The non-dairy market is growing! Plant-based milks are expected to reach a whopping 16 billion globally by the end of 2018. What’s responsible for the rise? Consumers are becoming more health conscious and realizing that um…maybe we shouldn’t drink something that comes from another animal’s teat cuz…well, ew!
But with the market growing, this can lead to confusion over which type of non-dairy yogurt is best in terms of taste and nutrition. Yogurt is known for its sour taste which it gets from the fermentation process. Fermentation produces good strains of bacteria that are helpful for gut health. I had a friend recently ask me if non-dairy yogurts have the same strains as regular ones and that got my wheels turning! There’s variation even between dairy yogurts, so there has to be between non-dairy as well, right? Absolutely (I say as if I knew all along). I did some e-mailing, calling, and banging on doors to get to the bottom of it. Read on for my top picks for yogurt in terms of taste and nutrition!
4th Place: Amande
This yogurt is still sitting half full in my fridge. It’s a gelatinous mass that is somehow both too thick and too thin at the same time. NOT a fan, and stirring just results in separation.
What it lacks in taste it does somewhat make up for in nutrition profile. There’s a variety of strains of bacteria, and a good amount of protein. No B12 added though.
3rd Place: Daiya
Daiya’s non-dairy greek yogurt has a lot going for it…taste is not one of them. I find it “plastic-ey” and sour not in a good way. It just didn’t do it for me.
Daiya yogurt has two strains of bacteria, and one of them L. plantarum is not found in any of the other yogurts. It’s not easily destroyed by antibiotics and helps fight infection. Daiya does have Vitamin B12 added (30% of your daily needs). This is important in a non-dairy yogurt as vegans have trouble getting enough of this energy vitamin as it essentially only comes from animal sources. Daiya is also highest in protein (9g/cup) of the yogurts I tried, with its pea base, which will keep you full for longer. Overall, not a bad choice if you can get past the Barbie doll taste.
2nd Place: Yoso
This yogurt has a nice sour taste. I could see how it would be too strong for people. As one of my clients put it “I just couldn’t even.” Fair enough. It’s quite thick so I like to dilute it with some soy milk.
Only one strain of bacteria which is unfortunate! There’s so much potential here, it’s in the mid-calorie range and has a decent amount of protein per cup. If they added more strains this would be a strong contender.
*Side note, I’m a bit partial to these guys because this brand is from Southwestern Ontario and it’s nice to support local.
The Winner: Silk
This one is my top pick for taste! I find it smooth and tangy. It’s a little bit thin, but add some chia to it and you won't notice.
So.many.strains.of.bacteria. I mean wow, look out bad beasties in the gut. Some brands stick to one or two (this includes dairy brands too generally), but Silk goes all out. And variety is key when it comes to gut bacteria because different ones perform different functions.
Protein wise, it’s low. I would be hungry after having some of this…but if you made a smoothie bowl with other ingredients then that can compensate. Also no B12 added, boo.