My BIG Guide: Vegan Milk Reviews!

My BIG Vegan Milk Review. I love doing these BIG review pages here on the blog! Today, I am tackling the wonderful, wide world of plant-based milks. Aka, non-dairy, vegan, "plant" milks. Made from things like soy, rice, almonds, hemp, coconut, peas and many more. I hope these reviews give you some insight into the differences, benefits and pitfalls of some of the options out there.

If you love my BIG reviews, also check out my Matcha Review, Vegan Cheese Guide, Protein Powder Reviews and even my vegan yogurt reviews.

In today's post, I also share a featured video where I share my personal top three fave vegan milks for a matcha lattes, as part of this month's Kathy's Matcha Chat.

And don't worry, if you do not see your fave brand/flavor yet, please let me know in the comments! I will be adding to this list as much as possible.

Let's start pouring!...

Plant milk scout, Mr. White is ON IT.

And Sochi is SO ready to supervise this review ... while he naps ... and licks himself.

But wait!.. I want to talk about DIY almond milk first. I love making my own almond milk. For recipes like smoothies, cereal, banana ice cream, drinking on its own and even baking, DIY almond milk is my first pick! It tastes amazing and is the most "whole-foods-based" option since it has just one main ingredient and ZERO additives like gums and stabilizers. The downfall is that DIY nut milk tends to separate and clump around when tried in really hot lattes. So for my matcha lattes I always use store-bought varieties.

You can even make chocolate almond milk (so good!)

Whole foods are always my first choice when I have time.

Ok, now back to the BIG review...

Some Notes About This Review + Vegan Milks:

- Diversification is Good! Trying New Flavors is Good! I diversify my milks, I love and buy more than just my 'top five' brands below. And I can find something lovely about every single brand listed here. You cannot go 'wrong' with any of these, but the taste and texture and nutrition does vary greatly.

Today's Lesson: Not all non-dairy/vegan milks are created equal. And if you hate one brand or flavor you may LOVE another brand or flavor - even if made from the same main ingredient. In kid-word terms... One 'yucky' almond milk doesn't mean that all almond milks are yucky. Same goes for veggies. Vegan cheeses. And food in general. Taste-test. Try. Use these reviews and user comments as guidance. Don't be a five year-old and ban all vegetables because you hated spinach. OR ban all plant milks because you hated one of them. If you taste something you do not like, do not give up. There are MANY other options on the market, just waiting to be tasted.

I hope these reviews give you some guidance with your own plant-milk-discovery journey.

- Things Can Change.
With everything, tastes and opinions can change. My tastes have changed over the years for sure. These are just my opinions right now. Food is odd that way. We may crave one brand one week and another brand/flavor the next. Keep this in mind when reading reviews and also when doing your own taste testing.

- Small Sample, So Far. These reviews represent just a small selection of available plant milks on the market. I will add more reviews to this page as time goes on, so please check back and let me know any brands that I am missing and should add ASAP. This is just a tiny "taste" of the action out there in the thriving 'plant milk' world.

- Thank You! ..from the Animals. Guess what? The cool thing about ALL plant milks is that every single one is a better choice for cows than dairy. I would personally rather drink my least favorite plant milk on the planet than ever drink dairy again. But the rad part is that vegan milks actually taste amazing these days! And they are sometimes fortified with nutrients - or they have nutrients naturally from the main ingredients like legumes or nuts. You can actually get MORE calcium from a glass of certain vegan milks than from a glass of dairy milk. I will not go into all the horrors of dairy farms, but if you want to learn more about how even a vegetarian food like "dairy" can hurt animals and the planet, check out this article in The Guardian: Dairy is scary. The public are waking up to the darkest part of farming. More resources from: PETA and MFA and Free From Harm. (note: These links may contain some sensitive images.)

- Good Stuff! I have chatted a bit about the nutritional wins you can get from plant milks, but it is so true! These milks are made from nuts, legumes, even seeds and grains. Some very healthy foods, producing creamy, lovely plant milk. I don't think anyone in the nutrition world will argue that nuts and legumes are healthy foods. The key to plant milks and nutrition is to read those labels.

For me, I look for brands that are low or free of added sugars, rich in nutrients like calcium, vitamin D and iron - and hopefully have as few ingredients as possible. I also try to avoid carrageenan, even though the data out there is sketchy and mixed. I also won't get into the "soy" debate because that is a whole other post. But for me, I LOVE organic and non-GMO soy milk in moderation. You will see below, one of my favorite flavors is by Eden and only contains two ingredients, and a boatload of naturally occurring nutrients.

Ok, let's do this. Sochi's ready. Are you?

Just added: OATLY! This is how great it foams in a latte...

Below the reviews, check out more bonus content, like..
- What is it? Thickening Agents.
- Flavors: What is the Difference Between Unsweetened, Vanilla, etc.

Overall rating system:
5 mugs -- Best of the best, a favorite all around.
4 mugs -- Great choice all around.
3 mugs -- Very good. Sturdy choice. May be lacking in one area.
2 mugs -- Not bad. But lacking in a few areas.
1 mug -- Not good. Greatly lacking.

Quick Picks List: (detailed reviews follow)

My Seven Favorite Non-Dairy Milks:
(in no particular order..)
1 - Califia Farms Almond Milks
2 - Ripple Pea Milks
3 - Eden Soy Milks (Unsweetened is my fave - just two ingredients!)
4 - Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almond Milk
5 - Silk Milks (Original soy is my usual pick)
6 - So Delicious Almondmilk
7 - Oatly Milk
**For all of the above I choose the unsweetened or original flavors, never the vanilla.

- Highest in Protein: Eden Foods Soy Milk - unsweetened with 12g per cup.
- Best For Calcium: 45% RDA calcium ranges include: Ripple, Blue Diamond, Silk Soy Milk, So Delicious Almondmilk, Califia Farms -- most calcium per calorie goes to So Delicious's 25 calorie/45% calcium per cup variety.
- Favorite Go-To Almond Milk: Califia Farms.
- Favorite Odd Ingredient Milks (not almond or soy): Oatly or Ripple (pea based), Rice Dream, and Hazelnut from Pacific Foods.
- Lowest Calorie: So Delicious Almondmilk - unsweetened original with only 100 calories in the box - 25 calories per cup.
- Most Mainstream + Varied + Easy to Find Brand: I have to say that Silk seems to be the powerhouse brand. I have not tried all their new flavors, but I am eager to. They have a bunch of innovative varieties - some with added DHA, others with ingredient blends, protein-boosted nut milks and more. Plus, I find Silk in tiny stores in the middle of nowhere, gas stations and more. Mainstream-friendly. Browse the flavor options here.
- Most Like Dairy Milk: Ripple - Something about the flavor and texture reminds me of dairy milk. Silk is another brand dairy-lovers seem to enjoy - user-friendly. A few others mimic milk very well, but it really depends what you are seeking in a milk-alternative too!
- Most Surprising: Rice Dream. After many years of trying milks, the rice beverages still appeal to me based on their sweet and drinkable flavors! I really like the flavor. (However, rice milk is not recommended for hot lattes or rich creamy smoothies or Nice Cream, due to the thin consistency.)
- Faves for Lattes: My five faves are Ripple, Califia Farms, Oatly, Eden and runner-up for availability + lovability is Silk. Tip: Choose a plant milk that has a higher calorie/fat/protein content to give your foam/milk some body. There are also a few brands with "barista blends" of plant milk. These milks have a richer quality and usually foam a bit better. I personally do not buy them, but I have seen a few coffee houses using them - especially for almond milk, which traditionally doesn't foam well.
(Watch my video below for details on my three fave vegan matcha latte milks...)

---- The Vegan Milk Reviews ----

Oatly - original
price: $5.49 / 64oz (whole foods market)
Texture: Rich and creamy, perfectly silky.
Taste: Nutty and lightly sweet. Oat essence, but really, a neutral flavor.
Nutrition: 120 calories, 5g fat, 16g carbs, 3g protein, 25% calcium
Carrageenan: None
Best Uses: Delicious, as is! Also delicious and foamy in lattes. Great on cold cereal too.
Overall rating: 5 mugs (I just love this milk! A bit light on protein, but for flavor, texture and foaminess: YES!)
Links: brand website - Amazon

Rice Dream Rice Beverage - original
price: $2.99 / 32oz (whole foods market)
Texture: Thin side, Creamy white. Soft and silky.
Taste: Sweet in a very pleasant way. Has a cravable, inviting flavor. Slightly earthy, complimented by sweetness.
Nutrition: 120 calories, 2.5g fat, 10g sugars, 25% vitamin B12, 255 vitamin D, 30% calcium, 10% vitamin A, 4% iron, 1g protein --- a bit higher in calories and sugar, not enough protein to balance out carbs, good fortified numbers though.
Carrageenan: None
Best Uses: I love drinking this on its own or adding to a not-so-sweet cold cereal. I also love in smoothies where a sweeter milk is needed.
Overall rating: 4 mugs (I love the sweet flavor, but the texture is on the thinner side which limits use.)
Links: brand website - Amazon

365 (Whole Foods) Organic Almond Milk - original - shelf stable carton
price: $1.99 / 32oz (whole foods market)
Texture: Creamy white, nice and thick for an almond milk.
Taste: Good! Nice and plain, nothing weird or harsh that stands out.
Nutrition: 60 calories, 50% vitamin E, 25% vitamin B12, 25% vitamin D, 10% calcium, 1g protein, 2.5g fat, 7g sugars --- wish this had more protein and calcium, but good calorie count and love the vitamin E number!
Carrageenan: None
Best Uses: Great all-purpose almond milk. Great for baking, lattes, smoothies and cereal. Not the best to drink on its own, but doable. Not the best for lattes, but good.
Overall rating: 4 mugs (Good all-purpose buy -- great price point too! I like the flavor of original better than unsweetened.)
Links: none found online

365 (Whole Foods) Organic Almond Milk - unsweetened - fridge section carton
price: need to confirm / 64oz (whole foods market)
Texture: Creamy white, nice and thick for an almond milk.
Taste: Average. Texture is great, but flavor a bit bland and "meh."
Nutrition: 40 calories, 3g fat, 0g sugars, 1g protein, 50% vitamin E, 25% vitamin D, 255 vitamin B12, 10% calcium --- lacking in protein but ok otherwise.
Carrageenan: None (I see locust bean gum, gellan gum...)
Best Uses: Good all-purpose almond milk, though the flavor is very bland for drinking on its own or even smoothies or lates. I prefer an original flavor in the 365 brand because the slight sweetness helps a lot.
Overall rating: 3.5 mugs (Good all-purpose buy, but I like the original flavors better. Fridge version is a nice big size.)
Links: brand website

Silk Original Soy Milk - fridge section
price: need to confirm / 64oz
Texture: Light and creamy white texture. Silky for sure!
Taste: Very good. This is a very clean and likable flavor. Silk does a great job making the flavors clean.
Nutrition: 110 calories, 4.5g fat, 8g protein, 6g sugar, 45% calcium, 50% B12, 30% vitamin D, 6% iron -- good profile all around. Sweetener is cane sugar.
Carrageenan: None (Gellan gum used..)
Best Uses: Silk soy is a great all purpose option. Great for lattes or cereal, baking or drinking on its own. The original is sweet-ish, but not too sweet.
Overall rating: 5 mugs (This is widely available, so I feel compelled to give it a 5 because it is a go-to for so many people. Including myself.)
Links: brand website - Amazon

Forager Cashew Milk - unsweetened plain
price: $3.99 / 48oz (whole foods market - on sale)
Texture: Thick, white and very creamy, but still light in a strange way.
Taste: Pleasant and drinkable for the flavor.
Nutrition: 80 calories, 5g fat, 2g protein, 2% calcium, 4% iron, but that's about it for nutrients listed. Simple ingredients, basically: cashews, cassava root, oats, cultured dextrose, vanilla, salt...
Carrageenan: None
Best Uses: If you want a really creamy, thick and neutral flavored milk for cold cereal or smoothies - this will do nicely. Not really great if you are looking for a nutrient-dense milk. I didn't like this milk for my latte, but it did well in a hot cocoa.
Overall rating: 4 mugs (I really love the simple healthy whole food ingredients, but this milk is lacking in nutrients quite a bit.)
Links: brand website

Soy Delicious Cashew Milk - unsweetened
price: $2.99 / 32oz (whole foods market)
Texture: Appears thick and creamy white. A bit watery upon tasting though. It is actually a bit too creamy and gum-y in texture for my tastes. I have tasted real cashew milk, and this is much thicker than the real thing. (As is the case with most nut-based milks though)
Taste: Ok. Has a very subtle cashew flavor. I bet the sweetened version is slightly better to drink on its own.
Nutrition: 40 calories, 4g fat, 1g protein, 0g sugars, 10% calcium, 30% vitamin D, 50% vitamin B12, 8% selenium, 6% zinc -- wish there was more protein and calcium, good healthy fats and selenium.
Carrageenan: None (I see guar gum, gellan gum, carob bean gum...)
Best Uses: Good all-purpose milk for those who are interested in adding variety to their plant milks! Worthy alternative to almond milk, though a bit 'silkier' with less earthiness. Good for baking, cereals, drinking alone. Not my fave for lattes, but doable for sure.
Overall rating: 2.5 mugs (Good almond milk alternative, but I still prefer almonds for plant milk over cashews. ... I LOVE cashew-based ice cream though! Overall, I don't like the odd, too-thick texture of this.)
Links: brand website - Amazon

So Delicious Almond Milk - unsweetened
price: $3.29 / 32oz (whole foods market)
Texture: Good texture and creaminess despite low calorie content. Slight wateriness in flavor, but that is to be expected with such low actual almond content.
Taste: Good! Even though this is a very low cal milk, the flavor is slightly nutty and the taste is appealing.
Nutrition: 25 calories, 2g fat, 0g sugar, <1g protein, 30% vitamin E, 25% vitamin D, 45% calcium -- missing B12 but loaded with calcium and E for the calorie count! Carrageenan: None ... but I see locust bean gum and gellan gum Best Uses: Great as a low calorie non-dairy milk. Cold cereal or smoothie that require a lighter milk. Overall rating: 4.5 mugs (I actually really like this flavor and even texture, despite the low calories. The calcium and E are robust. But overall you know with 25 calories, you are getting a pretty watered down almond content.)
Links: brand website - Amazon

Engine 2 Almondmilk - unsweetened original
price: $2.99 / 32oz (whole foods market)
Texture: Nice and creamy white.
Taste: A bit aftertaste-y, acidic. Creamy, but not really a nutty flavor.
Nutrition: 40 calories, 3.5g fat, 1g protein, 0g sugars, 25% vitamin D, 25% vitamin B12, 2% calcium, 2% iron --- lacking in some nutrients like calcium and protein.
Carrageenan: Yes. Also gellan gum.
Best Uses: Smoothie or cereal.
Overall rating: 2 mugs. (Not very fond of this flavor and the nutrients are lacking. They also use carrageenan which some people are trying to avoid.)
Links: brand website

Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almond Milk - original
price: $2.19 / 32oz (whole foods market)
Texture: A bit watery, but creamy light white color.
Taste: Surprisingly good for such a low calories milk. I like the mild taste of nuttiness. You can really taste the almonds!
Nutrition: 30 calories, 25% vitamin D, 45% calcium, 50% vitamin E, 1g protein, 2.5g fat, 0g sugars --- really robust nutrients for only 30 calories. I am missing the protein though.
Carrageenan: None (I see gellan gum..)
Best Uses: Great milk for smoothies, cereal and baking that doesn't require a heavy milk. Ok for drinking on its own though a bit thin. More refreshing and light.
Overall rating: 4.5 mugs (Lovely flavor, good fortified nutrients. Again, a very watered down almond, but the flavor is clean, texture good, though on the thin side.)
Links: brand website - Amazon

Ripple (Pea Milk) Original - unsweetened
price: $3.99 (sale, $1 off) / 48oz (whole foods market)
Texture: Rich, creamy, thick. White in color. Ripples when you pour it!
Taste: Really clean, 'milky' flavor, tastes a lot like 'dairy milk' actually .. only way better! I think the rich texture helps flavor appeal.
Nutrition: Pea-based! 70 calories, 8g protein, 4.5g fat, 0g sugar, 10% vitamin A, 45% calcium, 30% vitamin D, 32mg DHA omega-3s from algal oil
Carrageenan: None (I see sunflower oil and lecithin, guar gum, gellan gum, gum acacia..)
Best Uses: This is a favorite milk for lattes and warm drinks. I also love for milkshakes or banana ice cream. Great over cereal too. Good for drinking on its own, but pretty plain in actual flavor.
Overall rating: 5 mugs (I just love the rich, creamy texture and clean flavor -- plus robust protein content from peas and Algal oil DHA enhancement is exceptional.)
Links: brand website

Califia Farms Almond Milk - unsweetened
price: $4.99 / 48oz (whole foods market)
Texture: Creamy, silky, white, smooth.
Taste: Very neutral and plain flavor. No weird aftertaste at all.
Nutrition: 35 calories, 3g fat, 1g protein, 45% calcium, 0g sugars -- good nutrients, but very lacking in protein and a few other nutrients that other brand have added in.
Carrageenan: None II see locust bean gum, gellan gum, sunflower lecithin..)
Best Uses: Though this is a low-cal almond milk, it is by far my favorite almond milk brand. I like the unsweetened or original flavors best. Never clumpy and always a pleasant flavor from almonds. This is a fave smoothie milk. Also good for 'lighter' lattes, not the best for foam, but good creaminess. Great in cereal, baking, drinking on its own.
Overall rating: 5 mugs (Though it is lacking in protein and a few other nutrients, the dependable flavor and texture makes up for it. The most 'like homemade' grocery store almond milk I have purchased.)
Links: brand website

Pacific Foods Hazelnut Beverage - original
price: $3.49 / 32oz (whole foods market)
Texture: Rich and creamy, beige in color.
Taste: Sweet, nutty and festive with classic hazelnut flavor. A bit too sweet, but the sweetness makes it very drinkable.
Carrageenan: Yes - also gellan gum
Nutrition: 110 calories, 3.5g fat, 14g sugars, 2g protein, 10% vitamin E, 25% vitamin D, 30%calcium, 30% riboflavin -- a bit low in protein for the higher calories, a bit higher in sugar. Good calcium,D and others.
Best Uses: Great as a sweet, festive latte milk for coffee. Ok in matcha. Love this on oatmeal or unsweetened cold cereal. Delicious sipped on its own over ice with a sprinkle of cinnamon. The unique flavor and sweetness should be considered when using.
Overall rating: 3 mugs (I like this as a unique, delicious milk, but not an everyday pick for me. The flavor is sweet, but delicious.)
Links: brand website - Amazon

Pacific Foods Almond Milk - original unsweetened
price: $2.49 / 32oz (whole foods market)
Texture: A tad watery, white, silky.
Taste: Bland and even a bit off-putting. Though I love this brand, this flavor is one of my least favorites.
Nutrition: 35 calories, 25% vitamin D, 1g protein, 2.5g fat, 2% calcium, 2% iron --- low in calories, but also low in protein and most nutrients.
Carrageenan: Yes also rice starch
Best Uses: If you want a very bland and low calorie almond milk, you could try this one. Not too fond of the flavor or carrageenan though. Probably my least fave low calories unsweet almond milk. (Love this brand for soy and hazelnut though)
Overall rating: 2 mugs (Just not fond of this flavor and nutrients are really absent. If you choose this brand, go with the original flavor.)
Links: brand website - Amazon

Pacific Foods Coconut Beverage - original unsweetened
price: $3.49 / 32oz (whole foods market)
Texture: Creamy white. Slightly thin upon tasting though.
Taste: Coconut accents with an unpleasant sharp note. Did not like this one at all. May be better in a sweetened variety.
Carrageenan: None (I see gellan gum, guar gum, xanthan gum...)
Nutrition: 25% vita D, 30% Vita B12, 0g protein, 45 calories, 4% calcium, 4g fat/4g sat fat -- poor protein and calcium profile. Low in calories.
Best Uses: Baking if you want to use a coconut source. Not drinkable on its own. Would not use in cereal or lattes either.
Overall rating: 2 mugs (Kinda hated the flavor. But an ok option if you really want a coconut-based plant milk.)
Links: brand website

Pacific Foods Ultra Soy - original
price: around $4 / 32oz (online)
Texture: Rich and creamy white.
Taste: Clean, smooth and lightly sweet. Really enjoyable flavor.
Carrageenan: yes.
Nutrition: 140 calories, 5g fat, 10g protein, 8g sugar, 30% calcium, 25% vitamins D, B12 and E.
Best Uses: Great for lattes or making banana ice cream. Anything that requires a rich milk. This is a nice white color so makes pretty white foam.
Overall rating: 4 mugs (This is my favorite Pacific Foods plant milk, though I wish it was carrageenan free. It is beautiful for lattes! Love the nutrient profile.)
Links: brand website - Amazon

Eden Foods Soy Milk - unsweetened
price: $3.69 / 32oz (whole foods market)
Texture: Creamy, thick, silky, off-white to beige in color.
Taste: Lovely, earthy with a delicate soy flavor. Unsweetened brings a basic, bland but appealing flavor profile.
Nutrition: Only two ingredients! But still...12g protein, 120 calories, 6g fat, 2g sugars, contains moderate amounts of: calcium, iron, B1, B9, zinc, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, B6, vitamin K... --- Love the protein and the fact that this milk is just soybeans, yet has so many naturally occurring nutrients!
Carrageenan: None (Only two ingredients, yay - reverse osmosis purified water + organic soybeans)
Best Uses: All around great. Love it for foamy lattes. Also great in baking, cereal and smoothies. The rich calorie and fat content makes it great for baking and when you need a richer milk alternative.
Overall rating: 5 mugs (One of my overall faves for everything. The color is brownish so be aware of that for recipes like matcha lattes. Only two ingredients is a big plus for me!)
Links: brand website - Amazon

Eden Foods Extra (fortified) Soy Milk - original
price: $3.79 / 32oz (whole foods market)
Texture: Same as above
Taste: Same as unsweetened, though with a sweeter accent.
Nutrition: Same as unsweetened, with higher numbers for calcium (20%) and more. Rich in vitamin E (25%), B12 (50%) --11g protein, 130 calories, 7g sugar, 4g fat --- really great nutrient profile, rich in protein.
Carrageenan: None (Uses kombu seaweed...)
Best Uses: Same as unsweetened. Better for drinking alone or cereal adding.
Overall rating: 5 mugs (One of my overall faves. Especially for lattes. If you want a bonus boost of nutrients from Eden, go with the fortified 'extra' varieties.)
Links: brand website - Amazon

That is it for right now! But I am excited to buy + try + add more varieties!

Bonus Content About Vegan Milks...

What is that?? Plant Milk Thickening Agents..

Carrageenan - This is the thickening agent that seems to get all the "bad press." Carrageenan is a seaweed, also known as Irish Moss. I think that Dr Weil has a good overview of why people might want to avoid it: "Is Carrageenan Safe?" Basically he points out that some studies have shown significant digestive issues, possibly even cancers and ulcers, but still, it is approved by the FDA and is in many food products. The panic over this additive has definitely been seen in the plant milk world. Brands now proudly proclaiming "carrageenan free!!" on their labels. But really, is the fuss necessary? I am not a food scientist or researcher, so I can only refer you to a few articles and say that while I have not experienced significant ill results, in general, I feel better when I drink milks with less gums and additives. Which is frustrating because many of my favorite brands contain a few thickening agents.

So it is really up to you to worry or not worry about carrageenan and these other gums here.

Carrageenan: stop the Panic has some good info too.
I really like this article too: What is Carrageenan by Wellness Mama, explaining a bit why a simple seaweed can be so troubling.

Locust Bean Gum - "Locust bean gum is a galactomannan vegetable gum extracted from the seeds of the carob tree. The bean, when made into powder, is sweet—with a flavor similar to chocolate—and is used to sweeten foods and as a chocolate substitute, although this carob powder is produced from the fruit pod after removal of seeds, while the gum is produced from the seeds themselves." - Wikipedia This gum contains some Pros and Cons as described here from DrAxe. This gum is similar to guar and gellan, though may have a slightly chocolate-y flavor from the carob tree source.

Guar Gum - "Guar gum is a fiber from the seed of the guar plant. Guar gum is used as a laxative. It is also used for treating diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), obesity, and diabetes; for reducing cholesterol; and for preventing “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis). In foods and beverages, guar gum is used as a thickening, stabilizing, suspending, and binding agent. In manufacturing, guar gum is used as a binding agent in tablets, and as a thickening agent in lotions and creams." - Web MD Overall, this is a commonly used thickening agent for both plant milks, yogurt, ice cream, gluten-free beads and more. Pros and Cons of Guar Gum on DrAxe.

Kombu Seaweed - This is found in my fave Eden brands. Eden says, "We use gentle, unrefined, naturally malted organic wheat and barley extract as a sweetener, and EDENSOY is the only soymilk made with nourishing Japanese kombu seaweed." You can find several articles about how kombu seaweed is actually good for you. So overall, I think this thickening agent is the purest from this list here.

Gellan Gum - As a food additive, gellan gum was first approved for food use in Japan (1988). It is used mostly as a sort of alternative to gelatin. In vegan candies, non-dairy milks etc. In plant milks, it "keeps plant protein suspended in the milk." - Wikipedia "Gellan gum is similar to xanthan gum in that it is an exopolysaccharide produced by bacterial fermentation." - ChrisK ..Also in that article, the author states this, which I think is a good rule of thumb..

"As a general rule, gums can be problematic for those with digestive issues simply because they’re mostly indigestible, but it’s very unlikely any of them will actually cause harm. Of course it’s ideal to avoid food additives altogether, but I know it’s not realistic for everyone to prepare all food from scratch, and unless you have digestive issues or a sensitivity to certain gums, I don’t think it’s necessary." - Chris Kresser

Q: Flavors: What is the Difference Between Unsweetened, Vanilla, etc..

A: Unsweetened means that no sweetener or sugar is added. There may be some naturally occurring sugars, but nothing like barley syrup or brown rice syrup or cane sugar is added. Unsweetened will have the most bland and one note flavor. But sometimes this is appealing. Unsweetened flavors are perfect when you need a milk for a savory recipe, subbing something like whole milk or even cream. Or if using in a soup or other savory dish where sugar is not wanted. Unsweetened flavors usually have more minimal caloric values because there is an absence of added sugar and empty calories.

Plain or Original flavor. This usually means that you get the same base contents as the unsweetened, only with some added sweetener. This doesn't necessarily make the milk "sweet" (all brand vary) but the sweet accent compliments the savory flavor from the nuts or beans or whatever is the main ingredient.

Vanilla. Vanilla milks usually have a sweet flavor and also a aromatic vanilla accent. This milk might remind you of baked goods or even melted ice cream. The vanilla is appealing to some , but more times I find people do not care for a vanilla flavored milk. Kids might like this flavor if they are drinking the milk straight up, like from a single serving lunch carton.

My usual preference for buying a milk is either unsweetened for original. I never buy vanilla flavors simply because I do not like the added sweetness and vanilla accent.

Chocolate. Another flavor is chocolate. The "chocolate" flavors vary by brand, but in general, they are sweeter than the original flavors. The chocolate flavor is usually loaded with a good amount of sugar, like the vanilla.

Note: There are a few 'vanilla unsweetened' flavors out there! Always check the label and also the nutrition label to see what you are buying. A super sweet milk will have a higher "sugar" gram amount than a not so sweet milk. Anything over 8g of sugar per cup will be on the sweeter side. Anything over 10-12g of sugar will be very sweet.

disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links which help support my website. This post also contains a video from Kathy's Matcha Chat, which is sponsored by Encha Organic Matcha. These reviews are all unsponsored and not affiliated with any of the brands listed. I have worked with a few of the companies reviewed in the past, but all opinions are my own.
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