Photo by Rebecca Firkser

I think I’m a member of a coconut cult

Rebecca Firkser
April 27, 2018

I’d seen the jars in the fridges of wellness influencers on Instagram. The splashes of pink and yellow, the jaunty flamingo illustration. What IS that stuff? I’d wonder. Turns out, it was coconut yogurt. $25 coconut yogurt by Coconut Cult, to be exact. I know what you’re thinking, because I thought the same. $25 for YOGURT? Though I won’t think twice about spending that much on dinner, or even on a bottle of wine, I was horrified, even a little amused. Well, the joke’s on me I guess, because I have been eating it for the past two weeks and should admit I’m now a member of the coconut cult. (The Coconut Cult cult? You get it.)

Coconut Cult is a fermented product that is called yogurt, but I don’t really think of it like that. If you think of it as yogurt, you’d be done with the jar in less than a week, and that would make for a mighty pricey breakfast. In my opinion, Coconut Cult is a probiotic supplement that doubles as a topping for overnight oats or toast.

According to the Coconut Cult website, each quart contains 800 billion highly active probiotics, making each two-tablespoon serving—yes, the serving size is two tablespoons, more on that later—absolutely packed with good bacteria. Coconut Cult’s original flavor contains organic coconut meat, organic coconut water, and a “custom probiotic blend,” containing 15 strains of probiotics: S. Thermophilus, L. Salivarius, B. Infantis, B. Bifidum, L. Fermentum, L. Plantarum, L. Reuteri, B. Longum, E. Faecium, L. Brevis, L. Acidophilus, L. Gasseri, L. Helveticus, L. Casei Subspecies Rhamnosus, and L. Casei Subspecies Casei. Congrats, you just passed Latin class. The probiotics used in Coconut Cult are actually so powerful they have been known to explode (sort of like kombucha you shook and then opened). Luckily, I can report no such explosions in my kitchen, which could be a result of the company’s efforts to prevent this from happening, as they’ve mentioned on social media.

There’s a reason for the almost comically small serving size. It’s not about fat or calories, though admittedly coconut yogurt is high in both, which is completely OK in my book. Coconut Cult recommends eating the yogurt in small amounts at first because the yogurt is so packed with probiotics you could actually experience some side effects, which, according to the website, “may include bowel movement and mild headaches.”

Photo by Rebecca Firkser

And on that note, onto the first bite. After unscrewing the lid, I peered inside the jar to find a substance that looked nothing like yogurt. If anything, it looked like a fluffier, wetter cottage cheese. I held out hope that the flavor would be better. I’m already a huge fan of CoYo coconut yogurt, an extremely thick and creamy coconut yogurt that tastes like firm, tangy whipped cream, so I was expecting Coconut Cult to be similar. It wasn’t. My first bite of Coconut Cult was so tangy and effervescent, I did a bit of sleuthing online to make sure that’s how it was supposed to taste. Most product reviews described a similar sour and fizzy experience. The website also noted that the flavor and texture can change when the coconut cream on the top gets mixed with the fermented coconut water at the bottom, which is kind of the opposite of what I experienced, but most likely what happened with my jar. The site suggests stirring the yogurt in the jar to even out the flavor, which I found to be extremely helpful. My second bite was still tangy and a bit fizzy, but also had a noticeable creamy coconut flavor. Could it be? I wondered. Do I like this?

In short, yes, I actually really liked Coconut Cult. I didn’t want to like it because of the price tag, but I can’t help what I can’t control. If I were to buy the yogurt again, I’d still think of it as a probiotic with a three-week fridge-life. Since a jar of good probiotic pills are comparably priced, that’s good enough for me. To really beat the price tag, I’ve seen on Instagram that it’s possible to extend the life of a jar of coconut cult by mixing probiotics and coconut milk with a bit of yogurt left in the jar. I’m currently experimenting with that, and will report back.

And in case you were wondering, I have not experienced any side effects after my first few bites of Coconut Cult, and still have not yet seen any changes. Admittedly, I have not yet eaten a portion larger than about three tablespoons. However, considering that I already incorporate a fair amount of probiotics in my diet it’s likely that the yogurt was only increasing the efficiency of my already pretty properly-working digestive system.

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