I must admit, yogurt and I never really got off on the right foot. When I was ten, I had a bad case of strep throat- which I was required to required to remedy with regular doses of penicillin. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of taking penicillin knows that the pills both are massive and taste absolutely putrid. My dad thought he could "sneak" the pills into my diet by crushing them up and adding them to, you guessed it, yogurt. Even today, tasting yogurt with even a remotely chunky texture brings back vivid (and unpleasant) memories.  

Despite my bad childhood association with yogurt, I've come to appreciate it as a fresh breakfast component. I enjoy the nuanced flavor and how well it highlights toppings (e.g., granola, nuts, seeds, and fruit). The challenge comes with finding a yogurt with the perfect smooth, creamy, and delicious texture that I can enjoy. Oh, and did I mention- it can't include dairy? 

Believe it or not, there are a plethora of vegan yogurt options on the market. Companies have taken to the consumer craze for plant-based alternatives: some of which have clearly been more successful than others. Here are some of the most common yogurt alternatives: 

Coconut Yogurt

Coconut milk yogurt is my absolute favorite vegan yogurt base. It's just as creamy as dairy and only contains slight, non-overpowering coconut flavor. The creaminess comes from a very high saturated fat content- which is great if you need a boost of fats to keep you going through the day. 

My favorite low-sugar brand of coconut yogurt is from the The Collaborative. They offer plain, vanilla, blueberry, and mango & passion-fruit single-serve flavors- all with less than 5g of sugar each. SoDelicious Coconut Yogurt is also a good (B12-fortified) option; their plain & unsweetened variety comes in with less than 100 calories per serving. 

Many companies load up their yogurt with sugar to enhance the flavor, but it ultimately just adds excess calories. I recommend looking for yogurts with less than 5g of sugar per serving; if you want to make your breakfast a little sweeter, consider adding sliced fruit or maple syrup (so you can control how much is added). If you're building a yogurt bowl, you should also consider how much fat, protein, and calories are in your toppings. For this bowl, I used vanilla yogurt from The Collaborative, sliced strawberries, and Grandy Oats Grain-Free Super Hemp Blend Coco-granola. 

Sara Klimek

Cashew Yogurt

Cashew yogurt comes in at a close personal second to coconut yogurt. It's much thicker than coconut-based yogurt, partially because it has a slightly higher protein content. 

I'm particularly fond of Forager's cashew yogurt. It contains very low sugar and I've found it to be a good replacement for regular dairy yogurt. It's a great smoothie base because it's smooth, cream, and doesn't have the similar coconut aftertaste that other yogurts have. 

Almond Yogurt

Almond yogurt sounds good in theory, especially considering the societal shift towards almond milk lattes. However, almond milk is my personal least favorite yogurt option because of how dry, nutty, and chalky it can be. Granted, I've only tried Silk's plain almond milk yogurt in the past, but I thought it both tasted and smelled like ripe tree bark. To be honest, I haven't gone back since. 

Almond yogurt does provide slightly more protein than cashew and coconut yogurt (6g in a 5.3oz container). 

Soy Yogurt 

If you're looking for a protein-packed non-dairy yogurt, soy is your best option. Simply Plain soy yogurt has 140 calories and a whopping 10g of protein per serving. I do have a couple personal reservations about soy yogurt though: most of them regarding their taste. If you've ever had a soy latte, you'll probably remember the face you made when you asked "what the HECK is in this?" Soy has a very distinct and almost indescribable taste. If you try soy yogurt, you have to be really open to the distinct taste of soy milk. 

Oat Yogurt

Yes- it's a thing. 

Nancy's oat milk yogurt contains 6g of protein in every seven ounce container. This protein comes from both the oat base and fava beans. It's also gluten-free and vegan! If you're looking for oat yogurt on-the-go, check out O!my's drinkable oat milk yogurt. One serving contains half of the B12 you need daily, as well as more than 20% of your recommended daily fiber intake.