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Got Milk? Reduced fat milk that tastes like whole--what's available in your neck of the woods?

I love whole milk, but as a struggling cholesterol kid, it's not on my menu. Thankfully, I don't need drugs so far. I am very much a milk lover and am pleased that there are two reduced-fat options that taste as good as the real thing, (baby).

Here in the Land of Steady Habits, and all over New England, Simply Smart milk is readily available. I love the stuff (purple container--1 percent milk that tastes like whole). One of my dearest friends has always bought the green container (fat-free) and I’d ask why he didn’t just drink water.

We have that and Garelick, both of which are N.E. based, thus whatever is on sale is always in the fridge here:

I can’t imagine this is unique to New England. You must understand, I never outgrew my love for a glass of milk and this stuff is terrific. So, for everyone out there who's trying to move the needle a little bit or kick Crestor (!), what similar brands are available on your dairy shelf?

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  1. I saw Smart Balance milk in the grocery store yesterday and picked it up to compare to my Hood Simply Smart in the fridge. Somehow, between the two, Smart Balance seems to have a creamier taste, yet both are great subs for whole milk.

    According to their site, Smart Balance milk is currently available in FL, ME, RI, MA, CT, NY (Metro NY and Albany), NJ, VT, NH, and GA (Publix in Atlanta).

    Milk. It does a body good, you know, don't forget:

    1. Well, this won't help anyone outside of Centre County, PA.... but you DID ask about locally available stuff. We have Meyer's Dairy here, and they offer skim (!) milk that is as creamy as 2%. Trust me, I NEVER ever liked skim -- exactly for the point you made: might as well drink water, but this stuff is good.

      5 Replies
      1. re: linguafood

        Do they have Jersey cows? I pay extra for local milk from Jerseys. (High Lawn Farm(?), MA)

        1. re: linguafood

          In the San Francisco Bay area, try the Straus Family Creamery 2% Cream top -- also available in Trader Joe's (under their own label).

          1. re: gnomatic

            Hi there, what area are you in? Do you mean the half gallon plastic bottles? If so, I wasn't aware that this is actually Straus milk because to me it did not taste the same.

        2. In my area store (NE NC) there's Hood 2% Reduced Fat Dairy Beverage, Horizon Organic 1% Low Fat Milk and Stonyfield Farm Lowfat Milk - 1% Milkfat,

          But I don't use any of those. I've been buying 2% milk milk for about 20 years now, since my kids were young'ins because they drank it like water so I cut down on the fat and stuck with it..now when I have whole milk, it tastes thick to me

          1. I live in western Arkansas and to me, the milk I buy at the Braum's Ice Cream store is by far the best milk available in the area. In October I had a heart cath; and had 3 stents put in . . . and was served 1% milk on my dinner tray. I'd never tasted anything less than 2% milk, but was hungry enough I drank it. Bought a half-gallon of Braum's 1% milk to try it, since the rest of their milk is so good . . . haven't bought anything else since. Great milk flavor without the film that full-fat milk leaves inside your mouth.

            1. The smart balance milk kind of sounds like evaporated milk. They claim to have developed a special technique for extracting water from milk.

              1. Before abandoning whole milk I would read "Real Food: What to Eat and Why" by Nina Planck. It will likely shift your attitude about what's considered healthy or not. In short, dietary cholesterol from quality sources has a weak effect on blood cholesterol, and the most unprocessed, unadulterated foods are the healthiest.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Nate650

                  Thanks for the book tip. Although most of the online reviews seem to be from people already committed to natural foods, some complain about the lack of scientific research in her recommendations. I'll have to read it myself to see!

                2. I've found that any ultra-pasteurized milk tastes much richer than the original counterpart. And has a much longer shelf life.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: tracylee

                    The problem is that a longer shelf life indicates decreased nutrients!

                    1. re: Nate650

                      Ahhhh, thanks! I didn't know that. I've pretty much given up milk altogether except for in the rare cup of coffee that I drink, so we've gone back to normal milk in smaller cartons for the cost.

                  2. After we started kindergarten, my mom switched us from homo (whole milk in Canada) to 2%. We complained for about two weeks that it tasted like water, and then never noticed it.

                    Worried about fat, many years later, I switched to 1%. Thought it tasted like water for about two weeks, now it's all I ever drink. In fact, when I get a glass of whole milk at a restaurant or at a friend's house, it's like drinking cream.

                    My fetish is temperature. Milk has to be cold - really, really cold. Anything chocolate - cake, cookie, doughnut, pudding - has to have a very cold glass of milk with it. Even hot foods, like tomato soup with a grilled cheese, needs cold milk to be just right.

                    1. Here in Washington, the Darigold 2% milk seems to be a lot richer than the other 2% milk available here, but for some odd reason this seems to only be true for the half-gallon containers.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Vexorg

                        That's funny, Vexorg, I've noticed something similar in Vancouver BC when comparing two of the main commercial dairies' milk here. Lucerne's 1% is much creamier tasting and more satisfying than Dairyland's. No idea why.