As a healthy food writer whose job it is to keep track of all the alternative milks on the market (not an easy job, trust me), I feel like I’ve seen it all. In the great alt-milk craze of the past decade, we’ve managed to “milk” rice, soy, chia seeds, oats, sesame seeds, and even bananas. But one thing that I’m surprised it took this long to make: avocado milk.
That’s right—the queen bee of healthy foods has finally been turned into milk, courtesy of new brand Avocadomilk.
Avocadomilk co-founder Terry Daly says that his business partner’s wife, Sachie Nomura, (who is a chef) actually first made avocado milk by accident. (She’s now also a business partner, not by accident.) She was trying to use avocado to make mayonnaise by blending it with some milk when the consistency got a little too thin. “She had us try it and we thought it tasted amazing. I had never seen a milk made out of avocados before. So we, naively, thought we should make it,” Daly says. “That was three years ago.” At the time, Daly and Nomura’s husband Nick Siu, already co-owned an advertising agency together. They decided to be business ventures in their new avocado milk venture, too.
Replicating that serendipitous first batch of avocado milk turned out to be a long, long process. First, they needed to decide what to blend the avocado with, since avocados on their own don’t have a milk-y texture. Daly says they experimented with blending it with both dairy and all the alternatives out there after finally deciding to go with oat milk. Besides having the taste and nutritional profile they were going for, Daly and his partners liked that it was more sustainable than nuts. The final blend contains 6 percent avocados, oat milk, honey, water lentil extract, gellan gum, and natural flavors. There’s also a cacao-flavored one.
“I had never seen a milk made out of avocados before. So we, naively, thought we should make it,” Daly says. “That was three years ago.” — Terry Daly, Avomilk co-founder
Daly says that they use freeze-dried avocado in the blends, which keeps the drink from going bad quickly. In fact, the avocado milk is shelf-stable, so you can store it in your pantry until you open it—very useful during a pandemic. As for the water lentils, Daly says they’re used to keep the color consistent in all their batches. “Interestingly, avocados do not have a universal color, so every batch we made turned out looking different,” he says. “The water lentil helps every batch look the same.”
Okay, now the big question: How does it taste? Daly sent me both flavors to try. I decided to go for the plain one first. Pouring it into a glass, the first thing I noticed was, wow, it really is green. More of a muted, muddy green than a vibrant one, but already it was unlike any of the alt-milks that have crowded my fridge. The consistency is thicker than many of the other milks on the market (which is often because they are, in reality, primarily made of water.) I took a whiff before sipping and was hit with the smell of oats and avocado, which was oddly nice. It smelled healthy. Then, I finally took a sip.
An eyebrow shot up as I swallowed, not bad! This milk tastes exactly what it’s advertised as: avocados and oats, blended together. The oat flavor in particular is quite strong, so if sipping oat milk is already a stretch for you, this might not be the alt-milk for you. Now, I am not someone who is going to pour a glass of milk (alt or otherwise) and enjoy sipping on it, but I would use this particular milk in smoothies, which would give a better texture than a more water-y alternative. To cook with though, I’d still rely on something with a more neutral taste, like almond or oat milk.
Similarly, the cacao flavor tastes exactly like what it sounds like. Dipped-in-chocolate avocado, that then rolled around in a big batch of oats. Again, I don’t think I would drink it on its own, but I could see myself using it in a smoothie recipe. With only 6 grams of sugar per cup and no added sugar, it’s a good way to add sweetness without accidentally eating a ton of added sugars.
If writing about health food has taught me anything, it’s that what we see in the produce aisle is far more versatile than we thought. Cauliflower can be pizza, broccoli can be tater tots. And now, avocado can be milk.
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