I recently found a new kind of milk in the dairy case of Sprouts Farmers Market: flax milk. I was really excited to see a new type of milk, especially one that attempted to harness the health benefits of flax seed.
For those readers who are unfamiliar, flax seed is touted as a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are the "good fats", or the essential acids that promote brain function and reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition, flax seeds are high in fiber and in lignans which scientists believe play a critical role in preventing cancer.
My milk-allergic son, Ryken, is content just to drink soy milk. I, on the other hand, have been on a continuous journey to lower our family's overall consumption of soy after learning of research on the effects of excessive amounts of isoflavones on hormones and the implications on reproductive development. If we can eliminate some highly processed soy products from our diet, my worries will be somewhat allayed. After confirming that Callan was not allergic to almonds, we integrated almond milk into our family's diet with Ryken being the last holdout in the conversion. Ryken hates almond milk and continues to drink his beloved Soy Dream. We as a family also eat tofu, soy yogurt, occasional Tofutti products, and sometimes use soy milk in recipes as a substitute for cow's milk. So overall, Ryken is eating a big dose of soy every week.
Good Karma, the company behind this new flax-based beverage, offers three varieties: original, vanilla, and unsweetened. Our family tried out the original-flavor flax milk. Everyone seems to like it, especially Ryken who has been the toughest to wean from soy milk. The flax milk has a creamy taste -- not as rich as soy milk but fuller than Rice Dream milk. This is probably due to the fact that soy milk has a little more fat per 1 cup serving than flax milk. The flax milk had a slight, salty aftertaste much like almond milk. This might give someone pause if they were drinking flax milk straight up from a glass. However, for our family's purposes, the slight mineral taste of flax milk didn't affect our enjoyment. We have had flax milk in cereal and in dessert recipes and it's been a pretty good alternative.
The original flavor has 7 grams of sugar per 1 cup serving. (Editor's note: When I first posted this, I had incorrectly stated the original flavor as having 11 grams of sugar,) Although Good Karma original flax milk does have more sugar than Soy Dream Original (4 grams), it is the same as Trader Joe's or Silk almond milks (around 7 grams of sugar). Good Karma original flax milk has 60 calories per serving while Rice Dream Original has 120 calories per serving. Interesting to me because I thought the bigger flavor of Good Karma would naturally mean it was higher in calories, which is not the case. The vanilla flavor has 11 grams of sugar per 1 cup serving, which is on par with Horizon Organic cow's milks.
|Dairy-free, egg-free chocolate pudding made with flax milk. Not too shabby!
Good Karma has come up with a solid line of milk alternatives. Overall, I still like the creamy, mild taste of Soy Dream Original best for cooking in sweet or savory dishes. But if you have to avoid soy due to allergies or intolerance or simply want to like our family, Good Karma flax milks are very good alternatives full of health benefits. I definitely plan to integrate flax milk more into all areas of our foods (baked goods, sauces, drinks) although for savory dishes, I will opt for the unsweetened variety.
Good Karma's product line includes rice milks and frozen desserts much like its competitor Taste The Dream. For more information about Good Karma products and where to find them, check out their website. You'll also find a handy coupon there to enjoy.