This past week plagued with a craving for watermelon so disproportionate to the season that I was certain cravings were in part genetics, I happened across a “new to me” product on the shelves of Whole Foods. Izze-esque. A low calorie version of their fruity sodas. I almost passed it by with complete disregard–I wasn’t in a soda mood… and then I saw the watermelon flavor peeking out from the end of the shelf. I added to the cart next to my watermelon and went about my business.
First, I like Izze sodas. I don’t buy them often, maybe 1-2 times a year since they are still calories with little virtue. The Izze esque isn’t calorie free, either, but at 50 per bottle (and the watermelon craving), I’m less resistant. This lower calorie version is quite good. It was surprisingly light and didn’t have a weird fake taste I expected a watermelon flavored soda to have. It didn’t taste exactly like watermelon, but that was the predominant hint. I don’t find the regular Izze sodas to be overly sweet, and this wasn’t either. The bottom line – I liked it as an alternative and option on my shelves, but it still isn’t something I would buy with any regularity.
Next up is the Almond Breeze coconut almond blend milk that has entered the market with much ado. Perhaps there is only “much ado” in the world of non-dairy people who cook and write blogs and wonder why, for the love of almonds and coconuts, was this necessary? As I posted earlier, I used this in my Sunflower Strawberry Soup recipe because the package was leaking when I got home. I do not blame the makers of Almond Breeze for this–someone bagging the groceries in the self check out lane threw 24 cans of Fancy Feast on top of it. (Note: Jake Cat doesn’t want his image as a fierce jungle beast tarnished with my slip that “Fancy Feast” was purchased, so let’s just say you didn’t read that part.)
In all fairness, I do not drink any of the milks I buy (soy, almond, or coconut) straight out of the container. In my dairy days, I also never drank any milk so there you have it. On a rare occasion, I will make a chocolate milk to drink, but that’s generally when I don’t feel good… and everyone knows some Hershey syrup in a glass of almond milk makes everything better. Mostly, I use the milks for coffee and cooking. I did taste this though, and it does have a surprising heavy coconut taste to it… stronger, I would say, than a carton of coconut milk itself.
Would I buy it again? I won’t say no, but I’m not going out of my way to pick it up again. It would be good in baking and coffee, which is probably how I’ll use it, but I’m leery of the coconut flavor in any sauces where a hint of coconut would be unwelcomed.