“ Type: Custard „
I was curious to try Alpro Soya dairy free custard because I really enjoy some of their other vegetarian and vegan desserts. I am always a bit apprehensive about trying a new soya based product though because I don't like the taste of soy milk and I don't want my puddings to taste the same! My sister who is a vegan promised me I would like it so when I saw it for £1 in Sainsbury's I decided to give it a go.
As mentioned above Alpro Soya make a number of dairy free desserts. They are readily available in the supermarkets, and health food stores such as Holland & Barrett. I found the custard was in the "free-from" section in Sainsburys but it is positioned next to the regular custard in my nearest Tesco. It isn't chilled, which means it doesn't take up room in the fridge until you have opened it at which point it does need refrigeration. It has a helpfully long shelf life too - the most recent packet that I bought is good to use until January 2013. The custard comes in a Tetra pack style carton measuring 500ml. I would have prefered a type of packet that can be easily recycled locally but at least the minimum amount of packaging is used. It isn't overfilled either, so opening it doesn't involve too much mess.
As the custard is ready made, no preparation is required if you want to eat it cold bar shaking it prior to opening.The pack gives you heating instructions for the hob and microwave and both methods are quick - 2-3 minutes. I have found the custard tastes nicer if you chill it if you are going to eat it without heating, but it isn't absolutely necessary.
On opening the pack for the first time, I was hit by a strong and pleasant smell of vanilla. The texture is what I would call a pouring consistency which makes it easy to use on top of puddings like roly poly or crumble. If I make my own standard custard using "normal" powder I tend to make it a bit thicker than this because that is my own preference. As the the Alpro product is ready made, you can't adjust it to taste but that is true of any similiar product. That is a minor quibble though!
THE TASTE TEST
Most importantly, the Alpro custard tastes fantastic and very like traditional custard. The vanilla flavouring is quite strong but not overpowering, and there is a lovely creamy sweetness to the taste overall. It has a smooth texture, and it soaks in to sponge puddings perfectly. I detected the faintest soya aftertaste when I had the custard cold, but none when it was heated. Nothing to put a soy milk hater such as myself off! I intended to keep a carton in the cupboard to serve to my vegan sister when the need arose, but I actually use it myself just as often. I also serve it to my meat eating family members and they say that they enjoy it too. I would say that one carton comfortably serves 4 people. I am happy to use it in every way I would any other custard, for example with fruit or with a hot pudding. I was curious to see if I could use it as a base for a vegan ice but I thought the vanilla flavour may not work with other flavourings and that the texture would be too thin. I was wrong about the texture. With frequent beating, the frozen dessert was nice and smooth. I was right about the vanilla taste though, which seems to intensify on freezing as many flavourings do. I tried it at first with a maple and pecan flavouring so I intend to experiment further and see if I can find a better one.
WOULD I RECOMMEND IT?
I would recommend this custard especially to vegans who may be missing the regular kind. The taste is excellent and the £1 cost makes it good value compared to that of some "free from " products. It is good to have a vegetarian and vegan product that is readily available in the supermarket too. It is also a useful product for those with certain diet restrictions as it is free from lactose, gluten, and wheat and it is made in a nut free factory. Calcium and vitamins B2, B12 and D2 have also been added - 15% of an adults RDA of each. All in all, a clever and well thought out product.
The soya used in this desert is not harvested from rainforest regions, and is from non G.M beans.
No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
[This review is also posted on Ciao, under my user name.]
The Boy is allergic to dairy products: he swells up and goes blotchy in a weepy-eyed dramatic way. As much fun as that is, we have removed dairy from his diet.
It's always a bit of a struggle providing him with alternatives to foods that most of us take for granted, but thankfully Alpro are here to provide useful substitutes for the dairy-free and vegan.
The packaging of this vanilla-flavoured custard has recently had a make-over, so doesn't look much like the carton featured above: instead its colour is predominately a soft yellow, with a picture of custard being poured onto what looks like a fruit crumble. Yum. It proudly proclaims itself to be '100% plant goodness', along with the blue 'Alpro soya' logo.
The carton contains 500ml of the custard. It can be stored in the cupboard until you open it and usually has about a year of storage time (although ours never come close to staying in there that long!), while after opening it's best in the fridge. You can rip or snip the corner to form a spout, and as you do so a whiff of sweet vanilla escapes.
The consistency and colour of the custard is comparable with dairy versions, such Ambrosia tinned or cartoned custard: smooth and thick yet fluid. It's a gentle yellow.
When it comes to taste, this has a nice sweetness and vanilla creaminess to it, which again is comparable to other commercially available ready-made custards. It does have a faint drying after-taste of soya, but it's very mild indeed, almost unnoticeable.
It can be warmed or eaten cold. I sometimes put a pot of this into my son's packed lunches as a treat if we've run out of the Alpro chocolate desserts he likes. He likes to eat it cold more than warmed up, the strange person. I've also made bread and butter puddings using it, which work well.
It's low in fat, with added calcium and vitamins; the calcium particularly is an important consideration for me as a parent. If you're interested in further information, the nutritional values and ingredients of this product are available from the Alpro Soya website.
It is an excellent substitute for dairy ready-made custards. I'd recommend it to vegans and the dairy-free without reservation. It's available at most supermarkets in their 'free-from' shelves for about a pound.
Alpro custard is an easy to serve treat. When I've got the time, I can just about cobble together my own custard from your ordinary Birds Custard Powder and soya milk - but at other times, this product is great. It's easy to prepare, rip off the corner, squeeze it out and there it is.
The pack is quite small compared to regular milk custards, but I think the size is quite good. Usually it can be used for a couple of days - which is perfect if there is a crumble in the fridge. There is generally, none left to go off.
Alpro soya custard tastes better served cold because it gets thinner in texture when heated and I prefer it thick. This is not a problem for me because I think cold custard goes really well with hot apple pie/crumble.
I have a special liking for this custard when it is poured over chopped up banana with a bit of chocolate grated over the top. At some point I will be going off to uni - and this will be a dessert I can put together instantly.
Alpro soya custard is made from soya beans, a seaweed based thickener and sugar (the main ingredients)
Alpro custard - although containing sugar - I feel, is a healthier alternative to dairy milk custard. It is certainly low in fat.
At 96p from Sainsburys or Tesco, it is quite dear - but vegan products always seem to be a quite expensive. Four stars because of that.
I consider this a great (vegan) convenience food. When I've got the time and inclination I make my own custard from standard custard powder and soya milk - but at other times, this product is fab. Snip the corner, squeeze it out and there's no faff.
I think Alpro soya custard is better served cold because it gets thinner in texture when heated and I prefer it thick. This is not a problem for me because I think cold custard goes great with hot apple pie/crumble.
I have an ice cream maker and I'm considering experimenting with it and making ice cream.
Many people think that eating/drinking soya milk products is kinda weird - but I personally think that drinking the milk of other mammals is very odd indeed. I also think that cows milk is not as healthy as we have been led to believe (possibly containing pus and chemicals).
Alpro custard - although containing sugar - I feel, is a healthier alternative and avoids the over consumption of milk.
The price is a little off-putting - but vegan products always seem to be a little pricey - due to the fact that they are produced in smaller quantities than regular stuff.
This stuff is so good I could (and have on a few occasions) sit and eat the whole carton in one go!
Many people think vegans and those who are allergic or intolerant to dairy miss out but with products such as this Alpro Soya Custard it makes our lives much sweeter.
It's available in many supermarkets these days as well as health food shops but it tends to be more expensive in health food shops.
It costs a bit more than normal custard but that's to be expected.
When it is cold it's fairly thick and it thins out a little when heated. You can heat it on the hob or in the microwave, depending on how lazy you're feeling. If you're feeling very lazy then you can just eat it cold and it still tastes good!
It has a very sweet and vanilla-y flavour and, although it doesn't taste exactly the same as dairy custard, it makes a great tasting substitute. Non-vegan custard lovers have tried it and said they'd be happy to eat it again.
I've not found a dessert that it doesn't go well with yet but I'll keep searching (and yes, that is just an excuse to eat lots of puddings!)
When I turned vegan there were some things that I thought that I'd never have again and would miss, and there were some things that I hadn't indulged in often before such as custard. In those hazy early days of veganism though, I often would excitedly purchase many products just because they were available and Alpro Dairy Free Alternative to Custard was one of those products, now I wouldn't have my store cupboard without it.
The custard comes in a 525g carton decorated with Alpro logos, images of the product with fruit and clear labels on the products dairy free status and what is added (calcium being a plus if you're avoiding dairy foods). I find that this size of carton will last me 4-5 servings if I eat it alongside cake or pie. The shape of the carton means that it fits easily into my fridge door, taking up minimal space. I can't comment on your fridge, but that's good for me!
The product is thick when initially squeezed from the packet, though not as thick as my husband's Ambrosia custard. Similarly on cooking it thins down rather than thickens up making it a quite runny finished product if you heat it too long or overcook it. It doesn't curdle when served with fruit products like apple pie.
This product can be eaten cold, if the fancy takes you, or can be pre-heated. This is as simple as normal pre-prepared custard. We stick it in the Rayburn cooker for 15 mins on "bake". If I'm lazy, I can bung it in the microwave (outside the packaging which I think contains metal!) for about 4 minutes.
The taste is creamy, sweet and vanillaish. To me this is bliss, to others I imagine it might taste too sweet for a custard. I can't fool my husband with it and substitute mine for his, but if he's got none of his own, he'll happily indulge in it. It works especially well with sponge cakes. My favourite is with chocolate sponge. It tastes fine with fruit pies, but I wouldn't want it with anything too sour tasting (such as orange or lemon cake, or ironically, the raspberries pictured on the packet), though this is probably a matter of taste.
Suitable for vegetarians and vegans, dairy free, added calcium. Don't be fooled into thinking it's a health food though - it is high in sugar and is still a "treat" food in my book, not to be eaten every night.
Water, Sugar, Hulled soya beans (6%), Modified tapioca starch, tri-calcium phosphate, vanilla flavouring, thickener: carrageenan, Sea salt, curcuma extract.
Price and Availability
I normally pay £1.69 a carton. It is widely available in supermarkets (I know Morrisons, Tescos and Sainsburys stock it) and is normally located in the "Free From" aisle. It is also available from health food/specialist shops such as Holland and Barrett or Wild Carrot in Buxton, though you should expect to pay slightly more there.
My youngest child is nearly one year old. He is at the stage where he can pretty much eat anything going, and indeed we try, where possible, to feed him the same meals as the rest of the family, but perhaps mashed down. However my son is lactose intolerant, lactose intolerance is the inability to digest significant amounts of lactose, the major sugar found in milk. Lactose intolerance is a problem caused by the digestive system, symptoms can be controlled through diet. At present we control his symptoms by avoiding milk and dairy products. He is due to be tested in a few weeks time to find out if he has grown out of the problem, if he still has it or indeed if he has an allergy to milk and dairy products, in the meantime we continue to control his symptoms through controlling his diet.
Because I need to avoid giving my son dairy products, at present, it does give me a few problems with finding suitable foods for him to eat. Most of the time I can be certain that he is not having dairy products because I make most of his main meals, however he does go to a childminder everyday and I have to provide meals and snacks for him. When my other children were babies/toddlers I used to provide yoghurts, petits filous, custard etc as a snack, however it is a little bit more difficult when trying to avoid dairy products. I have however discovered the Alpro Soya range and my son does seem to really enjoy the products. Alpro products are made from soya therefore most do not contain dairy ingredients, although they have added calcium, this means I can give my son tasty snacks that he enjoys knowing he is getting calcium and also certain that he is avoiding products which contain lactose.
The Alpro Soya product range is quite extensive and includes soya alternatives to milk, chocolate milkshake, banana milkshake, yoghurt, desserts, custard, cream etc. We have tried a number of the products and they are very tasty. This review is primarily about the custard.
I had bought Alpro desserts and yoghurts and then discovered that they make a soya based custard. I thought the custard would provide a good change from the yoghurts and desserts and also expand my son's taste range. The custard is called "Alpro Soya Dairy Free Custard vanilla flavour". It comes in a tetra carton, containing 525g or 500ml. The carton is basically yellow with the Alpro logo and a picture on the front of a raspberry flan with custard poured over it. On the back and sides of the carton there is nutritional information, ingredients, information on other Alpro products and other general information about soya and Alpro.
The custard is low in saturated fat and it lowers cholesterol. This is not a product made specifically for babies or children and not marketed as such, it is a dairy free alternative for custard. The packaging states that it is a tasty vanilla flavour custard made with blend of water and soya beans, with calcium and vitamins. The custard can be served hot or cold, I usually warm it slightly, just to take the chill off it, especially if it has been kept in the fridge. My son would usually take about a third of the carton at a time, so once opened I store it in the fridge. The information on the carton advises that once opened it should be stored in the fridge and consumed within 5 days.
The custard is vanilla flavour and I do have to admit that it is a quite strong flavour, but very pleasant. I have taken the custard myself and do like it. The consistency is the same as you would expect from any ready made custard and it is a yellow colour. It looks, smells and tastes like ordinary dairy custard. To heat the custard I pour some into a microwaveable bowl and heat, usually for only 20-30 seconds depending on how cold it was to start. The instructions advise that if you are using the whole carton to heat for a total of 2 and ½ minutes, including stirring after 1 minute.
Although I started using Alpro products because of my son's intolerance I do think I would continue to use them even if his tests prove that he has grown out of the intolerance. The custard is tasty and my son enjoys it and it is a healthy product. I bought my custard in Asda but the Alpro range is widely available in other supermarkets and shops, this custard cost me 95p in Asda. My son is now 18 months and seems to be growing out of his intolerance but we continue to use this custard for the whole family, it is tasty and everyone can enjoy it.
More information on Alpro products can be found at www.alprosoya.co.uk
Ingredients: Water, Sugar, Hulled soya beans (6%), Modified tapioca starch, tri-calcium phosphate, vanilla flavouring, thickener: carrageenan, Sea salt, curcuma extract.
May appear on other sites.
A tastey, dairy-free custard made with a blend of water and soya beans.