No. Actimel, a UK-based yogurt brand, is not dairy-free. It has the following ingredients.
Yogurt (Milk), Skimmed Milk, Sugar/ Liquid Sugar, Dextrose, Milk Mineral Concentrate, Lactobacillus casei (L. casei Danone®), Vitamins (B6, D).
Hence, it is not dairy-free or vegan. However, it is vegetarian.
Don’t worry; plenty of excellent brands offer dairy-free yogurt. Moreover, you can also make plant-based milk at home to avoid cross-contamination and control the recipe.
The good news is that some of Actimel’s products are dairy-free.
- Actimel Blueberry
- Actimel Mango-Fruit Passion
Actimel is a UK-based brand. It is not commonly available in the US. You may find it at some specialty stores. However, it is too costly.
Dairy-Free Yogurt Brands
Known for its coconut milk products, So Delicious offers a range of dairy-free yogurts made from organic coconuts. They’re vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO Project verified.
Kite Hill uses artisan almond milk to make its creamy, dairy-free yogurts. They have various flavors and are known for their high-quality, plant-based ingredients.
Silk, well known for its soy milk, also offers a line of dairy-free yogurts made from soy, almond, and oat milk. Their yogurts are vegan, gluten-free, and available in various flavors.
Forager Project offers cashew-based dairy-free yogurts. They focus on organic and minimally processed ingredients and offer a range of unique flavors.
Nancy’s Probiotic Foods
Nancy’s offers a line of dairy-free oat milk yogurts teeming with live probiotics. They are known for their commitment to gut health and wholesome ingredients.
Cocoyo by GT’s Living Foods
This is a raw coconut yogurt brand known for its high probiotic content. It’s made with raw, young coconut and offers a tangy, refreshing taste.
Tips for Buying Dairy-Free Yogurt
Check Ingredients: Some dairy-free yogurts may contain traces of dairy or other allergens. Always check the ingredient list to ensure it meets your dietary requirements.
Sugar Content: Dairy-free yogurts can sometimes be high in added sugars. Look for brands with low sugar content or naturally sweetened options.
Probiotic Strains: Yogurt is often consumed for its probiotic benefits. Check the label for live and active cultures to ensure you’re getting these benefits.
Protein Content: Many dairy-free yogurts have less protein than their dairy counterparts. If protein is important to you, look for brands that use higher-protein bases like almond or soy.
Taste and Texture: Dairy-free yogurts can vary greatly in taste and texture. Consider trying a few different brands and types to find one you enjoy.
Sustainability and Ethics: Consider brands prioritizing sustainability and ethical sourcing of ingredients.
Dairy-Free Yogurt Recipe
- 1 can (13.5 oz) full-fat coconut milk
- 2 probiotic capsules
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup or sweetener of choice (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Pour the coconut milk into a clean glass jar.
- Open the probiotic capsules and empty the powder into the jar. Discard the capsule shells.
- Stir the probiotic into the coconut milk using a wooden or plastic spoon (metal can react with the probiotics).
- Cover the jar with cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel and secure with a rubber band.
- Let the jar sit at room temperature (around 70-75°F is ideal) for 24-48 hours. The yogurt should thicken and become tangy.
- Once the yogurt has reached your desired level of tanginess, stir in the sweetener and vanilla extract if using.
- Store in the refrigerator. The yogurt will continue to thicken as it cools.
Dairy-Free Yogurt vs. Dairy-Based Yogurt
Dairy Content: The most obvious difference is that dairy-free yogurt is made without any milk products, making it suitable for those with dairy allergies, lactose intolerance, or those following a vegan diet.
Protein Content: Traditional dairy yogurt usually contains more protein than its dairy-free counterparts. However, certain plant-based alternatives like soy or almond-based yogurts can still offer a good amount of protein.
Probiotic Cultures: Both dairy and dairy-free yogurts can contain probiotics, beneficial bacteria for gut health. However, the specific strains may vary, so check the labels if you’re looking for specific types.
Taste and Texture: Taste and texture can vary greatly among dairy-free yogurts, depending on the plant-based milk used. Some may find the taste or texture different from dairy yogurt.
Nutrient Profile: Dairy yogurt is a good source of calcium, vitamin B12, and other nutrients. Dairy-free yogurt nutrients can vary depending on the base (soy, almond, coconut, etc.), and they are often fortified to match the nutritional profile of dairy yogurts.
Environmental Impact: Dairy-free yogurts often have a lower environmental impact compared to dairy yogurts, as plant-based products typically require less water and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than dairy products.
Lactose Content: Dairy-free yogurt is ideal for those who are lactose intolerant as it contains no lactose, unlike standard yogurt, which can sometimes cause digestive issues for these individuals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Actimel yogurt or milk?
Actimel, also known as DanActive in the United States, is a probiotic yogurt-type drink produced by the French company Danone. While it is made from fermented milk, it’s marketed as a yogurt drink due to its texture and taste.
Is Greek yogurt dairy-free?
Traditional Greek yogurt is not dairy-free, as it’s made from cow’s milk. However, there are dairy-free alternatives available on the market that use plant-based ingredients and mimic the texture and taste of Greek yogurt.
Is dairy-free yogurt healthier?
Whether dairy-free yogurt is healthier depends on individual dietary needs and the specific product. For those with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance, dairy-free is certainly healthier. However, some dairy-free yogurts can be high in added sugars, while others may lack the protein and certain nutrients in dairy yogurt.
Is yogurt vegan?
Traditional yogurt made from animal milk is not vegan. However, many vegan yogurts are available made from plant-based milks such as almonds, soy, coconut, and oat. These are suitable for those following a vegan diet.