One of the things I miss the most about no longer eating dairy is yogurt. In fact, I miss yogurt more than cheese – while the later was an indulgence I enjoyed occasionally (Red Hawk anyone?), yogurt was an everyday staple. In fact, breakfast had pretty much always included some sort of yogurt my entire life, as did at least one snack a day. In the few years before cutting out dairy, Greek yogurt was my preference, and it was a significant source of protein in my diet. I would buy a large size (16oz? it has been so long) and portion out to reduce the number of tiny yogurt cups I added to the environment (sidenote, I am not as environmentally conscious as I should be, but when my yogurt habit included 2 yogurts most days, even I could see the benefit of buying a larger size).
I did try most of the soy yogurts out there after I cut out dairy, but they were either loaded with cane sugar or evaporated cane juice or tasted awful to me. One thing I also do not like about non-dairy yogurts is that they contain thickeners like tapioca starch or rice starch or carrageenan, which I try to not eat on an everyday basis. I do like the some of the So Delicious Coconut Yogurts – the Raspberry and Chocolate ones are both lovely – but they taste like dessert to me, so I eat them accordingly, meaning very rarely.
So I was intrigued by Amande, which is made by Cascade Fresh, as it is fruit juice sweetened, a tiny bit lower in sugar, and devoid of carrageenan. I bought and tried all four flavors available at Whole Foods (blueberry, strawberry, peach and cherry) though I really wish the coconut vanilla flavor was available (it is available at Roots, which I visited when I went to Great Sage with Katie and Gena), as that would be the one I would be more likely to buy, as non-organic coconut is fine, but berries and peaches are on the dirty dozen and I did not like the cherry flavor (I rarely like cherry flavored anything so that is no surprise).
Bottom line, the pluses of Amande:
- Fruit-juice sweetened instead of cane-sugar sweetened
- Shorter ingredient list
- No carrageenan
- Gluten-free. vegan, dairy-free, soy-free
- No organic fruit
- No 16oz size available
- Still contains gums and starches
Having said all that, while these will not become an everyday or even every-month staple, I will still buy the coconut flavor when I find it and eat it with cacao nibs to offset the sweetener, and may occasionally buy the strawberry or blueberry ones for travel snacking. I could see the single-portion snack being handy for long road-trips.
General Disclosures & Disclaimers