Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Product Review - Silk: Mocha and Vanilla Iced Latte...
This week my husband has decided to take my lead and try doing a juice fast for himself. Which means I’ve only been cooking for myself this week, which means I haven’t been making anything to exciting. However, even though I don’t have any recipes to share with you today I do have something else I’m excited to share.
Last month my husband and I discovered at our local grocery that Silk had two new products on the market. Both were Soy Iced Latte drinks, one in Vanilla the other in Mocha. Now, I know that some people question the integrity of Silk as a company because of their parent company, and I know a lot of people who avoid buying Silk products for that reason - amongst a few others - but it’s hard to deny that Silk Soy Milk is probably the most accessible and easiest to find brand of non-dairy milk available - along with Rice Dream. - Silk is so common these days that you can find it in small town Wal-marts, and even gas stations which makes it an important staple for many vegans living in rural areas. I of course am not living in anything even remotely considered a rural area so I have my pick of non-dairy beverages, I do however love to try new vegan products. Even if I never buy them again, I like to try them out and see what they’re like. On top of that insatiable curiosity I do have a soft spot for Silk. See, I never liked cows milk not as a kid and not as an adult so I kind of grew up on Silk Soy milk the first time I can remember my mom buying it was in the mid-late 90's when I was in my early teens, and I loved it. I was absolutely hooked on it for all my milk needs until I grew up, got married, went vegan and discovered the vast world of non-dairy plant-based milks. But as you do when you’re young, you form attachments, and so even though I almost never buy Silk these days I had to at least give these new iced lattes a try, you know, for old time’s sake.
So first we tried the Mocha Latte and I have to say it was much, much better then I expected. The flavor is really good and definitely reminds me of a less strong and less syrupy version of an iced latte you might get at one of those big chain coffee shops. This stuff tastes great on it’s own right out of the carton, but it also tastes good over ice, and as my husband discovered it makes a delicious and unique ‘creamer’ for actual coffee. You want your Strong Italian Roast to have a mocha flair? Pour this in instead of creamer. Incredible! I think this would also be fantastic for use in baking if you’re making anything coffee flavored like coffee cakes, coffee cupcakes, or even using it to make a coffee frosting.
Nutritionally speaking it’s nice that this beverage only has 100 calories per serving which puts it on par with most other sweetened non-dairy beverages. It also contains 2g of protein, 1g of fiber, 4% Iron, only 1g of fat, no saturated fat, but it does have 20g of sugar. Which I feel is a lot, however as long as you’re making this a sometimes drink and not an everyday one I don’t think you have much to fear. The ingredient list contains the usual suspects, coffee, cane sugar, soybeans, coco powder and the like, nothing to concern you too much however this product does contain Carrageenan as so many other beverages do. So if that’s something you are trying to avoid then this isn’t the drink for you. I personally have been avoiding carrageenan for months and feel better for it, and I wish Silk and other non-dairy beverage producers would stop using it, but again I think as long as this is a treat for you rather then a dietary staple there isn’t too much need to worry. If you like Mocha flavored stuff give this drink a whirl.
Next we tried the Vanilla Latte which was also quite good although I liked the Mocha latte better. That’s just me though, I think on most days I’d prefer mocha over vanilla anyway and even though I love vanilla when it comes to vanilla flavored stuff I’m usually less then impressed. Even if artificial flavors aren’t used, most vanilla flavored things taste artificial to me, and I don’t like that. Overall though this was a pretty good drink. Again you could drink it straight from the carton and be pleased or it would be good over ice, and my husband enjoyed this one in his coffee as well. I think it would also be good in baking if you were going for a café-vanilla type of thing.
Nutritionally it has the same 100 calorie per serving as the Mocha Lattew, and has the same amount of protein and sugar though it has no iron, no fiber and less fat. Only 0.5g instead of 1g. The ingredients too are nearly identical minus the cocoa of course, and this drink too contains carrageenan. So if you like vanilla lattes but don’t want to pay $5 for one at a big chain coffee house, try looking around for this and make your own latte at home. Retail both of these drinks sell for the same as other Silk products, - $2.99-$3.99 depending on where you live, - and come in the same half-gallon sized cartons.
Other great things to keep in mind about these products and about Silk products in general is that they’re Dairy free, lactose free, casein free, gluten free, egg free, and MSG free. They also don’t use artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners, and they don’t use high-fructose corn syrup. Silk is also enrolled in the NON-GMO Project’s, Product Verification Program which means all of their products are either certified as NON-GMO or on their way to being certified as such. This is nice, because even though Silk offers some organic products not all of their products are organic, but with the non-GMO certification you can feel safe and assured that even their non-organic products are free of GMO’s.
and for More information on Silk Products check out their website - Silk