Not to brag or anything, but I’m kind of an almond milk connoisseur/general nondairy expert. I stopped drinking cow’s milk about 10 years ago (in part because of the embarrassingly late-in-life realization that I am rather lactose intolerant, and in part because I started transitioning to a more plant-based diet for ethical and environmental reasons). Since then, I’ve sampled just about every kind of nondairy milk there is on the ever-expanding market.
This one-woman tasting project has led me to a time-tested truth: The best almond milk on earth is the 365 Everyday Value almond milk, the unsweetened vanilla kind. I’ve been going through a carton a week of this stuff for years, but the degree of my devotion only became clear to me a couple months ago, when I moved to a new neighborhood—one with no Whole Foods. (The horror!)
Honestly, I would have been perfectly happy to leave that Whole Foods life behind and spend all my dollars at local grocers… were it not for this damn friggin’ almond milk, literally the only thing that I can’t get anywhere else. So, yes, I am now a person who regularly goes out of their way to stop at a Whole Foods to purchase her special milk. I’m not sure which is more annoying: the inconvenience of what I have to do to seek out my beloved milk or being forced to become a (grudging) Whole Foods loyalist. (If you don’t live by a Whole Foods and you have Amazon Prime, you can get this delivered with Amazon Fresh, free if you spend $ 50.)
I simply cannot change the fact that this stuff is yummy enough to pound by the glass (my favored mode of consumption, though it’s also great for smoothies, overnight oats, chia seed pudding, and cereal/granola.) The consistency is noticeably thicker than water, a true rarity among almond milks. The mouthfeel is silky smooth and slightly creamy.
Then there’s flavor: It actually HAS one. While pretty much every other unsweetened almond milk I’ve ever tried tastes more or less like nothing, this one has a flavor that is not only detectable but distinct—dare I say, craveable. True to its name, it’s definitely vanilla-y, but not artificially or overpoweringly so. There’s also the slightest undertone of, uh, marshmallow? Sounds fake but it’s true. (365 Everyday Value also has an Original flavor, which is to say an unflavored one, but snooze.)
The fact that this milk achieves a truly pleasant flavor is even more impressive given that it’s totally unsweetened. Mysteriously enough, it actually does have a very subtle sweetness—despite containing no naturally occurring or added sugars. (Sus, but I’ll take it.) I personally appreciate the lack of sugar because I find sweetened almond milk too cloying to chug. Plus, as a type 1 diabetic, I like not having to count the carbs in my milk! (There are 2 grams a cup.)
Most definitely sweet is the price. While you can pretty reliably spend a stupid amount of money at Whole Foods—for, uh, not much food at all—it’s no secret that the 365 Everyday Value store brand is where it’s at. At $ 3 for a 64-oz carton, this almond milk regularly beats the competition on price. (Some stores also have $ 5 two-packs available.)
So, there you have it: Delicious, cheap, and totally worth going out of the way for. Unsweetened vanilla almond milk drinkers of the world, your quest is over. Drink up.
Buy it: 365 Everyday Value, Organic Almondmilk Unsweetened Vanilla, $ 3, amazon.com
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