Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Blue Diamond Almond Milk

First a little description from the company.
"No one knows almonds as well as Blue Diamond® does and no one knows how to grow them better than the 3,000 California almond growers who make up the Blue Diamond Growers cooperative. They’re The Almond People™, after all, and almonds have been their only business for over 100 years. Many of their growers have been co-op members for generations, so there’s a lot of family pride in each carton of Almond Breeze®.

Just the facts
• Almond Breeze is a nondairy milk alternative that is calciumenriched
and free of dairy, lactose, gluten, and soy. It is a great
alternative for those with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies.
• Varieties of Almond Breeze beverages are packaged in shelfstable
Tetra Pak cartons and do not need to be refrigerated until
opened. Shelf stable Almond Breeze is ultra pasteurized (a high
temperature heat treatment) that ensures food is free from
harmful bacteria and packaged in sealed sterile cartons with
special barrier layers that keep out light, moisture and air. This
special packaging protects the product quality and nutrients
while locking in all the goodness of the product (learn more about
Tetra Pak below).
• Almond Breeze is available in Original, Chocolate, and Vanilla
flavors as well as unsweetened varieties

Tetra Pak: Protecting what’s good
Products in Tetra Pak cartons do not need to be refrigerated until ready to be
used. Product quality and nutrients are preserved thanks to ultra pasteurization
(a heat treatment that ensures food is free from harmful bacteria) in combination
with the packaging’s special barrier layers that lock out light, moisture and air and
lock in all the goodness of the product.
Tetra Pak and the environment
• Tetra Pak cartons do more than protect taste and nutritional content. Made
mainly from a renewable resource that is responsibly replenished, they help
preserve Earth’s resources for future generations.
• Lightweight and compact, Tetra Pak cartons have a low carbon footprint because they are energy efficient
through manufacturing, shipping, distribution, use, and end of life.
• On average, 70% of the carton is made of wood fibers from trees that are carefully chosen, selectively
harvested, and responsibly replenished to help create the forest sink, which helps to keep our climate in
balance and to preserve biodiversity.
• You can conveniently recycle Tetra Pak cartons at home. Once recycled, Tetra Pak cartons become things
like tissue products, building materials, railway ties, and even flower pots. For more information on carton
recycling, visit recyclecartons.com"

Now, what I think...
The first flavor I tried was Almond Coconut. I sampled it plain first and I immediately tasted both the almond milk and the coconut milk. I was surprised at how much each flavor stood out, and at the same time thought it tasted pretty good. I then added it to my bran flakes. I loved the flavor kick it added to my bland cereal. I poured a little for my 4 year old and 2 year old. My 2 year old sucked it right down. My 4 year old drank some and thought she liked it, but changed her mind after a couple more drinks. I will have to stick with smoothies and cereals for her until she gets used to the flavor.
Next I sampled the unsweetened vanilla and chocolate. I won't be drinking these plain; however, I made smoothies with them and they were delicious! I also enjoy the unsweetened vanilla on my cereal. I have not tried the chocolate on cereal. I am probably going to stick with smoothies with that one as well. Neither my 2 or 4 year old would drink the chocolate and didn't try the vanilla. I am have a feeling we would all like the sweetened vanilla and chocolate, but I haven't tried them yet.
This week I tried the unsweetened Almond Coconut in my cereal. I think I prefer this one in my cereal because it doesn't add a lot of sweetness to it. That is especially nice if there is any sweetness already in the cereal.
All of the flavors were creamy and smooth.

As for the packaging...
I love the fact that this product is shelf stable, in a recyclable package. I can buy several boxes and keep them in the cabinet until we need them. They do not take up much room in the fridge and get cold quickly. I do not like the lid on the box because this is a product that needs to be shaken well before use and the lid leaks when you are shaking it. I also feel like a toddler with a juice box while trying to pour from a full container. You do not want to squeeze the box, but it is hard not to unless you are using two hands. I would say the pros outweigh the cons.

The price is another iffy factor for me. I know you pay more for quality products, but it costs almost $3 for one 1 quart container. With as much milk as my family drinks, this would get very costly if we tried to switch to it exclusively.

Monday, July 9, 2012

I'm Back! Uh OH!

Ok. I know I have been away for a long time, so here is a rundown of what has been going on since I have been MIA.
In January, my then 19 month old had a tonic clonic (granmal) seizure. It lasted at least 4 minutes. Thankfully, that is not long enough to cause any brain or organ damage. It was horrifying. I am thankful to my background in emergency medicine and special education which helped me to notice the signs of an oncoming seizure. Because of this I was able to keep him from hitting his head as he fell. We couldn't get in for testing for several weeks, so we didn't know until march that there was nothing physical in his brain that could cause seizures like a tumor or anything. He did have a few smaller episodes the week of his MRI, but they only lasted a few seconds at a time. His EEG also came back clean. Since then he has been healthy and had no other seizure activity and may never have another. We continue to keep his emergency medicine on hand and pray daily that we never have to go through that again.
Later in March we found out we were pregnant with baby #3. I have a hard time with pregnancy and was very sick the first trimester. I started feeling better at the beginning of my second trimester (way earlier than with the other 2) and was so excited. Then I began having contractions at 14 1/2 weeks. So now I am on medicine and injections to stop contractions. So far it is working really well, but there are a lot of not so fun side effects to the medications. All worth it for our baby boy who is due in December.
I have been working on several reviews in the meantime, now I just need to get them typed up and posted for you all. Thank you for continuing to be a fan of my blog even when I was away!!!