Pros: a non-dairy alternative, no cholesterol, good with cereal and coffee, great for smoothies
Cons: bland taste as a beverage, high in sodium, lasts only 7-10 days once opened
Ah, there's nothing like a cold beverage direct from...a box? (a turntable's needle skips across a vinyl record) Did you say box? Milk, juice, wine and now almond juice? Really? Was there a big consumer outcry for beverages in boxes? I guess I missed that memo.
From the folks who make some of the best nutty snacks, Blue Diamond is now in the "beverage" business. I was curious, so I tried a box. My first impression of the Almond Breeze as a stand-alone beverage is that is was very bland. The box does say that it's unsweetened, but after a sip of this "breeze" I was not impressed. Then I tried sweetening it with Splenda and that helped a bit. Then I remembered the old days when I used to use Mocha Mix in my cereal and decided to try this Almond nectar on my Honey Bunches of O's cereal. I have to say that it was pleasant. The almond breeze complimented the crunch and texture of the cereal made it almost as delicious as good ol' milk. If I was to purchase Almond Breeze in the future, it would be for the sole purpose of using it with my cereal.
Difference is that this Almond Breeze has no dairy, is gluten-free, has a low glycemic index, no cholesterol, no sugar and very little fat. This means that Almond Breeze is great for those who are lactose intolerant, Diabetic or pre-Diabetic. In fact, my wife has recently used Almond Breeze in her coffee and hot cocoa and liked it. The box suggests that it might enhance a fruit smoothie, but I'll pass on that. It's also a great source of calcium for those with bone issues. Keep in mind that the 32 ounce box is packed high levels of potassium and sodium.
Extra boxes of Almond Breeze can be stored in a pantry or cabinet because it's non-dairy, but before you use it, it has to be chilled to taste better.
One downside to the product is that once opened, even when refrigerated, it will only last seven to ten days. Which is strange, because there's a "Best Before" date of July 2010 on the top of my particular container. I guess that's if I don't open it. I think that might be due (in part) to the fact that the box's flip-cap doesn't seem 100% air tight.
based on an 8oz serving size
calories - 40
calories from fat - 30
saturated fat - 0g
trans fat - 0g
cholesterol - 0mg
sodium - 180mg
potassium - 190mg
total carbs - 2g
dietary fiber - 1g
sugars - 0g
protein - 1g
purified water, almonds, tapioca starch, natural vanilla flavor with other natural flavors, calcium carbonate, sea salt, potassium citrate, carrageenan, soy lecithin, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2 and D-alpha-toccopherol (natural vitamin E)
The box states that unsweetened Almond Breeze is "smooth & creamy." Well, that may be true but it's also quite bland as a stand alone beverage. But after having it on my cereal, I actually like it. And my wife gives it a thumbs up for her coffee creamer. It should also be mentioned that they make a chocolate version and I can't wait to try it.
I have since learned two things... The Almond Breeze brand is less expensive than Silk's products. I also learned that almond milk or coconut milk make a great base for my smoothies. I use the unsweetened and then add a pinch of Splenda for sweetness if needed. The vanilla varieties make it even better-tasting.