Vanilla Soy Milk:
“Don’t dunk your nigiri in the soy sauce. Don’t mix your wasabi in the soy sauce. If the rice is good, complement your sushi chef on the rice.”
The first time I had heard about soy milk, I thought someone was joking. Who the heck wants to drink something made out of beans? I found it hard just to eat burger patties made out of soy. Soy is a bean was fine, but then to milk it and drink it? No, sir.
Then one day I came to a strange truth: I might actually be lactose intolerant. I didn’t realize it until I had kids and suddenly we were having more cereal and ice cream that I could think of. And my body? Well, I’m not in pain when I drink more than 4 ounces of cow’s milk, but everyone else is when they find it hard to breathe from my, umm, “bad air”. At the same time, my wife went on a health kick, and we had to drink SOMETHING with the cereal.
And so we turned to soy milk. But which brand should we buy? There are a few out there, but the most popular ones we could see were Vanilla Soy Milk. After trying both, I made a decision as to what I would be willing to drink. Let’s just call it the lesser of two evils. I’ll compare the two based on taste and nutrition using their Vanilla soy milk flavors because that regular stuff just tastes horrible to me. First, we’ll get a brief history of these bean juice makers.
The first brand, Silk, is based out of Colorado. They’re part of a company called White Wave Foods, a company that makes nifty other products like Land O Lakes butter and International Delight Creamers. They were the first to make soy milk that could be refrigerated.
8th Continent is the love child between two larger companies, DuPont and General Mills. This child is getting more popular every day, especially since Oprah’s trainer, Bob Greene, features this brand in his health books. Can the old standby stand tough with the popular newcomer? Let’s put ’em to the mat.
Vanilla Soy Milk, in Silk Vanilla Soy Milk, the veteran, gives you 100 calories per 8-ounce cup. These calories are loaded with goods, though. Only 30 come from fat, and the rest have significant amounts of 11- yes, 11- vitamins and minerals. Half the B12 you need for the day is in that little serving! And get this: only 7 grams of sugar.
The spunky 8th Continent Vanilla Soy Milk doesn’t have as much power with the punch, but it is a little leaner. Each 8-ounce serving also has 100 calories, but only 25 of them come from fat. Yet you can find only 7 vitamins and minerals in 8th Continent Vanilla Soy Milk but they don’t have as much vitamin goodness as Silk’s Vanilla Soy Milk. Also, the 8th Continent is a little sweeter with 10 grams of sugar. How does that translate? Silk is better for you.
The newcomer wins this one easily. Those extra grams of sugar count. Frankly, soy milk on its own tastes like dishwater to me and yes, I’ve tasted dishwater. It wasn’t a good experience. Putting some vanilla in it made it taste a little better. In the 8th Continent’s case, a LOT better. I could actually drink this stuff in a glass by itself and be o.k. Not two glasses, though. However, Silk does nothing for me for taste. Sure, it’s been around a while, very popular, but I’m just not that into it. I tried to like it. The only thing it tasted better than was the plain version of Silk. The 8th Continent has a significantly better taste.
In my opinion, you might as well go with the 8th
Continent if you are just trying to live healthier in general. Might as well drink something that tastes good if it is going to be good for you. However, if you really, REALLY need those vitamins and you don’t mind the taste of soy milk, Silk is your way to go.
Fortunately, I live and breathe for Jamba Juice, so I’ll stick with the 8th Continent.