Pistachio Milk Is the Newest Plant-Based Milk on the Market—Here's What You Should Know, Plus How to Make It at Home
It’s more than an Instagram-friendly addition to your chia seed pudding.
Celery juice, matcha, glowing green smoothies...move out of the way, there’s a new green drink in town that's about to be flooding your Instagram feed in the very near future. We’re talking about pistachio milk, and it wants to elbow oat milk right out of your morning latté. Pale green in color, pistachio milk has a mildly rich, nutty flavor. And unlike almond milk, which has a fairly neutral taste, pistachio milk actually tastes like pistachio.
Where to Buy Pistachio Milk
Pistachio milk isn't widely available on grocery store shelves yet, and there's a good reason for that: It's expensive.
“The pistachio cultivation process is lengthy because the trees require a specific climate and they take a long time to grow, which makes pistachio milk more expensive for the consumer,” says Kylene Bogden, MS, RD, a wellness advisor for Love Wellness.
Táche, which launched this month, is the first 100 percent pistachio milk—meaning, it hasn’t been blended with other nuts—that you’ll find in the U.S. And at $7.99 for a carton, it’s certainly an investment. As with nearly every other plant milk, you’ll find an unsweetened and a sweetened version of Táche. Unfortunately, while both options have a deliciously rich and smooth taste, like most nut milks on the market, both contain additives.
“The gold standard for pistachio milk, or any nut milk for that matter, is that the ingredients should be the nut, water, and maybe sea salt,” says Bogden. A quick glance at most nutrition labels in the dairy-free milk section reveals that almost all nut, seed, and grain milks contain additives like cane sugar and fillers, so shop carefully and ask questions, even at local farmers' markets.
How to Make Your Own Pistachio Milk
Making your own milk is costly, too. It can be a little bit messy, but it’s very easy to do, and if you’re looking to avoid fillers and additives, it’s your best option.
“First you need to soak a cup of pistachios in water for six hours, or overnight,” says Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, and author of Smoothies & Juices: Prevention Healing Kitchen. “Rinse and drain pistachios, then add the pistachios to a high-speed blender or food processor along with three cups of water. You’ll then need to strain the mixture though a cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer to remove the pistachio pulp. What’s left is the milk.” The milk should last about three days in the fridge.
How to Use Pistachio Milk
Pistachio milk happens to be incredibly versatile. “You can make it sweet with cinnamon and maple, or even blend it with dates, but it also works really well as a savory milk if you add a bit of sea salt when preparing,” says Bogden. You can also try adding some vanilla extract instead of sugar, adds Largeman-Roth.
Pistachio milk can be added to cereal, oatmeal, smoothies, or you can bake and cook with it when making things like soups and cakes. And, most importantly, it foams well in coffee and tea drinks.
How Healthy Is Pistachio Milk?
Nutritionally, pistachio milk is a powerhouse. It has more potassium than other non-dairy milks, says Bogden, who adds that it’s also a great source of antioxidants, phytosterols (chemical compounds that fight cholesterol), and it’s rich in heart-healthy fats.
As far as side-by-side comparisons, it all depends on the manufacturer/recipe you’re opting for, but in general, pistachio milk has the same amount of protein as oat and hazelnut milk; more protein than almond, but less protein than flax, pea, oat, soy, and cow’s milk. It’s saturated fat-free, as opposed to cow’s milk, and also has fiber—but less fiber than oat milk. It’s higher in calories and carbs than almond milk, but also higher in fiber and protein. It has less calories and carbs when compared with oat milk.
When comparing it to dairy milk, pistachio milk has both pros and cons. “It’s lower in calories, carbs, and saturated fat, but also lower in calcium and protein than dairy milk,” says Amy Shapiro, MS, RD and founder of Real Nutrition. “It’s important to note that dairy milk contains hormones from cows, even organic varieties, and has a more detrimental effect on the environment.” When comparing it to almond milk, she underlines that almond is higher in minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin E, whereas pistachio is richer in B vitamins and thiamine.
“Research has shown that consumption of pistachios is associated with improved micronutrient consumption and, when compared to other nuts, pistachios were more likely to be associated with lower blood pressure levels (likely due to the potassium content),” says Brigid Titgemeier, RDN, and founder of My Food is Health.
Bottom line: if you have a well-balanced diet, it likely won’t matter if you opt for almond, oat, pistachio, or one of the other options on the market, so if you’re loving the taste (and hue) go for it!