CRUSH CHATS TO Adri Geyser from Almond Creamery
Tell us a little about the team behind the Almond Creamery
I founded the Almond Creamery when I was studying health and nutrition. My education, combined with a passion for inventing interesting creations that are not only healthy, but also delicious, is what sparked the start of The Almond Creamery. Our team is made up of my mom Sharon, who is also the factory manager and Zimkitha, who is behind the production of the milk. We all love what we do, especially sending off our delicious almond milk to our customers and knowing that they always have access to the tastiest, healthiest almond milk in Cape Town.
We are hearing a lot about milk substitutes at the moment, nut milks specifically, what do you think has prompted this trend?
Being in the health industry for over 6 years, I have noticed a definite trend towards a more health-conscious lifestyle. The increase in chronic diseases has spurred people to find out what they need to change in order to be truly healthy. Information has become easier to attain and so we are able to take responsibility for our own health and our family’s by making healthier choices.
The increase in vegan-focused movements specifically around Cape Town, as well as the Banting trend that took off last year, has also prompted people’s interest in milk alternatives – nut milks in particular. They are lower in carbohydrates and higher in healthy fats, along with many other contributing health benefits.
Was it a personal health choice that made you switch to using almond milk?
I had my own health journey many years ago, and recently decided to move away from consuming animal products, not only for health reasons, but also because of the environmental impact of animal agriculture. For this reason, I am always looking for healthy, environmentally friendly products that also taste really amazing. When I couldn’t find any seriously delicious milk alternatives, that weren’t laden with sugar or preservatives, I went to my happy place (the kitchen) and started to experiment. I wanted to create something that I could serve my friends without feeling like I was depriving myself, or them, of enjoyment.
What are the benefits of almond milk and why should we choose almond or a vegan milk substitute over dairy?
There are many benefits, both health and environmental, that make almond milk in particular, a better choice compared to dairy.
- Healthy fats: almond milk is higher in healthy fats (omega-3 fats and mono-unsaturated fats), and lower in unhealthy fats (saturated fats) and cholesterol.
- Contains no hormones and no antibiotics: almonds don’t get sick and hormones cannot be injected into them to artificially produce more milk. Therefore almond milk is naturally antibiotic and hormone-free.
- Lactose and casein-free: dairy-free milk alternatives contain no lactose (a milk sugar) nor casein (a milk protein) and are therefore perfect for those who are lactose intolerant or who have a casein sensitivity or allergy.
- Contains vitamin E and other nutrients: although unfortified almond milk does not contain as much calcium or vitamin D compared to fortified cows milk, it does contain 40% RDI of vitamin E (essential for healthy skin) per cup and biotin (an essential energy nutrient), plus minerals such as phosphorous, magnesium and manganese, which are all important minerals for bone health.
Choosing almond milk over other milk alternatives like soya and rice milk is mostly preference, but we think that almond milk is so much richer and tastes a whole lot yummier than other milk alternatives. As a nutritional expert, I don’t recommend soya milk to most people because of the phyto-oestrogens present. These can mimic hormones such as oestrogen and may cause potential hormonal imbalances if consumed in large quantities over long periods of time.
Tell us a bit about what goes into the production of almond milk? (Where the nuts are sourced from, how the process works etc.)
Our precious raw almonds, sourced from a local, organic farmer, are soaked overnight to activate. This ‘activation’ by soaking in filtered water is an important step in our process as it does two things – it brings the raw nuts to life (if you were to put these in the ground they would start to sprout vs unsoaked almonds which would not), plus much of the tannin is removed, which improves the absorption of certain nutrients within the milk.
Once the soaking is complete, they are popped into a high-powered blender, together with some filtered water, a little Himalayan salt and alcohol-free vanilla extract. This is then blended for a few minutes to ensure that the almonds are properly blended and most of the nutrition has been extracted. To make sure you get the creamiest consistency we strain this beautiful mixture through a nut milk bag and the almond milk is ready!
It’s no secret that nut milks are expensive, why is that?
Almond milk is much more expensive than dairy milk for two main reasons – dairy farmers are heavily subsidised to make milk more affordable, plus the almond prices spiked due to droughts in California (even local almond prices have spiked because of demand).
Tell us about your flavours…
We currently have three flavours – The Classic (previously Vanilla) is a mildly flavoured milk that is perfect over cereal, or in hot drinks.
The Chai is infused with a homemade chai spice blend with the addition of dates for sweetness and is our best seller.
The Chocolate is made with raw organic cacao and maca root powder, giving it a creamy and rich flavour similar to traditional chocolate milk. We’ll be introducing a few new flavours very soon too.
Your packaging is beautiful! Tell us a little about the design of the label and the choice to package in glass.
The Mandala, which is the centre of our logo, exhibits radial balance within the Buddhist and Hindu cultures; it is a spiritual symbol representing the universe. I have always been drawn to these beautiful creations and when I thought about starting an almond milk business, I knew I had to use a Mandala in the logo design.
The decision to use glass was an easy one; it’s easier on the eye and is much better for the environment than plastic. Glass can be recycled or reused (as a vase for pretty flowers, or as a water bottle).
We ask our customers wherever possible, to bring back their empty glass bottles to the OZCF market on Saturdays. The bottles are then properly disinfected and reused at our factory to reduce our waste impact on the environment.
Where can readers find Almond Creamery milk?
We have stockists all over Cape Town, including the Cape Quarter Spar, Saucisse Deli in the Old Biscuit Mill, Zetler Pharmacy in Gardens, Organic Living in Constantia Village, and a few in the Northern Suburbs (Welgedacht Spar) and Stellenbosch (Bebe’s Chocolaterie). Check out our Facebook page for a complete list of stockists and feel free to suggest a store near you.
You can also come and visit us at the OZCF market (held in Granger Bay near the Waterfront) on Saturdays. We’re there every weekend having fun and enjoying the spectacular views of the mountain and the sea at the most beautiful farmer’s market in Cape Town!
If you were a colour, what ‘hue’ would you be?
Green is my favourite colour, which is probably why one of our next flavours will be green. Wait, what?!
What’s your secret obsession?
I count almost everything; I do sums of numbers on signs as I drive by, or of car’s number plates for example. I play games in my head with the numbers, trying to get to different sums with what I see. It keeps me occupied when I’m bored, which hasn’t been very regularly lately!
Who would play you in a film about your life?
Wow tough question! I absolutely LOVE Julia Roberts, and would be so honoured if she were to play me in a film about my life. She has the most amazing laugh and her free spirited playfulness somehow reminds me of myself, or maybe of whom I’d like to be.