Rating: 4.2 out of 5 –
LAVA Plant-Based Yogurt is one of the newer vegan plant-based yogurt options and one of the first plant-based yogurt options made without added sugar. Instead of using sugar, the company CEO and founder, Liz Fisher discovered the pili nut grown in the Philippines was a great buttery nut with a very mild taste. She began blending the pili nut with coconut milk and over time refined the recipe to include young plantains, fruit extracts, and probiotic sources to create a thick, creamy yogurt without dairy, additives, gums or stabilizers. Quite impressive considering every other plant-based yogurt has to use stabilizers and gums to make it thick and creamy and similar in consistency to dairy yogurt. So we know if has a pretty impressive ingredient list and after launching in January 2018 and a product label revamp in January 2019, LAVA yogurt is slated to be a major contender in the vegan yogurt space. Check out LAVA yogurt on Amazon Prime delivered via Whole Foods and try this unique vegan yogurt for yourself… or keep reading to see how it stacks up in terms of taste and nutrition!
Before diving into LAVA Raspberry yogurt, I must say that I love the packaging design! It’s brightly colored and attractive and not ho hum like some other vegan and plant-based yogurt containers. I also really love that the paper wrap comes off the package easily with one tear to make the plastic container easier to recycle!
Ok, so now let’s get into…how does LAVA yogurt taste?? When opening up the raspberry flavor, it smells fruity but it’s a subtle fruity and not a fake or overpowered by sweetness fruity. It’s a soft pink color (no color additives here!) with a slightly fermented smell. Without stirring the LAVA yogurt, I can tell that it’s thicker than many vegan yogurts.
At first bite, I’m actually taken back by the lack of sweetness and more of the traditional tang you’d expect from dairy yogurt. Honestly, the first bite isn’t terrible but it’s not super amazing either. It’s more of a ….trying to figure this taste out confusion. After each consecutive bite, I start to appreciate the tang and lack of sugar although I do think I’d like to add some fruit into the yogurt. I have also tried the LAVA vanilla yogurt and that one is much creamier and smooth in taste compared to the raspberry flavor. In general, the texture is amazing- whippable and smooth creamy dreamy – just the way you’d hope a vegan plant-based yogurt would be! I will say, the taste isn’t 100% as I think it either needs more fruit extract or less of that tang and tart from the probiotics and the raspberry flavor itself. For that reason, I would recommend checking out the LAVA vanilla yogurt over the raspberry flavor and I think you may be pretty happy to find a super tasty and creamy plant-based yogurt without any gums, binders, or added sugars.
Each container of LAVA non-dairy vegan plant-based yogurt in the raspberry flavor contains 140 calories with most of that coming from the 11 grams of fat (7 grams of saturated fat and 0 grams of trans fat). The high fat vegan yogurt helps make it creamy and decadent and is sourced from coconut mostly and the pili nut. In terms of fat and calories, this is an appropriate amount of calories for a snack for most adults but if you need more calories or a bigger snack, stir in fresh or frozen blueberries, a handful of Grape-Nuts, or slivered almonds.
In that same 6oz container, there is only 65mg of sodium which is on the low side for a snack and a vegan plant-based yogurt. In general, nothing about this yogurt tastes salty – it’s slightly sweet with a bigger hit of tart and tang.
There are only 9 grams of total carbohydrate with 1 gram of fiber and no added sugar! The no added sugar piece to LAVA yogurts helps keep overall carbohydrates and calories on the low end. Because probiotic cultures need a source of carbohydrate/sugar to ferment, instead of adding refined sugars and then gums to stabilize the recipe, LAVA uses fruit (raspberries in this case), plantains, and cassava root to help the probiotic strains have a sugar to feed off of and ferment/grow – isn’t that fascinating?! These naturally starchy foods help provide the thickness and also the source of carbohydrates.
When it comes to protein, like many coconut and almond based yogurts, there is very little protein – only 2 grams of protein in each single serving container of LAVA raspberry non-dairy yogurt. So while LAVA has the texture and tang like traditional dairy yogurt, it is missing big time in terms of protein as a yogurt alternative. Now…this can easily be altered by adding hemp seeds, chia seeds, or other high protein nut/seed to the yogurt or simply acknowledge that this variation won’t have as much protein as soy or dairy yogurt and you’ll have to accommodate accordingly, especially if you have elevated protein needs as an athlete or if you are pregnant/nursing.
LAVA yogurt is not fortified with any calcium or vitamin D that you would also find in many vegan plant-based and dairy yogurts. So while yogurt is generally thought of as a good calcium and protein source, that is not the case for the LAVA yogurt varieties. In each single serving container you will still find 4% of each vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron, and 2% calcium. All of this is pretty minimal in the big scheme of things though.
One other important piece of information …. in yogurts of any kind, you’ll see the live cultures on the ingredient list but there’s no way of knowing how many cultures are in the product by the time you purchase and then consume the vegan yogurt. So while it’s important to eat fermented foods, you don’t really know what or how many strains you are consuming in the LAVA non-dairy yogurts.
If you’re looking for a non-dairy vegan yogurt that is rich and creamy like diary yogurt with that subtle tang but you aren’t as concerned about the lack of protein or other vitamins, LAVA makes for an excellent non-dairy option.
LAVA plant-based yogurt comes in a variety of flavors that provides a rich, creamy, decadent texture in every spoonful. Th company prides itself on creating a yogurt without added sugar – instead relying on fruits, plantains and cassava root to create a subtle sweetness. The subtle sweetness pairs nicely with the tang and tart provided by the live active cultures. LAVA plant-based yogurt doesn’t have very much protein (only 2 grams per container), nor is it fortified with any vitamins or minerals of concern (calcium or vitamin D), but it does have a very smooth and decadent texture and that counts for alot! As does the no added sugar piece if you are actively trying to avoid added or refined sugars but still want a yogurt or yogurt alternative. LAVA is a unique non-dairy yogurt option that you’ll have to just try for yourself to see what I mean!
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