Yogurt is a dairy food staple around the world, especially when it comes to breakfast, and it’s widely loved for its nutritional and health benefits and its endless diversity.
The problem is yogurt- usually made from classic cow’s milk, is obviously off-limits for vegans. Fortunately, there are plenty of vegan alternatives for all the yogurt-loving vegans out there!
Choosing the best vegan yogurt can be hard, so we’ve put together a list of the best 5 vegan yogurts, as well as a brief guide on how to choose a vegan yogurt.
Choosing a Vegan Yogurt
We’ve established that the answer to the question “Is yogurt vegan?” is a pretty straight-forward NO. Regular yogurt is made from milk, usually cow’s milk, and therefore is not suitable for someone following a vegan diet.
There are a lot of vegan yogurts you can choose from, but how can you make the best choice? What are the health benefits of vegan yogurt? Keep reading as we dive in-depth to answer these common questions.
The first thing to remember when it comes to choosing the best vegan yogurt is that, since vegan yogurts skip the dairy, they can’t be considered a similar source of protein as regular yogurts.
This doesn’t mean that vegan yogurts don’t have health benefits at all. Vegan yogurts can pack in all the gut-healthy probiotics of standard yogurt, along with prebiotics (fibers that aren’t digestible by your body and that can help good bacteria grow.)
But just because a particular yogurt is vegan, doesn’t mean that it’s healthy: your best bet is to look for a yogurt that contains little to no added sugar and very few additives, beyond what is needed to make the yogurt (plant-based milk, a natural thickener, and live cultures.)
When choosing a vegan yogurt, try to stick to the ones that don’t have added sugar and are naturally sweetened only with fruit . The flavored ones are usually all high in added sugar, so the best thing is to choose plain yogurt and then add your own flavor.
Thickeners, as we’ve mentioned before, are added to the yogurt to reach its creamy texture. In the plant-based versions, you can usually find xantham gum (derived from fermented sugar), agar (from seaweed), or locust bean gum (from the carob plant.)
Other than the standard vegan yogurt nutrition facts, you should also consider added nutrient content. There are a lot of fortified vegan yogurt options that can boost your daily intake of protein, vitamin B12, calcium, and other micronutrients helping you maintain a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
Remember to always check the label for these added nutrients and to make sure your yogurt doesn’t harbor any animal products.
The 5 Best Vegan Yogurts
Lavva’s yogurts are an amazing choice if you’re looking for great flavors, great texture, great health benefits, and no added sugar.
Their main ingredients are coconut, plantains, cassava root, and pili nuts. The pili nut is the star ingredient- it’s the lowest carb nut on the planet, and it’s packed with healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.
These ingredients, in addition, to live probiotic cultures, provide prebiotic fiber and help good bacteria grow in your gut.
There are different flavors available (plain, blueberry, vanilla, mango, strawberry, and raspberry) and the yogurt is naturally sweetened with real fruit and no added sugar.
Bear in mind that Lavva’s protein count is lower than other yogurts on this list. Getting enough protein can be challenging in a vegan diet, so if this is a problem you could choose a different yogurt.
2. So Delicious
So Delicious is a popular source of a great number of plant-based dairy products. They offer beverages, creamers, frozen desserts, cheese alternatives, and obviously vegan yogurts.
They offer two different lines of vegan yogurt: one is based on coconut milk, and the other on oat milk. Both lines have rich, creamy, gluten and dairy-free yogurts.
These vegan yogurts contain live and active cultures, plant-based fats, calcium, and added vitamin B12 – which is particularly nice since B12 can be lacking in a vegan and plant-based diet.
The best part is that they offer a lot of different flavors that range from the classic to a few inventive combos that can make the difference between a boring snack and an exciting one.
Among the standard flavours, you can find mango, berries, vanilla, strawberry, peach, and chocolate. If you’re looking for something more particular, they’ve got amazing combos like strawberry rhubarb, spiced pear & fig, key lime pie, salted caramel, and pineapple brulee. Mouthwatering flavours, right?
Forager Project is a family-owned organic food company that offers organic, plant-based whole foods like cheese, ice cream, milk, cereal, butter, and yogurt.
They have three main ranges, all derived from organic cashew milk, each filled with probiotics (a blend of six different probiotics) and plant-based nutrients.
The three ranges are Traditional Style Dairy-free Yogurt, Drinkable Cashewmilk Yogurt, and Organic Dairy-free Greek Yogurt.
The main difference between the first two ranges is in the consistency. The traditional style yogurt is spoonable, while the drinkable one is like a kefir. The cultures in the two products are also different because, with kefir products, the concentration of cultures is actually greater.
All of these yogurts have a low-calorie count and low sugar content but the dairy-free greek yogurt is also made with a unique blend of seeds (watermelon and pumpkin) and brown rice to boost the protein content.
There are a lot of different flavors you can choose from. Unsweetened plain yogurt, vanilla bean, unsweetened vanilla bean, blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, and mango are some of the flavors offered by this brand.
Silk is a well-known name in plant-based milk, and they’ve expanded their product range to include creamers and vegan yogurt alternatives too. How exciting can this get?
They offer vegan yogurts made with almond milk, with flavors ranging from vanilla to peach, from dark chocolate to mixed berry acai- all being a good source of calcium, live and active cultures, dietary fiber, and protein.
The second vegan yogurt line is made from oat milk and offers four main flavors: mango, vanilla, strawberry, and mixed berry. Keep in mind that this line doesn’t have a plain flavor.
The third is made from soy milk and offers six main flavors: peach mango, tropical pineapple, blueberry, vanilla, strawberry, and plain soy milk.They also offer mix-ins (the maple chocolate banana one is particularly good) and three almond milk yogurt made specifically for kids: strawberry, apple cinnamon, and mixed berry.
Oui is a line of French-style yogurts with simple, non-GMO ingredients poured and set in individual glass pots for hours. This helps create an extra-thick, subtly sweet, and fresh-tasting yogurt.
The glass pots are chosen not only because they’re recyclable and great for reuse, but also because they can protect the integrity of the texture during production and shipping.
These yogurts are made with a base of coconut milk, are filled with probiotics and plant-based nutrients. They come with just a slightly higher calorie count than the other yogurts we listed before.
These vegan yogurts are available in five main flavours: coconut, raspberry, mango, strawberry, and vanilla. Bear in mind that this brand also does not offer plain flavours as well.
DIY Vegan Yogurt
Another really cool option, if you’re looking for vegan yogurt, is to make your own DIY vegan yogurt right at home. It might sound like a difficult chore, but in reality, it’s extremely easy!
You can find many different recipes on the internet, that range from two-ingredients vegan yogurt to more complex recipes, but the standard process is always pretty much the same.
You can use any non-dairy milk from nuts, seeds, or grains: if you use high-fat milk (like coconut) you’ll get a very thick and rich yogurt, while if you use lighter milk (like rice or almond) you’ll get a more liquid consistency.
Remember that dairy yogurt relies on its naturally occurring bacteria to reach its thick consistency, while vegan yogurt needs something extra. You’ll have to add a thickener like agar flakes or tapioca starch.
Gently heat your milk, stirring constantly, and add the thickener until fully dissolved, then let the milk cool to let healthy probiotics thrive: you’ll have to add all those health-boosting probiotics you would naturally find in dairy yogurt.
You can easily purchase probiotic capsules or powder at the majority of grocery stores or online: make sure you’re buying a brand with live active cultures, and then sprinkle the powder over the milk and stir in.
You can add a little bit of sugar to help promote the fermentation and to improve flavor, but it’s completely up to you. Transfer the yogurt to sterilized glass pots and leave them to sit in a warm place until they’ve reached the desired consistency.
The best thing about making your own vegan yogurt at home is that you can control the list of ingredients: you don’t have to worry about added sugar or other potentially harmful ingredients, and you can be sure you’re eating healthy.
You can easily make plain vegan yogurt and then add your favourite toppings like nuts, seeds, or fruits!
Luckily for you, you don’t have to give up your favourite healthy breakfast or snack just because regular yogurt is dairy: you have a lot of options to choose from, and vegan yogurt is just as delicious as dairy yogurt!
If you don’t like any of the alternatives we’ve proposed in the list, you can easily make your own vegan yogurt at home and be 100% in control of what exactly you’re eating.
If you want to go shopping for a different brand of vegan yogurt, be sure to read the label and check out the ingredients: your best bet is to choose a variety without added sugar, and very few ingredients.
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