Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Parfait! -and non-dairy yogurt info


Yogurt, fruit, and granola makes for a delicious snack or breakfast. I used to eat at least a yogurt a day before going vegan. Since January, I've pretty much stayed away from the non-dairy yogurts, as my initial impressions of them were not so great. Grainy, odd-tasting soy yogurts were what I'd experienced. But, there are a lot of new products that are actually really good (it may just take some trial & error to find the one(s) you like).  Read on for my explorations in the non-dairy yogurt world.
**For my granola recipes, see these links:
Maple-Banana Low Fat Granola
Healthy Tropical Granola
The above parfait was made with SO Delicious Coconut Milk Vanilla non-dairy yogurt, granola, and fresh strawberries- and it WAS a SO delicious breakfast. I describe a few brands I've tried below.

A few words on non-dairy yogurts:
  • As with anything, it helps to try different brands and flavors to see what you like. Non-dairy yogurts may be made with soy, coconut, rice, or almond milk- try out the different types and see what you like!
  • Be prepared for slightly higher fat contents. I used to eat non-fat or low-fat yogurt only (so 2 grams of fat or less per yogurt)- but as I vegan, I've learned to not be so concerned about fat. Well, at least not total fat. Type of fat matters! Poly and monounsaturated fats are the healthy fats, but non-dairy yogurts made with coconut milk will also have some saturated fat. I think in small amounts that's completely fine; 1 coconut milk yogurt is about 3-5 grams of saturated fat, so as long as you're not downing a few of these a day that's not a very large amount of saturated fat.
  • Many of these yogurts also have a fair amount of sugar, which may be another reason to have them sparingly. In my pre-vegan days, I used to love Fage brand Greek yogurt; they tend to be lower in sugar and higher in fiber, and have that creamier, lighter texture that is so good. SO Delicious does make a vegan Greek yogurt, but it's not quite the same taste and texture wise.
  • On the upside, like dairy yogurt, most (all?) non-dairy yogurts also have the live & active cultures in them as well, which are good for various health reasons.
Brands:
  • Amande Almond Yogurt: In my opinion, these are the best. Smooth, without any grainy-ness, and in a variety of flavors. They have between 6-9 grams of fat and 150-170 calories and are totally satisfying.
  • SO Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurts: as I said, these are yummy. But they do have around 5 grams of saturated fat. As mentioned above, they also make Greek yogurts, which I have tried but am not in love with. However, of the Greek non-dairy yogurt flavors, the plain is definitely the best in my opinion. The texture isn't the same as dairy Greek yogurt, but mixed with some fresh fruit, it is good.
  • Whole Soy & Co Yogurts: These do have a somewhat "soy-y" consistency and texture, but the flavors are good, and when mixed with fruit, I like them.
  • Trader Joe's Coconut Milk Yogurt: These are good! Smooth and sweet, the vanilla flavor is great on its own or used as a fat substitute in baked goods.
  • Trader Joe's Soy Yogurt: TJoe's also does a good job with their soy yogurt. It's smooth in consistency and has yogurt-like texture- not just like dairy yogurt, but you get used to it, and it tastes pretty good. I prefer TJoe's to other soy yogurts, and they also come in some nice fruity flavors.
  • Almond Dream Yogurts: This and SO Delicious are my favorite non-dairy yogurts. Unlike the coconut milk yogurt, though, these have no saturated fat (and no trans- none of these do), and only 3 grams of total fat (the healthy kind!)- so these are becoming my new go-to yogurts. The consistency & texture aren't exactly like regular dairy yogurt, but the taste is good.
  • Ricera Rice Yogurts: Now these are a little odder. The taste is a little weird, and the consistency has an almost jello-like component. Not my favorite. 
  • O-Soy Soy Yogurts: I think this was one of the original soy-yogurt brands I tried and did not like much; grainy texture and taste.
As you can see, different brands have different tastes. Not all non-dairy yogurts are created equal! So it pays to try different ones and see which you like best. And, as mentioned, it never hurts to mix in fresh fruit, especially if you are a new vegan and getting used to the differences from dairy yogurts. But I would say Amande, SO Delicious coconut milk yogurts, TJoe's coconut yogurt, and Almond Dream almond milk yogurts do the best job of tasting like the dairy counterpart.


I will update this page with more non-dairy yogurts as I try them. And feel free to leave a comment with your favorite vegan yogurt!

6 comments:

  1. Super helpful! Parfaits have been my go-to this summer. You should try Wildwood Organics Unsweetened Plain soy yogurt because its a lot like greek yogurt where its thick, the right amount of sour and creamy, high in fiber and protein, nongmo, and like a gram of sugar!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cool, I will look for it! Thanks!!

      Delete
  2. There definitely seem to be more options for vegan yogurts in the US...so far in Canada, I've only seen the coconut milk ones and I just saw the almond milk yogurt in one store the other day. As for greek yogurt, there are supposed to be greek style So Delicious coconut milk yogurts available...I haven't seen them up here yet, but they're on their website - you should try to find them! http://www.turtlemountain.com/products/coconut-milk-yogurts/strawberry-greek

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks for sharing! I haven't seen those yet but will look for them. Definitely want to try, SO Delicious seems to do a really good job with making yummy things!

      Delete
  3. I've tried the Almond Dream yogurt in coconut and strawberry and they were delish!!! I am going to the store today to pick up Amande and So Delicious to try those out! Thanks for the post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you like 'em! There is so much variety now, it's great!

      Delete

I love comments-drop me a line if you're stopping by!