I posted a "How Are You Milking It Poll" at the beginning of 2011, and 41% of voters use a non-dairy alternative - including me. Lately, I've been looking out for different coconut "milk" brands - so not surprisingly, I got around to picking up Coconut Dream Unsweetened Original Coconut Drink a few days ago. Oh - and according to the FDA, the term "Milk" is defined as " the lacteal secretion, practically free from colostrum, obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows" - so I'm not correct in calling it coconut "milk" but since it's a white liquid with a similar consistency and intended purpose as "milk" - please forgive my liberties with using the word "milk" during this review.
Now as for the taste & texture, as with Rice Dream Vanilla Rice Drink, this coconut "milk" is very watery - more like skim milk; and the coconut flavor is much milder than in Silk PureCoconut Original CoconutMilk, but that's not necessarily a bad thing - just depends on what your preference. I didn't mind. Of course, this is unsweetened, so although I liked the taste of it by itself, I much preferred using it in smoothies and even with cereal - although it has to be cereal with some sort of sweetness, like Kashi GoLean Crunch Cereal Review for example, but not something bland like Weetabix Organic Crispy Flakes & Fiber Cereal.
Because of lactose intolerance, I use "dairy alternatives" including soy milk (Silk Light Original Soymilk is a favorite), rice milk (like Rice Dream Vanilla Rice Drink) & almond milk - usually Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almond Milk. The other day I came across a different brand, Almond Dream Unsweetened Almond Drink, and since I'm a fan of Rice Dream, I was curious to see what this would be like.
What I found is that there is a strong, sort of almony or beany flavor that can be detected even when this is added to cereal ... and it wasn't something I was particularly fond of. But this is okay, especially for the low 50 calories and less than 1 gram of sugars per 8 ounce serving. I would definitely incorporate this in recipes & use it in cereals that have a strong taste on their own.
Each serving of Almond Dream Unsweetened Almond Drink has less than 1 gram fiber, 1 gram of protein, but it also provides 50% of the daily value for vitamin B12 and 30% of the DV for calcium, vitamin E and vitamin A, in addition to 25% of the DV for vitamin D.
Rice Dream Vanilla Hazelnut Rice Milk has been a superstar in my breakfast for the past week or so. The flavor is sweet, which does wonders when added to cereals that aren't very sweet, like Cheerios Multigrain. The hazelnut also shines through, especially when you add a little to your coffee.