I reported a warning last year about the confusion mounting when Califia Farms added dairy protein to one of their Almondmilk lines. Consumers complained and they have responded by replacing that past formulation with an Almondmilk with Protein that is now dairy-free!
Yes, Califia Farms is back to being a dairy-free and vegan brand! In honor of this changeover, I thought it fitting to taste-test this new and improved Almondmilk with Protein.
Starting with the taste, the Vanilla is pleasant, sweet, and reminiscent of vanilla ice cream in flavor. The Chocolate tasted just like chocolate milk to me. But Tony found it too “coconutty” even though it was an almond base. Both were very drinkable, flavorful, and had a nice creamy consistency with a slight powdery finish. Considering that they use pea protein (which tends to thicken quite a bit, but blend in nicely) along with sprouted brown rice protein (which tends to be sandy), I was actually impressed with how smooth, rich and milky each drop was.
Each single-serve bottle of Califia Farms’ Almondmilk with Protein has 6 grams of plant-based protein, 4 to 4.5 grams of fat, and 140 calories. They’re also carageenan-free (but like most brands, they do use other thickeners), and heavily fortified (RDA shows: 10% Vitamin A, 45% calcium, 25% Vitamin D, 25% Riboflavin, 10% Zinc, 8% Iron, and 50% each for Vitamins E & B12).
The buzz kill for me is the 17 grams of mostly added sugars. Yes, to get those “spot on” tastes for traditional, they use pure cane sugar. Much less than a pop, and fine in moderation, but I prefer to eat dessert rather than drink it. That said, I could totally see reaching for one of these as a recharge after a hard workout. It would be a satisfying, improved alternative to ordinary post-fitness chocolate milk. Now, I should probably head to the gym to justify polishing one of these off!
The Facts on Califia Farms Pure Almondmilk with Protein
Price: $2.49 per 10.5-ounce bottle
Certifications: Califia Farms Pure Almondmilk with Protein is Certified Kosher Parve. It is also labeled as vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO, but we didn’t note certifications for these.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Califia Farms Pure Almondmilk with Protein is are dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan and vegetarian. Nonetheless, check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.
For More Product Information: Visit the Califia Farms website at www.califiafarms.com.
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A creamy treat or post-workout reward
Reminiscent of good old-fashioned chocolate milk and liquid vanilla ice cream in flavor, these single-serve beverages are a creamy treat or post-workout reward. The protein affects the creamy consistency just a touch, leaving an overall rich and milky experience. For everyday drinking, it’s a bit too high in sugars for me, and Tony thought the chocolate was too “nutty”, but I think that this dairy-free, plant-based beverage definitely satisfies as a sweet refuel.