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So Delicious Coconut Milk Kefir (DISCONTINUED)

Posted on by Alisa Fleming in Discontinued Products with 7 Comments

Like yogurt, kefir is a cultured milk product, but it contains different types of beneficial bacteria. According to nutrition guru Dr. Mercola, yogurt helps to keep your digestive system clean and provides food for the friendly bacteria that are already present, but kefir goes above and beyond by helping to “colonize” or populate your intestinal system. Kefir also contains several major probiotic strains not found in yogurt and it has beneficial yeasts (yes, there are actually “good” yeasts) that help to balance your intestinal flora.

So why haven’t I written more on this “wonder food” until now? Though I do address the topic in the book Go Dairy Free, kefir hasn’t been a readily available food for dairy-free consumers. You can make it at home using a kefir starter culture (though truly dairy-free cultures can be hard to find), and there are a few soy kefirs found in local area markets. Yet overall, kefir (let alone dairy-free kefir) just wasn’t mainstream enough. But we can always count on Turtle Mountain can’t we? They have released a coconut milk kefir under their So Delicious brand that is not only dairy-free, but also vegan, soy-free, and certified gluten-free! This new “drinkable yogurt” is popping up in natural food stores such as Whole Foods, and will hopefully hit some major grocers soon. It comes in three dairy-free versions, original, strawberry, and vanilla, each of which I had the chance to sample …

Strawberry – I had absolutely no idea what to expect since this was my first taste of any type of kefir, but it was surprisingly pleasant. Not too sweet, but just sweet enough, with only the least bit of tartness. My husband said “it tastes like strawberry yogurt.” True enough, but we aren’t speaking of a sugary, over-gelatined strawberry yogurt. This was like a drinkable yogurt with a clean taste that was most definitely, strawberry. Not an artificial note to be found. I loved that the sugars were low, but that I was still able to enjoy it straight from the glass. I think this flavor would also be excellent in smoothies or poured over your favorite hearty and crispy breakfast cereal.

So Delicious Coconut Milk Kefir photo - pictures

Original – Since I went for the strawberry first, the bitter tang of this one shocked my taste buds a bit. The “original” version of most dairy alternatives seems to be at least a bit sweetened, but this one isn’t … it is the natural version for purists. While I found it a bit too savory for drinking straight or to douse on cereal (I tend to eat cereals sweetened only with fresh or dried fruit) it should go nicely in fruit smoothies and may add nice contrast to cereals that are a bit sweet. However, I am most intrigued to trial it out as a healthy buttermilk alternative in salad dressings. It has a good thickness too it, is extremely smooth and fluid, and has a flavor that seems a good match for savory applications. Since kefir is all about the live and active cultures, I wouldn’t heat it for use in cooked/baked recipes, but for raw recipes (like salad dressings or chilled soups) I can really see its potential.

So Delicious Coconut Milk Kefir photo - pictures

Vanilla – As I sipped at this thick beverage, the first thought that came to mind was refreshing. I can’t say why, but the overall vibe left a refreshing feel in my mouth, unlike the other two flavors. It was sweetened a bit, but I would hesitate to label this kefir as sweet; the modest amount of evaporated cane juice served to neutralize the bitter and tart notes found in the original, taking it only a notch or two above savory. Really, it was very pleasant and definitely vanilla. This would be the kefir I would reach for first to compliment a hearty breakfast cereal, or give a parfait like experience with granola and fresh fruit.

So Delicious Coconut Milk Kefir photo - pictures

The So Delicious kefir is fortified with calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B12 to help fill in some of the nutritional gaps. Since it is made with coconut milk it is a bit higher in fat, but not as much as you might think. An entire cup yields just 6g of fat in the original, and 5g of fat in the two flavored varieties. Surprisingly each version contains a few grams of fiber and a very respectable level of sugars. So Delicious kefir is kosher certified, but it is certified “D.E.,” which means it is manufactured on equipment that also handles dairy ingredients for other products. If concerned about cross-contamination, definitely speak with the company directly to learn more about their cleaning processes and allergen safety. Below are the ingredients for the Original version.

So Delicious Original Coconut Milk Kefir Ingredients: COCONUT MILK (COCONUT CREAM, WATER, GUAR GUM, XANTHAN GUM), TAPIOCA DEXTROSE, CHICORY ROOT EXTRACT (INULIN), PECTIN, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, LACTIC ACID (FROM VEGETABLE SOURCE), NATURAL FLAVORS, MAGNESIUM PHOSPHATE, CAROB BEAN GUM, CITRIC ACID, CARRAGEENAN, DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, VITAMIN B12 – Live Active Cultures include: L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus, L. Plantarum, L. Rhamnosus, L. Paracasei, Bif. Lactus, Bif. Bifidum, Bif. Animalis, Leuconostic Cremoris and L. Acidophilus

This is a third party review by Alisa Fleming, author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide & Cookbook. For more information about So Delicious Dairy-Free Kefir, see the Turtle Mountain website.

About Alisa Fleming

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

View all posts by Alisa Fleming →

Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living

7 Comments

  1. Kathy MartoranoSeptember 3, 2013 at 5:41 amReply

    I live in Sterling Colorado and the biggest store we have is Walmart. As a vegan there is not much food there for me.:(. Where can I get the coconut milk kefir? Would love to try it.

    • Alisa FlemingSeptember 3, 2013 at 5:27 pmReplyAuthor

      Hi Kathy, see their website for a store locator, and email the company to ask if it can be made available in your area.

      • Patrick JaneJanuary 5, 2014 at 2:59 pmReply

        The product is no longer offered by So Delicious.

  2. CHARLESOctober 22, 2013 at 11:49 amReply

    Does this kefir have a “U” or a “K” on its label? Is it in any way labeled as a kosher product? If so, I’m not interested in the religious tax that comes with it.

    So, what’s the scoop? Is it kosher or not?

  3. CHARLESOctober 23, 2013 at 2:45 pmReply

    Thank you, Alisa Fleming. With a kosher label on the product, I know now that, once more, I’m going to be forced to pay a religious tax, the sum of which goes to rabbis — an involuntary tax that has nothing to do with the quality of the food nor of any intention to improve its quality. Once upon a time, the medieval life was ruled by the Catholic Church. Nowadays, it’s run by multifarious organizations led by rabbis.

    It’s very hard to find any kefir that isn’t part of this Kosher Mafia, taking something from others only for themselves while giving nothing at all to others.

    I’ll seek elsewhere, even while it may be hopeless – or make my own.

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