For a brief period in my first year of university, my go-to snack was yogurt and I could inhale a container of French Vanilla with the best of ‘em. When I first cut dairy out of my diet, I missed yogurt dearly. However, by the time I went to live in Chicago many years later I had almost forgotten my love of yogurt. In the US, I was lucky enough to find several very good yogurt substitutes in my regular grocery store and began to enjoy yogurt-y snacks once again. Unfortunately, like many other vegan and veggie items, the selection has been much poorer since I returned to Canada. I have yet to find a yogurt-like product that I really enjoy, but I have been trying the few that do pop up – most recently Amande Cultured Almond Milk.
When I saw this on the fake-milk shelf, my interest was piqued. This is the first cultured almond product that I have seen here in Canada and I am happy for the variety. Amande is completely vegan, soy-free and sweetened with fruit juices. I purchased two snack-sized containers (peach and raspberry) and a larger container of the original that I intend to use in recipes.
The flavours were natural tasting, but I found the peach to be very mild – I would have preferred a much stronger taste. However, the cashier where I purchased these informed me that she loves these yogurts and thought the peach was delicious. To each her own. The yogurt wasn’t very sweet, which was a nice change but again a matter of individual taste. The sweetness worked well for the fruit flavours but I doubt would be as good for something like vanilla. As for the creamy texture that Amande claims to have achieved… not so much. To achieve an almost smooth texture appeared to require thorough mixing. This was quite difficult to achieve while keeping the yogurt in the snack-sized cup, so I basically ended up repeatedly jabbing at it with a spoon. After an exhaustive stabbing, the end product still contained tiny clumps making the yogurt slightly grainy. The raspberry was thicker than the peach and was my least favorite of the two. That being said, once I began to think of it as an almond snack instead of comparing it to yogurt, the overall experience was alright.
For almost $2 per cup, I don’t think that I would buy this again for a snack. I would consider purchasing these again for recipes like smoothies or frozen yogurt pops, especially if I was cooking for someone with a soy allergy, but probably only if it was a special occasion or meal.