Anyone else gets that gag reflex when eating dairy yogurt? Do you happily hop past the yogurt section because of that odd aftertaste, almost like mucus? Maybe you purchase it once in a while for the probiotics but you definitely don’t love it. That will all change once you try plant-based yogurt alternatives! Honestly, the chance of mucus or pus being in dairy yogurt is fairly high. Dairy cows in the U.S. consistently show higher levels of pus cells than in other countries where there are stricter agriculture policies. To combat infections, U.S. dairy cows are fed a roster of antibiotics and hormones. These non-dairy alternatives are made from nuts, seeds, coconut, soy, and/ or pea proteins. You’ll get fiber, calcium, protein, and probiotics into your diet without a daily dose of mucus and hormones. After all, cows get fiber, calcium, and protein from plants. You’re just skipping the middle-cow when buying plant-based yogurts!
As when shopping for vegan cheese, you want to look for the word vegan or one of the certified vegan symbols when purchasing plant-based yogurts. Products are often labeled dairy-free or lactose-free yet still contain casein, an animal protein, in the ingredients. Oh, the woes of marketing. Luckily, we’ve done the tasting and label reading for you. Here’s a list of vegan yogurts we’ve tried. We’ll share our favorites, and a few runner-ups based on taste and nutrition.
When it comes to taste and quality ingredients no other vegan yogurt comes close. Forager is based in San Francisco, CA where organic creamy cashews mix with wild blueberries, strawberries, lemon, cherries, vanilla bean, or coconuts to produce a yogurt alternative that is rich in probiotic goodness. This is the only cultured cashew-based vegan yogurt we've found on the market. With such pronounced flavors, a classic breakfast item can easily double as a delicious dessert. As far as sustainability, they're the only brand on our list that is entirely USDA certified organic. Surprisingly, cashew yogurt has less calories than many of the other yogurt alternatives but you'll never know it based on it's rich flavor! They're the new kids on the dairy-free shelf but their simplistic approach to producing satisfyingly sustainable products is already creating a following.
They're guaranteed to be the silkiest bite of probiotics you've ever had. This vegan yogurt brand is what sophistication must taste like! Kite Hill churns local almonds from San Joaquin Valley, CA with peaches, strawberries, blueberries, pineapples, key limes, or caramel for their delicately textured cups. All of their yogurts are non-GMO certified and packaged in 100% recyclable containers. Kite Hill's mission is to use time-honored techniques with all plant-based ingredients to create products that customers relish as much as traditional yogurts and cheeses. Their website shares information on the impact plant-based products have on the environment, health, and animal welfare. As far as nutritional facts, Kite Hill offers one of the highest daily amounts of protein per container. They've recently released a Greek yogurt variety too!
Organic coconut milk gets cultured with probiotics to deliver a slightly tangy yet naturally sweet yogurt alternative. The plain is delicious enough with an inherent coconutty lightness. Yet, you'll have fun trying their various flavors: blueberry, chocolate, passionate mango, raspberry, strawberry, vanilla, strawberry banana, key lime, and peach. We love the fiber, calcium, and vitamin amounts in So Delicious; they have the highest serving of each on this list. If you're vegan, vitamin B12 is an important nutrient that our bodies do not make. Supplements or food products with added b12 are necessary to stay healthy. So Delicious has you covered! We love that the company's sustainability reports are right on the website with information on their green office certificate in Oregon and their employee program that rewards alternative commuting like biking to work! Who doesn't love coconuts with a conscience?
We were sold from their slogan: Karma never tasted so good. Oh, don't worry! We still tried the yogurt and it was easily a favorite. Have you heard of flax milk? It's one of the lesser known vegan milk alternatives but makes a delicious dairy-free yogurt! They're the only flax milk yogurt brand we've seen. Besides a generous serving of protein and probiotics, each container packs in 800 mg of Omega-3 healthy fats thanks to its flaxseed base. You won't find that in any of the other brands on the list. Ample servings of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 make this a nutritious option. They're yogurts are non-GMO certified and free of all major allergens (dairy, lactose, nut, gluten, and soy). Flaxseeds are sourced from North American farmers in the U.S. and Canada. Flavors include plain, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry and vanilla. We all could use a bit of good karma, right?
You've probably seen Dream's line of various milk alternatives like Rice Dream and Almond Dream at your local grocer. Well, they have yogurts too! Although, they're a bit less common in major grocery stores than the milks. On their website they offer Almond Dream and Coconut Dream non-dairy yogurts. We've spotted Almond Dream yogurt in several stores but have yet to see Coconut Dream yogurt. If you're a fan of their Almond Dream milk, you'll find the same creamy texture and flavor in their yogurts. There's plain, vanilla, coconut, strawberry, and mixed berry combinations to choose from. The company began as a way to offer healthy plant-based alternatives to the market. Extending into sustainability, they've adopted Tetra Pak packaging that is made with less material than comparable containers. Despite being low in protein, this yogurt is relatively high in fiber and calcium compared to the other brands.
Daiya is one of the most common vegan brands found in major grocery stores. They've been making dairy-free living a joy since 2009 beginning with the simple message that plant-based living was better for health, the environment, and animal welfare. They're a staple brand in the vegan community offering over 30 innovative plant-based alternatives to dairy. It's no wonder you'll find them in many grocery stores! Although not one of our favorites, their availability makes them a great choice for vegans, lactose-intolerant customers, or those suffering from common food allergens. Daiya Greek Yogurt is free of dairy, soy, peanuts, eggs, and fish. Each container packs in 6 grams of protein and a healthy heaping of calcium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B12. Made primarily with coconut cream and pea protein for smooth spoonfuls of Daiya's recognizable flavor mixed with strawberry, blueberry, black cherry, peach, or vanilla bean. We recommend eating Daiya in parfaits or as a part of a meal since the flavor is quite distinguishable.
Silk is another familiar vegan brand in most grocery stores. Their history starts with soy, originally a tofu producer out of Boulder, Colorado, when soy foods weren't even mainstream. Their soy milk has been a familiar choice for those battling lactose intolerance from the early 80's. Growing from there, they now offer other nut milks, non-diary yogurts, creamers, and protein drinks. Naturally, soy yogurt was their first foray into non-dairy yogurts. You'll find Silk's creamy yogurt flavors in peach-mango, vanilla, blueberry, strawberry, and tropical pineapple down almost any grocer refrigerated aisle. They now offer an almond yogurt alternative too. Although, it's not found as easily. They are certified non-GMO standing by their mission to share plant based eating because they believe it's better for the planet. The website goes into detail on the company's water conservation, use of renewable energy, and recycling practices.
Found in Europe
Traveling abroad soon. Keep an eye on market shelves in the United Kingdom and throughout the European Union for Sojasun and Sojade. They're both based in France and have a commitment to plant based living. Sojasun is certified non-GMO and Sojade is 100% organic. These two brands win out for flavor after trying several vegan yogurts in our travels abroad!
These vegan yogurt options will have you going nuts for nut milk and other dairy-free alternatives. Non-dairy yogurts work seamlessly in many dessert recipes that call for yogurt and plain flavors whip up into yogurt sauces just as easily as dairy yogurts do. For more protein, add a teaspoonful or two of ground flaxseeds. Enjoy with a bowl of muesli or steel cut oats to pack in more fiber. Or, create colorful parfaits by mixing in various fruits and boost vitamin and antioxidant levels. If you're looking at these yogurts and comparing them to dairy yogurts just stop. Health wise, non-dairy yogurts win out because they're cholesterol and casein (animal protein) free! Environmentally, vegan yogurts use less water and generate 40-50% less green house gases than dairy yogurts. Oh, and no baby cows were deprived of their mother's milk to make these yogurts.
Let us know which one you've tried! We'd love to hear your experience.