The Growing Vegan Yogurt Culture: Is It Worth The HYPE?

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Believe it or not, vegan yogurt is predicted to be as popular as Greek yogurt! This is according to a 2018 report by Packaged Facts. Well, with vegan yogurt sales skyrocketing in just a year, I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise.

But now that it’s popularity has made it possible for vegan yogurts to reach more shelves, the next questions are: 

What is the best vegan yogurt?

Well, there’s MANY.

Also, how healthy is vegan yogurt really? And of course, how can you make your own vegan yogurt?

Take a seat, get your notes ready, and read on. 

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What Is the Vegan Alternative To Yogurt?

Plant-based milks have opened up a world of possibilities for the vegan community. From vegan butter and vegan cheese, we now get to enjoy vegan yogurt too!

So as you’d expect, vegan yogurt will also come from the most popular sources of vegan milk: 

  • soy 
  • coconut
  • Almond

Vegan yogurt is simply made with vegan milk and some active culture. However, most commercial vegan yogurts you’ll find on the shelves also contain additives like stabilizers, sugars, and other enhancers.

You might also notice that although there are plenty of plant milks, only few ones seem to be yogurt-worthy. But aside from soy, coconut, and almond milk, here are other vegan milk sources for vegan yogurt-making:

  • Cashew nut
  • Pili nut
  • Oat 
  • Flax seed 

Do Vegan Yogurts Have Probiotics? 

Yogurts won’t be yogurts without the live bacteria because it’s the live bacteria that turns milk into yogurt. To make vegan yogurt, you simply add live bacteria or an active culture to the milk and let it ferment. 

Vegan yogurt, of course, contains probiotics too. However, if you’re making your own version, do note that NOT all probiotics are vegan. Some probiotics are made from milk cultures and therefore contain traces of animal products.

Yogurts won’t be yogurts without the live bacteria because it’s the live bacteria that turns milk into yogurt. To make vegan yogurt, you simply add live bacteria or an active culture to the milk and let it ferment.

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Is Vegan Yogurt Healthy?

Yogurts are of course well-known and much favored because of its beneficial probiotics. Vegan yogurts are made with live bacteria too, so it also contains the sought-after probiotics.

Probiotics are good bacteria that help balance our digestive health. And since our digestive system is where all the nutrient absorption happens, you can just imagine its importance. In the same way a poor digestive health can lead to a multitude of health troubles, a healthy digestive system can help improve one’s overall health.

These live microorganisms are known to have the following benefits:

  • Balances the good and bad bacteria in the digestive system
  • Improves digestive function
  • Prevents and treats diarrhea
  • May improve some mental health conditions
  • Contributes to heart health
  • Reduces the severity of allergies 
  • Boosts the immune system
  • May aid in weight loss
  • Reduces symptoms of digestive disorders
  • Improves athletic performance
  • Relieves skin issues
  • Aids in wrinkle prevention

On the other hand, vegan milks also have their own advantages over animal milk:

  • More vitamins and minerals
  • Most plant milks have significantly lower fat content
  • No cholesterol
  • Contains a healthier combination of mono- and polyunsaturated fats
  • Suitable for individuals with lactose intolerance
  • More fiber

Now combine all those benefits. Yep, vegan yogurt is healthy, and even healthier than dairy yogurt! 

Probiotics are good bacteria that help balance our digestive health. And since our digestive system is where all the nutrient absorption happens, you can just imagine its importance. In the same way a poor digestive health can lead to a multitude of health troubles, a healthy digestive system can help improve one’s overall health.

FAQs

1. Can Vegans eat Greek yogurt? 

It depends on the ingredients, Greek yogurt made the traditional way is NOT vegan. However, there are vegan versions of this popular yogurt which are made possible by vegan milks, of course.

2. Is Greek yogurt dairy-free?

Traditional Greek yogurt is NOT dairy-free. However, there are now dairy-free variants of Greek yogurt, and most of them are vegan.

3. Which yogurt is vegan?

Only yogurts made with plant milk and vegan probiotics are vegan. Always check the label, especially if it’s dairy-free but doesn’t say vegan. Remember that not all probiotics are vegan. Plus, some of its additives such as sugar may also be not vegan.

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What Are The Best Vegan Yogurt Brands?

Although it’s a joy to see that there are now more vegan yogurt brands than before, you probably still can’t help but wonder, which vegan yogurt brands are the best? Well not all vegan yogurts are equal, especially in terms of nutritional quality. 

To help you with choosing, here are some helpful buying tips for vegan yogurts:

  1. Unsweetened  
  2. Homemade
  3. Preservative-free
  4. No trans fat
  5. Less or no added sugar and sodium
  6. More nutritional ingredients

Now here are some great vegan yogurt brands you can try. A lot of these are high protein vegan yogurts too. 

Almond Breeze Yogurt Alternative 

With 3 to 5 grams of protein per serving, this almond yogurt has no trans fat, no cholesterol, and no preservatives, plus it’s non-GMO. Not all their flavors are vegan though (watch out for the ones with honey!).

Vegan Flavors:

  • Original
  • Vanilla
  • Coconut
  • Blueberry
  • Toasted Almonds
  • Salted Caramel
  • Chocolate

Califia Farms 

Although this is a drinkable version, these batch-fermented vegan yogurts from coconut, almond, and oats is worthy of mention because of its 10 billion live probiotics!

Vegan Flavors:

  • Unsweetened Plain
  • Strawberry
  • Super Berry
  • Mango

Coconut Dream  

This gluten-free and non-GMO coconut yogurt is also soy-free, low-sodium, and low-fat. 

Vegan Flavors:

  • Plain
  • Vanilla

Daiya Coconut Yogurt Alternative 

Daiya’s vegan yogurt will give you 6 grams of protein per serving! It’s also soy-free, Kosher, non-GMO, and gluten-free, with less sugar, no cholesterol, no trans fats, and no artificial ingredients, colors, flavors, and preservatives. As a bonus, it’s also a good source of calcium, and vitamins D and B12.

Vegan Flavors:

  • Plain
  • Blueberry
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Black Cherry
  • Peach 
  • Strawberry

Dream & Joya Yogurt Alternative 

This soy-free yogurt alternative has a mild neutral taste that’s slightly coconutty. It’s also sugar-free, gluten-free, and contains 50% less fat.

Vegan Flavors:

  • Almond Natural
  • Almond Caramel Pear
  • Almond Blueberry
  • Coconut Natural sugar-free
  • Coconut Chia Cherry Vanilla
  • Coconut Mango Maracuja
  • Coconut Strawberry
  • Coconut Chia Tropical
  • Organic Soya Natural
  • Organic Soya Vanilla
  • Organic Soya Blueberry

Follow Your Heart Dairy-Free Yogurt 

Another yogurt from (organic) coconut milk, this dairy-free, vegan yogurt is non-GMO soy-free, gluten-free, and Kosher.

Vegan Flavors:

  • Plain
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Peach
  • Strawberry
  • Raspberry 
  • Strawberry Rhubarb 
  • Cherry
  • Key Lime
  • Piña Colada

Forager Project

Also known as “cashewgurt”, Forager Project’s cashew milk yogurt is organic, ethically-sourced, non-GMO, Kosher, and contains no carrageenans. It also gives you 3 grams of protein per serving.

Vegan Flavors:

  • Unsweetened Plain
  • Vanilla
  • Blueberry 
  • Strawberry 
  • Cherry
  • Lemon

Good Karma Dairy-Free Yogurts 

Good Karma’s unique yogurt mixture from flax milk doesn’t only come with 5 to 6 grams of protein per serving. It also contains 800 milligrams of Omega-3, plus it’s non-GMO, and free from nuts and soy. 

Vegan Flavors:

  • Plain
  • Vanilla
  • Strawberry 
  • Blueberry 
  • Raspberry 

Good Plants Dairy-Free Yogurt 

Another one from almond milk, Good Plants’ dairy-free yogurt is low-calorie, non-GMO, Kosher, gluten-free, and has less sugar. It’s recyclable cup is a bonus!

Vegan Flavors:

  • Vanilla
  • Strawberry 
  • Lemon Meringue 
  • Chocolate Coconut

Kite Hill Almond Milk Yogurt 

Kite Hill’s yogurt from almond milk is Kosher, non-GMO, soy-free, and gluten-free. It’s also free from artificial flavors and preservatives.

Vegan Flavors:

  • Plain
  • Plain Unsweetened 
  • Vanilla
  • Peach
  • Blueberry 
  • Strawberry 
  • Key Lime
  • Raspberry 

Lavva 

Only a few yogurt brands has no added sugar and Lavva is one of them. Lavva uses organic pili nuts and organic coconuts and other “densely nourishing, real food ingredients”. They’re also non-GMO, gluten-free, Kosher, soy-free, Paleo and Keto friendly, and Whole30 compliant. 

Vegan Flavors:

  • Original
  • Vanilla
  • Strawberry 
  • Blueberry 
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Raspberry

Le Grand 

Made from cashew and coconut milk, this yogurt is non-GMO and gluten-free. Vegan Flavors:

  • Unsweetened 

Nancy’s Oatmilk Non-Dairy Yogurt 

This oat milk yogurt is non-GMO, gluten-free, and Kosher, with 6 grams of protein per serving.

Vegan Flavors:

  • Plain
  • Vanilla
  • Blueberry
  • Strawberry Hibiscus
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Non-Dairy Chobani 

Made from coconut, this vegan yogurt is non-GMO. It’s also proudly made with  natural ingredients only so there are no artificial sweeteners, flavors, and preservatives.

Vegan Flavors:

  • Slightly Sweet Plain
  • Vanilla
  • Blueberry
  • Strawberry 
  • Peach

Ripple Creamy Yogurt Alternative 

Ripple takes its 6 grams of protein per serving from a pea protein blend. Aside from containing sunflower oil, it’s also nut-free, soy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, with low sugar, and  no sodium.

Vegan Flavors:

  • Original 
  • Vanilla
  • Strawberry 
  • Blueberry 
  • Peach

Silk Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternative 

Silk has the widest range of vegan yogurts that come from soy, almond, and oat  milk. It has no artificial flavors, no HFCS, no cholesterol, and it’s gluten-free, and low in saturated fats.

Almond milk flavors:

  • Plain
  • Vanilla
  • Unsweet Vanilla
  • Peach
  • Dark Chocolate Coconut
  • Strawberry
  • Mixed Berry Acai

Soy milk flavors:

  • Plain
  • Vanilla
  • Blueberry
  • Strawberry
  • Peach Mango
  • Tropical Pineapple

Oat milk flavors:

  • Vanilla
  • Strawberry
  • Mixed Berry
  • Mango

So Delicious Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternative 

Made from coconut and oat milk, So Delicious yogurts are non-GMO and gluten-free.

Oat milk flavors:

  • Strawberry rhubarb
  • Spiced pear and fig
  • Sweet mango
  • Triple Berry

Coconut milk flavors:

  • Plain
  • Unsweetened Plain
  • Vanilla
  • Unsweetened Vanilla
  • Strawberry 
  • Strawberry Banana
  • Raspberry 
  • Peach
  • Key lime
  • Pineapple Brulee
  • Blueberry
  • Chocolate 

Stonyfield Organic Dairy-Free Yogurt 

Aside from being organic, Stonyfield’s yogurts are non-GMO, organic, Kosher, and gluten-free.

Vegan Flavors:

  • Vanila
  • Strawberry
  • Raspberry
  • Blueberry 

The Coconut Collaborative 

This coconut yogurt is gluten-free, soy-free, with no cholesterol, and no added sugar.

Vegan Flavors:

  • Plain
  • Vanilla
  • Blueberry
  • Mango and Passion Fruit

Vega Protein Cashewmilk Yogurt Alternative 

With a whopping 13 grams of protein per serving, Vega’s yogurt is a powerful mixture of cashew and pea, with both pre and probiotics.

Vegan Flavors:

  • Vanilla
  • Blueberry
  • Strawberry
  • Raspberry

Yoconut Dairy-Free 

Yoconut’s coconut milk yogurts are soy-free, gluten-free, and contains natural electrolytes. It’s also allergy-friendly, and made without preservatives and added sugars.

Vegan Flavors:

  • Original
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Lemon Cream

Bigger brands like Trader Joes and Whole Foods Market 365 also offers their own line of vegan yogurts.  Make sure to check them out too!

Vegan Yogurt Starters

Yogurt is impossible without a live culture. Now that plant milks are easier to find, I’m sure you’d also like to know more about starters, or the live microorganisms that ferment the milk to turn it into yogurt. Unfortunately, not all yogurt starters are vegan. A lot of them are grown in animal milk, which makes them non-vegan. 

Vegan probiotics and starter kits for vegan yogurts are more challenging to find. Here are a few ones you might have more luck with:

You can also use vegan probiotic supplements, like Now Foods’ vegan Probiotic-10. 

These supplements usually come in capsule form, which makes them easier to use in milk fermentation.

BONUS: To learn how you can make your very own vegan yogurt at home, check out the video below!

Vegan Yogurt Recipe

Popular brands can make it look like you need complex ingredients to make yogurt. But then again, these commercial brands require a lot of enhancers and stabilizers.  Believe it or not, yogurt is simply made of milk and live cultures or probiotics. This is why vegan yogurt can be easily made at home! 

Vegan milk is much easier to find now so you shouldn’t have a problem with that. The most common ones you can use are almond, coconut, and soy milk. But you don’t have to limit yourself! There are other vegan milks that are suitable or yogurt-making too. 

If you want a high-protein yogurt, try to combine high protein plant milks. And remember that if you can’t get starter kits, probiotic supplements are a great option too.

2-Ingredient Coconut Yogurt

From Minimalist Baker

This creamy, rich, and tangy vegan yogurt is unbelievably easy to make! 

Ingredients:

  • 1 14-ounce can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 capsules vegan-friendly probiotic capsules (WITHOUT prebiotics)

Optional:

  • Vegan-friendly sweeteners (like maple syrup or agave nectar)
  • Vanilla extract or vanilla bean powder
  • Your favorite fruits

Materials:

  • Bowl
  • Clean glass jar 
  • Cheesecloth   
  • Wooden or plastic spoon

Procedure:

1) Pour coconut milk into a clean container (glass jar or bowl).

2) Sprinkle with probiotic and stir thoroughly.

3) Cover the container with cheesecloth and leave for 24-48 hrs .

Does it look too easy? Here are the most helpful tips especially if it’s your first time to make your own yogurt.

Important Tips:  

  • Your coconut milk must be creamy and smooth, if it’s grainy or clumpy, filter it first with a fine mesh strainer or cloth.
  • The container should be clean. You can sterilize it by doing a thorough rinse using boiling water then let it dry completely. Wait for the container to cool down back to room temperature before you use it.  
  • If the coconut milk separates, stir with a whisk until smooth. Or you can leave it in the fridge and allow to separate then just scoop off the top layer. 
  • Vegan milk brands that contain guar gum create smoother texture which also prevents separation. So the ones that don’t contain guar gum usually separates to some extent. 
  • Use a wooden or plastic spoon for the probiotics especially when stirring. Metal spoon will negatively react with probiotics. Keep stirring until the mixture is creamy and smooth. 
  • If the proiotic powder clumps, just push and wipe the clumps against the side with the back of the spoon until they dissolve.
  • The fabric cover for the mixture should be clean and breathable but can also keep the bugs off. You can use cheesecloth or a really thin dish towel. Tie a rubber band around to secure it.
  • Wait for the yogurt to activate for at least 24 hours (maximum of 48 hours). Keep it in a warm place. The longer you leave it, the tangier it will taste. 
  • If you live in a warmer climate or it’s summer season (75⁰F or 23⁰C and above), making yogurt is easier. If you’re in a cooler season or climate, use the oven to store the mixture. Just turn the light on (NOT the heat), and you should get a warm enough temperature to activate the probiotics.
  • After 24-48 hours, test the taste and texture using a wooden spoon. Once you reach the desired quality, you can cover the container with the lid and refrigerate it. Chilling will thicken the yogurt even more,but it mostly depends on the brand you’re using. 
  • If you want it even thicker, filter the final mixture over a fine mesh strainer with two layers of cheesecloth. Pour the mixture in the container then cover loosely with the lid or use a plastic wrap. Leave overnight in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

You can enjoy this coconut yogurt as it is (plain) or you can also add some sweetener or flavor. Try adding your favorite fruits too and sprinkle some chia seeds! 

The mixture can keep in the fridge for around 7 days. If it smells off-putting or starts to grow mold then you know it’s gone bad.

Conclusion

Non-dairy alternatives to yogurt are mostly vegan and are commonly made from coconut milk and almond milk. In many ways, vegan yogurt is much healthier than it’s dairy counterpart. It has more nutrients, including protein, plus vegan yogurts are cholesterol-free!

What are your favorite vegan yogurt brands? Have you tried to make one yourself? How was it? Let me know in the comment section below. And don’t forget to share this article in your favorite social media platform.

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