It wasn't long ago that masses were turning to soymilk as an alternative to dairy milk. Then along came the soy-free* revolution and almond milk emerged. For several years Pacific Almond Milk and Almond Breeze have pushed and shoved their way onto store shelves in those quart-sized aseptic packages. Finally caving to demand, Almond Breeze added a double-size refrigerated version that is being met with many raves.
But they may have been a bit slow to jump on the refrigerated bandwagon, as Silk Pure Almond and Earth's Own Almond Fresh are now rivaling them for chilling space. According the folks at Silk, "Just like Silk Soymilk, our almondmilk is 100% dairy-free … Silk Pure Almond almondmilk is also free of lactose and soy… but loaded with great taste."** Each 8 ounce serving of Silk Pure Almond contains just 60 calories, but has as much calcium and vitamin D as dairy milk. Almond Fresh boasts a similar profile, but with just a few more calories per serving.
Moving back to the shelf-stable selections, Hain Celestial has added Almond Dream to their Taste the Dream milk alternative product line. Hain has added their popular Rice Dream non-dairy milk to the refrigerated section, but it seems they are proceeding cautiously with new non-dairy milks …
Of course, the shelf-stable options have a "stocking up" benefit. I load up on them when on sale, and always have some non-dairy milk on hand thanks to the many shelf-stable options. Also, I like that Almond Dream comes in an unsweetened variety, which it doesn't look like Silk Pure Almond is doing as of yet. But, stay tuned, a product comparison story of the various almond milks is on its way.
For more information on Silk Pure Almond: www.silkpurealmond.com
For more information on Almond Dream: www.tastethedream.com
* Note that Almond Breeze does contain soy lecithin, which is not a problem for many, but nonetheless, that brand is not 100% soy-free. The other three brands noted in this article do not use soy lecithin to the best of our knowledge. Read those labels!
**Just to clarify (on that Silk quote above), all 100% dairy-free items are "also free of lactose." Lactose is the sugar in dairy. It makes our job difficult here at Go Dairy Free when companies confuse consumers by making statements like "dairy-free AND lactose-free" as if lactose is somehow not a component of dairy. However, not all lactose-free products are dairy-free – they may contain other dairy-based ingredients.