Probiotic products put to the taste-test: Kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut and yoghurt

They're good for you, but do they taste any good?
They're good for you, but do they taste any good? Photo: Janie Barrett

The past few years have seen an explosion in food and drinks made with beneficial probiotic microorganisms promoting tip-top digestion and gut health. Some are healthy – not all are delicious.

Kimchi

Good Food Magazine, taste tests. 4th December 2019 Photo: Janie Barrett. Keep It Cleaner Traditional
Spicy Kimchi

Photo: Janie Barrett

Keep It Cleaner Traditional Spicy Kimchi, 400g, $10

Score: 3.5/5

That Coles now stocks kimchi shows how far we've come as a food nation. This little tub of fermented cabbage is properly delicious, too, thanks to the funk of shrimp paste and fish sauce.

Good Food Magazine, taste tests. 4th December 2019 Photo: Janie Barrett. Peace, Love and Vegetables
Kim-Chi Super-Kraut

Photo: Janie Barrett

Peace, Love and Vegetables Kim-Chi Super-Kraut, 385g, $11.60

Score: 2/5

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A salty mix of cabbage, sweet potato, garlic and cayenne sitting at a medium heat. It tastes fine-ish, but loses points for a watery texture and under-the-kitchen-sink pong.

Good Food Magazine, taste tests. 4th December 2019 Photo: Janie Barrett. Bottle Culture Wacky Wombok
Kimchi

Photo: Janie Barrett

Bottle Culture Wacky Wombok Kimchi, 450g, $15.99

Score: 4.5/5

A classic kimchi that's super tangy. There's a lot of daikon in the mix and a satisfying fizz when you open the jar. A lower sodium content makes it the healthiest kimchi?in this list.

Kombucha

Composite image of kombucha for Good Food Magazine, taste tests. 4th December 2019 Photo: Janie Barrett. Onlne use only. Low res.

From left: Brew Room Peach and Ginger Kombucha; Rok Kombucha Ginger Pop; Remedy Kombucha Ginger Lemon. Photos: Janie Barrett

Brew Room Peach and Ginger Kombucha, 330ml, $2.69

Score: 3/5

Made exclusively for Aldi, this supermarket fizzer apparently contains 100 million colony-forming units per bottle and tastes similar to a peach spritz made with too much soda.

Remedy Kombucha Ginger Lemon, 330ml, $4

Score: 2.5/5

This could do with more ginger kick, but it's pleasant enough for kombucha made en masse (beverage giant Lion snapped up a minority share of Remedy in 2018). With zero sugar, this a healthy beverage.

Rok Kombucha Ginger Pop, 365ml, $4.49

Score: 4.5/5

Brewed in Margaret River with green tea, cold-pressed ginger and lemon for tarty deliciousness. I dig the heck out of this and it has become my go-to for non-boozy occasions.

Probiotic yoghurt

Good Food Magazine, taste tests. 4th December 2019 Photo: Janie Barrett. Danone Activia Probiotics
Plain Yoghurt

Photo: Janie Barrett

Danone Activia Probiotics Plain Yoghurt, 700g, $5

Score: 1.5/5

There's no added sugar, sure, but there are also nicer things you can eat for a live culture shock to the system. I've been served creamier yoghurt with rockmelon on budget flights.

Good Food Magazine, taste tests. 4th December 2019 Photo: Janie Barrett. Meredith Dairy Probiotic
Natural Sheep Milk
Yoghurt

Photo: Janie Barrett

Meredith Dairy Probiotic Natural Sheep Milk Yoghurt, 500g, $7.50

Score: 3.5/5

There's a bit of "sheep" on the nose here, but with a low sugar and carb content, it's the healthiest yoghurt here. Top it with honey and stone fruit.

Good Food Magazine, taste tests. 4th December 2019 Photo: Janie Barrett. Vaalia Premium Probiotic
Yoghurt

Photo: Janie Barrett

Vaalia Premium Probiotic Yoghurt, 900g, $3.99

Score: 2.5/5

This is some tasty gear, but there's also a high amount of sugar in that sweet vanilla hit. There are better tubs if you're counting calories as well as lactobacillus.

Sauerkraut

Good Food Magazine, taste tests. 4th December 2019 Photo: Janie Barrett. Kehoea??s Turmeric Sauerkraut.

Photo: Janie Barrett

Kehoe's Turmeric Sauerkraut, 410g, $10.80

Score: 4.5/5

Made with organic Aussie cabbage, this is crunchy, spicy and bitter. The whacks of spice make this full-bodied kraut a cracker accompaniment to breakfast scrambles and ham.

Good Food Magazine, taste tests. 4th December 2019 Photo: Janie Barrett. The Fermentary Caraway
Sauerkraut

Photo: Janie Barrett

The Fermentary Caraway Sauerkraut, 350g, $10

Score: 5/5

Cabbage and caraway is barrel-fermented in Victoria's Central Highlands to create something quite nutty and very good. A lower salt content makes it your cleaner kraut choice.

Love Your Guts Beetroot and Ginger Sauerkraut, 500g, $15

Score: 4/5

Shreds of organic beetroot turn this cabbage kraut electric purple while ginger enhances its refreshing, fizzy kick. Eat this Tassie-made kraut with falafel and leafy greens.

Tip: Avoid cooking with your fermented products – the heat will kill the probiotic goodness.

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