September 02, 2019 at 02:01PM by CWC
Before ditching dairy, I was nothing short of a yogurt hoarder. I’d go to Costco, grab a huge box of Greek yogurt, and have a solid supply in my fridge at all times. I’ve found that most non-dairy yogurt leaves something to be desired, so I went on the hunt to find the very best one. It wasn’t easy, and let’s just says I ate a lot of yogurt in my exhaustive research, but somebody had to do it.
With cow’s milk taking a backseat, you’re able to choose from a wide variety of options made with oat, almond, cashew, soy, and more. Also cool? With all the probiotics added in, you’re still getting the same gut-friendly strains of bacteria found in the real deal, all without the inflammation often caused by dairy products.
“You don’t have to give up yogurt if you’re giving up dairy,” says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area. “I always recommend opting for ones with as little added sugar as possible—so an unsweetened yogurt, when possible. As with any yogurt, you can add your own sweetness with fruit and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.”
I tried out some of the most popular varieties of non-dairy yogurt and ranked them by taste and texture. Here’s exactly which ones came out on top.
Some of the most popular non-dairy yogurts, ranked
9. Daiya Coconut Cream Yogurt Alternative
Daiya has completely changed the formula of its dairy-free cheeses, upping the taste and meltability—is that a word?—so they’re even more dairy-like. Unfortunately, while I love the brand’s other products and use them regularly, this yogurt isn’t my favorite.
- Flavor: Black Cherry
- Nutrition stats (5.3 ounces): 160 calories, 1 gram fiber, 9 grams sugar (including 8 grams added sugar), 6 grams protein
- Taste: I really wanted to love this black cherry flavor because Daiya is killing it in the dairy-free game, but it tasted more like medicine than a sweet treat and left behind a weird aftertaste. There’s a coconut-based, non-dairy Greek Yogurt version available, which might be a better pick.
- Texture: If you like your yogurts extra-thick, this is it. It’s kind of like a Jell-O and yogurt hybrid: scoopable, thick, and a little clumpy.
- Other flavors available: Peach, strawberry, blueberry, vanilla bean, plain
8. Silk Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternative
Soy milk has always seemed like the most milk-like to me, so it’s no wonder I was a fan of the texture of this yogurt. But despite loving other Silk products (they’re sitting in my fridge as we speak!), I’m not a big fan of this yogurt. Maybe the company’s oat milk and almond milk varieties are better picks.
What a RD thinks of soy milk: “Soy is a complete protein source, which means it contains all the essential amino acids. It’s one of the higher-protein options for alternative milks. A cup of soy milk can contain up to around 9 grams of protein. Many soy milks are fortified with vitamins and minerals, and so you can get about 30 percent of the daily value for vitamin D and 30 percent of the daily value for calcium per cup.” —Amy Gorin
- Flavor: Strawberry
- Nutrition stats (5.3 ounces): 130 calories, 3.5 grams fat, 2 grams fiber, 13 grams sugar, 6 grams protein
- Taste: I really thought I was going to love the strawberry flavor of this yogurt, but despite listing real strawberries on the ingredients list, it was very artificial-tasting to me. It also left me with a weird aftertaste.
- Texture: The texture was flawless. It wasn’t too runny or too thick, making it feel like I was eating the real deal. In fact, it reminded me a lot of the Go-GURTs I ate as a kid.
- Other flavors available: Peach mango, tropical pineapple, berry, plain, vanilla
7. Coyo Dairy-Free Organic Yogurt Alternative
Because this yogurt is made up of coconut cream, it has triple the calories of some of the alt-dairy yogurt options on this list.
- Flavor: Mixed berry
- Nutrition stats (5.3 ounces): 390 calories, 35 grams fat, <1 gram fiber, 12 grams sugar, 3 grams protein
- Taste: The taste of this yogurt is very interesting. With how bright the color is, I thought it was going to be a blast of flavor, but it’s actually a very, very faint whisper of berry.
- Texture: The texture of this yogurt is thick and very clumpy. You have to mix it up quite a bit before you can take a bite, and even then, it’s still not smooth like other options. To me, it’s more like a fluffy, thick whipped cream consistency than a yogurt consistency, making it a good option for some sort of dessert.
- Other flavors available: Vanilla bean, mango, natural, chocolate
6. Nancy’s Probiotic Oat Milk Non-Dairy Yogurt
If you’re an oat milk fan, you’ll undoubtedly love this yogurt. It’s super creamy, uses wholesome ingredients, and has a texture that could fool just about anyone into thinking they’re eating dairy. It also has a surprising ingredient: faba beans, which give an extra boost of protein.
What a RD thinks of oat milk: “Oat milk tends to be a little higher in calories than some of the other alternative milks. A cup of milk typically provides about 20 percent of the daily value for calcium. You also get some blood-pressure-helping potassium. Oat milk has a creamy texture that very closely resembles that of real milk. Some oat milks are fortified with additional nutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.” —Amy Gorin
- Flavor: Strawberry hibiscus
- Nutrition stats (6 ounces): 110 calories, 1.5 grams fat, 2 grams fiber, 9 grams sugar (including 7 grams added sugar), 6 grams protein
- Taste: Something about this yogurt’s flavor threw me off, and it left me with a weird aftertaste. Upon trying another flavor—blueberry—I think it’s the slight tanginess.
- Texture: The texture of this yogurt is on-point. The oat milk gave it a creaminess and smoothness that’s on the same level as dairy yogurts.
- Other flavors available: Plain, blueberry, vanilla
5. GT’s CocoYO Pure Living Coconut Yogurt
The lid on this yogurt screams “I’m alive” and warns you to open it carefully. And after I did remove it, I have to say: the raw coconut-based product definitely did look alive. Even though I personally wasn’t a fan of the tangy taste, it deserves an all-star rating for its short list of ingredients and nutrition stats.
- Flavor: Raspberry
- Nutrition stats (8 ounces): 160 calories, 12 grams fat, 4 grams fiber, 4 grams sugar, 2 grams protein
- Taste: If you like ridiculously tangy yogurt, this one’s for you. I, unfortunately, was very taken aback and had to…umm, dispose of my mouthful. Props to anyone who can eat it, but personally, it reminds me of what it’s like trying to take a shot of apple cider vinegar: You know it’s good for you, but you don’t like doing it. I wouldn’t expect anything less from GT Dave, and I mean that in the best way possible.
- Texture: It’s very, very thick and creamy—and also airy. When you stick your spoon in, it feels like you’re scooping into a spongey material.
- Other flavors available: Cacao, pure, ginger turmeric, vanilla
Looking for a perfect yogurt to add into your smoothie? This is it. It doesn’t have a crazy-sweet taste like other options, and it’s one of the runniest I tried, making it a great option to mix in with other ingredients and sip up for breakfast.
- Flavor: Blueberry
- Nutrition stats (5.3 ounces): 140 calories, 6 grams fat, 1 gram fiber, 12 grams sugar, 3 grams protein
- Taste: If you like minimal sweetness in your yogurts, this is a great pick. The blueberry flavor is very subtle, and there’s not an artificial, sugary taste in the slightest.
- Texture: This is definitely one of the runniest yogurts. That said, it’s still nice and creamy.
- Other flavors available: Unsweetened plain, strawberry, vanilla, lemon, cherry, coconut
Almond milk is typically my least favorite non-dairy milk, but I’ve gotta say—this yogurt is making me change my mind. It was incredibly smooth and creamy and the vanilla flavor wasn’t at all overpowering or artificial-tasting, making it a great base for smoothies and parfaits.
What a RD thinks of almond milk: “Many almond milks are fortified with vitamins and minerals—so in a cup of milk, you could get around 45 percent of the daily value for calcium, 50 percent of the daily value for vitamin B12, and 25 percent of the daily value for vitamin D. Vitamin D is typically not easy to find in foods.” —Amy Gorin
- Flavor: Vanilla
- Nutrition stats (6 ounces): 190 calories, 10 grams fat, 2 grams fiber, 20 grams sugar (including 19 grams added sugar), 4 grams protein
- Taste: This yogurt has just the right amount of vanilla and sweetness that provides great flavor without being at all overpowering. It’s also a natural not-trying-too-hard flavor, like some of the other vanilla options on the market.
- Texture: It’s thick and creamy. You don’t have to worry this yogurt getting runny.
- Other flavors available: plain, plain unsweetened, peach, blueberry, strawberry, key lime, raspberry
2. Trader Joe’s Creamy Cashew Yogurt
Trader Joe’s is making affordable, dairy-free yogurt accessible to all with one of its latest releases. (Which only sets you back $1.69 each, by the way.) After trying it out, I’m happy to say it holds up to some of the bigger names.
What a RD thinks of cashew milk: “Cashew milk provides small amounts of iron and calcium and is typically low in calories when unsweetened—around 25 to 40 calories a serving. Some cashew milks are fortified with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12 and zinc.” —Amy Gorin
- Flavor: Strawberry
- Nutrition stats (5.3 ounces): 140 calories, 6 grams fat, <1 grams fiber, 12 grams sugar (including 11 grams added sugar), 3 grams protein
- Taste: Unlike some strawberry flavored non-dairy yogurts that are so sweet it’ll make you wince, the flavor here is subtle and satisfying.
- Texture: The texture is smooth, creamy, and a nice in-between of the thick and runny options.
- Other flavors available: Vanilla bean
Key lime was always one of my favorite yogurt flavors, so this one had a lot to live up to. And luckily, it didn’t disappoint. In fact, I think I like it even more than the types I ate regularly in the past.
What a RD thinks of coconut milk: “Unsweetened coconut milk has a nice creamy texture. However, it contains very little or no protein. Most coconut milk beverages are fortified with vitamins and minerals, and so you may get 50 percent of the daily value for vitamin B12 and 30 percent of the daily value of vitamin D per cup.” —Amy Gorin
- Flavor: Key lime
- Nutrition stats (5.3 ounces): 130 calories, 4 grams fat, 2 grams fiber, 17 grams sugar, <1 gram protein
- Taste: This was one of the best flavors of non-dairy yogurt I’ve tried. It was wholesome, well-rounded, didn’t have that artificial taste, and didn’t have a weird aftertaste. It also didn’t taste coconut-y at all, like some coconut milk products do.
- Texture: While the almond and oat milk varieties of yogurt are pretty thick, this one is the perfect happy medium between thick and runny, making it easy to eat on its own or use in other recipes.
- Other flavors available: Plain, vanilla, passionate mango, strawberry, pineapple brûlée, unsweetened vanilla, unsweetened plain, strawberry banana, raspberry, peach, chocolate, blueberry
Here’s why there’s locust bean gum in all your favorite non-dairy foods. Then, check out this go-to guide to picking a non-dairy milk.