Sunday, November 28, 2010

Getting to Know Soy Yogurt: A Love Affair.

Soy yogurt gave me a bad first impression. It's taken me a long time to call it in for a second interview. Greek yogurt and I are officially over, but that doesn't mean I don't still think about a giant bowl of fresh fruit with granola and slopes of uncharted yogurt territory.

To cope, I had to experiment. I learned that I did not like So Delicious Coconut Milk yogurt. The consistency and the tang were both off. I came across something amazing, the One Lucky Duck Parfait, which layered the house granola (watch my video review here), blueberries, and a thick coconut meat yogurt that had the body of a true Greek and a rich flavor. High bliss, but I couldn't exactly move to NYC because of my yogurt cravings, now could I? I have the recipe, but that's another post.

I scanned the shelves again, grabbed two brands, both vanilla flavor, that I had not tried, and figured: If I hated both, at least I could vent my frustrations via On the Vedge.

The Contenders:

WholeSoy Organic
Stonyfield Organic O'Soy

Both yogurts were 99 cents for 6 oz containers.

O'Soy bills itself as "smooth and creamy", and after you stir it with a spoon to thicken it, it is true to its word. The naturally sweetened product with organic milled sugar has 6 live active cultures and 7 grams of protein at 150 calories and 3 grams of fat, 21 grams of sugar, 15% calcium. It comes in both smooth and creamy and fruit on the bottom varieties. 

The major DOWNSIDE: It's not vegan! Yep, after I had tasted it and tweeted how delicious it was, one of my readers quickly pointed out that there is in fact, dairy in the product. I missed that while I was scanning the product and was really let down to find this out. Really, Stonyfield, what's the point here?

So I added a new contender.

Silk Live!

Silk Live! gets its sweetness from evaporated cane juice, has !!!!! live cultures, and contains 150 calories and 3 grams of fat, 18 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. Calcium is a nice 30%.  It is available in 9 flavors. It's not labeled as organic, but contains organic soymilk and organic cane juice. It is only ten cents cheaper, at 89 cents for a 6 oz container.

WholeSoy is sweetened with evaporated cane juice and also contains live active cultures. It spoons out at 160 calories with 4 grams of fat, 18 grams of sugar, 7 grams of protein, and 35% calcium. All are similar, but WholeSoy gets the edge with its calcium content, a key nutrient that I look for. There are several flavors to choose from.

Tasting Time: 

I decided to layer the yogurts in parfait glasses with granola topped with a couple of carob chips and a drizzle of agave. That's how I take it.

The O'Soy was luscious. It tasted like soy, but didn't have an aftertaste. Oddly, it reminded me of the first time I tasted soymilk. Banana pudding also came to mind. I polished off the parfait, finding it very satisfying. It's a shame it's not vegan. Because look how delicious it was:

The WholeSoy was smooth, not as thick as the O'Soy and the vanilla flavor was not as pronounced, but it was very good. There was no soy aftertaste. Because it is actually vegan, it beats O'Soy by default. But if O'Soy were vegan, I would probably choose that instead.

The WholeSoy:

When it came time to sample Silk Live!, I no longer had any hesitation. I knew that it would not be a horrible experience. 

While it tasted similar to the other contenders, it had a thinner consistency, as shown by the trickle of agave nectar above, which the body of the yogurt could not hold. I still enjoyed my parfait.

The Victor:

Whole Soy. I will be purchasing Whole Soy because the consistency is thicker than the Silk Live! and the reassuring labeling that it is made with organic soybeans. It also contained the most calcium at 35%.

*Soy Yogurt Tip: My initial bad impression of soy yogurt happened because I did not whip it first. Each yogurt above was stirred in a whisking motion to give it the most body and a smooth, whipped texture. If you don't do this and try eating it, your first spoonful will be watery and off-putting.

*Soy Yogurt Tip #2: I always pour my yogurt into a bowl or small glass. By taking an extra minute to serve yourself something that looks a lot more appealing than a plastic cup, you will be that much more satisfied. 

Do you enjoy soy yogurt? What's your go-to brand? Have you ever tried making your own?

My one recommendation to any soy yogurt producers: Develop a Greek-style yogurt.


Natalie said...

I go through soygurt phases - I enjoy it with fresh berries and granola in the early summer and sometimes I like to swirl it into my oatmeal in the winter to give it some body and a very creamy texture. I have always used Silk for two reasons: I didn't know Whole Soy was completely vegan, but I think I remember the texture being a little grainy - maybe they've fixed that since last I tried it. The other reason is one of the specific live cultures I've only found in "real" yogurt and Silk is L. rhamnosus, which helps alleviate my eczema.

kellywhitephillips said...

WholeSoy is certified vegan and has live cultures as well but not L. Rhamnosus. I would buy Silk Live again, but I do prefer the WholeSoy.

sweet swallows said...

Whole soy is my go-to brand for snacking and baking. I like the consistency and the flavors. I've never been a fan of Silk. It always seemed to have a weird aftertaste to me.

Miss Rachel's Pantry said...

Whole Soy for me! Aside from liking the taste (though I tend to sprinkle in cereal because all yogurt consistency skeeves me), it's almost always on sale at Whole Foods.

The Kuntrageous Vegan said...

I love the Whole Soy plain flavor, I hate all other non-dairy yogurts of all flavors. They're like pudding, or just freaking nasty/chemically

kellywhitephillips said...

Glad to hear the good feedback on the Whole Soy. Soy yogurt is half the cost of Greek yogurt, which is like a nice little bonus.

There a few other brands I want to try, one is Wildwood Probiotic. Have any of you tried that?

runningphoodie said...

I think yogurt is one of the hardest things for me to give up going vegan. I have never liked any of the non-dairy yogurts that I've tried, be it soy, rice, or coconut. My ricera yogurt review I didn't even like the Whole Soy, but I only tried one flavor so maybe I should give it another shot. I was a big fan of Icelandic yogurt and nothing vegan even comes close. I miss how thick and tart it was. Why are all the non-dairy yogurts so overly sweet? Let me know if you ever discover a faux Greek-style that tastes good!

Anonymous said...

O'soy is vegan... It says it's "live cultures" are milk-derived. You're not going to find a yogurt on this planet that doesn't have "milk-derived cultures."
The bacteria that makes yogurt doesn't exist anywhere else in nature. The companies that claim their cultures are vegan, like Silk and Whole Soy, have just been breeding their cultures for generations, distancing them from their milk-derived ancestors.

Anonymous said...

now vegan