Almond milk yogurt is made by adding live cultures to almond milk and letting the mixture ferment. Unlike dairy based yogurt, almond milk yogurt is suitable for vegans and people who do not eat dairy products. Some types of almond milk yogurt are flavored while others are plain. The yogurt is different nutritionally than dairy yogurt or even soy yogurt.
As with traditional dairy yogurt, almond milk yogurt is produced by heating almond milk to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). A yogurt starter, which is a bacterial culture, is then added to the milk. The almond milk rests in a warm spot or yogurt maker for around eight hours, which allows it to ferment and develop into yogurt.
Sometimes, almond milk yogurt may need to be thickened or drained before it can achieve a yogurt-like consistency. Commercial brands of yogurt may add thickeners and gums to the yogurt to make it thick, which can impact the texture of the yogurt. Almond milk yogurt can be drained with cheesecloth and a sieve, much like Greek yogurt, to thicken it.
Unlike dairy yogurt, yogurt made from almond milk is not high in calcium, and many commercial brands don't have any calcium at all. Almond yogurt is also low in iron and vitamins A and C. It has less fiber and protein than both soy and dairy based yogurts. Some brands may only have 1 gram of protein per serving while others have up to 4 grams.
Almond milk yogurt contains less fat than dairy yogurt in some cases. A 6 ounce (170 g) serving of yogurt contains about 6 grams of fat, only one of which is saturated fat. Since the yogurt is plant-based and does not contain animal ingredients, it does not contain any cholesterol.
Depending on the flavor of the yogurt, it may have a lot of sugar. Some almond milk yogurts are fruit flavored and sweetened with fruit juice. Others are sweetened with agave nectar, which is a vegan sweetener that is sweeter than white sugar.
Like standard yogurt, almond milk yogurts have added beneficial bacteria. The number of cultures in the yogurt varies from brand to brand. Some have six cultures, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Streptococcus thermophilus,and Lactobacillus bulgaricus. To be labeled as yogurt in the United States, the food must contain at least Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus.