What is a pea protein beverage?
Yes, you read that right, pea-protein!
The non-dairy beverage category has been growing by leaps and bounds as more and more people look for options to dairy milk. What used to be a category of primarily soy and rice milk now has so many other plant-based options; almond, cashew, oat, hemp, flax and coconut. I could go on and list the different combinations of these as well.
The latest and greatest innovation to hit this category is pea milk, made from yellow peas. Not to worry the milk does not taste like peas but rather contains the pea protein.
There are two brands currently available in my neck of the words in Toronto; Ripple and Dream.
When Ripple was launched in the US the feedback from consumers was tremendous, they loved the creaminess of the milk and were thankful that is was fortified with calcium and vitamin D, so in terms of nutritional value it was similar to cow’s milk. I heard all this news via a few Facebook groups that I belong to.
However, when Ripple was launched in Canada it was not fortified. I emailed them to ask why and this is what they told me: “Canadian fortification regulations are much different than they are in the US. Unfortunately in Canada we are not allowed to supplement our milks with just Calcium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin D. We could not meet the longer list of fortifications that are required so we were forced to remove our added calcium and vitamins completely from our Canadian formulas.” This is really unfortunate as those who tend to drink these beverages could benefit from the fortification. I would say most other products in this category are fortified with Vitamins D, B12 and calcium. Key nutrients for those who follow a plant-based diet and do not drink cow’s milk or eat animal products.
Dream is also a pea-based plant drink that recently launched. It too is not fortified. I emailed the parent company Hain-Celestial to ask them about fortification at the same time I emailed Ripple and have not received a response as of yet.
As far as how the two compare, here is a run down:
Dream – water, pea protein, cane sugar, sunflower oil, sea salt, sunflower lecithin, gellan gum, xanthan gum, natural flavour .
Ripple – pea base (water, pea protein), organic sugar, sunflower oil, DHA algal oil, dipotassium phosphate, sunflower lecithin, flavour, sea salt, organic guar gum, gellan gum.
Their ingredients are pretty similar though the products definitely taste and look different. As far as all these weird sounding ingredients, what do they actually do?
- Gellan gum – It is used in plant-based milks to keep plant protein suspended in the milk.
- Xanthan gum -It is an effective thickening agent and stabilizer to prevent ingredients from separating .
- DHA algal oil -Algal oil is a vegetarian DHA oil that does not come from cold-water fish like fish oil. It is a source of Omega 3 fatty acids.
- Sunflower lecithin – This is used as an emulsifier or stabilizer.
- Dipotassium Phosphate- It is used as a food additive or preservative used to prevent the beverage from becoming lumpy.
|Nutrition Facts per 1 cup|
|Sugar||7 g||6 g|
|Protein||8 g||8 g|
Note these nutritional facts are from the unsweetened, plain varieties.
How do these two compare price-wise?
The Ripple 1.42L jug was $6.99 The Dream product is smaller so total dollar amount is less at $5.49 but on a per ml basis is more expensive.
Last but not least is the taste comparison. In our house, Ripple won hands down. We liked the taste and texture of Ripple better than Dream. It was much richer and creamier. Will I be buying it on a regular basis, probably here and there. However, my preference is to drink non-dairy beverages for the calcium content and the other products in this category are fortified so they can contain up to 30% of your daily calcium requirements.
But, if you are looking for a great-tasting high protein non-dairy beverage to drink, add to smoothies or even bake with then I would recommend Ripple.
If you have tried these two drinks, let me know what you think. Want more info about shopping for vegan or vegetarian food? Sign up for my newsletter!