I have a confession to make. I hate milk. White dairy milk, that is. (I love chocolate milk!) I'm not lactose intolerant or anything. I just don't care for the taste... especially the aftertaste. Whether it's skim, 1%, 2%, or whole... I'm not a fan. I don't mind a splash of it on my cereal. And I'll drink it with the right proportion of chocolate, brownies, or Oreos. And try as I might to justify eating a gob of chocolate just to down a glass of milk, I decided the time had come to seek out alternatives.
For while now, I've been wanting to try both soy milk and almond milk. I'd look at the cartons every trip to the grocery store. Curious as to the taste, reluctant when it came to the price. You see, on a college student budget... something that costs sometimes nearly double the cost of regular milk gets left out of the grocery cart in favor of tacos, wine, coffee, and other staples. But this past week I decided to give up a few tacos and try some new milk.
The first one I bought was Silk soy milk in vanilla (left). It was love at first sip. It isn't like dairy milk at all, which is probably why I love it so much. It has a delicious, subtle vanilla taste and leaves no sour aftertaste. I drank the stuff non-stop---a glass as a snack, a glass with my supper, over my cereal. I guzzled it like there was no tomorrow. And by the end of the second day after I'd purchased it, the carton was empty.
For you health-conscious undergrads out there, I've snatched up a couple nutritional facts. Silk soy milk boasts 6 grams of soy protein, 50% more calcium than dairy milk, no lactose or dairy, low saturated fat, naturally occurring ALA omega-3, and zero cholesterol. Plus, it's a shelf stable product that can be stored for up to 12 months!
I hit up the grocery store again a few days later. While I longed to buy five or six cartons of my newly beloved soy milk, I decided to try almond milk this time around. I bought Blue Diamond's Almond Breeze in the sweetened original (right). I find almond milk to taste a lot more like traditional dairy milk. It feels the same on the tongue and has a similar taste, but it is sweeter and doesn't leave the sour dairy aftertaste. I like it more than dairy milk, but less than the vanilla soy milk. (I think I might like it better if I get it in the vanilla flavor next time.)
As for the nutritional 411 on this almond milk: Almond Breeze has half the calories of dairy milk. The sweetened version that I tried is sweetened with evaporated cane juice ("a less processed form of sugar that retains more of sugar cane's nutritional value"). It's also a great source of calcium.
So there you have it! If you've tried either of these or plan to... let me know what you think! This week I'm on to trying the chocolate versions. ;)
(First photo in post by Maryna Kochetyga.)