Archive for the ‘Soy Milk’ category

Battle of the Nogs

December 5th, 2011
Vegan Nogs: So Delicious - Rice Dream - Silk - Earth Balance

Vegan Nogs: So Delicious Coconut Milk Nog, Rice Dream Rice Nog, Silk Nog and Earth Balance Soy Nog

 

Egg Nog. I once guzzled that stuff by the carton this time of year. I’m a nog lover. A connoisseur of the nog. AficioNOGdo. If your nog is off then I’ll know it. I’m on top of the nog. Etcetera etcetera… Let’s not think about the sugar and fat content in a glass of that drinkable pudding. I think it’s very tasty but of course since the vegan switch years ago egg nog has been off limits. Silk has had their variant on the shelves this time of year for a few seasons and now were confronted with other entries in this holiday guzzle-fest. I welcome them all but only want the one that tastes best and can hold up, as in coat the side of the glass, like a true nog should. No thin watery stuff. Nog should to be thick.

Looking on the shelves in the cold section of the grocery store this season I was greeted by the usual entry by Silk, a good standby when you just have to have the nog  but I also found some new ones. So Delicious has a coconut milk version of nog and Earth Balance has their own nog as well. One I was surprised to find is Rice Dream Nog. You won’t find this one in the refrigerated section, it’s in a septic pack.

I have four choices now for my nog fix and a decison needs to be made as to the best vegan nog available.  The best way to make such a decision and not be skewed is a blind taste test, Pepsi Challenge style. Four glasses blindly filled and letters corresponding to each nog placed in front of each glass. With paper in hand for notes on each nog this nog tasting was ready to get serious.

Vegan Nogs: So Delicious - Rice Dream - Silk - Earth Balance

Vegan nog blind taste-tasting ready to begin. Each glass filled and with a corresponding letter.

 

Vegan Nogs: So Delicious - Rice Dream - Silk - Earth Balance

Top view of nogness. Note color.

 

Tasting was not limited to just me.  Mrs. Nashveggie and The Kid also participated. Mrs Nashveggie is not the most avid nog fan and it shows in her opinions but it’s still good to get such an objective view included. The Kid, on the other hand, likes most anything sweet.

 

Rice Dream Rice Nog

A – Rice Dream $2.99/32oz

My first thought when seeing Rice Dream Rice Nog is it’s not supposed to be pink! Getting past the pinkness and tasting this overly watery drink left little flavor. There are what appears to be spices in the bottom of the glass so that’s a plus but the only one. Pink, watery, bland.  F

Mrs. Nashveggie: Too pink! I don’t want to taste it… Sweet and chalky.

The Kid: It tastes good.

 

Silk Nog

B – Silk Nog $2.69/32oz

I’ve tried this one before but it was still a little hard to pick out from the four. As a usual standby in recent years when I’ve had the urge for some nog it has stood up well. Being critical though, I could point out flaws as well as high points. Silk Nog has a good flavor. There’s nutmeg flavor you can pick out that should be there though the one flaw that makes this one fall is its consistency. While not as thin as Rice Nog it definitely could stand to be a little less runny.  B

Mrs. Nashveggie: Did you put something in this? Smells like yogurt. Tastes like rum.

The Kid: I like this one. I think it’s my favorite.

 

Earth Balance Soy Nog

C – Earth Balance Soy Nog $2.69/32oz

Earth Balance is known for their vegan butter substitutes but lately they have branched out into other endeavors such as mayonnaise and,  more-notably, soy milk. Their seasonal offering of Soy Nog is likely my favorite of the four. It does have a good consistency and could hold up to a brandy, if that’s what you like. The flavor is a little lighter than I prefer but overall this is a good choice.  A-

Mrs. Nashveggie: Gagged. Too thick.

The Kid: It tastes a little sour. Just a little sweet.

 

So Delicious Coconut Milk Nog

D – So Delicious Coconut Nog  $2.99/32oz

I’m no fan of coconut milk beverages. I find them generally fatty tasting and off-putting. I do like coconut but everything has its place and coconut milk isn’t meant to be swilled like a bottle of cheap malt liquor. With that said So Delicious Coconut Nog had the expected consistency. Thick and rich and that works here. It has that right but that about the only thing. I thought I was drinking liquid candy! So sweet! My teeth hurt after drinking this. I couldn’t taste any spice, if there is any for the overpowering coconut flavor and booming sweetness. For those that want an alternative to soy you have this and Rice Dream Rice Nog to choose from. If I was forced to choose one of the two this would be it. For that reason alone I’ll give it a letter grade up. C-

Mrs. Nashveggie: Where’s the spoon? Thickest one. Tastes too much like coconut milk.

The Kid: This one tastes like coconut. Eww.

 

The clear choice of vegan nogs is Earth Balance Soy Nog. A good balance of everything though not perfect. Still, faced with the decision when these four on on the shelf it would be the one to come home from the grocery store with me.

Those are my opinions on the nogly offerings you’ll find this season. Suffice it to say Mrs. Nashveggie is not a Nog fan and I’ll not likely let The Kid near that much sugar at a time so I’ll be drinking what’s left of the nogs. Each of the four have room to improve, some more than others. Hopefully next year someone will have the perfect nog. I can hope.

 

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Varied Vegan Chatter

January 28th, 2011

Over time I gather thoughts. Some I tell myself I’ll write about and some I think why bother. Most of these thoughts never have enough behind them to warrant a lengthy post for the site so I toss them aside and forget it. What I’ve decided to do is throw those all into one post. There won’t be much to go on but jump in the comments and complete my thoughts. I’m counting on you.

I’ve been on the fake meat bandwagon once in my vegan/vegetarian life. It was early on, of course, as most people who do get into that habit of eating with convenience in mind. I’ve not so recently put that aside. Fake meats are, to me, for transitioning vegetarians. They lend the familiarity of what once once the edible mainstay but as a vegan I have moved on to fresher foods. That’s not to say I don’t eat some here and there and you’ll likely see reviews for them pop up on this site. They are what they are, a transition food and that’s fine.

While on the subject of fake meats Just a mention that one of my biggest dining-out peeves is a vegan or vegetarian restaurant that relies on fake meats to fill their menu. How about the veggies, guys? I don’t want to pretend to chew pork or chicken/chick’n/chic’n, no matter how many letters you remove form the word, when I’m paying $15 to eat at your restaurant. If you can’t prepare fresh vegetables, and I don’t mean prepared in some gourmet-style, just simple fresh vegetables, then you have no place running a vegetarian dining establishment.

I have been noticing Earth Balance soy milks at Whole Foods for a few months. I’ve even bought the milks regularly but it wasn’t until recently that I noticed the absence of Silk products in the refrigerated section at Whole Foods. I asked about the disappearance and was told that Whole Foods had decided to stop carrying Silk due to the changes Dean Foods had made to the product line. Specifically, the dropped “Organic” from the standard packaging and came out with a new package design and marketed the Organic line again though with a higher price tag. There was no marking on the original package to signify it was no longer organic less the absence of the organic seal. Shady? Greedy? Shysters? No big deal?

For the past few months I’ve been doing P90X. I completed the first 90 days and immediately started a second 90 days which, at this point, I’m at day 60. I’ve had tremendous results losing some weight and finding muscles I never though I had. I have discovered that Tony Horton, creator of the series, is vegetarian and is now working on a vegan diet plan for his next workout series. Vegan P90X works!

“Flexitarian” is just omnivore disguised in a fancy catch phrase that makes advertising pop and sounds trendy. You know how people love trendy.

As the father of a vegan 5 year old I ‘ve often wanted to hear from other parents of vegan children. If you fall into that description drop something in the comments about your experiences. I would love to hear from you.

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Silk PureAlmond

March 19th, 2010

Silk PureAlmond

I have written in the past about my desire to find a milk other than soy to make coffee with. I would go each time through rice, almond, hazelnut and others only to fall back to the reliable soy after finding each was either too watery or just wouldn’t foam, some even tasted bad. After seeing Silk PureAlmond I thought I should give it a try. I had tried Almond Breeze, both aseptic and refrigerated, but was put off by the strong after-bite. As far as I know Silk PureAlmond is only the second refrigerated almond milk variety.

A good coffee milk should always hold up first to steaming. A nice foam never hurts and this is where most of the milk options I have tried failed. Silk PureAlmond worked very well, surprising actually as I have never managed a good foam with almond milk. The foam was as good as soy milk. The milk is thicker than other almond milks which lends to the foaming ability.

Taste is most important and the flavor held up well to the espresso I use. No overbearing taste to mask the coffee. Most important there is no afterbite like all other almond milks I have tried.

I doubt I will give up soy milk completely for almond milk but finding a new option that tastes good and actually works well for coffee is always welcome.

Silk PureAlmond Steamed

Silk PureAlmond Coffee

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Soy – A 30 Day Experiment – Week 4

September 30th, 2009

My month-long soy free journey is nearly at an end.  As I have stated in past posts, I have felt no change, in energy or weight loss, during this time.  So many pieces of research I have read before and during this trial has stated that there is a direct link with soy and the thyroid and a significant decrease in soy intake will result in heightened energy levels and potential weight loss.  I have read studies indicating consumption of soy in relation to memory loss and concentration issues.   All of those have not proven themselves during this test and so, from my standpoint, are bunk.  During this time not only have I given up the more wholesome soy in its unrefined form but I took out of my diet the processed soy you find in just about every snack food.

I have had visitors to the blog since I started this project who are vegan and allergic to soy.   To me that’s willpower.  Being allergic and unable to consume soy but then taking it one step further and deciding to be vegan for whatever reason, that takes willpower!

Eating out was limited for the past month.  Most items contain some soy additive and sometimes, even with known vegan stuff, you just don’t know if it has soy or not so it was better to abstain.  I did some deep checking into some places and found an item here or there.  One thing I managed to find out was soy free was the sweet & sour at Pei Wei.  I had assumed eating anything Asian would be out during this time and considered myself lucky on this one.  Sweet & Sour vegetables with rice fit nicely and I managed to get a plate piled with fresh veggies and a tasty sauce that hit the spot.  A trip to Atlanta left out most of our favorite eateries except for Eats.  You can’t find soy in the pesto or a big veggie plate and you can’t go wrong at Eats!

Pei Wei - Sweet & Sour Vegetables Soy Free

After this is over I’ll be going back to soy.  Of all the things I missed I think the soy milk in my coffee would be the first to come to mind.  As I said before I didn’t notice any changes during this time.  Maybe after the upcoming holidays I’ll do this again and have some bloodwork done before and after just to benefit those in doubt.  I’ve made it through one month, I can do it again.  Willpower!

One more day left!

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Soy – A 30 Day Experiment – Days 3 – 7

September 8th, 2009

I am at the end of my first week of reading labels more extensively than I ever have as a vegan.  The soy industry has a firm grip on every aspect of our food supply, and nowhere is this more evident than in processed foods.  Soy protein isolate, soybean oil, soy lecithin – all components of just about every processed food you pick up.  Although some processed foods don’t contain soy, the fact is most do and the only way to truly avoid it is to eat whole foods.  Fresh vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts, which are indeed the best foods for your body, are also the only road to getting zero soy.  With that said, I have not been eating only whole foods.  I have found a processed food here or there without soy.  Our garden is still producing tomatoes, cucumbers and okra.  I picked a small amount of pinto beans last week.  These items typically give me a good lunch but I get lazy in the evenings, the time I really shouldn’t.

The milks I have been trying, which I have spouted about over the last two posts, have been narrowed down to hazelnut.  I have tried a few over the past week.  Almond: too much of a bite.  Rice: too watery.  Oat: grainy, gritty, liquid paper. Hemp: powdery, not as bad as oat.  Drinkable but far too expensive.  Hazelnut tastes light enough, doesn’t have a bad aftertaste and isn’t too expensive.  I spend the most time on the milk subject because I drink a lot of it.  I use it extensively in my coffee and in my cooking.

I have read many articles about soy interfering with thyroid activity.  I haven’t noticed a difference in my energy levels or any weight fluctuations since starting this plan but this is only the first week.  Those differences, should they come, would be expected later on, possibly near the end.

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