January 20, 2015

First Impressions: Almond Yogurt vs. Coconut Yogurt vs. Coconut Greek Style Yogurt


I used to eat yogurt allllll the time, from Danimals (literally my childhood) to Fruit on the Bottem (blech, i do not like that stuff) to YoCrunch (honestly, i was captivated by the packaging) to Yoplait (sugar galore) and finally, when I became much more health conscious, to plain greek yogurt (for the record, Trader Joe's greek yogurt is THE BEST --- tastes like ice cream with less sugar and fat).

However, my lactose intolerant has seriously gotten much worse over the last year and a half, so I haven't eaten any kind of yogurt (chia seed pudding was my substitute) for a long time. Yogurt is essentially cultured milk, with added bacterium (aka probiotics) that really help your gut. While these probiotics aren't really gonna make a super big difference (you need millions of probiotics), it's still good to get some extra supplements through your food, and hey, yogurt tastes good on its own, with granola (my weakness), with fruit, in a sauce, or even in baked goods (healthier sub for sour cream btw, and it keeps everything nice and moist). 

So the other day, my mom and I were at Wegman's (one of my happy places, second to the Everglades), and we picked out a few yogurts to try out: a Coconut Greek Style yogurt, a Coconut yogurt (Strawberry-Banana flavor), and an Almond yogurt (Coconut flavor).

Prior to trying these, I had never read any reviews on these yogurts nor had I ever tried any of these, so what I'm writing here is based on my complete first impression of these yogurts! (A review video will be attached below once I get that edited ;] )


SoDelicious Plain Coconut Milk Yogurt (Greek Style):

Texture: Honestly, it was not attractive at first. Parts were super congealed, like a half jell-o / half pudding texture. After mixing, it seemed to improve a bit, but when I placed it in my mouth, it was never super creamy like most Greek-style yogurts; in my mouth it reminded me more of pudding. The yogurt, however, did not linger in my mouth since it wasn't as thick as dairy Greek-style yogurt, which was something I never liked about dairy greek yogurt, so that is a plus.

Taste: Two words: vegan cheese. I didn't know what to expect, but the aftertaste reminded me strongly of vegan cheese! It wasn't bad but it wasn't good either. It was...interesting. I didn't notice any coconut taste.

Nutrition (compared to 227 g of Trader Joe's Greek style Yogurt): It's higher in calories for a smaller amount, but I don't think calories is something to worry too strongly about. Coconuts have natural fats, so that's why it has 5g of fat. It has 7g of sugar, much lower than most yogurts (average amount for most Greek yogurts but TJ's has only 6g). This is definitely not a low-carb food and it only has 2g of protein while TJ's greek yogurt has 22g, so it's not really something to look to in order to boost your protein intake. If you are looking to increase protein intake, try drinking (non-gmo) soy milk or eating soy yogurt (haven't tried this yet). One thing that this coconut yogurt has over TJ's greek yogurt is that it has 15% more calcium! Plus, unlike TJ's yogurt, it has Vitamin B12 (not really naturally found in most foods) and Vitamin D. 

Verdict: Nutritionally wise, it's not a "lean" food for those looking to cut back on calories & fat, but it does offer some nutritional benefits for those who need alternate sources of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. On the other hand, based on taste and texture, I wouldn't buy this again. I ate this with granola in hopes that it would taste better, but nope, it didn't.




SoDelicious Coconut Milk Strawberry Banana Yogurt

Texture: The texture is very similar to that of dairy yogurt. I didn't have the same weird, congealed mixture as I did with the greek-style yogurt. Overall, texture wasn't a problem!

Taste: There was still a slight vegan cheese after-taste, but I could still taste the strawberry-banana flavor. I didn't taste any coconut flavor (maybe that was the vegan cheese taste?!) but this did taste very sweet.

Nutrition (compared to Yoplait's Strawberry Banana Yogurt) : Fewer in calories and also contains 4g less sugar, however, the sugar content is still high: 22 g!! However, the plus is that this yogurt contains organic dried cane syrup, while the Yoplait yogurt is most likely made of sugar from gmo-sugar beets. SoDelicious chose to use natural food coloring (red cabbage extract), while Yoplait used 
carmine, which is often made of insects. (not gonna go into details because I don't want to gross anyone out, so click here if you want some more info on that.) This yogurt has 5% more calcium but less protein (Yoplait's has 5g of protein). This has 8g less of carbohydrates for anyone who's on a low-carb diet, but the nutrition label says nothing about Vitamin D whereas Yoplait's has 20%.

Verdict: This actually tasted much better than the greek-style yogurt, and it even tasted good with the granola, however, the amount of sugar in it is a big bummer, especially because I typically avoid added sugar when possible. Although the coconut greek yogurt is nutritionally superior, this yogurt tastes better.







Almond Dream Almond Milk Yogurt (Coconut flavor)

Texture: When I first opened it up, it was lumpy and gelatinous like the coconut milk greek-style yogurt, but after mixing it, it became creamy and smooth, just like the strawberry-banana coconut yogurt. If you can see in the photo above, however, there were tiny lumps (almonds?); this didn't really bother me, but it was interesting...The color, by the way, was slightly tannish-brown, which I now think is from the natural almond color (like almond butter, right?). 

Taste: My initial reaction: "Whoa (cringe), that's really sweet". It doesn't have that frosting, super sugar-y kind of sweet taste, but it tastes sweet in a weird way. The taste reminded me a bit of almond oil/marzipan (that super fragrant, almond-y, sweet scent), but it wasn't super heavy and rich. Honestly, I can't really describe the taste; it was very different! I asked my brother to try a bit and he said it wasn't too bad (he tends to eat sweeter things, so he didn't think it was sweet at all lol). There wasn't a very noticeable coconut flavor, but there wasn't any vegan cheese aftertaste!!!

Nutrition (couldn't find any generic coconut flavored yogurt to compare it to): It has the same amount of calories (130 calories) as the coconut milk greek style yogurt but has half the amount of fat. Additionally, even though it's not a greek-style yogurt, it has significantly less sugar than original style yogurts (both dairy and coconut). The bad thing is that it doesn't contain as much calcium as the other two yogurts and contains more carbohydrates. 

Verdict: It was alright. Not the greatest, but not the worst. I would consider trying this again because  it's lower in sugar than original style yogurts (both dairy and coconut), but I'd probably try a different flavor to see if it was their "coconut flavor" that gave me that weird sweet taste that I didn't like. 






Conclusion: 

I think that the Coconut Milk Yogurt (Strawberry Banana) tasted the best while the greek style one tasted the worst. However, due to the excessive amount of sugar in the strawberry banana flavored yogurt, I wouldn't try it again; rather, I'd try another flavor of the almond milk yogurt. If you're allergic to nuts though, give the coconut milk yogurt (not the greek style) a try. I think if I were cooking or making a savory dish, I'd consider using the plain coconut greek style yogurt as a non-dairy substitute.




thanks for reading!
feel free to share your thoughts on non-dairy yogurts with me in the comments ;)
if you have any other foods you want me to review on, let me know!!
xoxo, han


2 comments:

  1. Hi Hannah,

    I just started trying these yogurts too so your review is helpful! However, I tried the plain and vanilla versions, and I didn't think the almond was that sweet at all, so it could have been the coconut flavor. Also, the vanilla flavored coconut yogurt contains 19g of sugar (still high), so I wonder if the plain version is less? I couldn't find that in my store though!

    Thanks again for the info!

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    1. Thanks for your comment Elyse! I think it's a good bet that the plain version will have less sugar; I'll keep an eye out for that!

      Hannah

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