Family Taste Testing with Ripple Milk
I’ve been dying to try the new pea protein based non-dairy milk from the brand Ripple. Unfortunately local stores didn’t carry it–until very recently. As soon as I saw it at Andy’s Market I contacted Ripple and they were kind enough to send me some coupons. Like most dairy alternatives, it is a bit more expensive. Ripple, more so than most.
My family is pretty used to dairy alternatives as we’ve used a variety of milks for fun and preference. We generally drink 2% cow’s milk, but now and then might bring home a carton of soy or almond for a change. My thoughts on milk alternatives depends on the situation. For the most part, it’s hard to replicate the nutrition in dairy milk. The closest approximation so far has been soy milk, but some families don’t like it or have soy allergies to contend with. The other main option, almond milk, leaves a lot to be desired. While it tastes great, there’s not much in it: low calorie, low fat, low protein. Essentially a highly diluted handful of almonds with added vitamins and minerals.
My philosophy goes like this: If you’re having a hearty breakfast, any milk is fine. But if you’re going to be serving cereal, use a milk with substance.
So when Ripple came out with its pea protein based milk, I was thrilled for another option. It’s 100% vegan, soy-free, and nut-free.
Here’s a quick comparison:
Notice how almond milk is about half the calories of 2% milk, has virtually no protein and is very low fat. Cow’s milk looks like it is full of sugar, but that’s just the natural lactose it contains.
Taste Test Time!
Once I got my coupons I headed straight to Andy’s to pick up a bottle, but they were out…for days! Apparently Ripple can barely keep up with demand. Way to build up my anticipation. But I let Andy’s know what I was up to and they kindly notified me as soon as they had it restocked.
My two kids and hubby gladly indulged my research and accepted their role as guinea pigs.
We used the following milks in our comparison/taste test.
Everyone but me was blinded as to which was which.
It’s hard to tell from the photo, but there is distinct color difference between the blinding white of the cow’s milk and the two non-dairy milks. Ripple is a bit more beige and silk looks a bit more yellow-beige.
My hubby did not fall in love with Ripple, but thought it was decent. I tasted it at the end and agreed about the mouthfeel being a bit “fake creamy.” Otherwise it was fine, nothing stood out to me about it and perhaps I’ll update if I try it on cereal. But the important thing is that my Kids LOVED the Ripple milk and thought it was identical to their favorite, Silk Soymilk.
Since we aren’t allergic to any milk proteins, we will probably continue to use 2% as our primary milk and then occasionally buy soy or almond for fun and variety.
Want to try taste testing foods with your kids?
Doing taste tests is a great way to expose your kids to new foods or variations on foods they already love. It can be a great way to expand the palates of picky eaters, BUT with one big caveat: it’s not a stand alone “treatment” for extremely selective kids, extreme picky eaters or kids with ARFID. For such kids doing a taste test can come across as major pressure and very likely backfire. Download this Litmus Test to see if your child might be ready for taste testing. (Note the age suggestion is if you have an only child and or you’re doing it in hopes of influencing that child’s eating. If you have a 2 year old that wants to join the bigger kids, no big deal provided the food is otherwise not a choking hazard).
But for the adventurous or even run-of-the-mill picky eater, if you do it right, you can have a lot of fun and get your kids to think about flavors, textures.
Consider starting with a food they already LOVE like crackers, chocolate, or yogurt. Do these taste tests as part of a snack time other low-pressure eating time. Have other foods available if this bombs and kids change their mind and refuse the new foods.
Talk to them about what to expect, what to look for in terms they can understand to describe flavor and texture. Scribble together an evaluation sheet like I did above or download my slightly nicer ones (simple or complex). Most of all, KEEP IT FUN!