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I am a vegetarian and for ethical reasons I also started to avoid all dairy products about a year ago. I'm now very used to having dairy free spread and cheeses as well as soya milk and yogurts. One thing I have always found difficult to find are dairy free desserts. This is quite annoying for me since I have a terrible sweet tooth! However, on a recent shopping trip I noticed this Provamel Soya Vanilla Dessert on a special offer and decided to try it. It is one of the few dairy free dessert products that I often see sold in major supermarkets. I actually bought mine at the health food store Holland and Barratt though.
Provamel is a company that sell alternatives to dairy so their products include milks made from oats, rice and soya. They also sell custards and yogurts. This particular dessert is available in four different flavours including chocolate, caramel and coffee. I've tried the chocolate one before and I liked it but not enough for me to want to buy it regularly.
The product comes as a pack of four desserts which are in plastic pots like yogurt pots. I think the pots are a bit too big as they are 125g in size and as I am consuming the product I start to feel like I've had enough about three quarters of the way through. The pots are wrapped in a cardboard sleeve which is printed with a lot of product information. On the top of the pack it shows a visual representation of the dessert which is fairly accurate. There is also a few notices to help you decide instantly whether this is the right product for you. Firstly the brand state that the recipe has been changed recently and is now "improved". They also state that the product is plant based, gluten and wheat free and that it is low in saturated fat. They also carry a stamp on the front which says the production of the product is a Co2 neutral process. There is also a lot of information inside the sleeve about their attempts to be a green and ethical company and this makes me respect the firm.
The back of the cardboard sleeve has more information including full ingredients, three easy to read nutritional charts and a tick list of what the product offers. These benefits include the fact that the company uses organic and non genetically modified soya beans to make this. There is also no artificial colours, preservatives or sweeteners included. The dessert is also a good source of calcium. The product is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
I was quite surprised to read the nutritional guide and to find out that each pot only has 2.3g of fat in it. I find this to be quite low for a pudding. They also provide 105 calories and 4.0g of protein per pot.
These desserts are usually stocked in dry, non refrigerated sections of stores but they should be served chilled. They have a peel away lid which is fairly easy to remove. Once opened there is a lot of product sticking to the lid in the same way a yogurt does. The dessert is bright yellow in colour and has a gooey, thick consistency. The texture is soft and creamy as you taste it.
The flavour of the dessert was the most surprising to me. It actually tastes exactly like egg custard. I expected it to be lighter and have more of a smooth vanilla flavour. Due to the fact of it's similarity to custard I find it difficult to eat the whole dessert. It's just too much on it's own. I feel like this would actually make a great accompaniment to a sponge pudding or cake but on it's own it is not that amazing. It does feel refreshing to have this on a hot day though as it is so silky soft and cool. It's also quite filling as a snack in between meals.
Having tried this vanilla dessert I will probably not buy it very often in the future. Overall it's okay but the flavour is not quite right and the pots are a bit too big. There are better tasting dairy free desserts out there. I may buy it and use it like a cold custard though as that's just what it tastes like. As a dessert for vegans it's acceptable and I'll take whatever there is out there but it's not what I was hoping for. I also wonder whether the company just uses the same recipe for their custard as they do for this pudding.
In the last few months or so I've developed a lactose intolerance and with the huge sweet tooth I have, I needed some sort of fix! My biggest weakness was ice cream, and after seeing these in Holland and Barrett I thought they could act as a good replacement and are much cheaper then buying lactose-free ice cream.
Provamel is a brand which specialises in organic, plant-based foods which are manufactured in a sustainable matter. By buying these products you can expect to be reducing your carbon footprint and helping the environment.
I bought these for around £1.70 for four 125g pots. They come in opaque pots which are seperated by the same snapping you get with with most yogurt pots. It is a cardboard case wrapped around it which I personally think is a bit of a waste of packaging (sustainable? I guess it's recyclable), but it seems all yogurts do this. These desserts also stay fresh for a long time - I purchased them in May and the "best before" date isn't until October. The first disadvantage I have to say is that this brand is not widely available in supermarkets, and you can probably only find these in health food shops.
I was really eager to try these, hoping to experience the same creamy, rich desserts that contain milk. I'm sad to say I was quite disappointed! The first thing I noticed is that the dessert take considerably more stiring to get the perfectly creamy texture then the ones made with milk do, and you don't want to to get eat it when it's chunky! After much stirring I was quite pleased with this texture as it was thick and creamy like most desserts.
I have to just say that I hate soy milk as I can't get over the weird aftertaste it leaves, but I still eat soy yogurts as the flavours cover it up. However, with these desserts the vanilla flavouring was so subtle it didn't taste like vanilla...just strange. It tasted a bit like a plain cake mix in that it was trying to be sweet, but kept falling short because of the flour (or in this case, soy milk). It still gave it similar after taste to soy milk which I personally found disgusting. Thus I wasn't pleased with the taste. It was so bland I wasn't too bothered about finishing the pot and I am forcing myself to finish off the 4 I bought as I don't like to be wasteful.
The good news is this product is organic and very low in fat and salt.
Nutrional values are as follows:
of which sugars: 11.9g
of which saturates: 0.4g
So these are definitely less fattening then similar desserts containing milk and have quite low figures for sugar. This may be why it tastes a little bland, but I can't say I'm overly bothered by the nutritional values when it comes to fulfilling my sweet tooth!
I definitely would not recommend these or buy them again. The other flavours (chocolate, mocha and caramel) may be a bit more flavourfull but I don't think I'll risk trying them. I appreciate that their low in fat, sugar and salt but that means nothing to me if the taste suffers this much.
Thanks for reading, all dooyoo miles I earn go to WWF so ratings are extremely appreciated and will be returned.