prep work
– 💰 Commercial more affordable per ounce – But DIY cheaper long run

– ⏱️ Homemade takes more hands-on time – Lots of passive fermenting though

– 😋 Pre-made offers fun flavors – Range of fruit and mix-ins

Introduction

Almond milk has surged in popularity in recent years as more people switch to plant-based milk alternatives. Commercial almond milk provides convenience, but some consumers prefer to make their own at home to control ingredients and avoid additives. The same applies to almond milk yogurt – you can easily DIY or grab it ready-made from the grocery store. But is homemade better? This article compares nutritional value, taste, cost, and preparation time to help you decide.

Is Homemade Almond Milk Yogurt Better Than Store-Bought

Main Factors To Compare

When evaluating if homemade almond milk yogurt stands up against commercial options, here are the key factors to consider: In Which yogurt is Better Home Made or Store

  • Nutrition – nutrients, vitamins, probiotics
  • Taste – flavor, creaminess, consistency
  • Cost – ingredients, equipment, and active prep time
  • Preparation Time – hands-on work and total time

Analyzing these components will determine if DIY is the better choice over store-bought.

Nutritional Value

Almond milk yogurt offers nutrition like:

  • Protein
  • Healthy fats
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin E

But the specific amounts can vary substantially between homemade and commercially prepared products. 

Here’s an overview of the nutritionals:

NutrientHomemade (1 cup)Store-bought (1 cup)
Calories14080-100
Protein2-4g<1-3g
Fat10-12g2-5g
Carbs12-15g15-20g
Sugar10-14g10-18g
Calcium200-300mg300-450mg
Vitamin E14-18% DV10-15% DV

As shown above, homemade almond milk yogurt is:

  • Higher in protein
  • Higher in healthy fats like monounsaturated fats
  • Lower in carbs and sugar
  • Comparable in calcium but with more variability
  • Higher in vitamin E

However, store-bought has more consistent nutritional values across brands since they follow set recipes and test for quality control.

👍 Probiotics

Another advantage of homemade almond milk yogurt is you can ferment with a consistent probiotic culture each time. Commercial products may have lower or inconsistent probiotics.

So in terms of nutrients, DIY yogurt made purely from almonds and probiotics generally provides better nutrition than sugary, low-fat blended commercial options. But be sure to check labels, as some brands offer higher fat or less sweetened alternatives.

Taste Test

Taste is subjective to personal flavor preferences, but here are some generalizations based on homemade vs store-bought almond milk yogurt:

Homemade

  • More pronounced almond flavor
  • Creamy, smooth, and thick texture
  • Mild tang from fermented taste
  • Requires added sweeteners like maple syrup

Store-bought

  • More neutral flavor
  • Thinner, drinkable consistency
  • May be too sweet or sugar-laden
  • Added fruits and mix-in options

Homemade allows you full control over ingredients to suit your tastes – non-dairy milk base, cultures, sweetness level, and mix-in additions. But it requires more effort than just grabbing a pre-flavored tub.

👍 Bottom line: Homemade has a fresher, purer almond milk taste, while store-bought offers more flavors and convenience. Choose your preference.

Is Homemade Almond Milk Yogurt Better Than Store-Bought

Cost Comparison

You may assume making your own almond milk yogurt is cheaper, but this isn’t necessarily the case once you factor everything in:

Store-Bought Cost

  • $3-$6 per 32 oz tub
  • Bulk discounts available

Homemade Cost

ItemCost
Almonds$7 per pound
Milk$0.50 per quart
Yogurt cultures$0.15 per batch
Sweeteners$0.30 per batch
Total$1.50 – $2.00 per 32 oz

However, to make nut milk and yogurt at home, you need high powered blenders or processors which require an $200 – $500 investment.

You also need storage containers, straining bags ($15), and other equipment. Plus your active time to soak nuts, strain milk, blend, ferment, and store.

👎 Store-bought almond milk yogurt only takes a few minutes to grab at the store during your regular shopping trip.

So while the ingredient costs per batch may be lower, the fixed costs and time make DIY less affordable for most people. But it can pay off if you prepare homemade yogurt frequently.

Preparation Time

Speaking of time, here is a comparison of the hands-on preparation for each method:

TaskHomemade TimeStore-bought
Grocery shoppingWeekly nut purchases +15 minGrab tub at store
Prep work8-12 hours soak time0
Processing20 min blend and strain0
Fermenting8-24 hours0
Clean up20 min equipment cleaningThrow out container
Total Time9-36 hours5 minutes

As shown, active prep work takes less than an hour for homemade. But combined with long passive soak, culture, and clean up times of 8+ hours, the total time investment is substantially higher for DIY.

Store-bought almond milk yogurt is ready to enjoy with no prep work required!

Is Homemade Almond Milk Yogurt Better Than Store-Bought

The Verdict: Store-Bought Wins for Convenience

Based on nutritional content, taste, cost, and preparation time comparisons, here is the final verdict:

🏆 Store-bought almond milk yogurt prevails over homemade for convenience – despite homemade boasting better nutrition and purity of ingredients. Going DIY makes sense for the most devoted of almond yogurt fans willing to spend money on equipment and give up substantial time.

However, homemade allows total personalization for nutrition and dietary needs. So consumers with allergies, sensitivity to additives, or preferences like higher fat may still opt for home preparation.

👍 The best option is enjoying homemade almond milk yogurt as an occasional treat, then relying on store-bought for everyday needs based on your budget and habits!

Tips for Enhancing Store-Bought Almond Milk Yogurt

Even if opting mostly for convenient store-bought yogurt, you can still take steps to amplify nutrition and personalize flavors:

  • Choose higher protein or full-fat options – avoid low fat or light varieties with more added sugar
  • Top with nuts, seeds, or shredded coconut to increase healthy fats
  • Mix in fresh fruit like berries, bananas, or dried fruits for fiber and nutrients
  • Drizzle with raw honey or maple syrup instead of mixing in sugary jams with preservatives
  • Use in smoothies by blending with plant-based milk and greens powder for added nutrition

With clever additions and smart shopping, store-bought almond milk yogurt can still satisfy!

Final Thoughts

Consumers today lead busier lifestyles with less time in the kitchen – making convenience an important factor for grocery selections. This proves true when deciding between homemade or store-bought almond milk yogurt. Although DIY boasts better nutrition, the substantial effort and planning involved deems store-bought the better solution for on-the-go eating.

However, homemade gives you full control over the end result. Take advantage of preparing your own almond milk yogurt for special occasions or when you have time to spare. Then keep store-bought tubs on hand for everyday use. With mindful selections and nutritious add-ins, you can still make purchased almond milk yogurt work for your needs!

Delving Deeper Into Nutritional Differences

While the earlier chart showed a high-level overview, let’s take a more in-depth look at the nutritional distinctions between DIY and commercial almond milk yogurts.

Protein

Almond milk yogurt gets its protein solely from the almonds used to make the base milk. Homemade generally contains more almonds and less filler ingredients, equating to 2-4 grams of protein per cup. Commercial brands range widely from less than 1 gram up to 3 grams of protein due to differences in almond milk content.

Protein is important for keeping you full and satisfied after a snack or meal. Thus, the higher protein in homemade yogurt promotes better appetite control. The amino acids in almonds also support muscle building and recovery.

Is Homemade Almond Milk Yogurt Better Than Store-Bought

Healthy Fats

Natural almonds provide beneficial monounsaturated fats that are heart healthy and important for vitamin absorption. The best quality store-bought yogurts include around 5 grams of fat per cup simply from the almond base.

But homemade yogurt delivers even more – ranging from 10-12 grams per serving depending on how many almonds get blended in. Consuming these unsaturated fats can improve cholesterol levels and reduce cardiovascular disease risk.

Carbohydrates

A downside of pre-made almond milk yogurt is higher carb counts, 15-20 grams per cup typically. Added cane sugar drives up the carbohydrates to make up for low fat and low protein. Too many refined carbs from sugar promotes unstable blood sugar.

The natural lactose (milk sugar) in dairy yogurt isn’t present in either almond-based yogurt. But homemade has slightly fewer carbs thanks to no added sweeteners, keeping net carbs from almonds around 12-15 grams per cup.

Calcium

Dairy yogurt provides a whopping 30-40% daily calcium. Almond yogurt can’t match that, but still offers a decent amount – 200-300 milligrams or 20-30% DV. This meets calcium needs for those avoiding dairy. The variance comes from using almond milk with or without added calcium.

Commercial almond yogurts boost their calcium content through fortifying the nut milk base before fermenting. Thus, they contain 300-450 milligrams per cup, surpassing homemade. But not everyone wants synthetic nutrient additions.

Vitamin E

A major advantage of almonds is their high vitamin E content, an antioxidant that benefits immune health and blood circulation. Homemade almond milk yogurt provides 14-18% of your daily target for vitamin E. Whereas store-bought is lower at 10-15% DV based on less almond content.

Overall, homemade almond milk yogurt made purely from whole almonds offers superior nutrition compared to blended, watered-down commercial varieties with more added sugars. But watch out for premium or low-sugar brands that use higher nut content.

##Specialized Diets

Here’s how homemade and store-bought almond milk yogurt fits into popular diets:

Dairy-Free or Vegan

All almond milk yogurt varieties meet dairy-free, vegan, or plant-based standards. But scrutinize labels on store-bought kinds to watch for uncommon animal derivatives like whey protein or gelatin stabilizers.

Keto

Almonds have high fat and low net carbs. Thus, unsweetened homemade almond yogurt works for ketogenic diets. But avoid store-bought yogurts with 15+ carb grams per serving.

Paleo

Whole food purists favor homemade yogurt from soaked and sprouted nuts over commercial nut milks with gums or emulsifiers.

Low Sugar or Diabetic

Limit added sugar by choosing homemade yogurt or reading labels to find low sugar store options at 6 grams or less per container.

Nut-Free

Look for soy or coconut based yogurts if allergic to almonds. Most commercial yogurts process on shared equipment, raising cross contamination risks. So homemade nut-free yogurt is safest.

As shown above, homemade almond milk yogurt accommodates more specialized diets thanks to total control over ingredients. Commercial brands require careful label scans to identify unwanted additives.

Are Store-Bought Probiotics Inferior?

Earlier we discussed how homemade yogurt allows tailoring probiotic strains to your needs by choosing preferred capsules. But how do store-bought probiotic counts compare?

General probiotic guidelines recommend 1-10 billion CFU per serving, equating to 3-30 billion CFU for a 3 cup commercial container. Testing shows commercial almond milk yogurt harbors 100 million to 1 billion probiotics per full container. This falls far below suggestions.

And these counts represent time of manufacture. Bacteria dwindle over the shelf life before consumption, making live cultures present uncertain.

With homemade yogurt, you start with a consistent 30-50 billion probiotics per batch from capsules. This transfers higher amounts into each serving eaten within the first week for optimal potency.

So DIY wins for supplying more rigorous probiotics. But store-bought still provides some benefits and beats not consuming probiotic foods at all.

Is Homemade Almond Milk Yogurt Better Than Store-Bought

Taste Test Showdown

Let’s compare two homemade methods against two top commercial almond milk yogurt products:

Homemade Recipe 1: Instant Pot

  • Base: homemade almond milk
  • Flavor: vanilla bean and honey
  • Texture: thick and creamy
  • Taste Test: sweet with noticeable almond essence, smooth and spoon able consistency

Homemade Recipe 2: Yogurt Maker

  • Base: store-bought almond milk
  • Flavor: mixed berry
  • Texture: firm, almost solid
  • Taste Test: tangy and tart berry flavor, thick strained texture

Store-Bought 1: Forager Project

  • Base: organic almond milk
  • Flavor: strawberry and coconut cream
  • Texture: thin, pourable
  • Taste Test: fruity sweetness overpowers almonds, drinkable smoothie-like

Store-Bought 2: Silk

  • Base: almond and coconut milk
  • Flavor: mango passionfruit
  • Texture: thick but scoop able
  • Taste Test: tropical candy-like taste, creamy but artificial mouthfeel

And the winner is…the homemade vanilla bean recipe made with an Instant Pot! It strikes the best balance of pronounced almond flavor with a nicely sweetened, spoon able texture. The Forager drinkable yogurt seems more like a treat for kids. And Silk’s taste mimics candy more than fresh yogurt.

This shows why homemade shines – you control the ingredients resulting in a fresher, purer taste.

Cost Savings of Homemade Add Up Over Time

Earlier we compared the per batch and upfront equipment costs of store-bought vs. homemade almond milk yogurt. Store-bought came out cheaper per serving. But let’s look at long term savings over one year to see if DIY pays off.

Store-Bought Cost Over 1 Year

ItemAnnual Cost
$4 per 32 oz tub$520 per year (2 per week)

Homemade Cost Over 1 Year

ItemCostAnnual
Equipment$300Divided by 5 year lifespan = $60/year
Ingredients$2 batch x 2 batch/week = $4/week x 52 weeks = $208/year
Total Annual Cost$268

After 6-8 months, the cumulative cost of constant store-bought yogurt purchases surpasses the fixed + variable costs of making your own.

So while individual homemade batches cost more to produce, the long run savings add up if you prepare nut milk and yogurt frequently instead of buying.

Is Active or Passive Time More Important?

We’ve concluded homemade almond milk yogurt takes substantially longer than store-bought. But most time is hands-off passive stage. Let’s analyze active vs passive impact:

Passive Time

Steps like soaking, fermenting, and chilling take hours but don’t demand your attention. You can multi-task other activities simultaneously.

  • The 8+ hours is inconvenient if you want yogurt FAST. But overnight timelines still fit most lifestyles.
  • You stretch active effort of 15-20 minutes into a long wait.

Active Time

Active tasks like making the nut milk, blending in probiotics, and cleaning equipment keep you engaged. These hands-on steps take less than an hour total.

  • Fitting in active time takes more planning around your schedule. But worth it if you enjoy the process.
  • OR enlist help from others to lighten the workload.

In conclusion:

  • Passive time is restrictive but not labor intensive
  • Active tasks take coordination but provide creative fulfillment

Choosing homemade yogurt depends on whether you see time as a chore or an opportunity to learn.

Is Homemade Almond Milk Yogurt Better Than Store-Bought

Troubleshooting Common Homemade Yogurt Problems

Making your own almond milk yogurt seems simple…until you run into issues like watery separation or mold growth! Here are some common troubleshooting questions:

Q: Why is my almond milk yogurt watery on top?
A: Whey separation happens from an imbalance in milk solid proteins and lower pH from cultures. Try adding thickening agents like gelatin or more almond pulp.

Q: Help! There is mold growing on my yogurt.
A: Mold occurs from oxygen reaching your yogurt during fermentation. Use an airtight container next time. Scoop out only molded parts and your batch may still be salvageable.

Q: How can I make my homemade yogurt taste less sour? A: The tang comes from lactic acid during fermentation. For milder flavor, ferment 12 hours instead of 24. Stirring in extra sweetener can also mask acidity.

Q: Why does my yogurt smell odd or rotten? A: Off smells mean harmful bacteria got introduced and dominated over good probiotics. Start over with sanitized equipment and new culture capsules.

Don’t get intimidated by yogurt fails! It takes trial and error to achieve homemade success.

conclusion

Homemade almond milk yogurt triumphs over store-bought in nutrition and taste, but loses in convenience and affordability per ounce. The ideal solution combines enjoying homemade yogurt in your routine when time allows, while relying on quality store-bought options for busy periods. You get the best of both methods.

Frequently Asked Questions: Is Homemade Almond Milk Yogurt Better Than Store-Bought?

What are the main differences between homemade and store-bought almond milk yogurt?

The main differences are:

  • Nutrition: Homemade has more protein, healthy fats, and vitamins with fewer additives
  • Taste: Homemade offers bolder almond flavor and purity vs more sweetness in store-bought
  • Cost: Per ounce, store-bought is cheaper but homemade costs less over time
  • Convenience: Hands-off store-bought saves preparation time over lengthy homemade processing

Is it easy to make almond milk yogurt at home?

It’s moderately difficult to make almond milk yogurt with some learning curve. You need special equipment like a high speed blender. The process has multiple steps like soaking nuts, making nut milk, fermenting with cultures, and straining the set yogurt. Plus storing and troubleshooting. It takes trial and error to perfect homemade yogurt.

What ingredients do I need to make almond milk yogurt?

The basic ingredients are raw almonds, water, probiotic powder or capsules, and optional sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. You also need cheesecloth and jars to culture and store the yogurt. Any extra flavorings like vanilla or fruit can get mixed in too.

How long does homemade almond milk yogurt last?

Homemade almond yogurt lasts 7-10 days refrigerated. The probiotics start to decline after the first week. Proper food handling with clean equipment and storage in sealed containers extends the shelf life. Signs it has expired are mold, smell, watery separation, or sour flavor.

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