Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Koko Dairy Free Light Review

Having tried out several brands of dairy free coconut milk, Koko’s Dairy free alternative is my favourite (see review). Besides tasting nice, it's low in fat, saturates, salt and calories. If, like me, you like the taste of Koko Dairy free, you might be interested in their Light version.

I must admit that when I was kindly sent a sample to try out, I couldn’t see the point of it. I mean, the original is already low fat etc. so why make one that’s even lower? Even more so since we’re all being told that low fat isn’t the way to go now!

Koko Dairy Free Light – Low fat is very similar to the original. The original has 2g of fat per 100ml and the Light has 1.3g. The calorie difference is negligible with 27 calories per 100ml for the original and 24 calories for the low fat light version. The slightly lower calories in the light version is likely due to the fact that there’s less coconut milk (5.4% compared to 8.4% in the original). Both are fortified with the same amount of Vitamin D (0.75mcg), B12 (0.38mcg) and Calcium (120mg - the same amount as dairy milk) per 100ml.

Here’s what the company say about their coconut dairy free light drink:
  • Made with freshly pressed coconut milk
  • Located on the Equator in East Sumatra, Indonesia, we have been farming coconuts in our groves since 1986.
  • Fresh, ripe coconuts are packed within hours of picking on a daily basis, so we can guarantee our products are of the very highest quality.
  • Perfect in tea & coffee
  • Light - low fat, 
  • Free from animal fats
  • Cholesterol free - 1.3% fat, 
  • Contains MCFAs including Lauric, 
  • One 250ml serving provides 37.5% of the RI of calcium and vitamins D2 + B12, Dairy, lactose, soya, gluten free, 
  • Free from artificial flavours, preservatives and colourings, 
  • Suitable for coeliacs, vegans, and those with nut allergies, V
  • egetarian Society approved
  • Coconuts - A fruit not a nut
  • Coconuts are staple part of the diet of millions of people living in the tropics. Coconut contain medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) Around 50% of those MCFAs are made up of Lauric Acid
The fat in coconut contains 60% medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs).

As is often the case, when a product is made low fat, it ends up with a higher sugar content. That is indeed the case with the light version of Koko Dairy Free coconut milk.

I didn’t anticipate much in the way of taste but was pleasantly surprised. At room temperature on its own it’s delicious with a very mild coconut flavour. It’s smooth and very easy to drink. It certainly wasn’t the watered down drink I was expecting.

I used it in the same way as the original. While I only drink soy milk in tea and coffee, I use coconut milk in other things like porridge. For some reason I find that coconut milk produces an extra creaminess, especially if I leave it to sit for about 5 minutes after cooking. Happily, the light version produces the same creaminess as the original.

It works a treat in smoothies and I love it in chia puddings. Just mix the milk with a handful of spinach, a few strawberries and blueberries and a bit of Stevia and blend. Then stir in a few teaspoons of chia seeds, pour into a lidded jar and leave in the fridge for around half an hour for the seeds to absorb the liquid. And voila! A sweet, tasty and healthy dessert to snack on.

While I did enjoy drinking this coconut milk I’m not sure I’d specifically purchase it instead of the original for any health benefits. If it was massively lower in calories and tasted this good, I probably would. But for the sake of saving 3 calories, then no.

As for the lowering of fat content, the original is already low in fat. And health experts are now telling us that it’s all about lowering sugar rather than fat content. When you are going for low fat, then it makes sense to lower animal fat content, but the fat in the coconut milk is a different type of fat, broken down differently and used for energy right away. So I wouldn’t be worried if the fat content was higher in coconut milk (apart from the associated higher calories).

Koko Dairy Free coconut milks are widely available in major stores in the long life milk section.

Nutritional Information per 100ml: 24 calories, 1.3g fat, 1.1g saturates, 2.9g carbohydrates, 1.2g sugars, 0.3g fibre, 0.3g protein, 0.1g salt. Calcium 120mg, Vit B12 0.38mcg, Vit D2 0.75mcg.

Ingredients: Filtered Water, Coconut Milk (5.4%), Grape Juice Concentrate, Maltodextrin, Calcium Phosphate, Emulsifier (Sucrose Ester of Fatty Acids), Thickener: Guar Gum, Sea Salt, Vitamin D2, Vitamin B12, Colour (Carotene)

See also:

Koko Dairy Free Flavoured Coconut Milk Review - Read Post
Koko Dairy Free Original Coconut Milk Drink Review - Read Post

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