If I had to pick the biggest dairy-free food buzz for 2008, it would be yogurt. That tummy taming food was in the media more times last year than Paris Hilton, and milk-free manufacturers have been working hard to come out with options for those who are milk allergic, lactose challenged, or otherwise adverse to cow’s milk products. First came the soy-based options … followed by a shameful departure from the dairy-free community by O’Soy, which was luckily replaced by a better brand … then came the rice-based versions, and the newly popular coconut-based versions … but wait! There is more. Just when you thought yogurt had reached its boundaries, Nogürt arrived on the scene with a unique blend of ingredients and those same probiotic benefits.
I had the opportunity to sample the blueberry, orange, and pomegranate Nogürt flavors, though it also comes in banana cinnamon (oooh, that one sounds good!) and chocolate. Each little 6-ounce snack is certified organic, vegan, and despite the listing of oat flakes in the ingredients, they do make the gluten-free claim. Check it out for yourself if gluten-free is a concern (see below for the company's feedback on gluten-free). Also, Nogürt contains 4 live and active probiotics (those tummy tamers!). Now how about the taste?
Organic Blueberry: This cheerful purple-blue flavor lacked the traditional tang of yogurt, with “sweet” being the first word that emerged from my lips following my initial spoonful. It was certainly tasty, but more of a dessert in my book than something I could dive into first thing in the morning. The texture was very unique, but pleasant. It was thick and rich, yet not creamy in the traditional sense of yogurt. It had a definite fruit feel that I would describe as a cross between cow’s milk yogurt and smooth applesauce. However, I was told by the folks at Nogurt: “… our food scientist has actually adjusted the preparation procedure to make it more creamy (no new ingredients or adjustments other than method of preparation).” So it seems new batches will be slightly different from, and creamier than, the one I sampled. (I was really hungry when I sampled this one, so sorry, no picture!)
Organic Orange: The Orange Nogurt instantly won me over. The tang of the orange gave it a natural vibe, which counteracted the sugary sweetness I tasted in the blueberry, for a wonderful flavor experience. The texture was the same, mostly smooth, but not what I would call creamy. Unable to resist an afternoon smoothie, I did save half the container to whip up a cool blend. For a Double Orange-Cinnamon Smoothie, blend the orange Nogurt with 1 peeled orange, 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon, and some ice; yum! If I were to spot Nogurt in my local store, this is the flavor I would reach for. (Note on the picture below: The Nogurt was shipped by air to me, so the little containers were warped a bit from the air pressure changes)
Organic Pomegranate: Unfortunately, I believe something went awry with the pomegranate batch. It seemed to be going for the same sweet, slightly fruity, flavor that the blueberry achieved, yet the texture was extremely thick and incredibly pasty. While I never have a problem finishing off just about anything, I had to stop on this one (used the rest for baking, no need for waste!), as the thick, pasty-mouth feel overpowered not only the texture, but also the flavor, and was just not palatable. Considering how smooth the other two flavors were, I think this was just a bad batch that was accidentally loaded with extra arrowroot flour … so I wouldn't hesitate to give it another go with a new batch. If you think I am exaggerating … stick a spoon in it …
Organic Nogurt is labeled as “No Eggs, No Nuts, No Dairy, No Soy, No GMO,” but what it does contain is (for the orange flavor, others are similar): Water, Cassava Syrup, Banana Puree, Oat Flour Flakes, Orange Juice Concentrate, Arrowroot Flour, Orange Flavor, Probiotis, DHA Algal Oil.
After I posted this review up, the people at Nogurt sent the following info on the topic of gluten-free:
"Your article raises one issue of concern related to whether Nogurt is truthfully gluten free (as it has oats) which I did want to address. Our products are not just claimed to be gluten free. We are proudly certified as such by the GFCO, which is a division of Gluten Intolerance Group, the only national association promoting the cause of those suffering from Celiac Disease. The GFCO offers companies the voluntary ability to certify a product as gluten free. While the FDA allows 20ppm gluten by self-testing to make a claim as gluten free, the GFCO's standard is 10ppm gluten and only by independent laboratory testing. Because being independently certified as gluten free is imperative to us, every flavor of Nogurt has been independently tested by the GFCO (and is done so quarterly at a minimum), and registers as negative for gluten — meaning that we are below 3ppm gluten, which is the current scientific minimal limit to picking-up a reading on gluten in a product. We would be happy to share the test results with you if you would like, or you can contact the GFCO as to what their certfication means."
Where to Purchase
Nogürt is manufactured by Rich and Wholesome Foods in Boulder, Colorado, and it should gradually be popping up on store shelves. To find out how to get it in your local area, contact the folks at Nogürt via their website: www.nogurt.com.