Just Another Plant-Based Yogurt Or Exactly Like The Real Thing?
Putting away my “you can never have too much cheese” kitchen towel was the hardest part of my new dairy-free diet. I’d discovered dairy and I couldn’t be friends anymore, and changing my eating habits had been both physically and emotionally difficult.
Going out with friends meant scrutinizing the menu beforehand and all my basic go-to recipes had to be reworked. I was also getting bored of my afternoon carrots-n-hummus snack.
I knew my best friend had gotten really into blogs and Facebook groups for prenatal nutrition recommendations, so I searched similar places for dairy alternatives.
Thankfully, people were great at recommending what they like and even better at letting readers know what’s not worth it. My venture into dairy-free cheese wasn’t a success, but I didn’t even know there were options like dairy-free yogurts.
Apparently, no company had gotten the texture right (surprise, surprise), but one person was adamant that a newer brand called Culina has figured out the secret formula. While many other brands use soy or nuts like cashews as a base, Culina uses organic coconut, agar (a high-mineral algae), and probiotic cultures.
I looked them up and love that they offer a range of interesting flavors: Bourbon Vanilla, Blueberry Lavender, Sour Cherry Almond, Peach Cashew Butter, Mango Orange Blossom, Strawberry Rose, Pink Grapefruit, and of course, a Plain & Simple.
Culina’s founder is a woman who also went through the grieving process of losing certain foods. So I was a bit hopeful they’d understand the struggle.
Culina is sold at Sprouts Farmers Market and Whole Foods locations. So, although I was expecting to be disappointed yet again by another dairy-free brand, I picked up three flavors from the refrigerated section, right next to the dairy yogurts.
The glass jars were pretty, so even if I didn’t like the flavor, I’d still find a way to reuse them.
I tried the Strawberry Rose flavor first. I’m not a fan of floral flavors since they usually taste like perfume, but it was their OG flavor, so I was curious. At first glance, it looked just like dairy-based yogurt. Mixing it up with a spoon, it seemed identical to the texture of regular yogurt, so I double-checked the label just in case (yup, all plant-based!).
Digging in, I was blown away; it was delicious! Definitely not too perfumey, not too sweet, and just like yogurt.
The probiotics are great for gut health, but more importantly, I could eat yogurt again! It’s a great snacking size or a perfect breakfast with fruit and granola. I bought the Plain & Simple version to see if it made a good savory base, and it’s great with cucumber and spices as a dip for chicken.
My other pick was the Bourbon Vanilla and it’s incredible, especially with chopped pecans mixed in.
Check your local Whole Foods, Sprouts, or health food store for Culina. I can’t imagine there’s another plant-based yogurt as good as this one! Even if I could eat dairy tomorrow, I love these flavors so much, I’d stick with Culina!