by Catherine Misener
Trying to decide between the wide variety of soy milk can be frustrating – they range in color, fat content, and most importantly – taste. We have tried several brands and varieties and two of our favorites are White Wave Vanilla Silk and Soy Dream (both chocolate and vanilla) – we use both in just about every recipe that calls for milk or whipping cream and is always satisfied with the results. Read more about White Wave Silk Soy Milk.
White Wave has an extensive line of dairy milk substitutes, including coffee creamer and egg nog. (See the end for a full listing). In this review, we focus on their silk soy milk varieties in plain, vanilla and chocolate – all provide 300 mg of calcium per 8 oz. serving (30% of recommended daily intake), 5 – 7 grams of soy protein, and have between 3.5 – 4 grams of fat (0 – .5 grams saturated fat).
All White Wave products are 100% dairy-free (do not contain casein, a milk protein) and use non-GMO ingredients. Silk soy milk is sweetened with milled organic, vegan evaporated cane juice (say that 10 times real fast).
One of the best ways to sample soy milk is either by trying a cold, tall glass (preferably with a homemade chocolate chip cookie), or using with your favorite cereal. This way, you can get an idea of the taste and mouth-feel of any soy milk in its basic form. From there you can decide if it would do well in a variety of recipes. While you may not care for the taste of a particular variety or flavor of soy milk “straight-up”, it may be great for baking or using in cream soups. Case in point: we do not care for the plain or chocolate White Wave Silk straight up, but love the vanilla. We use the vanilla in just about everything but have found that the plain works better in cream soups and dips. When added to the cream of mushroom soup, the plain holds up as well as dairy cream and adds just the right amount of sweetness, whereas the vanilla is too sweet. We have used all varieties in smoothies and shakes and prefer the chocolate and vanilla, although we really love Soy Dream Soy Milk for beverages. Perhaps the best use we have found for the vanilla flavor is in baked goods.
The vanilla has a little more sweetness than other brands, which works great in hot chocolate, smoothies, shakes, and desserts. We always use White Wave Vanilla Silk in our Mexican Hot Chocolate and Triple Chocolate Bread Pudding – the flavor is thick, rich and creamy. People who try either at our cooking demos and classes are amazing soy milk can taste so good! For some desserts, White Wave suggests adding less liquid and 1/4 cup cornstarch to pie and pudding recipes to help the soy milk “thicken up”. The plain variety works quite well in cream soups and dips, although we do not care for it as a drinking or cereal milk, as the mouth-feel is a bit thin and watery. The chocolate is good in smoothies – good, but not great. It does not have the depth of chocolate flavor found in other brands and is a bit watery.
One of the smartest marketing moves ever done was by White Wave – they fought to have their Silk Soy Milk in the refrigerated section, right next to the dairy milk. Genius, sheer genius. Many (if not most) people were unaware of soy milk before this move – if they were, they often had trouble finding it in major grocery stores. If you were lucky you could find soy milk sold in aseptic containers (non-perishable if unopened) on an obscure shelf in the ubiquitous “Health Food” isle – you know the one that holds nutrition bars, sugar-free goodies, and diet drinks. Those in the know knew to shop at a health food store! Now, just about everyone knows where to find soy milk and White Wave is often the brand they grab – right between the dairy milk and the whipping cream. (You can also find some varieties in aseptic containers – walk down that aisle)
If you know adding soy to your diet is good for you, and figure soy milk might be the way to start, we suggest trying White Wave Vanilla Silk – over cereal, in desserts and soups, and – most certainly – with a cookie.
For more information about Silk Soy Milk and other soy products, please visit White Wave. Their full dairy milk substitute line includes: Milk – Plain, Vanilla, Chocolate Coffee Soylatte, Spice Soylatte Chai, Mocha, Nog Creamer – Original, French Vanilla, Hazelnut
Please check back for future reviews of their products.