How to Eat a Pomegranate
November 4, 2014 – 7:51 pm | No Comment

Some foods are just plain intimidating, and I’ve historically counted whole pomegranates among them.
Unlike other fruits, whose edible flesh lies directly under the skin, a pomegranate’s edible part is actually the hundreds of little juice-filled …

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Home » GFF (Gluten-free friendly), No lactose? No problem.

Almond Milk Yogurt

Submitted by on July 3, 2011 – 5:17 pm5 Comments
 

Before we venture further on our collective quest for lactose-free, soy-free yogurt options, let’s recap the ground we’ve covered thus far:

  • We’ve established that Greek-style strained yogurts have about 40-50% less lactose than comparable regular dairy yogurts, and that while not 100% lactose-free, they may be a good option for the mildly lactose-intolerant.
  • I’ll caveat this with a warning that a few so-called Greek Style yogurt brands, such as Cabot and Yoplait, jack up their protein content by adding additional milk protein concentrate rather than by straining the yogurt fully. These products are NOT as low-lactose as a true Greek Style yogurt and may not be as well-tolerated by the sensitive guts amongst us.
  • We’ve also decided that Coconut Milk-based yogurt is pretty delicious and makes a good, lactose-free, dairy-free alternative.

But if the modern American shopping experience is about anything, it’s about choice. So in case you’re seeking yet *another* option, herein lies my evaluation of Almond Milk yogurt.
I came across a Canadian brand of Almond-milk yogurt from a company called Cascade Fresh, fittingly called Amande, in my local food co-op recently. (While I had previously encountered Almond milk yogurt in a fancy pants brand called Nu-Lait, the product is only available in a handful of health food stores in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Plus each 5.3 oz container has almost 300 calories, over 6 teaspoons of sugar, and isn’t calcium fortified, so I wasn’t exactly seeking it out, either).
Amande comes in plain and seven flavor varieties. Calorie-wise, each 6 oz container is comparable to a typical lowfat dairy yogurt (160 calories). It’s also lower in protein (3 oz, versus about 8g) and higher in fiber (2g from natural gums and pectin, versus 0g) than a typical dairy yogurt. With about 14g of sugar, the flavored varieties come in significantly lower than most flavored dairy yogurts, which typically range from 17g to 24g… and sometimes even close to 30g. (Though 14g, which is 3.5 tsp, is still a bit higher than I like to see).  As a cultured product, it should have similar probiotic benefits as yogurts made from cow’s milk or coconut milk.
But unlike Soymilk and Coconut-milk based yogurts, Amande is not calcium fortified at all: it contains 0% of the daily value for calcium. Which strikes me as odd and sort of belies one of the key reasons people eat yogurt. Given what this product brings to the table nutritionally, I almost wonder if eating a handful of actual almonds wouldn’t be a more nutritious snack…? For just 40 more calories, 1 quarter-cup serving of actual almonds has no sugar, more protein (7g), more fiber (4g) and even more calcium (9% of the daily value)! Plus, the almonds are a great source of heart-healthy Vitamin E and magnesium, two additional nutrients lost in the conversion to almond milk yogurt.
To sum it up, I think Almond Milk yogurts in their current commercial renditions are the least nutritionally compelling lactose-free yogurt option available. If you like the taste and enjoy it as a treat, you could certainly do worse for a snack. But if you’re in the market for a product to deliver comparable nutritional benefits as a dairy-based yogurt, almond milk yogurt falls short of the mark.

**2012 update: Amande Yogurt is now, apparently, fortified with calcium!  Go for it with gusto, my vegan friends!

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5 Comments »

  • Jackie says:

    No calcium is definitely a bummer but if I can find a yogurt I can tolerate, I’m willing to make the sacrifice. Do you happen to know if the plain/vanilla flavors are similar to commercial almond milk?
    I know I’m a little late to the blog, but thanks for the low/no-lactose yogurt ideas! My most tolerated brand has been discontinued in every store in my town and I’ve been searching in vain for something that won’t make me miserable. I love almond milk, so this is super-helpful! :)

  • Tamara says:

    Jackie: Not sure what you mean by “similar” to Almond Milk… flavorwise? I’ve only had the flavored varieties because that’s what my local market carries. The coconut would probably be closest to a Vanilla/plain, though, I would think? The coconut flavor was really coconut such that the base flavor (Almond Milk) was muted… which is very different from, say, a soymilk yogurt where you taste that beany base no matter what. The texture was OK; more gelatinous and less creamy than a dairy yogurt for sure, but certainly in the yogurty neighborhood.

  • Naomi says:

    I just ate a 6oz cup of the coconut flavored Amande and the cup says that there is 30% of the daily value of calcium.

  • Tamara says:

    Wow– I wonder if they changed the formula recently? When it first hit the US market, it definitely wasn’t calcium fortified…I will be sure to look into this… could be a great option for the vegan crowd if it is now. Thanks for letting me know!

  • Sharyn says:

    For the seriously lactose intollerant, plain almond yogurt minus the calcium, is still a real treat. Because it has a neutral taste (don’t like coconut) and has probiotic benefits, it has become part of my daily diet….along with calcium supplements.

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