Yogurt has many health benefits, with bacteria that are actually good for you (especially your digestive system). If you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, allergic to milk or avoiding dairy for other reasons, you might be surprised to know you can find yogurt with many of the same health benefits as dairy yogurt without the dairy. Most dairy-free yogurt is made from soy, but you can also find rice yogurts. There are a number of brands of dairy-free yogurt available, and each has a slightly different texture, so you might need to try several different kinds before you find you really like.
Things You'll Need
Buy Dairy-Free Yogurt
Look for dairy-free yogurt in a health food store or the alternative foods section of a large grocery store. You can look online to find out about different brands of dairy-free yogurt, but since it has to be refrigerated, most yogurt isn’t sold online. However, you may be able to special order it from your local grocery store, especially if you ask for a specific product.
Check the ingredient lists on the non-dairy yogurt. If you want yogurt that’s vegan or completely dairy-free, the yogurt cultures should be grown on a non-dairy medium. The yogurt should not have any casein (a protein derived from milk).
Check the nutrition information. Most dairy-free yogurts use soy or rice milk that’s supplemented to offer extra vitamins and minerals. Many soy yogurts offer as much calcium as regular yogurt, or even more. If you’re a vegan, soy yogurt can be a great added source of protein.
Choose a flavor of dairy-free yogurt. You can find large tubs of plain and vanilla yogurt in some stores, as well as small containers of various fruit flavors, such as blueberry, raspberry, cherry, peach, lemon or even cinnamon bun. If you want to use the yogurt for a recipe, you’ll probably want plain or vanilla yogurt.
Pick a brand. You may want to try a couple of different brands of dairy-free yogurt for comparison.
Compare prices. Since it’s a specialty product, dairy-free yogurt may be a little more expensive than other kinds of yogurt, especially if it’s also organic and made from non-genetically modified soybeans (non-GMO). You may be able to save money by buying a larger tub of plain or vanilla yogurt and adding your own fruit flavors.
If you can’t find dairy-free yogurt in your area, or want other choices, you can make your own yogurt using soymilk or rice milk. Make sure to buy yogurt starter that’s grown on a dairy-free medium.
Dairy-free yogurt is also free of cholesterol, since cholesterol comes from animal products.
Not all yogurt sold in the health food store or section is dairy-free. Some yogurt is just organic or made from alternative products like goat’s milk or whole cow’s milk.