Non-Dairy Hemp Milk Review

When my oldest was in preschool he raved the day they had a test taste of all things bitter, sweet, spicy, crunchy and mushy. Since that day, he's loved to conduct taste tests at home.

As I cruised the milk aisle the other day, I thought it'd be fun to buy a bunch of non-dairy "milk" beverages and let him conduct a couple of rounds of testing. I left the store with seven flavors. 

In the coming weeks I will review each variety that I picked up—hemp, almond, coconut, and sunflower—based on creaminess, sugar content, and overall taste. For nutritional values, other than sugar, I have linked to each brands' respective site.

Today we are tasting hemp milk—"Original" varieties in particular.

For those new to hemp milk, it boasts a distinct nutty flavor and is made by blending water and hulled hemp seed. I make it at home on occasion—but always keep some of the store-bought stuff on hand for convenience sake. Here's a little more info on hemp.

CONTENDER #1:
LIVING HARVEST TEMPT HEMP MILK ORIGINAL

How it Fared: This was our least favorite—which is funny because it's the brand I always stock. It was middle-of-the-road creamy but had a slightly bitter aftertaste. The lower sugar content (6g per serving) appealed to me.

Ingredients: Hemp Nut Base (Filtered Water, Hemp Nut [Shelled Hemp Seed]), Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Tricalcium Phosphate, Carrageenan, Sea Salt, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12.

CONTENDER #2:
MANITOBA HARVEST HEMP BLISS ORIGINAL

How it Fared: Hemp Bliss offered the most pleasing milky-white color, contained only 6g of sugar, and was the smoothest, second to the Pacific Foods brand. However it was also the least creamy—on the verge of being watery. This was the kids' favorite. Alas! I now have to break the news that we will no longer be able to buy it! As I write this review and do all my "linking up" I have learned that Manitoba Harvest is pulling Hemp Bliss from the U.S. market (but not the Canadian market) due to low sales. Here's a statement from the company that includes a recipe for making your own hemp milk using their Hemp Hearts.

Ingredients: Don't matter, can't get it anyway—at least in the U.S.

CONTENDER #3:
PACIFIC NATURAL FOODS HEMP MILK ORIGINAL

How it Fared: From a taste and creaminess perspective, this was the shining star in my opinion—my husband agreed. No carrageenan for those sensitive to it. It was super creamy, smooth and quite tasty. The only boo hoo are the 12g of sugar it packs per serving. Twice that of the other brands. Yikes!

Ingredients: Hemp nut base (filtered water, whole hemp nut [shelled hemp seed]), Brown rice syrup, Disodium phosphate, Xanthan gum, Calcium phosphate, Vitamin A palmitate, Vitamin D2, Riboflavin,Vitamin B12

All three brands state "Gluten-Free" on the packaging, however none appear to be certified gluten-free. Tempt and Pacific Foods come in unsweetened varieties but were not included in this taste test—probably should've been ... back to the store :).

Other Reviews

Hemp Bliss over at Go Dairy Free (for those outside the U.S.)
Pacific Foods Hemp Milk over at Learning to Eat Allergy Free
Non-Dairy Milk Review over at Vegan Baking