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Recently I discovered Rice Dream Non-Dairy Beverage and Rice Dream Non-Dairy Frozen Desserts in our new local health food store. They seemed to be quite low in protein, so I bought some for Shayla to try. She was delighted to find products that taste so nearly like real milk and ice cream. This is the first time she can actually pour a "milk" directly on her cereal without diluting rich non-dairy creamers. This rice-based beverage looks more like skim milk. I found it tasty with a mild "ricey" flavor.

I called the company to find out more exact nutritional values and was thankful for the very low protein count. However, as frequently happens, the products have not been analyzed for leucine. They claim it is nearly impossible to test for amino acids in such minute quantities.

The Non-Dairy Beverage containers list the protein as 1 gm per 8 fl oz. The company gave me the analyzed amount as .303 gm per 8 oz. That is low enough to be listed as free protein on packages since 1 gm can mean anywhere from .5 to 1.5 gm of protein. The non-dairy dessert has the , cup serving size listed as 1 gm. The analyzed amount is .363 gm per , cup. So Shayla can make a tasty "milk" shake using 1 cup of "milk" and , cup of "ice cream" for .66 gm÷a little over a , gm of protein. Both products have 130 calories per serving.

The beverage is available as regular, enriched and vanilla enriched. The frozen dessert flavors include Swiss almond, vanilla, lemon and mint carob chip. It looks and tastes like ice cream. The prices are not unreasonable. It is marketed by Imagine Foods, Inc. in Palo Alto, California.

They also market Imagine Pudding Snacks and Rice Dream Non-Dairy Frozen Bars which have only 1 gm of protein per cup or bar. That is a rounded figure which could be considerably less if listed in the same way as the others. The company is doing more analyzing, since they have received requests. We will try to keep you informed.

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