Alisa Fleming ~ A few years ago, multi-grain milk alternatives made a brief appearance on the dairy-free scene, and the good news is, they have returned! Pacific Foods released their 7-Grain (oat, rice, triticale, wheat, barley, spelt, and millet) Non-Dairy Beverage in Original and Vanilla. My prediction is that this type of milk alternative is here to stay, because it is GOOD. I loved it. Now, let’s get into the details …
Pacific Foods 7-Grain Non-Dairy Milk tastes clean and slightly refreshing, mellow yet a touch sweet, and light but just rich enough (like a 1% milk). Even though I’m not one to drink a glass of milk alternative straight (let alone cow’s milk), I found this one to be very drinkable. It is smooth going down, and has just a very slight chalky aftertaste, but I’ve found this to be the norm with all grain-based milks, including rice milk. In fact, if I were to compare the 7-grain varieties to the other types of milk alternatives, I would say that it is a close cousin to a good quality rice milk, but a little more tan in color and full-bodied in flavor.
Both the Original and Vanilla contain no added sugars, but are on the sweet side, and do contain 16 grams of sugars per serving. Confused? Allow me to explain. The sugars are naturally occurring ones in the grains. Yep, grains, like most plant foods, have naturally occurring sugars. I loved the flavors equally – the original is more versatile, yet vanilla always takes things up a notch, don't you think? – and the fact that they are sweetened naturally, by their own grains.
That said, I still consider this to be “treat” milk, and have used for …
… dousing on ultra-wholesome cereal that needs some gentle coaxing in the flavor department
… whipping up healthy dairy-free milkshakes and pudding
… baking breads and desserts
… making spiced “milk” or hot chocolate
Yes, I tried ALL of these applications, and it was wonderful in every single one. My favorite was this Dairy-Free & Vegan Healthy Holiday Spice MilkShake. It was SO good that I ran out to buy more acorn squash just so I could make it again.
The 7-grain milk may also have versatility in savory recipes, since it isn’t over-the-top sweet, but thus far I haven’t tested it in that arena. Moms and nutritionistas will like that Pacific’s 7-Grain Non-Dairy Beverage has a modest amount of protein and fat per serving, is certified organic, is completely soy-free (no soy lecithin!), and is generously fortified with calcium, vitamin D, and B vitamins.
Dietary Notes: Pacific Food's 7-Grain Non-Dairy Beverage is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Peanut-Free, Soy-Free, Free of Added Sugars, and Low Fat.
For More Information: Visit the Pacific Foods website at www.pacificfoods.com.
This is a third party review by Alisa Fleming, founder of GoDairyFree.org and author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a freelance writer for several publications, with an emphasis on creating recipes for various types of special diets.