When Covid dictated a shift from working at an office to working from home, my daily routine changed in many ways. One small but significant shift involved what I regularly enjoyed eating for breakfast each morning while sitting at my desk. The office pantry always stocked fresh milk in the fridge for our coffee or cereal, so it was super convenient (and saved me a few bucks) to keep a box of my favorite cereal — Barbara’s Peanut Butter Puffins, available at Trader Joe’s — at work. At home, I rarely purchase dairy milk because it basically starts to go bad as soon as it’s packaged, and it’s easy to forget to use it up before the expiration date hits. Needless to say (but you can see I am about to) when I started working from home — one year ago — I stopped eating packaged breakfast cereal entirely. That changed recently, when I found out about Koita, a line of shelf-stable, plant-based milks from Italy! Today I’m going to review Koita Organic Coconut Milk, which has brought the joy of breakfast cereal back into my life.
First, a little background, because it is pretty interesting: Koita was founded by American expat Mustafa Koita, a dynamic and fearless entrepreneur raised in Chicago, who founded the company in 2013 after moving to Dubai and discovering that healthy milk options were not available locally. Inspired by a genuine desire to help families eat healthier, the company sells organic, lactose-free and dairy-free milks at 1000+ retailers across 10 emerging markets spanning the Middle East and Asia. Now rolling out in the US, Koita’s line of premium, Italian plant-based milks is sustainably sourced, non-GMO, and shelf stable — perfect for the way we live today.
Koita’s seven plant-based milks (grown, produced and packed in Italy, except for the Coconuts, which are grown in Thailand) offer a 100% pure, clean taste. I chose to try the Coconut Milk on my cereal, as I guessed it would taste the closest to skim or reduced fat milk. If you happen to be counting calories, check this out: while 2% reduced-fat milk contains about 120 calories per one-cup serving, you can see that coconut milk has just 50 calories for the equivalent size serving. Of course you are going to be using only about half that amount on a bowl of cereal; something to consider if you have ‘chunked up’ during quarantine and are looking for ways to cut back.
This is what the Koita Coconut Milk looks like on cereal — pretty good, right? It tastes close to skim milk as well, with a slight coconut-ty essence, and since it has no added sugar, it adds no significant sweetness to already-sweetened cereal, which is good. The carton had an expiration date of September of 2021 — which means that the product inside it would have stayed fresh in my closet for seven months! That’s ideal for anyone, with, say, a family, or who has been pandemic shopping in bulk, or if you just want to have a stash of non-perishable food on hand. It took me six days to finish the 32- ounce carton, and it was good to the last drop. I challenge you to find a carton of dairy milk that stays fresh six days after it’s purchased, let alone opened.
Koita plant-based milks are available in seven mouthwatering flavors. All of them are non-dairy, vegan, non-GMO and free of carrageenan. The full line of plant-based milks is currently rolling out in the Northeast, where you can find them on the shelves at Balducci’s, Crosby’s, Kings Food Markets and LaBonne’s Markets, to name a few. All flavors are also available online at amazon.com and on Koita’s website at koita.com. Watch for reviews of other Koita plant-based milks here on The Gig in the coming weeks!