As a busy mom I am always looking for healthy and easy breakfasts and snacks. Yogurt is a great option but there are SOO many to choose from and not all are great. Then add in if you need to be dairy-free and it can leave your brain spinning. I have made finding the best dairy-free yogurts easy! No need for you to spend a ton of time and money trying them all, I did it for you!
Now, I haven’t always had to be dairy-free. After the birth of my first daughter, who is now 7, I developed an intolerance to all things made with cow’s milk. Good news, I can still enjoy goats and sheep’s milk cheese! Bad news, my favorite yogurts now came with some undesirable side effects and I was unpleasantly surprised when I switched to dairy-free versions. While they have come a long way over the past 7 years (and I have tried pretty much all of them searching for my new favorite) some are better than others.
Let’s break down what to look for on the label and why. And then I’ll give you my opinion on the best to choose from!
What to look for on the label
When standing in the ever expanding dairy aisle, your head may start spinning before you even get to the label! The next time you go shopping here are some things to keep in mind as you scan the label looking for the best dairy-free yogurts.
Added Sugar: All yogurt is going to contain a little sugar but what you want to look for is the added sugar. The fruit flavored yogurts are going to have more than the plain, so when comparing I used the plain when available to keep it as level of a playing field as possible. Plain can be harder to find in the stores, it tends to be available in the larger multi-servings containers! If you read the ingredient list and see words like fructose and evaporated cane sugar, those are just other names for sugar. A good quick and easy way to scan is if the yogurt has > 20 g of sugar per serving you have headed into dessert territory and it is no longer a healthful snack.
Ingredient List: More on reading the ingredient list. Look for simple ingredients (this is with ALL foods). Watch for a long list of thickeners (coconut milk is watery), stabilizers, gums (may cause digestive distress) and other additives. If you can’t pronounce it (with the exception of the probiotics listed as those can be hard to pronounce), don’t buy it.
Protein Content: The protein content is going to vary again by the type of dairy-free milk used but if you want your yogurt to serve as a filling breakfast or snack it should include at least some protein. Otherwise you will likely be hungry again soon after. If it’s on the low side you can add some nuts or nut butter to
Fat: Most regular cows milk yogurts come in full, low, and non-fat varieties. Non-dairy milks vary in fat depending on the type of milk: almond, coconut, cashew, soy, and oat. Don’t worry so much about the fat content, they don’t tend to be high and will help keep you feeling satiated.
Avoid any of the yogurts that come with the add-ins. They are loaded with added sugar. Add your own flavor-boosters at home with fresh fruit, nuts, cinnamon etc.
Best Dairy-Free Yogurts
After comparing their nutritional content, taste and texture (these will be personal preference) these are the top 8 best dairy-free yogurts. They have a great protein content (> 6g) , low in added sugar (many have 0!), the ingredients are easy to understand, and many contain probiotics. And very importantly, I like the taste and texture! They are thick enough to mimic the texture of the cow’s milk yogurts I loved.
Least Favorite Dairy-Free Yogurts
After comparing their nutritional content, taste and texture (these will be personal preference) these are the bottom 8 least favorites. Many of these contained very low protein (<6 g) which will be leaving you hungry, higher amounts of added sugar (some with 16g!) , the Oui fruit flavored has the jelly based fruit on the bottom (yuck!) , I didn’t love the taste and/or texture, and lastly may be harder to find locally.
All the nutrition information I looked at was found directly on the company websites. Flavors and varieties may change but based on what I found today and what I have locally in my stores these are the best dairy-free yogurts for both you and your kids! Add fruit, spices, granola, make the plain versions into savory dips or marinades. Get creative and have fun!
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