I’ve been debating whether or not to cover this item. It’s not like there aren’t already a whole lot of gluten-free milk options in the world! At the same time, there are a lot of people who can’t (or won’t) drink cow’s milk, and who might be allergic to soy milk. This leaves some less-than-exciting options like rice milk, hemp milk, or making your own almond milk. This milk has millet, amaranth, and quinoa, which is interesting. When we first saw this item, we thought that it sounded like a good idea, and we decided to give a try.
Here are the ingredients for the unsweetened variety:
Filtered Water, Organic Brown Rice, Organic Inulin, Organic Expeller Pressed Canola and/or Organic Expeller Pressed Safflower Oil, Organic Tapioca Starch, Sea Salt, Organic Vanilla Extract, Vitamin Mineral Pre-Mix (Tricalcium Phosphate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Ergocalciferol [Vitamin D2], Cyanocobalamin [Vitamin B12]), Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Carrageenan, Organic Amaranth, Organic Millet, Organic Quinoa.
And here is the sweetened variety:
Filtered Water, Organic Brown Rice, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Inulin, Organic Expeller Pressed Canola and/or Organic Expeller Pressed Safflower Oil, Organic Brown Rice Syrup Solids, Sea Salt, Organic Vanilla Extract, Vitamin Mineral Pre-Mix (Tricalcium Phosphate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Ergocalciferol [Vitamin D2], Cyanocobalamin [Vitamin B12]), Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Carrageenan, Organic Amaranth, Organic Millet, Organic Quinoa.
The main difference between the two is that the sweetened one has evaporated cane juice and brown rice syrup solids. The unsweetened has tapioca starch. Those of you who are used to reading ingredients will be struck by two things: 1) The presence of amaranth, millet, and quinoa at the very bottom of the list means that they don’t really make up any real part of the milk and are more there as flavors at best. And 2) What the heck is inulin?
Inulin is a food additive that has been gaining popularity. It’s a naturally-occurring fiber that tastes sweet, but that isn’t digested. There are a lot of health claims about inulin, mostly having to do with stomach bacteria. Because we can’t digest the stuff, our stomach bacteria does it instead. Some say this is good. Others aren’t so excited. The Wikipedia page on inulin has good information on it, as does this page – Inulin: Friend or Foe? I don’t know enough about this stuff to be an expert, but I’m one of those people who distrust artificial sweeteners. At the same time, inulin is naturally occurring and can be found in onions, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, agave, and a number of other plants.
As you can see from the photo, the milk has that more watery sort of consistency that rice milk has. By now you’re probably all wondering how the milk tastes. I thought it was OK. When you look at the ingredients, you see that it’s basically fortified rice milk with a bunch of stuff thrown in and a strange indigestible sweetener. Those of you who are used to unsweetened non-dairy milks will find that both versions are rather sweet. I’m thinking that this is because of the inulin. In fact, I bought a carton of both and although I didn’t exactly perform a taste test on them, I remember thinking that I would have trouble telling which one is which by gauging the sweetness.
What it tastes the most like, to me, is millet. If you enjoy that nutty-corny taste that millet has, you might like this milk. It certainly doesn’t taste bad, and as I mentioned at the beginning of the article, it does offer a bit more variety in the non-dairy milk category. I wish that I felt strongly one way or the other, but instead I was left with the impression that some people might like it. I didn’t really like it enough to switch from my usual milk of choice.
I would love to hear from anybody out there who gave this milk a try. And also, what you think of inulin, if anybody out there has a strong opinion, let us know what you think in the comments!