This is not an exhaustive list of all the yoghurts on the market.
It isn’t even an exhaustive list of all the natural or Greek yoghurts on the market!
And there isn’t just one ‘best’ natural yoghurt – it really depends what your priority is – high protein, organic or taste.
I will add to the review as I try more yoghurts on the market, but this is the review so far….
Best on price
The 2 cheapest yoghurts reviewed were Aldi and Farmers Union Pot set. These were $5 per kg.
Aldi performed better than Farmers Union on many fronts.
The Farmers Union yoghurt was not very popular with my kids. In fact my 5 year old flat out refused it and he eats natural yoghurt all the time. It has a very firm texture and little characteristic yoghurt flavour. It might be ok mixed with fruit, but not on its own.
The Aldi yoghurt on the other hand is fab. It is made from organic milk which is a big plus. I choose organic whenever I can, especially for dairy. One thing that bugs me is that on the ingredient list, they have “organic milk powder, milk powder”. They have obviously calculated the % organic ingredients they need to have to make the organic claim, and then added non organic ingredients to the maximum allowed limit. It has a great true yoghurt flavour. Sour, but not too tart.
A lot of the yoghurts I reviewed list the types of bacteria / cultures that they use. For instance Farmers Union use Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus, while Aldi use Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium. They might look all scientificky on the label, however if still doesn’t give enough information. There are 3 parts to the name of a bacteria. Farmers Union has given us 2 parts, Aldi has given us 1 part. Only Vaalia gave us all 3 parts. It is the 3rd part that really gives you the level of information you need to know.
The 5am yoghurt is very very similar to the Aldi yoghurt. Very similar taste, nutritional information and ingredient listing. The big difference is that the 5am one is a lot more expensive. So if you love 5am, consider switching to the Aldi brand.
The highest protein content
If you are eating yoghurt to get an extra shot of protein, then Chobani is the way to go. It has 9.7% protein, which is about double the other yoghurts. It also has a really low fat content. I am in no way anti-fat, fat is a critical nutrient, just like protein. Fat does however contain a lot more calories per gram than carbohydrate or protein. So if you need to reduce your overall energy intake, Chobani will supply fewer calories. Chobani does have a distinctive taste, due to the high protein and low fat. It tastes pretty similar to cottage cheese (which I love). If you don’t like cottage cheese, this may not be the yoghurt for you.
The second highest protein content is the Evia Greek yoghurt. It has a nice creamy texture, but it really tasted of cooked milk. Maybe I just had an odd batch, but it wasn’t a flavour I could love. It was much higher in fat than Chobani, if that is a concern to you.
A few of these yoghurts really did taste pretty good, but I think my favourite would have to be “The Collective Straight Up”. This is made from single origin Jersey cow milk. Jersey cows have higher fat and protein contents in their milk, and their milk will be tastier because of this. Jersey Cows will also produce mostly A2 protein milk, which some people feel they tolerate better. This yoghurt tastes the way yoghurt used to taste.
Both Tamar Valley and Jalna yoghurts also tasted really good, and really creamy. You could easily use them as a cream replacement with a dessert. And they taste creamy, because they have cream added to them! If you are transitioning your kids away from a high sugar fruity yoghurt, this would be a good one to try. Jalna has the highest fat, at 10%.
Another organic option
The Macro Organic Natural Yoghurt is good value for money, just slightly more expensive than Aldi. The texture was not quite as smooth as some of the others. While the flavour did have a degree of tartness, like a natural yoghurt, it didn’t have the same characteristic yoghurt flavour.
Last but not least is Vaalia
The thing I love about Vaalia is that is specifies exactly the strain of probiotic it uses. It contains 3 bacteria, one of them being Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG. This is a well-researched probiotic and useful if you or your child have allergies, or gut issues. Vaalia even specifies the number of bacteria in their yoghurt, and whilst the dose may not be as high as in a probiotic capsule, it is believed that a lower dose can be effective when it is contained in a yoghurt. It also contains inulin, which is a prebiotic fibre, so the bacteria have something to eat when they get to your gut. Some people don’t react well to inulin so if you get some bloating after eating this yoghurt, that’s why.