Our Opinionated Guide to Plant-Based Yogurt
Whether you're vegan, lactose intolerant, or just trying to cut back on dairy, you might be interested in exploring the world of plant-based yogurt. And you'd be wise to try a few options: There are a lot of great new products in the non-dairy yogurt space, and they're perfect for using in your smoothies, stirring into your soups, or simply eating for breakfast on the go.
Whatever your reason for excluding dairy from your diet, yogurt is an amazing and easy source of live and active cultures (otherwise known as probiotics)—it's very important to consume these for your overall health and well-being, but also for your immunity. The problem is that many of these "yogurts" are expensive and simply not worth their price tags; the ingredient lists can be long, often including stabilizers and other less than appealing add-ins. What's more, some have enough fat content for the entire day. But there are plant-based yogurts that are worth trying, and we've saved you the trouble by rounding up a few of our favorite options.
Best Rich and Creamy Non-Dairy Yogurt: CocoJune Organic Cultured Coconut
If you're looking for a dollop of something rich and creamy to accompany granola and berries or to pair alongside a dessert, CocoJune's Organic Cultured Coconut ($2.99, freshdirect.com) is what you need. It's super smooth and has a light as air texture while also tasting incredibly decadent. We like the mild coconut flavor, which makes it a dream in any sweet application, but it's subtle enough that it can also be stirred into curries or used in savory dips. It's high in fat—eating the whole serving will keep you full until lunchtime—but it's very low in protein. We love that the plain yogurt is super low in sugar and offers a good variety of probiotics. CocoJune also offers some of the most elegant and delicious subtle flavored options including lemon-elderflower, vanilla chamomile, and strawberry rhubarb.
Honorable mentions to consider, too? First, there's Anita's Coconut Yogurt ($29 for two pints, goldbelly.com). This small-batch coconut yogurt made in Brooklyn is incredible. Unfortunately, it's not available nationwide in stores just yet, and its price point, around $5.69 for six-ounce pot, is higher than other brands that are more widely available. Still, it can be shipped nationwide via Goldbelly.
We also like The Collaborative Coconut Yogurt ($2.09, instacart.com). Super creamy, this yogurt feels really rich but also more yogurt-y than airy. It's also slightly tangy and the coconut flavor is extremely mild.
Best All-Around Plant-Based Yogurt: Kite Hill Almond Milk Yogurt
Kite Hill offers an amazing range of plant-based yogurts and other products (don't miss their ricotta!). Their plain almond milk yogurt ($5.99, freshdirect.com) has a texture that's extremely close texture to the real (dairy) thing, and has a bit of the tartness of traditional yogurt. Best of all, it has an extremely neutral flavor without any icky aftertaste from thickeners or sweeteners. Sweet or savory, however you spoon it, swirl it, blend it, or bake it, this is an extremely versatile option and can be found in many grocery stores. They also offer a range of flavored options such as blueberry, peach, and raspberry, and have a thicker strained almond-based yogurt as well with a much higher protein content.
Another honorable mention? Dah! Oat, Almond, and Coconut Yogurt ($2.29, instacart.com). While some oat yogurts can taste a bit off, this combination of oat, almond, and coconut takes the best from all three ingredients. It's thick, not runny, and slightly tangy though it does have a curious tan color. The brand's India-style almond yogurt is also quite good.
Best Drinkable Yogurt: Forager Project Plain Dairy-Free Drinkable Yogurt
The perfect choice for blending into smoothies or serving with cereals, granolas, oats, or fruits, this kefir-like plant-based yogurt from Forager ($6.59, instacart.com) is made from fermented cashew and coconut. It has a wonderful tartness and tanginess and an incredibly high probiotic count. Forager Project also makes a spoonable cashew yogurt, but the flavor of this drinkable yogurt makes it our winner. There are also flavored options for breakfast on the go: blueberry, blackberry, mango, and strawberry.