Almond milk is a milky drink made from ground almonds. Unlike animal milk, almond milk contains no cholesterol or lactose and can be used as a substitute for animal milk in many recipes. Commercial almond milk products come in plain, vanilla, or chocolate flavors. They are often enriched with vitamins. It can also be made at home by combining ground almonds with water in a blender. Vanilla flavoring and sweeteners are often added. However, users should be cautious not to use bitter almonds, since the combination of bitter almonds and water releases cyanide.
For the weight conscious, unsweetened almond milk is lower in calories than cow's milk or soy milk.
In the Middle Ages, almond milk was known in both the Islamic world and Christendom, where its vegetable composition — being a nut that is the seed of a fruit of a plant — made it suitable for consumption during Lent. Almond milk was also a staple of medieval kitchens because cow's milk would not keep for long without spoiling, and would usually be turned into butter or cheese immediately.