I am a huge almond milk fan so when I spotted Trader Joe's new unsweetened vanilla almond milk in the refrigerator section, I was as excited as a person can get when shopping for non-dairy products. I usually buy the Blue Diamond Almond Breeze unsweetened vanilla almond milk (six cartons at a time from Trader Joe's). So, I was very interested to see what Trader Joe's could offer under its own label as an alternative. Let's see how the cartons stack up.
The nutritional info for both the Trader Joe's version and the Blue Diamond version are basically the same. Per 1 cup serving, they each have 40 calories, 3 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein and 2 grams of carbs. They each state that of the 2 grams of carbs, 1 gram is fiber. Strangely, the Trader Joe's version says that there is less than 1 gram of sugar while the Almond Breeze proclaims 0 grams of sugar. Since each has 2 grams of carbs and only one gram of fiber, I'm going to assume that the Almond Breeze also has less than 1 gram of sugar but just doesn't report it.
This one is a tie. Trader Joe's--1; Almond Breeze--1
The Trader Joe's version has xantham gum in it, so I was expecting it to be creamier and I was not disappointed. I like the taste of the Almond Breeze version (though I don't usually drink this stuff straight), but I have to say that the Trader Joe's version is better. It's creamier and has a flavor that hints at frosting or whipped cream. The Almond Breeze has a subtler, more natural flavor.
Trader Joe's wins.
Trader Joe's--2; Almond Breeze--1
The Trader Joe's version is sold in the refrigerator section while the Almond Breeze only has to be refrigerated once it has been opened. So, the Almond Breeze wins on ease of transport and storage. A plus for the Trader Joe's version is that a carton contains 8 servings rather than the measly 4 in the Almond Breeze carton. While constantly having to open new cartons of the Almond Breeze is a slight inconvenience, having the ability to store the Almond Breeze in the cupboard for months is clearly more important.
Almond Breeze wins.
Trader Joe's--2; Almond Breeze--2.
It's a tie, so I win.
I will now have the pleasure of enjoying two types of almond milk. The Trader Joe's version will probably be my go to for cold cereal, the Almond Breeze for oatmeal. Trader Joe's shopping is certainly a many-splendored thing. Maybe someday I will even be able to have a full-on almond milk tasting complete with terroir analyses. One can dream.