One of my most perplexing conundrums (conundra?!) as one who eschews dairy is what kind of milk to use. Soy milk is pretty standard; it works in baked goods and hot and cold cereals alike. But I’m not too keen on consuming tons of soy products, so I’d like to cut back on that. Plus, I don’t actually enjoy drinking soy-milk straight-up from a glass. Maybe it’s because I was never much of a dairy girl to begin with, but I was never one to pour a glass of ice cold cow’s milk and suck it down just because I thought it tasted good. Even so, every once in a while I’d like to drink a glass of something with my cookies. I tried it with soy milk a few weeks ago and quickly remembered why I didn’t do that in the first place. Blech. Even the vanilla kind just doesn’t do it for me.
A better alternative in the taste department is almond milk. I actually enjoy the way it tastes, and it’s also great for baking and cereal-eating. But while I’m at home with my family, using it in baked goods is a no-no – my dad and sister are both allergic to almonds. Boo.
And I just can’t get behind rice milk. It’s way too watery and thin for my tastes. I’ve used it in baked goods, but I don’t think it’s ideal for that purpose.
So, apart from having multiple cartons of multiple types of alternative milks in the fridge, I generally just stick with soy so that I can ensure I won’t kill anyone who accidentally eats an almond milk-laced cupcake. But that MoFo survey got me thinking about less common types of milks, types I’d always vaguely meant to try. So when a recent trip to Whole Foods I discovered Tempt Hemp Milk on sale for $1.87, I did a mental dance of glee and snatched up a carton. Oddly, only the vanilla variety was on sale, but that works for me. The regular price was $3 and change, so it was a pretty fantastic sale. I thought that maybe some of their vanilla cartons were nearing their expiration date, but mine’s good ’til July 2010, so no problems there! I was so excited about this purchase.
I couldn’t wait to try this stuff. I decided to pour myself a glass for a taste test, ready with some of those chocolate chip cookies I made recently in case I couldn’t stomach it plain. But it was love at first sip. It’s creamy and delicate, similar to soy milk but without that, um, soy taste that turns me off. The flavor is much more neutral, but deliciously so. It’s amazing! I haven’t baked with it yet, but I’m excited to try. Maybe I’ll use a blend of rice and hemp milks in the future, since rice is pretty cheap.
I wish I’d bought more than one carton, but before I left Whole Foods I checked to make sure the sale wasn’t ending any time soon; it’s not; the price is good through December! You can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be back to stock up. Alternative milk problem SOLVED, thanks to the amazingness that is hemp.