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Health

Are plant-based products better for my health?

It’s all a matter of balance.

A proper, varied diet ensures that your body receives plenty of different nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fibre as well as other important things like protein, fats and carbohydrates. Nonetheless, eating plant-based foods is a good idea for lots of reasons.

Firstly, your body is built to eat and process plants. For over a hundred thousand years, humans as a species have lived off a diet primarily consisting of fruit and vegetables. Today, most people eat more than enough meat but are falling short of getting their quota of vegetables, fruits, seeds and grains. This means our bodies aren’t getting the vital nutrients they need.

Eating plant-based foods is also a lot more environmentally friendly as yoghurt alternatives made from coconuts or almonds require significantly less CO2 and methane in their production than yoghurt made from cow’s milk.

At Abbot Kinney’s, we make delicious, organic, plant-based products with only the very best ingredients. We try to use as few ingredients as possible, never add any unnatural additives and go out of our way to responsibly produce everything we make.

Do you add any sort of sugar to your products?

Our plant-based yoghurts do not contain any added sugars, sweeteners or unnecessary additives whatsoever. All the sugar you see in our nutritional info are sugars that naturally occur in the nuts or fruits themselves. The Almond Start contains a hint of organic concentrated apple juice to balance out the flavour.

Our plant-based ice creams do contain a small amount of glucose syrup and cane sugar. We use these sweeteners to improve the overall texture and also because without a little bit of sugar, you wouldn’t be able to scoop out our Frost. Ice cream is a treat so while it’s important to treat yourself, as with all good things, please enjoy in moderation.

What is the source of sweetener in your ice creams?

To make nice and naturally scoopable ice cream, a 'dry' substance is technically required to ensure smooth production. For this, we use a blend of organic corn syrup (mix of corn and agave) and cane sugar. As you may have noticed, that's a different source than we used before in our Coco Frosts. The main reason for this is that cane sugar and corn syrup provide a higher percentage of 'dry matter' in the total mix of ingredients, which means that the ice cream can be produced even better.

We don't use anything we don't like, and we already have good experiences with using these organic sweeteners to make ice cream, as we have always used them for our Frosticks. And, on top of that, cane sugar is a safer use regarding allergens. How sweet is that?

Are your plant-based yoghurts good replacements for regular dairy-based yoghurt?

Plant-based yoghurt replacements and yoghurt made from cow’s milk are two very different things. That may seem like a straightforward statement but yoghurt made from cow’s milk is an animal product and yoghurt made from coconuts or almonds is plant-based. They therefore contain different nutrients.

The biggest difference is that Coco Start and Almond Start contain fewer sugars and more vegetable fats than cow’s yoghurt. While there is quite a lot less calcium in Coco Start and Almond Start than in regular yoghurt, they both contain a lot more magnesium.

So while our products are not direct replacements for regular yoghurt, they are plant-based, vegan, paleo and naturally lactose and gluten free.

Does your packaging contain bisphenol A/BPA?

No, all our cups are made from polypropylene and contain no bisphenol A/BPA. Polypropylene is easily recyclable, so please recycle it with your plastic.

Ingredients

Coconut milk

Having tasted all kinds of organic coconut milk, the best tasting coconuts we tried came from South-East Asia, such as Sri Lanka among others. It takes around twelve months for a coconut to become ripe. During ripening, most of the coconut water is converted into flesh and fat. The coconut is at its tastiest when its shell has a nice, dark-brown color and you can still hear the water sloshing inside when you shake it.

The ripe coconuts are harvested by local farmers that use long tools or sticks to reach them at the top of the trees. They are then cracked in the local factory after which the flesh is scraped out, and squeezed three times until only the dry coconut flesh remains. Finally, a little bit of water is added to the dry coconut to turn it into creamy delicious coconut milk.

Almonds

Our Almond Start is made from organic Sicilian Tuono almonds. These almonds have a more delicate flavour than the Spanish or Californian almonds that you tend to find in the shops. They are harvested in September, cracked and blanched in order to remove their skins and then ground very finely. By adding water, you make “almond milk” and that’s what we use to make our plant-based yoghurt alternative.

Yoghurt cultures

Coco Start, Almond Start and Oat Start are fresh tasting, delicious alternatives to yoghurt. Like yoghurt, they are fermented and we do this using four types of plant-based yoghurt cultures. They all have the most beautiful Latin names that look like this:

Streptococcus thermophiles.
Lactobacillus bulgaricus.
Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Bifidus lactis.

The first two convert the sugar in the coconu, almond and oat milk into acids to ensure a nice, full texture. The last two are probiotics which are the bacteria that many dieticians consider vital for maintaining healthy intestinal flora.

Mangos

The west coast of India is world-famous for its mangoes. Which is not surprising, given the unique combination of factors present there. Firstly, there is a lot of sun and rain – great for growing most things. Secondly, the volcanic soil is full of iron – again, great for most plants. And thirdly, the strong coastal winds carry a host of goodness with them.

It’s why the Alfonso mangoes that grow here are so astoundingly delicious. Their beautiful, dark-yellow flesh is naturally rich in fibre, which makes for such good quality puree. It also happens to be wonderfully sweet and full of flavour. Which is why with all that natural goodness and taste, they’re perfect for our Coco Start Mango

Cocoa

The cocoa in our Coco Frost is 100% organic and comes from the Dominican Republic. We tried many, and this was our favourite.

Strawberries

We use fresh, organic strawberries from Spain and Italy for our Coco Frost Strawberry. The tastiest strawberries are the ones that grow in places with lots of sunshine. Which is why we get ours from the southern parts of Spain and Italy.

Tapioca starch

Tapioca starch is made from manioc which is also known as cassava. We get ours from Vietnam. It is a natural thickener that ensures the great texture of our Coco Start, Almond Start and Oat Start when we add the yoghurt cultures.

Locust bean gum

Carob trees are beautiful trees. They fan out horizontally, and the pods that grow from them are so pretty, they look like small works of art. Sadly, the Netherlands’ climate is too cold for them to grow in but you’ll find them in abundance by the Mediterranean Sea. The pits in the pods are a little bit like the beans in broad beans and it’s these pits that are ground down into the flour that we use as a binding agent. Together with the coconut milk, it gives our Coco Frost that wonderfully creamy texture.

Agave syrup

An agave plant might look like a cactus but it isn’t a cactus. There are many different types of agave plants and the majority can be found in Mexico. All sorts of products are made from agave, with tequila being the most famous. Agave syrup is made from the nectar of the plant and is a sweet sugar with a low glycaemic index. We use a small quantity of agave syrup in our Coco Frost to make it ‘scoopable’. Otherwise, it’d be all sloppy.

Why don't you just call your products 'yoghurt'?

We would love to, but the word ‘yoghurt’ is protected in Europe. You are only allowed to use it for products made from cow’s milk and yoghurt cultures. Whilst we agree this is a bit strange, since it’s the cultures that give the yoghurt its fresh, tangy flavour and not the cow’s milk (or the nut milk for that matter), we aren’t ones to argue.

In future, we might try to change this, but for now, we’re just going to concentrate on making delicious products, regardless of their name.

Sustainability

How sustainable are coconuts?

The organic coconut milk we use in our products is transported from South-East Asia to Europe by ship. To contribute to a sustainable supply chain, Abbot Kinney’s is affiliated with the GoodShipping Program. The GoodShipping Program offers companies the opportunity to make container shipments less polluting by using offering a way to change the fuel mix. More information about the GoodShipping Program can be found on their website: https://goodshipping.com/

In terms of product waste, there is none, because every single part of the coconut gets used. The hairs on the coconut shells are strong and resilient, making them perfect for brooms and doormats whilst the empty shells are used for making furniture or potting soil for your garden. The shells can even be burnt and used as a fuel.

How sustainable is your packaging?

The paper in our packaging is made from recycled cardboard. Recycling paper is something we’re quite good at in the Netherlands as 85% of the used paper and cardboard is collected and recycled here.

Our plastic cups are made from PP a.k.a polypropylene. This is a firm, food-safe and easily recyclable type of packaging. We are working on a cup that is made entirely or partially from recycled PP or PCR plastic. You’ll be the first to find out, once we’ve cracked it.

At present, the Coco Start seal is made from aluminium foil. The downside to aluminium foil is that it requires a lot of energy to make, which is why we’re looking for an alternative. Luckily, aluminium is easily recycled, so please make sure to recycle it once you’re done.