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SOL Sunflower “Milk” Review and Giveaway


(1/21/13) *This contest is over – Congrats to our winners!*

First, a bit about our family and our milk consumption. We are a dairy-free household. We went dairy free for my son’s eczema and I just didn’t feel like buying a different milk for him while the rest of us drank something else, so we all made the switch together and haven’t looked back since.

When we first went dairy-free, we started on rice milk, but found it naturally too sweet for every day consumption – then heard about the high levels of arsenic found naturally in rice and I quickly looked for an alternative. We did try soy and almond milk at one point before realizing my son is allergic to both, not to mention soy specifically is high in estrogen and is pretty much guaranteed to be genetically modified if it’s not organic. GMO soy, no thank you. I came across hemp milk and was thrilled that it was high in omega-3s, but I find it to have a very strong taste which doesn’t go so well with morning cereal. Never the less, we kept to hemp for a while before discovering flax milk several months ago.

We’d been alternating with hemp and flax milk very happily before I was contacted by Sunrich Naturals and asked to review their new SōL Sunflower Beverage. I did a quick review of their ingredients, found them to be both allergy safe for my little guy with multiple allergies AND just as nutritious as the flax milk we’d been drinking, so I eagerly said yes to the review.

Then, they sent A LOT of milk!

SOL Sunflower Beverage Delivery

So, just how does SōL’s Sunflower Beverage rank among all the dairy-free milk’s we’ve tried.

SOL Sunflower Beverage

Unsweetened – This is our preferred “milk” flavor – or should I say, my preference. The kids, as well as my husband, would happily drink carton upon carton of the sugar laden original and vanilla “milk” flavors, but that obviously wouldn’t be so great for my son’s eczema or our waistlines. All the “milk” we drink is of the unsweetened variety, so for a comparison stand point, how does SOL stack up? My husband immediately said that it was much better than the the flax we’d been drinking. My kids and I wholeheartedly agreed. It has a much more nutty flavor, which we all love. It’s much creamier as well. Flax is very plain, almost like water in taste, I find. On the opposite scale, Hemp has a very strong flavor, while soy and almond milks are creamy and nutty. I’d say Sunflower milk tastes similar to some soy or almond milks, but is much creamier than either.

Original – Slightly sweet in taste and again, very creamy and nutty in flavor. This would be my favorite if I didn’t look at the sugar content, which seems to be right on target with all the original flavored alternative milks on the market. Too high for our family however. I try to avoid refined and cane sugar, instead using maple syrup and honey in their place. I do wish an alternative milk manufacturer would come out with a naturally sweetened milk flavor – why not use dates or maple syrup, for example?

Vanilla – YUM! Like drinking a milkshake – I’m so serious! My kids were begging for seconds, thirds, etc. and did so by banging their glasses on the counter – it was mayhem! Remember, we only do unsweetened milk in this house – so this vanilla flavor was like desert in a glass for them.  Again, the sugar content is too high for us on a normal basis, but it’s comparable with the other vanilla flavored “milks” on the market.

Trying Sol Sunflower Milk

But is it healthy?

One serving of SOL contains 70 calories, 4g of fat and provides the recommended daily values:

  • 12% Potassium
  • 10% Vitamin A
  • 25% Vitamin D
  • 50% Vitamin E
  • 30% Calcium
  • 20% Folic Acid
  • 60% Phosphorus
  • 6% Magnesium

I confirmed with a representative that they use Mid Oleic sunflower oil, a much more nutritious and less processed variety of sunflower oil. So, given that and the above RDAs, yes, looks healthy to me as far as dairy-free milks go. The only complaint I have is that there is very little dietary fiber or protein, but that’s also lacking in most dairy-free milks.

Is it allergy safe?

Sunrich Naturals declares SOL Sunflower Beverage is gluten-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, and tree nut-free.

The unsweetened flavor contains the following ingredients:

Filtered Water, Sunflower Kernels, Sunflower Lecithin, Tricalcium Phosphate, Organic Tapioca Starch, Expeller Pressed Sunflower Oil, Sea  Salt, Xanthan Gum, Naturals Flavors, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, Folic Acid, d-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate  (Natural Vitamin E sourced from sunflower, canola or soybean oil)

My son is allergic to gluten, dairy, soy, corn, and some tree nuts. While soy is an allergen for him, we’re lucky in that he never has trouble with vitamin E, although it can be derived from soy, as with this milk. According to Sunrich Naturals “Other ingredients do not contain soy. Please keep in mind that Vitamin E is sourced from oil that is mainly fat in nature. However, allergens are typically protein in nature. To the best of our knowledge, there have been no known cases of allergenic reaction reported to us.”

Regarding cross contamination Sunrich Naturals states “Our facility processes corn and soy. Potential allergen cross contact is prevented by using thorough cleaning wash cycles of the processing equipment.”

Those are the facts as they were shared with me. Only you can decide if this milk is allergy safe for you. We’re thankful it passes the allergy safe test for our house.

Happily Drinking Sol Sunflower Milk

One final word from my four-year-old son. He volunteered this quote about the three SOL Sunflower Beverages – completely unprompted I must add, “These are the best milks!” There you have it – 100% two and four-year-old approved.

To learn more about Sunrich Naturals or their new SOL Sunflower Beverage, you may connect with them via: Twitter, Facebook, Company Website, Blog

**Now for the Giveaway**

I have three (3) coupons valid for a full case of SOL Sunflower Beverage to giveaway. I will award one (1) coupon to each of three (3) winners. Each case contains six (6) milk cartons and you may choose the flavor – unsweetened, original, or vanilla.

Open to residents of US and Canada (except Quebec).

For a list of stores that carry SOL Sunflower Beverage in the US, please look here. In Canada, the beverage is carried by many local, natural health food stores as well as many Sobey’s.

**Enter the giveaway HERE.**

Good luck everyone!

100 Comments Post a comment
  1. Brook #

    Jennifer — Just wondered if the company got back to you and if so, what they said about the carrageenan as I always try to avoid this due to potential stomach distress, etc.? Also, have you tried any probiotics which specifically help with skin issues, including eczema? We have had great success treating all kinds of issues by using specific strains of probiotics. The good ones can be pricey but well worth it. We have even impressed the doctors when they’ve been stumped and ready to give up.

    March 16, 2013
    • Hi Brook – I had asked the question, but never heard back as the company went through some changes and I’m guessing the question fell through the cracks. I’ve just asked the question to my new contact. I’ll let you know. Thanks for following through! And yes, we love probiotics. Which particular strains do you like for eczema? Jennifer

      March 18, 2013
    • Hi Brook – I have an answer for you – in fact I have a pdf I can send you. Can you please email me so I can send it to you? jennifer@eczemacompany.com Thank you!

      March 22, 2013
  2. Jennifer Clay #

    I have actually never tried a dairy free milk before.

    February 4, 2013
  3. I like Almond milk. I haven’t tried Sol yet:) I’d like to try their vanilla:)
    anne

    February 4, 2013
  4. natalie nichols #

    The only thing we can get my son to drink so far is Soy. I would prefer that he drink something else but we haven’t found anything he will drink yet. He just spits almond milk out.

    February 4, 2013
    • I think you’ll find sunflower seed milk has a very similar taste to soy – I’m sure you’ll son will love it!

      February 4, 2013
  5. Jeannie #

    We are regular milk drinkers, but this sounds like something that the kids might enjoy trying.

    February 4, 2013
  6. Samantha Hill #

    I honestly have never even tried dairy-free milk…

    February 4, 2013
  7. I like that it’s allergy free.

    February 3, 2013
  8. Kitti Popovics #

    I prefer almond milk :) have a nice day!

    February 2, 2013
  9. erum shaukat #

    coconut milk

    February 2, 2013
  10. clallen71 #

    i like almond milk, i haven’t tried SOL yet

    February 1, 2013
  11. i like almond milk. i haven’t tried sol yet thanks

    February 1, 2013
  12. We haven’t tried any. Just plain old milk drinkers but my dad would love to try this I am sure.

    January 30, 2013
    • Thanks for stopping by. I’m sure he’d love it!

      January 31, 2013
  13. Elizabeth Godschalx Wisniewski #

    so far we have only tried almond milk, but I’d really like to try SOL.

    January 29, 2013
    • I’m sure you’ll love it! Thanks for stopping by.

      January 29, 2013
  14. sus #

    We drink almond milk. Would love to try SOL. I think we’d really like it.

    January 20, 2013
    • I think you would too! Thanks for your comment.

      January 21, 2013
  15. ria clarke #

    We also stopped soy and switched to almond but SOL sounds fantastic!

    January 20, 2013
    • That’s a great change to make. Hopefully you can add SOL to your milk options!

      January 21, 2013
  16. Blessie Nelson #

    I love coconut milk…I would love to try SOL!

    January 20, 2013
    • Mmmm, yum – love coconut milk too! I’m sure you’ll like SOL as well.

      January 21, 2013
  17. pu ye #

    We typically drink soymilk. I would love to try SOL

    January 20, 2013
    • I think sunflower seed milk is very similar to soy in taste, but sunflower milk is a bit creamier. Thanks for stopping by!

      January 21, 2013
  18. I love Almond milk and I am really excited to try this variety out. Thanks for the chance.

    January 20, 2013
    • Of course! I’m happy to have opportunity to share this milk review with you.

      January 21, 2013
  19. Carol W #

    I like almond milk, would love to try this. thanks

    January 20, 2013
    • I hope you’ll get to try it soon! Thanks for stopping by.

      January 20, 2013
  20. Susan F #

    We generally drink almond milk but I look forward to trying the SOL sunflower.

    January 20, 2013
    • I’m sure you’ll love it! Thanks for the comment.

      January 20, 2013
  21. katherine d #

    I love almond milk!

    January 20, 2013
    • Mmm, yes, it is really good. If you like almond milk I’m sure you’ll like sunflower milk as well.

      January 20, 2013
  22. Thank you for the post! My son is soy dairy gluten rice almond free so we are so limited in choices!! This sounds great!! Right now I make our milk from shredded coconut and water! Taste amazing, but not in my coffee lol! I will look out for the product. Thanks!””

    January 19, 2013
    • Hi – We’re almost in the same situation except for the rice part. Have you tried flax and hemp milk? Also great choices!

      January 19, 2013
  23. Caitlin Leyden #

    I tend to prefer coconut milk, though I occasionally use almond milk instead.

    January 18, 2013
    • Both are really yummy, but sunflower seed milk is great too! I hope you like it.

      January 19, 2013
  24. We typically drink soymilk. I would love to try SOL!

    January 18, 2013
    • It’s great to have another allergy safe milk. Maybe you’ll be able to alternate between soy and sunflower seed milk. Thanks for the comment.

      January 19, 2013
  25. This sounds great! I usually go for almond or coconut milk but of be willing to try this even though the Vitamin E may be derived from soy. I’d love to give it a shot and see how it goes!

    January 18, 2013
    • Coconut and almond milk are both great options. I hope you enjoy sunflower milk as well!

      January 19, 2013
  26. pj wiseman #

    never tried it so not certain what i think of it. my favourite non dairy drink is soy milk.

    January 18, 2013
    • It tastes pretty similar to soy in my opinion, so you’ll probably like sunflower milk just as much. I hope you get to try it soon!

      January 18, 2013
  27. mainau #

    I just came across this site lots of info, I will pass it onto my daughters

    January 18, 2013
    • Thank you so much! I’m glad you’ve found it helpful and hope your daughters do as well.

      January 18, 2013
  28. mainau #

    The only non dairy milk I have had is coconut milk and I like it

    January 18, 2013
    • That’s great you’ve found a milk alternative that you love!

      January 18, 2013
  29. The only non dairy milk I had is Coconut milk and I really like it

    January 18, 2013
    • Coconut is really tasty. Maybe you’ll like sunflower milk just as much. Thanks for the comment!

      January 18, 2013
  30. Areta #

    I drink soy milk usually. Love to try the new SOL sunflower beverage!

    January 18, 2013
    • I’m sure you’ll love it. Thanks for the comment!

      January 18, 2013
  31. Stephanie #

    Looks interesting. We are currently using Hemp milk but there is a lot of rice sweetener in it and as you said, with the rice issue I am leery. Thanks!

    January 18, 2013
    • That’s interesting – I haven’t seen a hemp milk with rice syrup. Which brand is that? Yes, it’s always good to look around for other milk alternatives.

      January 18, 2013
  32. natalia #

    I would love to try it and see if its really good, I would try the vanilla flavor.

    January 18, 2013
    • Vanilla was amazing! Good luck. Thanks for the comment.

      January 18, 2013
  33. Have only tried soy, not my favorite. Dying to try hemp and sunflower milks.

    January 18, 2013
    • I find sunflower similar to soy, but maybe you’ll think it’s better – it is creamier.

      January 18, 2013
  34. Don’t have a favorite, we have only tried soy. I want to try this along with hemp and almond milk.

    January 18, 2013
    • Yes, you should give some others a try. It’s fun taste testing all the different types of dairy-free milk and the various flavors. You may find a few new favorites.

      January 18, 2013
  35. One of our favorites in my home has been So Delicious coconut milk. The vanilla flavor is probably my favorite. It’s been a while since I tried SOL, but your post has me thinking perhaps I should give it another try next time I see it in the store. Thanks for hosting the giveaway!!

    January 18, 2013
    • Yes, of course! I do love coconut milk myself, but it makes me and my son itchy if we drink too much. Thanks for stopping by!

      January 18, 2013
  36. Great product review. Thanks for the info!

    January 18, 2013
    • Thank you so much! Thanks for stopping by.

      January 18, 2013
  37. Do you know we can’t find this in Reno! I will have to wait until I hit the Bay Area! But..I’ll tweet out your great post today!!! Although, I didn’t look to see if I can order it on line! I think I need more coffee this morning.

    January 18, 2013
    • Hi Caroline – Thanks so much for your help! That’s too bad it’s not in Reno yet – I’m sure you can find it online somewhere.

      January 18, 2013
  38. I haven’t tried this brand yet. We’ve been wanting to. We drink the Tempt brand Hemp Milk… Original Unsweetened and really like it. Interested in this, especially because it’s a bit more economical.

    January 18, 2013
    • Yes, hemp can get pricey, but it’s really healthy. I’m sure you’ll like this one as another option.

      January 18, 2013
  39. I would love to try this milk. Sunflower milk sounds interesting. Right now I use SILK milk but happy to try this one and see. Would love to win the contest–if I don’t win I am happy to know about it and to buy it sometime and see.

    January 17, 2013
    • Hi – I’d say sunflower milk is pretty comparable to soy, but a bit more creamy and nuttier. It’s certainly the closest dairy-free milk to soy on the market that I’ve tried. I hope you love it too! Thanks for your comment.

      January 18, 2013
  40. We drink unsweetened Almond Milk in our house! I would love to try this though!

    January 17, 2013
    • We used to drink almond milk and loved it until we figured out it was the last eczema “straw” so to speak. It was making my son terribly itchy. I hope you like SOL! Thanks for the comment.

      January 17, 2013
  41. Stephanie #

    I have yet to try any dairy free milks, but my daughter is allergic to milk, soy, wheat, eggs, and peanuts and I’m looking for a good alternative.

    January 17, 2013
    • There are so many good options out there. So happy to have found another one in SOL. Thanks for your comment!

      January 17, 2013
  42. We aren’t dairy-free, but one of my boys is recently diagnosed with celiac disease and my youngest son is ANA to peanuts. It’s always nice to learn of other options out there. This product sounds yummy though! We’d love to try it!

    January 17, 2013
    • Thanks for the comment Kimberly! I hope you get to try it as well.

      January 17, 2013
  43. Lee Burgess Dawson #

    I would love the chance to try new milks for my son he is 4 years old and has alleriges from about a year it all started with my brother in law while my son was in his care gave him some milk bicutes with jelly and eggs he had a instance allergy we took him to the allergist and they told us he was allergic to milk eggs wheat nuts and pollen grass and molds.. I was not a happy mom at that time.. but we must carry on. we took him to the allergist for the skin prick and they say he is no longer allergic to those things but how can you really tell by a skin prick so we go back in two weeks to do the food trial just hoping and praying all goes well. my son has extreme eczema . We use Elidel 1percent cream and Desoxitimetasone 05 persent cream for the rash. he gets it on his wrists elbows hips and under his knees. We drink Soymilk and Almond milk and we would LOVE the chance to try SOL Sunflower Beverage it sounds so much better for him and all that would help would be grateful I am a stay at home mom while the hubby works . And organic food can get costly so in closing we would love to try The unsweetened SOL Sunflower beverage very gratefully Thank you again for giving US your fans a chance to win,, Good luck to all, Hope you have a great day =0)

    January 17, 2013
    • Hi Lee –

      Have you considered that there may other foods trigger your son’s eczema? Allergy testing – skin and blood – were inconclusive for my son’s severe eczema. So, we did a full elimination diet and found the triggers easily. You can read more about it here – http://itchylittleworld.com/2013/01/08/our-eczema-trials-elimination-diet-how-you-can-do-it-too/

      Yes, all the milk alternatives can get really expensive, so it’s great to shop sales and find great coupons like this. Thank you for your comments!

      January 17, 2013
  44. beth #

    We have multiple food allergies in our family. Our refrigerator is full of different milks..almond, coconut, rice, oat, and soy and dairy. I try to limit the rice and soy as much as possible. However, most alternatives, including SOL sunflower milk contains carrageenan which is a carcinogen in certain processed forms. The problem is that none of the ‘milk’ companies state what form or how the carrageenan is processed. It’s so frustrating. I wish the companies would find a healthy alternative to this ingredient. I feel they use it mostly because they can maintain their claims of “all natural” and/or “organic” on their labels even though it is most likely a dangerous ingredient. All things in moderation I suppose. I am glad you seem to have found a tasty alternative you are comfortable and happy with. I will keep searching and researching, I suppose. Thank you for sharing such detail on the product….it’s greatly appreciated.

    January 17, 2013
    • Hi Beth –

      I had no idea about carrageenan, so thank you for sharing this bit of info. I’ve contacted the manufacturer about it and I’ll let you know what I hear back. Yes, like you said, everything in moderation is best. Jennifer

      January 17, 2013
  45. I haven’t seen this yet i the stores…I DI try a sunflower seed one by another company that was plain awful…which was totally disappointing considering we LOVE sunflower seeds here! For now, coconut milk is our go-to…..

    January 17, 2013
    • Oh no, how disappointing! Well, it’s always worth a try when new “milks” come out. Glad you found a keeper with coconut milk. That and almond milk are actually my favorite in taste, but our family can’t do either as it makes us itchy if we have either more than one day in a row. Thanks for the comment Tessa!

      January 17, 2013
  46. Just saw this milk and wondered about it last week! We have mixed 50/50 rice and hemp milk for my son for a while, but I recently switched to a mix of 50/50 flax and hemp to address the arsenic issue you mentioned. We occasionally do chocolate coconut milk too. Between brown rice and brown rice pasta and cereal I’m at my limit for what I feel is acceptable for rice intake, so we’ve gone over to flax. We’ll give the sunflower milk a try too. Though, we eat sunflower seeds in homemade trail mix, snack bars, sunbutter so I’ll likely stick with hemp/flax just to keep the diet varied in nutrients. But it sounds like it would be a great occasional treat.

    January 16, 2013
    • You sound like us – trying to keep things in balance, which is certainly hard when dealing with multiple allergies. I really don’t love the hemp taste and flax is just ok – kind of like water, but sunflower seed milk is like a treat. Very creamy and delicious. Chocolate coconut milk sounds heavenly!

      January 16, 2013
  47. Tara Williams #

    We drink mainly almond milk in our house, due to a severe milk allergy in one of our four kids. However, sunbutter is one of our favorite allergy-friendly products- we love the flavor of sunflower seeds. I think SOL would be a hit in our house!

    January 16, 2013
    • Hi Tara – I’m sure it would be too! We used to love almond milk, but we had to cut it out once we determined it was making my son uncontrollably itchy, no eczema, just itch. Thanks for the comment!

      January 16, 2013
  48. Heidi Sonoda #

    I have been drinking soy and rice milk for years. Now, with my 6 mo. old son’s eczema problems, I’ve been trying other alternatives, like hemp and hazelnut. I’d love to try the sunflower milk!

    January 15, 2013
    • I think you’ll find it very similar in taste to soy – both are creamy and nutty. Actually, I find sunflower milk to be even creamier. Thanks for the comment!

      January 16, 2013
  49. hsw #

    I saw the vitamin E and thought about soy right away but am so impressed that you addressed that. A lot of people can be dismissive about it but my daughter has reacted to Vitamin E even in topical products like lotions. I’d still love to try sunflower milk, though! Also, we’re hoping she’s outgrown aspects of her soy allergy.

    January 15, 2013
    • My son has never reacted to vitamins or supplements derived from soy, but I know it can be a problem for some. I do hope she outgrows her allergies as well!

      January 15, 2013
  50. Falon MacGibbon #

    I’m excited about a milk alternative that is peanut and tree nut free!

    January 15, 2013
    • Yes, I agree! It’s great to have other options.

      January 15, 2013
  51. msdeth #

    Thanks so much for the review! I’m definitely going to give it a try. Little guy isn’t liking the rice milk so I’m glad to hear of a healthy alternative!

    January 15, 2013
    • Your little guy is smart – the arsenic in it is a little scary. He’s going to love SOL I’m sure!

      January 15, 2013
  52. We have multiple food allergies, but this sounds like a good option for us. I’d love to try it!

    January 15, 2013
    • We’ve been drinking Kirkland brand organic original rice milk. I didn’t even think about arsenic in it. I’ve been giving it to Fussy Buns…

      January 15, 2013
      • I think rice in small doses is ok, but it worries me in large quantities like our children consume in “milk.”Could you maybe alternate with another milk like SOL? That’s what we usually do. We alternate between hemp, flax, and now sunflower seed.

        January 15, 2013
      • The problem I have is that we have to also avoid corn-derived ingredients. So if I see vitamins or xanthan gum added, I have to call the company and check. I will look into these alternatives. Thanks for the ideas!

        January 15, 2013
      • We avoid corn with my son as well, but he doesn’t experience anaphylaxis with it, just itchiness and sometimes hives. He didn’t have any trouble with SOL and usually doesn’t with added vitamins or gums luckily.

        January 15, 2013
    • Great! It’s really good – I’m sure you’ll love it!

      January 15, 2013

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