Does Almond Milk Yogurt Have Active Cultures? A Full Guide

Are you a fan of yogurt but looking for a dairy-free alternative?

Almond milk yogurt may be just what you’re looking for.

But, does it contain the same beneficial live and active cultures as traditional dairy yogurt?

The answer is yes!

In fact, many plant-based yogurts, including almond milk yogurt, contain the same gut biome-supporting probiotics as natural dairy yogurt.

Keep reading to learn more about the nutritional benefits of almond milk yogurt and how it’s made.

Does Almond Milk Yogurt Have Active Cultures?

Yes, almond milk yogurt does have active cultures.

Similar to traditional dairy yogurt, almond milk yogurt is produced by adding live cultures to almond milk and allowing the mixture to ferment. The bacterial cultures feed on the sugar in the almond milk, creating a tangy and creamy yogurt-like consistency.

While the specific species and amounts of probiotics may vary between brands, all vegan yogurts contain beneficial bacteria that support gut health. Some common strains found in almond milk yogurt include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Streptococcus thermophilus, and Bifidobacteria.

It’s important to note that not all almond milk yogurts are created equal. Some commercial brands may add thickeners and gums to the yogurt to make it thick, which can impact the texture of the yogurt. Additionally, some flavored varieties may contain added sugars, so it’s important to read the label and choose a brand with minimal added sugars.

What Are Live And Active Cultures?

Live and active cultures, also known as probiotics, are beneficial bacteria that can help support a healthy gut. These cultures are naturally found in foods like yogurt, kefir, and fermented vegetables.

In the case of almond milk yogurt, live and active cultures are added to the almond milk during the fermentation process. These cultures feed on the sugar in the almond milk, producing lactic acid and creating the characteristic tangy flavor of yogurt.

Consuming foods with live and active cultures can help promote a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut, which is important for digestion and overall health. Probiotics have been shown to improve symptoms of digestive issues like bloating, gas, and constipation, as well as boost immune function and even improve mental health.

It’s important to choose almond milk yogurts that contain live and active cultures to reap these benefits. Look for brands that specifically mention the presence of probiotics on the label, and avoid those that have been heat-treated or pasteurized, as this can kill off the beneficial bacteria.

How Do Live And Active Cultures Benefit Our Gut Health?

Live and active cultures in yogurt, including almond milk yogurt, contain beneficial bacteria that can support gut health in a variety of ways. These bacteria fall into two categories: prebiotics and probiotics.

Prebiotics, such as inulin, are non-digestible components of food that stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the gut and inhibit the growth of bad bacteria. Probiotics, on the other hand, are live microorganisms that are intended to have health benefits when consumed. Probiotics can be found in yogurt and other fermented foods, dietary supplements, and beauty products.

When consumed regularly, probiotics can help restore the natural balance of gut bacteria. This balance is important because under normal or “balanced” conditions, friendly bacteria in the gut outnumber the unfriendly ones. Probiotics can act as gut-beneficial bacteria that create a physical barrier against unfriendly bacteria. They can also help offset the bacterial imbalance caused by taking antibiotics. Antibiotics kill good bacteria along with the harmful ones, often leading to gas, cramping or diarrhea.

Some of the benefits of consuming live culture yogurt include lowering the risk of certain disease conditions such as type 2 diabetes, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, obesity, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Live cultures also play a variety of important roles in the body, such as supporting our digestion and absorption, supporting our cardiovascular and metabolic health, ensuring our immune system functions optimally, balancing our immune responses, protecting us against harmful bacteria and other organisms, and helping us excrete substances like hormones and cholesterol.

What Are The Nutritional Benefits Of Almond Milk Yogurt?

Almond milk yogurt is a great alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan. It is a good source of vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that may combat inflammation and stress in the body. Vitamin E may also help protect against heart disease and cancer, and it may benefit bone and eye health. Additionally, almond milk yogurt contains healthy fats that can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Compared to low-fat vanilla cow’s-milk yogurt, almond milk yogurt delivers more fiber and less saturated fat and sodium. Although it contains more total fat, it is the healthy kind. However, it does contain more calories and less protein than cow’s-milk yogurt. It is important to choose a brand with minimal added sugars and thickeners to get the most nutritional benefits from almond milk yogurt.

How Is Almond Milk Yogurt Made?

Making almond milk yogurt at home is a simple process that requires minimal ingredients and equipment. The first step is to make almond milk by blending raw almonds with fresh water and a sweetener of your choice, such as maple syrup. The mixture is then strained through a nut milk bag to remove any pulp.

Next, the almond milk is combined with a thickener such as arrowroot or agar agar, and heated on low-medium heat until it reaches a temperature of around 85°C/185°F. This process takes around 30-40 minutes and requires occasional stirring to prevent the milk from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Once the temperature has been reached, the mixture is removed from heat and allowed to cool down to around 45°C/113°F. This temperature is important as it ensures that the heat doesn’t kill the yogurt starter. The starter, which can be a pre-made yogurt or a powder starter dissolved in a bit of milk, is then added to the cooled mixture and gently stirred.

The mixture is then sieved to remove any lumps and poured into sterilized jars. These jars are placed in a warm environment to incubate overnight for best results, with an incubation period of around 12 hours. The longer the fermentation process, the tangier the yogurt will taste.

After incubation, the yogurt is refrigerated for another 6 hours before consumption. If a thicker and sourer yogurt is desired, it can be incubated for up to 24 hours before being moved to the fridge.

Comparing Almond Milk Yogurt To Traditional Dairy Yogurt.

When comparing almond milk yogurt to traditional dairy yogurt, there are some notable differences in nutritional content. While almond milk yogurt is lower in saturated fat than whole-milk dairy yogurt, it also contains less protein. Some almond milk yogurts may have 11 grams of total fat, but mostly of the healthier unsaturated kind.

In terms of live and active cultures, both almond milk yogurt and traditional dairy yogurt contain beneficial bacteria that support gut health. However, the specific strains and amounts may vary between brands.

When it comes to calcium and vitamin D, traditional dairy yogurt naturally contains these nutrients while almond milk yogurt may be fortified with them. It’s important to check the label to ensure that the almond milk yogurt you choose is fortified with these essential nutrients.