Late to the Party posts are about first time experiences with products or brands that have been around for a while.
Just Egg, a plant-based egg substitute, is made from mung bean. If this is the first time you’ve ever heard of mung bean, I want to let you know that I was in your shoes back in 2018 when I first read about this product. If you’d like to take up some space in your brain to learn about it, here’s the Wikipedia link.
While I’ve known about Just Egg for years and have wanted to try it for the same amount of time, I just never came across it. That ended while pushing my virtual cart through the aisles of my local Whole Foods via the Amazon website to find out what kinds of dairy-free milk alternatives it offers. (Side note: It’s A LOT.)
Why would I want to try not-eggs? While some people are fascinated with Star Wars, I’m that way with products that attempt to recreate meat and animal products using plants. Yes, you’ll regret asking me what my hobbies are at a party.
While an egg is just, well, an egg, Just Egg has (takes a deep breath) water, mung bean protein isolate, expeller-pressed canola oil, dehydrated onion, gellan gum, natural carrot extractives (for color), natural flavors, natural turmeric extractives (for color), potassium citrate, salt, soy lecithin, sugar, tapioca syrup, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, transglutaminase, and nisin (a preservative).
All those ingredients create something that looks and feels like scrambled eggs. You might notice that I didn’t include “tastes” in the previous sentence. I’ll get to that later.
When it’s poured out of its bottle, it looks like an Egg Beaters product, but grainer. But the magic begins when the product starts to curdle in the pan. The liquid’s pastel yellow color turns into a vibrant yellow, it looks like scrambled eggs, and it has a soft scrambled eggs-like texture.
While Just Egg can fool my eyes, it cannot fool my taste buds. The instant they got to experience the plant-based egg product, they knew something was up. Its flavor is like vegetables, although seasoned vegetables. But I think the way it looks and feels has my brain thinking it’s an omelet with A LOT of vegetables.
I’m fine with the way it tastes. So much so that if chickens went extinct for some reason, like bird flu or way too many foxes protecting all the chicken coops, I’d be okay with eating Just Egg for the rest of my life.
What is Suja’s Chocolate Organic Plant Protein Milk?
It’s a dairy-free, plant-based chocolate milk that made using flax seeds, peas, and sunflowers. A cup provides 8 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, 30 percent of your daily calcium.
How is it?
Whenever there’s a new chocolate milk on the market — dairy or non-dairy — I like to give it a try, because chocolate milk makes me smile, and I want every one to reach that standard. But Suja’s Chocolate Organic Plant Protein Milk doesn’t. All I can think about is how I want to scratch out the word “chocolate” on the bottle and replace it with “chalkolate.”
As you can probably guess, it’s chalky.
Look, I get it. It probably has to be that way since it’s made with sunflower and flax seeds, which also helps give it four grams of fiber (16 percent of your daily recommended intake) per serving. But its chalkiness makes it seem more like chocolate-flavored medicine than milk.
As for its flavor, it’s okay. It’s similar to other non-dairy chocolate milks. Cacao powder is used to give it its chocolatiness and it’s sweetened with cane sugar and monk fruit. But I’m so used to non-dairy milks being creamy, that its texture takes away from its flavor.
Is there anything else I need to know?
Is it just me or does the leaf in Suja’s logo look like an angry face or the face of someone who doesn’t like the chalkiness of this non-dairy chocolate milk?
If you’re looking for a non-dairy, nut-free, soy-free, gluten-free, GMO-free, carrageenan-free, and vegan chocolate milk, then the Suja Chocolate Milk is a great option. But, again, I’m looking for chocolate milk that makes me smile, and this doesn’t do it for me.
Purchased Price: $6.79 (on sale – $8.49 reg.) Size: 48 oz. bottle Purchased at: Target Rating: 6 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (8 ounces) 120 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and 8 grams of protein.
If you told me a decade ago I’d be drinking pea milk and enjoying it, I’d laugh and tell you I’m not into that gross stuff. Then after explaining it’s p-e-a and not p-e-e, I’d again laugh and tell you I’m not into that gross stuff.
I don’t care for the pea’s texture, flavor, and ability to affect a princess’ sleep. I avoid chicken pot pies because of the chance I’ll eat one and I always throw out that one freeze dried pea you get with every Cup Noodles.
So it’s odd I ended up buying a bottle of dairy-free Chocolate Ripple Milk, which is made with flavorless pea protein. It’s not the green peas you’ll find swimming in a chicken a la king, it’s yellow peas. But it’s still peas. Although I don’t care for the vegetable, I might’ve bought this so that I can say in a pretentious tone, “Oh, you drink almond milk? Well, have you tried pea milk? No? You should try it someday.”
According to the Ripple website, a cup of Chocolate Ripple has more protein and less sugar than an equal serving of chocolate soy milk. Plus, it provides Omega-3 fatty acids.
Ripple is available in original, unsweetened, vanilla, and chocolate flavors. I haven’t tried any of the others, but this chocolate one reminded me of reduced fat chocolate milk. If you gave some to a kid and told them it came from a cow, they’d believe you. But I guess if you put cocoa into any milk it’ll do a great job at hiding whatever it’s made from, probably even pee milk.
While I enjoyed its flavor, I noticed an oddity with its texture. It initially was creamy in my mouth, but then it became thinner. However, I noticed it because I was swishing it around in my mouth, like some pretentious wine taster or Listerine burn lover. But I imagine most folks won’t notice since their mouth to throat transit time will be much quicker than mine.
There’s also the issue of price. Forty-eight ounce bottles retail for five dollars. A half gallon (64 ounces) of other dairy-free milks are about the same price or cheaper.
Overall, I do see myself buying Chocolate Ripple Milk again, if its price comes down. When it does, it’ll be the only way I’ll consume peas.
(Nutrition Facts – 12 fl oz – 220 calories, 80 calories from fat, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 135 milligrams of sodium, 680 milligrams of potassium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 26 grams of sugar, 12 grams of protein, 15% vitamin A, 70% calcium, 45% vitamin D, 20% iron, and 4% magnesium.)
Purchased Price: $2.79* Size: 12 fl oz bottle Purchased at: Target Rating: 7 out of 10 Pros: Tastes like reduced fat chocolate milk. More protein and less sugar than chocolate soy milk. Provides Omega-3 fatty acids. Conversation starter with vegetarian or vegan? Listerine burn. Cons: More expensive than other dairy-free milks. Slightly changing texture is odd. Peas. Listerine burn. Bragging about all the dairy-free milks you’ve had.
*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.
I like almond milk. It gives me a break from soy milk, which gives me a break from regular cow milk, which gives me a break from soda, which gives me a break from water, which gives me a break from food, which gives me a break from having a conversation with someone who won’t shut up about The Walking Dead. I’m sure it’s a wonderful TV show, but I’m not going to watch it. So you don’t need to convince me.
I also like pumpkin spice and am not sick of everything being pumpkin spice-ified. So seeing my two likes together in one carton made me as excited as a Walking Dead fan minutes before a new season starts.
Silk Pumpkin Spice Almond Nog isn’t the first pumpkin spice product from the brand. It has a pumpkin spice soy milk, which I enjoy and have purchased a few times. Since Silk has added pumpkin spice to their almond milk, it wouldn’t be surprising if we see the autumn spices with their coconut milk, cashew milk, and whatever nut milk Silk develops in the future. My money is on Brazilian nut.
Silk’s Pumpkin Spice Almond Nog has wonderful scent. When I pulled back the safety ring and took a whiff, it was like what I imagine motorboarding two pumpkin pies would smell like. It has an orange tint that looks like the result of a Creamsicle that’s been completely melted into a puddle mixed with the tears of a child who’s crying because he or she dropped that Creamsicle. Its texture is about the same as almond milk, not as creamy as soy milk, but not as thin as skim milk.
But its texture is also a bit weird and I’m not sure how to describe it. I guess it has an artificial creaminess to it. Actually, now that I think about it, all Silk products, thanks to thickening agents and emulsifiers, have an artificial creaminess, but this nog seems different than the other products.
While the beverage’s aroma reminds me of the Thanksgiving dessert staple, its flavor does not. The spices are there — with cinnamon being the strongest, followed by ginger and nutmeg — but instead of pumpkin pie, its taste reminds me of cinnamon pancakes drowning in Mrs. Butterworth’s or Aunt Jemima. Yes, that does sound tasty but not at all what I was hoping for and I did not enjoy it much.
Also, I don’t know if many people care about this, but this beverage is nutritionally empty. A cup of Silk’s almond milk has 45 percent of your recommended calcium and 50 percent of your recommended vitamin E. A half-cup of this provides no calcium or vitamin E. Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, so how could it not have any vitamin E?
If you need a non-dairy pumpkin spice beverage fix, there are other options. I know there’s Almond Dream pumpkin spice-flavored milk and Califia Farms has a pumpkin spice latte with almond milk, but I haven’t had them so I can’t compare. But I can compare it with the Silk Pumpkin Spice soy milk and I think the soy milk version is much better tasting.
(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 50 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 8 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.)
Item: Silk Pumpkin Spice Almond Nog Purchased Price: $4.69 Size: 1 quart Purchased at: Safeway Rating: 4 out of 10 Pros: Free of soy, dairy, gluten, lactose, cholesterol, eggs, casein, and carrageenan. Smells nice. The Walking Dead (so everyone says). Cons: Free of decent flavor. Provides no vitamin E, which is weird because it’s made with almond milk. Not as good as Silk’s pumpkin spice soy milk. Weird texture.
I consider myself very lucky to have no food allergies. I’m allergic to dust, pollen, weeds, grass, animals, and I suspect just “going outside”, but I have no aversion to lactose, gluten, or anything else food-related.
This is fortunate for me, since I have very little self-control. If I ever became lactose intolerant, I would probably spend the rest of my life sharting myself, because I love dairy products and you’ll have to pry a slice of pizza with extra cheese out of my cold, dead hands. I’m assuming I died from diarrhea-related dehydration.
Many others are not as lucky as I, however. Fortunately, for those with an intolerance to cow milk, there’s soy milk!
I’ve known a few moo milk-drinkers who have tried soy milk and been all, “Ew, gross, this tastes and feels nothing like real milk.” Well, no, because it’s not cow milk. Please try not to faint from shock when something tastes different than something else because it’s made from completely different ingredients. God forbid you eat a tofu burger; you’d probably have a heart attack. Or not, because you’re much more likely to have a heart attack eating red meat.
I say all this like I’m the greatest lactose intolerant/vegan sympathizer out there. In reality, I’m a total asshole and constantly make fun of my hippy friends who are vegetarians, and deal out juvenile fart jokes to anyone I know who can’t eat dairy.
That said, I’ve quietly cheated on cow milk with soy milk quite a few times in my past. It had nothing to do with health – in fact, I generally have a natural aversion to anything that’s good for me – I just like the way it tastes, specifically the vanilla and almond varieties.
When I saw that Silk had come out with “iced latté coffeehouse drinks”, I immediately thought of Starbucks bottled Frappuccinos, and wondered how the two would compare. Before you get your panties in a bunch over the fact that lattés and cappuccinos are different, consider that these are pre-made store products, not drinks created by your favorite barista.
Silk’s Iced Lattés come in two flavors – vanilla and mocha. I chose vanilla simply because I prefer it over chocolate. Don’t get me started on people who think vanilla isn’t a legit flavor – I just spent two paragraphs defending soy milk, which goes against every opportunity-for-mockery bone in my body. Those are most of my bones, by the way.
Silk’s website sez: “Be your own barista with smooth, refreshing Silk Vanilla Iced Latte. A wholesome blend of Silk soymilk and espresso from premium Arabica coffee beans, our Iced Latte is deliciously dairy-free, with no artificial sweeteners, colors or flavors and no high-fructose corn syrup. Coffeehouse-quality taste, conveniently located in your home fridge.”
Right off the bat, I like that they don’t use HFCS, because I’m a total snob about that. On a sarcastic note, I also like that they’re too lazy to use the é in “latte”, despite it being obviously present on the carton. Hey Silk, it’s not that hard to learn alt codes. Or copy and paste the symbol off of Wikipedia, which is what I’m doing for this éntiré réviéw. See how easy that is?
Now then, to the drink itself.
Silk Vanilla Iced Latté Coffeehouse Drink is a little thicker than normal Silk soy milk, but not quite as thick as a Frappuccino, or a latté you’d get at an actual coffee house. This is to be expected, since soy milk is generally more watery than moo milk. I don’t usually mind this, but when you start getting into fancypants coffee territory, viscosity is important, and Silk juuuuuust missed the mark on creaminess.
What it may lack in texture, Silk iced latte makes up for in flavor. I could immediately taste the vanilla, and it wasn’t just “soy milk vanilla”, it was “shot of vanilla syrup” vanilla, which is important in a coffee drink. It also had just the right amount of sweetness, which is something I can’t even say for some other coffee drinks – I’ve had some vanilla lattés that were so sweet they made my stomach hurt afterwards.
As for the coffee itself, I found its flavor to be a little lacking. Not in quality, but in quantity. There was a nice coffee finish, but it was too muted. I like my share of fru-fru coffee drinks, but I also want it to actually taste like coffee. In a perfect drink, I like my vanilla and coffee flavors to be about 50/50. I felt like in this drink, it was more 70/30.
Silk Vanilla Iced Latté Coffeehouse Drink isn’t perfect – the consistency is a little too thin, and the coffee flavor too muted – but if you’ve been looking for a lactose-free, gluten-free alternative to Starbucks bottled vanilla Frappuccino, this drink isn’t too shabby. The non-HFCS sweetness and vanilla flavors are pleasant, and it does actually have some caffeine in it. Although the carton does not specify how much, the Silk website says it has 64 milligrams of caffeine per serving. All in all, it’s a decent off-the-shelf coffee soy drink.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup – 100 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 45 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)
Item: Silk Vanilla Iced Latté Coffeehouse Drink Purchased Price: $3.49 (on sale; regularly $4.59) Size: Half gallon Purchased at: Albertson’s Rating: 7 out of 10 Pros: Nice vanilla flavor. Juvenile fart jokes. Just the right amount of sweetness. Caffeine. No high-fructose corn syrup. Cons: Coffee flavor was too muted. Sharting. Could have been creamier. Silk’s copy writers being too lazy to put an accent mark over the “e” in “latté”.