Non-Dairy Milks Are NOT Created Equal

Maybe you already know this.  Maybe you’ve already experimented with many different non-dairy milks and are ages ahead of me.  But in the last 2 weeks it has been brought home in a big way in our household ~ Non-dairy milks are not created equal!

If you could open my refrigerator door, you would find a wild assortment of various milk alternatives.  Soy, chocolate soy, almond, dark-chocolate almond, coconut – 2 brands…let’s see, are there any others?  Oh, yes, plain soy milk for cooking and diluted vanilla soy.  Crazy, huh?  Here’s a peek at them.

You’ll notice I have several different brands.  The Blue Diamond almond milk was on sale this week, so we’re trying it out.  The Great Value soymilk from Walmart is comparable to Silk’s version – only the GV is organic and Silk’s blue label aren’t any more.  They have plain, vanilla, and chocolate (which isn’t pictured here, but I have one of those, too, since the brown Silk carton you see here is almost empty.)  I’ll mention some of the others later.

It would appear that all taste buds are not created equal, as well.  One kid was introduced to almond milk at a camp out 2 weeks ago and fell in love, which is why we’re trying out a new brand of that.  But hubby, I find out, hates almond milk (which explains why he avoids my treasured dark-chocolate almond milk ~ it isn’t just because of how deep chocolate it is! ~ and has his favorite soy chocolate milk which he thins with vanilla soy or diluted soy.  Strange man. ;D)  I love, love, love vanilla coconut milk ~ well, only one brand, but more on that in a moment.  My eat-just-about-anything teen loves them all.  (Whew!  At least there is one happy camper no matter what I buy.)

This all started years ago when we were dumped into the non-dairy milk aisle suddenly.  Our allergist found that we all were allergic to dairy!  Sadly enough, the choices 16+ years ago were a far cry from what is available now.  We tried what was available ~ and ended up with a very thick, but tasty, brownish soymilk made by Edensoy.  It was pricey ~ especially when I eventually was feeding 4 hungry children with it.  In defense of the thickness of the milk and the price, we started diluting it ~ 25% water at first ~ until we ended up half-and-half water and soymilk.  This became a habit to which we all were accustomed.

Enter Silk brand!  (Cheers, hats in the air, whistles!!!)  No sooner did we taste Silk vanilla than we turned our backs on Edensoy, never to look back.  (Sorry, Edensoy.)  We still kept the habit of adding 50% water to it, however.  Those 4 kids had grown and gotten hungrier!

There are now many, many kinds of non-dairy milk out there ~ from soy to hemp, of all things!  Oat, rice, almond, hemp, coconut, soy ~ have I missed any?  Vanilla, plain, chocolate….mmmm.  Even if you’ve tried almond milk (or another kind) and haven’t like it, keep trying other brands.  Not all brands are created equal.  (I think I mentioned that already.)  This week, I bought coconut milk from Trader Joe’s.  I have been happily consuming Silk’s vanilla coconut milk for weeks, but this was cheaper.  Unfortunately, it is modeled somewhat after So Delicious’ coconut milk, which I just am not all that fond of in comparison to Silk’s.  (It’s thinner, less flavorful, and the So Delicious almost seems to taste too much like dairy milk in my mind ~ which means some of you may love it!)

Overall, I think Silk brand has been the most proactive at developing new flavors and kinds.  They also have seasonal flavors in the fall that are marvelous.  If you check out their website, you can occasionally score coupons, too.

I will try to post a recipe using Silk’s coconut milk to make a simple milkshake soon after this post, since this didn’t include any specific recipe.

Let me know what your favorite kinds of non-dairy milk are!