What once constituted a shelf or two in the dairy department of the local grocery store has transformed into an endless selection of yogurt and yogurt-like products available in every flavor and variety imaginable. No matter how you want it — low-fat, no-fat, plain, flavored, Greek, soy or vegan — you can buy it.
With a fit for every taste, yogurt maintains a stellar reputation as a snack, breakfast food and weight-loss tool. But with so many options, it’s tough to know what to buy. Use this helpful guide to determine which yogurts fit your snacking and cooking needs.
Greek yogurt packs a punch, offering almost twice the amount of protein found in regular yogurt. What’s the difference, you ask? Greek yogurt is strained three times, making it thicker than regular yogurts, which are only strained twice.
Its thick, creamy texture makes Greek yogurt the perfect alternative to mayo, heavy cream and sour cream in any number of dishes. We especially like using it to make lightened-up potato salads and chicken salads during the summer. If it’s dessert you crave, try Greek yogurt with honey and fruit — caramelized walnuts only add to the deliciousness.
Soy remains the established nondairy alternative — embraced by vegetarians, lactose-intolerants and everyone in between. Made from soybeans, some soy yogurts contain active vegan-based cultures, while others have traditional milk-based live cultures. Most brands have around 6 grams of protein per serving, and unlike some other yogurts, soy yogurts are cholesterol-free.
Soy yogurts are available in a bevy of flavors, making them an excellent choice for snacking or smoothies. You can also sub them for regular yogurt in yogurt-based bread and muffin recipes.
Coconut-based products have exploded in the last year, and yogurt is no exception. Companies are harnessing the nutritional benefits of coconuts like never before, including their “good” saturated fat and concentration of lauric acid, a building block in the human immune system.
Although cultured coconut milk is lower in protein than its yogurt counterparts, it boasts lots of calcium and vitamin B12 — perfect for lactose-intolerant people or vegans who need a dairy-free way to keep their bones strong.
As the new kid on the block, cultured coconut milk isn’t available in quite as many flavors as its more established competitors. But you can find it in fun flavors like mango and piña colada — delicious on their own, or served with fruits or granola in the morning.