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Last year I wrote about the increasing popularity of soy milk in the U.S. It's part of a trending interest in dairy alternatives.

According to a recent report in the trade journal Packaged Facts, consumers bought $1.33 billion of non-milk milk in 2011. Even though soy milk remains the most popular dairy alternative, almond milk increased by 79% in sales over the previous year.

How do soy milk and almond milk compare? Both alternamilks are vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and 100% dairy free. Nutritionally speaking, almond milk is just a smidgen lower in calories and fat content than soy milk. But what almond milk lacks is the protein of soy milk. There's only one gram of protein in a typical serving of almond milk, while the same serving of soy milk packs about six grams.

Some people prefer the taste of almond milk because it's a little less "beany" than soy milk, both most brands offer vanilla and chocolate flavors, which are very popular.

Make Almond Milk at Home

It's easy to make almond milk at home: just blend some raw, blanched almonds with water, add a little honey or maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon for extra flavor, and strain out the solids.

Get the Recipe »

About the author: Lee Zalben was a PB&J-loving kid that grew up to be the founder and president of Peanut Butter & Co., which began as a Greenwich Village sandwich shop serving nothing but peanut butter sandwiches and expanded to include the now-famous line of all natural flavored peanut butter. Lee is a graduate of Vassar College and enjoys traveling the world in search of interesting foods made with peanuts, tree nuts, and seeds. When he's not working, eating, flying or writing, he enjoys scuba diving and training elephants.

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