For years I’ve lamented the lack of unsweetened dairy-free yogurt on the market. The only brands that appeared previously were soy-based, and even those waffle in and out of availability. But at last there is one that is here to stay (two in fact: Original and Vanilla) and is amazing in every way. Hence my reason for creating these 5 low-sugar dairy-free recipes as an ode to unsweetened dairy-free yogurt.
What makes this yogurt to special? In addition to being dairy-free, it’s vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and all around allergy-friendly, for starters. It also has the perfect creamy consistency and a pleasant versatile taste that is distinctly yogurt-like, but not overly sharp. And the fact that it’s unsweetened makes it extremely useful in savory recipes and allows me to sweeten it however I like (stevia, honey, fruit, you choose!). I buy “unsweetened” everything when possible as it leaves me in control!
Honestly, I could have kept going and going in the kitchen. I’ve still got yogurt “cheese”, tzatziki, yogurt “cheesecake” snacks on deck for the new So Delicious Unsweetened Cultured Coconut Milk (aka dairy-free yogurt!). And these are just the “raw’ applications to preserve the probiotic goodness (it works amazing in cookies, as an egg replacer or where a rich and creamy texture may be helpful). But before things get out of hand, I want to share the first five (well, six, if we’re counting the two versions of cookie dough balls separately) low-sugar dairy-free recipes that we’re loving.
Easiest: 2-Ingredient Low-Fat Onion Dip
When my niece spotted Trader Joe’s all-natural onion dip mix and the instructions that called for exactly 1 pint of plain unsweetened yogurt, we knew we had a winner. Just stir 1 package of dairy-free onion dip mix (this one happens to be vegan, gluten-free and made without top allergens) right into 1 container of the unsweetened cultured coconut milk, and viola – instant dip in it’s own storable package! It also works amazing as a marinade.
Most Comforting: Apple Pie Breakfast Parfaits
For years, I’ve been sweetening sautéed apples naturally, with dates. The end result is this earthy delight that pairs beautifully with layers of dairy-free yogurt, and if desired, chopped nuts or granola. Again, I do use a touch of stevia to sweeten since I’m in control!
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil (can sub your cooking oil of choice)
- 2½ cups chopped or diced apples
- 4 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Generous dash cardamom
- Generous dash nutmeg
- Generous dash salt
- ½ to 1 cup water
- 1 cup unsweetened dairy-free yogurt (I use So Delicious Vanilla)
- 10 drops pure vanilla stevia extract, or desired sweetener to taste
- Chopped nuts or granola, optional
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low to medium heat. Add the apples, dates, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and salt and begin to sauté.
- As the fruit soaks up the oil, add splashes of the water while sautéing to moisten the fruit and prevent sticking. Continue cooking and adding water, as needed, until the apples reach your desired tenderness, and to keep the fruit from sticking (the dates will soften and disintegrate a bit).
- Stir the stevia or sweetener of choice into the yogurt until it reaches your desired sweetness.
- Layer the apples and dairy-free yogurt in 2 parfait glasses or bowls, also alternating with nuts or granola, if desired.
Healthiest: Vegan Yogurt Salad Dressing
Fresh herbs and just squeezed lemon juice give this sugar-free salad topper some serious savory appeal. It’s also low in fat, though I would modify the salt if needed for your diet.
- Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl, starting with 3 tablespoons lemon juice and adding more as desired, until thoroughly combined.
- Store in airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to drizzle on some greens. Will keep for at least a few days chilled.
Creamiest: Strawberry Dairy-Free Frozen Yogurt Smoothie
Taking full advantage of the ripe strawberries just beginning to show their presence in stores, this simple breakfast indulgence or afternoon recharge uses a frozen banana for creamy frozen yogurt appeal. The end result is drinkable or spoonable – since I only use half of a frozen banana, it thickens, but not too much. I do use a touch of sweetener, but personally stick to stevia to add pop to the flavors without added sugars.
- Place all ingredients in your blender and puree until smooth.
- Pour into a tall glass and enjoy with a spoon or straw.
Most Indulgent: Cookie Dough Balls
Oh yes, I found an excuse for enjoying more cookie dough! Chilling, rather than baking, preserves the probiotic goodness of dairy-free yogurt, and these little chocolate chip cookie dough balls also pack in whole grains and use lower glycemic sweeteners. Would I call them healthy? That’s all in your perspective, but I would certainly call them healthier and a worthwhile treat! Note that I’ve also made a recipe for gluten-free oatmeal cookie dough balls (pictured in the background) and linked up to that recipe below.
- 1¼ cups whole white-wheat flour
- ¼ cup coconut sugar, finely ground in a spice grinder (can substitute brown sugar)
- ⅜ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup maple syrup (room temperature)
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- ¼ cup unsweetened dairy free yogurt (I use Vanilla So Delicious)
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup mini dairy-free chocolate chips, or as many as desired
- Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together.
- Add the maple, oil, and vanilla, and stir until thoroughly combined.
- Add the yogurt, and stir until combined.
- Finally, stir in as many chocolate chips as you like.
- Chill the dough for 1 hour.
- Shape into balls (we use a ½ tablespoon for minis or 1 tablespoon for larger) and store in the refrigerator or freezer for enjoying at will.
If you prefer, here is the recipe for the Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookie Dough Balls (click the image!)…