Each year, a new ingredient steps up in the world of dairy alternatives. The most recent superstar was coconut, but I’m wondering if it’s now flaxseed’s turn to shine.
True, flaxseeds can’t rival the natural cream of coconut. But, the health food industry has come up with recipes to make flax-based milk alternatives taste pretty amazing.
A couple of months ago, I read an article from a mainstream publication where a group of dairy-consuming writers sampled various types of milk alternatives for a big taste test. I’m always curious when people who drink cow’s milk regularly, weigh in on milk alternatives.
Still, their findings surprised me. Of all the varieties, flaxseed milk won… Hands down! Flaxseeds made into milk beat out almonds, soy, rice and coconut milk? Seriously? Now this was something that I just had to taste for myself…
I tried out three different flaxseed milks – here’s what I thought
As it turns out, there are a couple of flaxseed products on the local market. Anyway, I got my hands on three different flaxseed milks. After trying them out, I drew up these conclusions:
Plain flaxseed milk
Wow, this was, well, perfect! I could easily taste why this was the unanimous winner. It was fluid, smooth, lightly creamy, and yet refreshing. It has a hint of sweetness, but is relatively neutral in taste, with an overall seamless flavour. This variety seemed quite versatile, though I still wouldn’t use it in a purely savoury recipe, like mashed potatoes.
Vanilla flaxseed milk
This was way sweeter than I expected, almost dessert-like but oh-so yummy. The flavour is very vanilla, which I absolutely loved. It also had a semi-rich, 2% like texture that was incredibly smooth and easy to drink. I found it to be less thick than coconut milk beverage and smoother and more refreshing than the almond milk options. I think this one could be a big hit in almost any sweet recipe, and in everyday drinks like hot cocoa, coffee, and tea.
Unsweetened flaxseed milk
I typically purchase only unsweetened varieties of milk alternatives for their multi-purpose potential and the ability to make sugar-free recipes, so this was the flavour that I was most curious about. Truthfully, it wasn’t as scrumptious as the other two for the obvious reason: No sweetener. However, my interest in milk alternatives isn’t for sipping, it’s for smoothies and other recipes, from sweet to savoury. The unsweetened flaxseed milk added just the right amount of body to my breakfast smoothies, and the fairly neutral yet somewhat savoury flavour seemed like a perfect fit for most dishes. I would definitely consider purchasing this one again for further testing.
Some interesting details on flaxseed milks
And some additional details that I thought you might find interesting …
In addition to being vegan and dairy-free, they’re completely soy-free (no soy lecithin!), gluten-free, and free of the top eight allergens in terms of ingredients.
Each serving contains 1200 mg of omega-3’s from cold-pressed flax oil. In fact, fat is just about the only thing in this product beyond some sugars (from evaporated cane juice) in the plain and vanilla varieties. The unsweetened contains just 25 calories (and 2.5 g of fat) in a 250 ml glass!
Even though the plain and vanilla varieties are sweetened, they’re still relatively low in sugars.
Flaxseed milks are fortified with vitamin A (10%), vitamin D (25%), vitamin B12 (25%), and calcium (30%) to rival the vitamin and mineral content of dairy milk.
So is flaxseed milk the best vegan milk alternative?
I’d say definitely! Ditch the almond milk for a moment and try this stuff out. If you’re lactose intolerant or just enjoy dairy-free milks, I highly recommend you try flaxseed milk out.