The yogurt aisle is full of options – ones that feature quality ingredients, and ones that simply don't. From fruit on the bottom options to choices with seemingly decadent mix-ins, yogurt many times appears to be more of a dessert choice – which many should choose sparingly, if at all, especially since those often contain artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors, as well as too much added sugar. Then there are yogurts that offer organic and grass-fed options, and yogurts produced from conventional milk. There's Greek yogurt and "regular" style, as well as drinkables and skyr. Then there's kefir and I'm like is this yogurt or is this milk or a category all of its own? (The answer: it's its own category)
I previously answered your question, “What yogurt is best?” and today would like to focus on four choices I’m loving right now! These four choices are total game-changers in the dairy (and nondairy!) aisle and "go to's" if you'd like to step up your nutrition and health game. Take a peek...
This yogurt is made with almonds. You read that right, almonds. In fact, Kite Hill is the only plant-based company that uses nut milk (instead of milk from an animal) along with cultures, enzymes, salt, and fermentation to create their yogurt. So for those who are allergic, intolerant, sensitive to dairy, or for those who choose to eat a more plant-based diet, this yogurt helps fill that need for a creamy and smooth breakfast or snack choice when paired with a tablespoon or two of nuts/seeds and with fresh berries. The company cares about the environment and health, too. Oh, did I mention they also make plant-based “cheeses,” and cream cheese style spreads?! Swoon!
Maple Hill Creamery yogurts feature yogurts from 100% grass-fed cows. Why is that important? When cows are grass-fed vs. grain-fed their milk features a healthier ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids, and also includes ALA, EPA, DPA (good-for-you omega-3 fatty acids), as well as CLA, in higher amounts. (Source). While the plain is my favorite choice for adding in your own fresh fruit and nut mix-ins, others can be great choices too since these yogurts do not use artificial colors or flavorings, but rather ingredients like real vanilla bean extract, organic strawberries, and wild blueberries from Maine.
From Maple Hill to another hill, Blue Hill yogurt stands as a not-so-typical yogurt option as it's made with grass-fed cows milk and vegetables like carrots, sweet potato, and beet. The flavors range from savory, to earthy, and even sweet (oh hey there, parsnip yogurt). Their site also shows you tasty ways to include yogurt as an ingredient in menu choices including Carrot-Ginger Soup and Roasted Brussels Sprout Salad with Toasted Pecans and Raisins.
4) Homemade Options
Make your own plant-based yogurt with a Yogurt Maker, as pictured at right. You can crack open your favorite probiotic capsule (hopefully one that offers a diverse mix of the good gut-bugs) as the "starter" so that each batch you make contains live & active cultures (as you'd find in your typical yogurt choices). Click the links to try these recipes for cashew yogurt, coconut milk yogurt, or almond milk yogurt.
Which one of these yogurts do you love - or which will you try first? Comment below - I love to hear your thoughts!