Thursday, August 14, 2008

So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk, Blueberry

One-word verdict: Decent!

The backstory: I guess they can ferment anything these days! This dairy-free, soy-free product is made with cultured coconut milk, of all things. I'm going to call it cocogurt.

Now, I like me some coconut milk. In curries, in coconut rice, in ice cream. But I also think that coconut milk tastes even less like dairy milk than soy milk does. I sure wouldn't drink it straight. And I've been burned by interesting-sounding, nondairy, nonsoy yogurt before. So when I found myself out of homemade yogurt and this stuff on sale at Whole Foods, I bought a cup of the blueberry flavor...skeptically.

Nutrition: In a 6-ounce cup, the blueberry cocogurt has 140 calories, 20 grams sugar (the other flavors range from 12-22 grams sugar—not too bad), and 6 grams saturated fat (in fact, all the fat is saturated). That may sound high, but remember that it's coming from a plant source (the coconut), so may not be as bad for you as sat fat from animal sources (though the jury's still out on this). There's also a good amount of fiber (2 grams) but not much protein (1 gram). It's also kosher, soy-free, dairy-free, certified vegan, and gluten-free.

Well, how is it? I peeled back the plastic on top and was greeted with a deep purple color and definite blueberry-like scent. Stuck in a spoon to find that the texture was blessedly not-too-thick—in fact, it would be pretty easily pourable if one chose to do so. Hm, potential!

Took a taste and my first thought was "Hm…not bad!" It didn't have an extremely yogurty taste, the blueberry flavor wasn't extremely strong, and it doesn't taste like coconut at all; but it also didn't taste weird and, while sweet, it wasn't offensively sugary. Things fell off a little over my next few bites, as I soon realized that there were only tiny bits of berry skin mixed in, not even close to a whole berry. Then, on my third bite, I got a piece of stem. Oops! And when a took a break a few bites later, I noticed a curious aftereffect in my mouth—if I held my lips closed and breathed out my nose, it tasted in my mouth a little bit like I'd been drinking an alcoholic beverage! (You may remember that I tried this trick with the Trader Joe's Green Tea yogurt, but the aftertaste there was green tea, not, um, beer.) Hm, what happens when you culture coconut milk, anyway??

The effect faded after a few moments, and I went back to eating. In fact, I polished off the cup.

Where's it made? "Distributed by Turtle Mountain, LLC," Eugene, OR, 3,004 miles from NYC.

Ingredient notes: Fruit comes before sugar in the ingredients list—usually a good sign. Then again, I can't pretend that this product isn't loaded up with a lot of ingredients, just about as many as that other one.

The list starts innocently enough with water, coconut milk, blueberries, and evaporated cane juice. But then we've got a slew of thickeners (pectin, chicory root extract, algin [kelp extract], rice starch, locust bean gum, agar, carrageenan, AND guar gum—and it's not even that thick!), the vitamins and minerals (magnesium phosphate, tricalcium phosphate, vitamin B12), and some natural flavors and dipotassium phosphate (mineral? preservative? both?) thrown in for fun. Whew. Oh yeah, and six yogurt cultures.

Processing/Earth-/Animal-friendliness: The container is your standard #5 plastic with a thin plastic lid. The ingredients are vegan and pretty natural-sounding, but nothing appears to be organic.

Price: I got the cocogurt on sale for less than $1.00 this week, but I think that it usually sells for $1.00 a cup at my Whole Foods.

The bottom line: One of the most surprising things about the cocogurt is that it didn't taste like coconut at all—and that among the six flavors offered by So Delicious, none of them are coconut! (If you are looking for a coconut flavored 'gurt and eat dairy, Ronnybrook makes a good one.)

That, and it's long ingredients list aside, I think that this product is still leaps and bounds better than that other nondairy, nonsoy yogurt, which I have taken a lot of flack for on this blog for detesting. Anyway, if you can't eat dairy or soy, I'd say definitely give the cocogurt a whirl.


So Delicious Made With Coconut Milk Cultured Coconut Milk, Blueberry:
taste: 3.5; texture: 2.5; sugar: 1; price: 2; naturally sweetened: 1; processing/earth-/animal-friendliness: 1


Link: So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt.


Sirje said...

I've tried the plain, and while I wanted to like it, I wasn't crazy about the consistency or the blandness. (I guess I kind of like the bite of regular yogurt.)

That said, it's a nice option for people with food sensitivities. A good friend of mine has a very restricted diet to to celiac and an allergy to soy--plus she works with a very stringent anti-dairy nutritionist that wants her to avoid a whole host of other foods that the nutritionist believes have inflamed her digestive system after so many years of undiagnosed celiac--so she eats what's basically a vegan diet minus soy and gluten plus easily-digested fish like salmon. Coconut is a huge staple of her diet (and likewise for lots of raw foodies), so I bet she'd appreciate this option.

NYHH said...

Glad to see that you and the Yogblog are back! Also, wow, I had never read all the pro-puke comments on that other yogurt... I tease, I tease. But I had never read that whole thread and it was cool to see that you had so many commenters, even if they didn't agree with your rating.

Anonymous said...

I really did not know that yogurt could be made with just coconut milk. I found this to be very interesting. Thanks for the fact!

Anonymous said...

Actually, the plain does taste like coconut. I haven't tried any of the flavored ones, but I love the plain! It's so hard to find coconut flavored yogurt here (coconut cream pie and pina colada, yes, but that doesn't count).