A Review of So Delicious Coconut Milk Alternative Yogurt
The Quick Summary
I likely won't buy this again unless it's on sale. It was too sweet and didn't have enough nutrients for me. I definitely prefer soy versions over this. Let's get into more detail!
I Really Wanted to Like This Product
Those of us who are allergic to cow's milk still like to eat things that mimic the creaminess of dairy. But from ice cream to cheese, smoothies to pudding, finding a high-quality, good-tasting product is tougher than it should be. If you are also health-conscious and concerned about the environment, it may be an even tougher job to find a wholesome, healthy, cruelty-free, earth-friendly product.
Most non-dairy alternatives are expensive. Case in point, you will spend about 89 cents for a cup of dairy yogurt. If you go for high-end brands you may spend up to $1.25 for about a 6-ounce cup. So Delicious Coconut milk yogurt runs $1.79 and up for 5.3 ounces. That's a bit pricey for a product that has a strange artificial fruity flavor; limp, colorless, mostly tasteless fruit; and a powdery after-feel with way too much sugar. The good thing is, if you don't like the taste of coconut, you won't find much coconut flavor here. It's edible if you eat it fast enough without thinking too much about the texture and taste, but it's not worth the high price.
Something This Expensive Should Be More Palatable
Let me say that there are some people who probably love this stuff. I am not one of them. I got them on sale for $1.49 each and used a coupon for $1 off two of them, so I paid about 99 cent apiece. I got one raspberry and one strawberry. I love raspberries, but my first bite of the raspberry flavored one made me do a double-check of the ingredients. When I took my first bite of the strawberry flavored one, I had to make sure I wasn't eating another raspberry one. Fruit should ideally taste like fruit. Both of these had an overly sweet, somewhat artificial taste, though if you exhaled toward the top of your mouth after eating them, the fruit flavor (which was more like cooked or canned fruit, not fresh) came wafting up, still with an artificially sweet flavor.
I seriously thought I had picked up the wrong thing in the grocery store. There was no mention of artificial flavors or sugar—as a matter of fact, they even use vegetable juice for coloring, though I could do with less of that and rather miss plain white yogurt with dark fruit swirls and pieces. Still, it did not taste right and was not pleasant. The only ingredient that might have been suspect was "natural flavor," but to me, it had more of a pudding and cooked fruit taste than a yogurt taste. The sweetness was distributed equally so your taste buds could not get a break from the sameness, unlike regular yogurts where the sweet fruit cuts the tart taste of the yogurt itself.
The Good Stuff
The coconut milk and the sugar are both organic. Natural vegetable coloring is added. It has fairly high levels of calcium, vitamin D and B12, so if you are trying to get more of these into your diet or the diet of a child who cannot consume dairy, that's a good thing.
They use pectin and locust bean gum as well as rice starch (not organic). This may not sound like a plus, but many people who claim to have adverse reactions to carrageenan—a thickening agent made from seaweed—are thrilled to have this ingredient removed. Some studies have linked carrageenan to cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.
The fruit, which is also not organically sourced but not GMO, is okay. You can't expect fruit floating in yogurt to be fresh-tasting, but when you can't tell what fruit it is by the flavor on initial bite, that is your clue that it could be a bit better. There is plenty of it, however.
The yogurt itself is thick and not watery like some soy yogurts on the market that pour out and have to be halfway frozen and stirred to have any thickness to it at all. At first bite, it appears creamy and has close to a real yogurt texture, but after it sits on your tongue, it has a bit of a powdery, astringent taste. Then, the aftertaste of what appears to be artificial fruit flavor hits you, yet there are no artificial ingredients listed.
The plastic cups are wide, and even at 5.3 ounces, they fill you up and satisfy your sweet tooth. They stay fresh in the refrigerator and hold up well in a lunch box or cooler and are easy to open though may spit at you when you first pull the aluminum top off the container.
The Final Verdict
At 15 grams of sugar for the strawberry and 18 grams of sugar for the raspberry, these things are way too sweet. We suspect they would not be palatable if they did not put so much sugar in. There is less than one gram of protein, no iron and no vitamin C. Since 6 ounces of raspberries contain about 44 grams of vitamin C, about 70 percent of the daily recommended amount, that gives you an idea of the "freshness" of the fruit!
It does have live active cultures and the fruit is non-gmo grown. It is processed in a dairy-free facility, so cross-contamination with dairy is not an issue. It is also certified vegan and gluten-free, but they do use the same facility for soy and nut products. If you are not anaphylactic to either, you should be in good shape.
Citric acid is added to give the fruit its tartness. It is fairly low in sodium and contains about two grams of fiber and four grams of fat. The only other complaint is that the cups are not listed as recyclable and they don't tell you what materials they are made from so that organic coconut (really, why would coconuts need pesticides anyway) may be negated if the cup is made of chemical-laced plastics, but that's another matter!
As for a final verdict, if you are looking for a really sweet treat with not a lot of nutrients and a funny aftertaste that is a cross between artificial fruit and sugar and leaves the top of your mouth and tongue feeling like you painted them is some sort of dental coating material, and you don't mind the powdery astringent aftertaste either, then have at it!
Would I Buy This Again?
If it were on sale for under a dollar, I might try another flavor or the plain variety and add my own fruit, but the soy versions of this yogurt are much better. Despite being less creamy, they have a more natural fruit flavor.
If you are deathly allergic to milk or have a strong intolerance to soy and nut-milks, then you might find this a good alternative. I have spoken to a few people who really love the taste and are okay with the texture. If you don't like coconuts, again, that is not a problem, as you do not taste the coconut flavor at all.
If they cut down on the sugar, used higher quality fruit, skipped the vegetable color, and got rid of the powdery feel, it might actually be good. But at a price of nearly $2 a cup, it is not worth it. You'd be better off buying the ice cream version and would probably get the same amount of nutrients and sugar.
At 140 calories a serving (the entire tub), it is not too bad and comparable to other yogurts, so does have that going for it. I suppose if you are desperate for yogurt, this stuff is okay, but it is not something I would recommend unless you absolutely could not do any of the other non-dairy yogurts on the market. It could use improvement.
Questions & Answers
If coconut milk ice cream melts in the car can it be refrozen safely?
It will not be the same consistency. You can mix it in with flour to make muffins or pancakes and not waste it if it has not turned sour. If it has been sitting out for more than two hours, be safe and toss it.