As Santa Cruz-based Living Cultures Superfoods founder Arne Heissel explains the meticulous journey he and his wife Constanze have endured to create their Proven Probiotic Coconut Yogurt, I think to myself: leave it to the Swiss.
This yogurt is a powerhouse, a healing superfood packed with probiotics, aka living cultures that support a healthy microbiome and prebiotics, which are food for probiotics. The Heissels spent months sourcing pure coconut without shelf-stabilizing additives, which they fermented with scientifically proven strains of good gut bacteria, keeping a critical eye on taste and texture.
The result of their effort is a blend that he says, â€œGives all the same benefits of a high-quality supplement in a real food.â€ Plus itâ€™s free of dairy, additives, stabilizers, sweeteners, or anything else anyone may want to avoid.
But, as Heissel notes, none of this would matter if it wasnâ€™t delicious. And it is. Itâ€™s so good. I canâ€™t stop thinking about dipping my spoon into that luxurious, coconut-y goodness. With the thick creaminess and gentle tang of Greek yogurt and the sweet fruitiness of coconut, itâ€™s far yummier than cowâ€™s milk yogurt. Itâ€™s the best yogurt Iâ€™ve ever had.
Easy to love on its own, itâ€™s also great sprinkled with cocoa nibs or fresh fruit. Heissel says some customers wait a week or so for the yogurt to naturally get tangier, and then use it like sour cream. â€œWeâ€™re always inspired by the creativity of how our customers use our product,â€ he says with a smile. Just donâ€™t heat it upâ€”doing so would kill the living cultures.
More than 70 percent of our immune system is in the gut, and consuming a variety of probiotic bacteria strains, like those occurring naturally in fermented foods, has been proven in multiple scientific studies to support overall health. What sets this coconut yogurt apart is that from the thousands of bacteria strains found in fermented foods, it includes only the highest quality of probiotic strains with the most proven results. While the $22 for 16 oz. price tag will shock some, Heissel insists that because just 2 oz. is enough to experience gut health support, itâ€™s worth the nutritive value. As he puts it, â€œItâ€™s either an expensive yogurt or an affordable supplement.â€
A tasting will be held at Westside New Leaf on Sunday, March 4 from 2 to 5 p.m. Available at Staff of Life and Westside and Felton New Leaf Markets.