Top Ten Non-Dairy Yogurt review by The Vgn Way

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From Expert Dietitian Ty Ishman, MS, RD,LD, CLC

The nutrition profile of non-dairy yogurts can vary depending on the base. Typically, when compared to traditional yogurts, the calorie count may be higher because different sugars and starches are used or due to the omission of sugar substitutes.

Just between friends, for us, one downer of plant-based yogurts is the low protein content, like less than one gram per serving in many cases. Sometimes, you might see three grams, but honestly, this can be easily remedied by adding some protein powder to your favorite creamy treat. Dairy has at least five to eight grams of protein per five ounce serving, and as much as 12 grams in Greek yogurt varieties. You can also miss vitamins A and D, and minerals like calcium and potassium. However, those may be found in other yummy foods or your daily vitamin/mineral supplement. Coconut-based yogurts tend to have higher amounts of saturated fats compared to other bases. 

One the biggest benefits of all kinds of yogurt comes from probiotics. Not only do these microorganisms kick off fermentation, giving yogurt its representative tanginess, but they also help with digestion and improve immune function. Much more is being revealed, such as the gut-brain connection, highlighting the idea that one area affects the whole body.

The bottom line is you can customize your yogurt selection based on your taste and texture preferences and nutrition needs.

We love making homemade granola; the satisfying crunch and the delicious roasted flavor and we love pairing it with one of our favorite breakfast items a non-dairy yogurt. There are a lot of gluten free and plant-based options out there and it can be hard figuring out where to start. We decided to do a side by side comparison across seven brands; using different plant sources as a base. We taste tested sweetness, textures and consistency to find a truly delicious yogurt. Within the different brands we were definitely looking at the amount of protein and fat each contained, since the protein helps being satiated and the fat content is something that can be high in plant based yogurts.

Top non-dairy yogurt summary below:

  • Forager: Cashew based; Calories: 140 Protein: 3 Fat: 6   
    • (vegan/gluten-free/soy-free/dairy free)
    • Sweetness: It’s very light on sugar, tasting in fact almost sugar free despite none of the packaging saying so. Plain flavor or vanilla might actually be good for baking cakes without compromising the cakes intended taste.
    • Texture: It has the consistency of melted ice cream, runny but again this might be good for use in baking goods such as cakes instead of using things such as egg replacer or apple sauce.
  • KiteHill: Almond based; Calories:170 Protein: 4 Fat:9
    • (vegan/gluten-free/soy free/dairy-free/contains almond)
    • Sweetness: In all honesty, everyone has a different palate when it comes to things like sweetness, bitterness and tartness. But both of us with our differing palate found KiteHill yogurt to be incredibly sweet, to the point that we couldn’t finish it. It tastes a bit heavy in the almond flavoring like vanilla icing on a birthday cake. It also had a distinct after taste that was tangy and personally unappealing.
    • Texture: It has a very fine and creaminess that we would expect in an almond based product with as high a fat content as it has.
  • Chobani: Coconut based; Calories: 140 Protein: 1 Fat: 7
    • (vegan/gluten-free/dairy-free/contains coconut)
    • Sweetness: It has a bold flavor and an even sweetness that’s very natural and compliments things like a hearty granola.
    • Texture: It’s very thick consistency is closest to dairy yogurts in our opinion; bordering on the near thickness of greek style yogurt.
  • So Delicious: Coconut based; Calories: 130 Protein: 1 Fat: 4
    • (vegan/gluten-free/dairy-free/contains coconut)
    • Sweetness: It has a very pleasant sweetness that’s not too strong and isn’t dominated by the coconut base. It is however high in carbs and low in protein.
    • Texture: It has a good consistency having a little grain to it; but in the end being a lot like dairy yogurt thanks to the coconut giving it a pleasant mouth feel.
  • 365 (Whole Foods Brand): Almond based; Calories:180 Protein: 5 Fat: 11
    • (vegan/gluten-free/dairy-free/contains almonds)
    • Sweetness: It has a mild sweetness with a distinct after taste that comes off more bland than would be expected from an almond based yogurt.
    • Texture: It has an grainy texture that leaves a chalky mouthfeel and its consistency is unfortunately watery and runny, making it a very unpleasant breakfast, eating experience.
  • Lava: Coconut based; Calories:160 Protein: 2 Fat: 11
    • (vegan/gluten-free/dairy-free/contains coconut/pili/casava)
    • Sweetness: The most curious of the yogurts in our taste test as it isn’t sweet at all but instead tastes like vegetables. This is possibly due to the use of Cassava or even Pili, which is said to taste like an almond but has left us stumped as to what taste they were going for.  
    • Texture: Visually; it has the consistency fruit puree or even baby food. It’s thick and has the mouthfeel more along the lines of whipped mayo or mustard.
  • Silk: Soy based; Calories: 120 Protein: 6 Fat: 3.5
    • (vegan/gluten-free/dairy-free/contains soy)
    • Sweetness: It has a good and mild sweetness to it, that lets you enjoy the flavor without noticing the sugar. It compliments granola well and finds a flavorful harmony with it.
    • Texture: It has a thick whipped consistency but leaves both the tongue and cheeks  with a chalky feeling.

In the end we tried our absolute best to be unbiased and not to be too negative. Although there were a few of the non-dairy yogurt brands that left quite a negative impression on us, others were surprisingly delightful and we’ve added them to the rotation to complement our breakfast staples or even as an afternoon snack. We took the time to weigh all the brands and put them in an order we thought worked as best to worst via the letter grade system A+ being the most appealing and D- being the least appealing. But of course everyone has different tastes and maybe one we didn’t enjoy will turned out to be a hit in your kitchen.

Feel free to let us know in the comments what you think of any of the plant based yogurts brands we tasted.

List of the top non-dairy yogurt ranked below

  • Forager = C+
  • KiteHill = C-
  • Chobani = B
  • So Delicious = A+
  • 365 = C
  • Lava = D-
  • Silk = B-

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The Vgn Way


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