I don’t know about you, but I always start the day with oatmeal and coffee – and when I say coffee I mean 4.5oz coffee and lots and lots of milk to top it off. We drink plenty of cow’s milk in this house, and we are fortunate that none of us is lactose intolerant. Drinking cow’s milk is something I truly enjoy – which should not come as a surprise if you consider my life’s story. Milk was always in short supply when I was a kid. My dad would queue for hours to get a couple of bottles of curdled liquid that barely qualified as milk. I still remember the long lines of bottles left on the pavement on purpose, to hold someone’s place in line. Sometimes, we would get lucky and my aunt would bring us some milk from the countryside. That really was a reason for celebration. As we poured the thick, yellow liquid into glasses, my family’s faces would light up, as if witnessing a miracle. Drinking milk and eating bread was so good!
Gone are the days when barely drinkable milk was the only option for me and my family. Thankfully, nowadays not only is cow’s milk pretty much everywhere you look, but you can also find plenty of non-dairy alternatives to milk if you’re lactose intolerant or you just simply want to enjoy a plant-based diet, for a variety of reasons. There’s soy milk, almond milk, cashew milk, oat milk and rice milk, to name a few. This is the beginning of an interesting food trend, whose dynamic growth has been reported by the media. The possibilities are truly endless. Enter Hope & Sesame, the world’s first line of organic sesamemilk 🙂
Hope & Sesame is a Chicago-based company started off by a group of friends who wanted to create a sesame-based non-dairy, organic and sustainable alternative to milk. Hope & Sesame took 24 months to research and develop, and it comes in five flavors: original, unsweetened original, vanilla, chocolate and chocolate hazelnut. Hope & Sesame sent me three of these flavors to try out and review.
Hope & Sesame contains Sesamein (an exclusive plant-based protein concentrate), has 8 grams of protein per serving, and delivers as much calcium as whole dairy milk, with less sugar, more vitamin D, and no dairy allergens or lactose. The chocolate, vanilla, original and unsweetened original varieties are vegan and dairy, soy, gluten and nut free, while chocolate hazelnut is vegan and dairy, soy and gluten free. All are organic, kosher, and Non-GMO Project verified.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover while doing my research that sesame seeds are more sustainable than other seeds and nuts because the crop can grow in moisture or heat-stressed environments. On average, sesame seeds take about 125 days from planting to harvest, while other sources of non-dairy milk (such as tree nuts) take years. According to Hope & Sesame, sesame is also a natural source of minerals and amino acids and has many health benefits – from normalizing blood pressure and balancing hormones to boosting liver function and reducing vulnerability to breast and colon cancer, among others.
I first tried the original variety. It was creamy, with a pleasant nutty flavor and aroma. I could definitely taste the sesame, but its flavor was not overpowering, and the overall experience was mild and satisfying. Planning to use this as a coffee creamer. I’ll keep you posted 😉
The chocolate variety was my family’s absolute favorite. Just look at all that creaminess in a glass:
The chocolate variety had everything going for it: a lovely chocolate flavor, a subtle hint of sesame, a thick, rich and yet truly enjoyable texture, a pleasant aftertaste. No wonder our daughter couldn’t get enough of it – and we couldn’t either (literally!), because of her:
I also decided to see how these beverages would fare if used instead of cow’s milk in a recipe. For this purpose I used the original variety to make waffles, relying on a recipe I adapted from here. I used pretty much the same quantities mentioned in the original recipe (there are minor variations), and Hope & Sesame instead of cow’s milk. For extra decadence I added 2 tbsp each of milk and white chocolate chips, and served the waffles with sauteed strawberries on top. After all, it’s Mother’s Day – time for us mothers to treat ourselves 😉
The waffles turned out great:
The only noticeable difference regarded the texture of the waffles, which was a bit denser than when using cow’s milk (presumably due to the thicker texture of the sesame milk). This was however overcome by the gains in terms of flavor – we got an extra layer of nutty taste that was thoroughly enjoyable.
Overall, I loved the Hope & Sesame products I tried, and found them to be a refreshing change from our household’s usual cow’s milk routine. I was satisfied with the nutty flavor and creamy texture of sesame milk, and found its health-related claims appealing. We will continue to buy sesame milk from time to time for variety and health benefits.
You can purchase Hope & Sesame on deliciousness.com or Amazon.com. Use code SESAMELOVE to get 20% off Hope & Sesame 1L 6-pack variety over on Amazon 😉 Please make sure to review the product packaging and information carefully.
Want to get the chance to enjoy these awesome beverages free of charge? Head over to my Instagram account tomorrow and enter my giveaway for a chance to win some Hope & Sesame sesame milk. Good luck – and happy Mother’s Day!
*Disclaimer: While I received complimentary products to facilitate this review, all opinions expressed here are my own.