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Soy-Free Vegan Yogurt

No, I don’t eschew all soy. I believe that all most foods in moderation are perfectly fine. But that’s exactly the point: moderation. The problem with soy is that these days it’s in everything, from beverages to vitamins to Fritos! And unlike the Japanese, who have been reaping the health benefits of soy foods for hundreds of years, we Americans often eat the bean in a processed state.


For more on my thoughts about soy, see the “Soy and Processed Foods” Debate post.

(Side note: If anyone ever says to you, “Ewwwww you’re drinking soymilk?! And you actually like tofu?” you can counter with, “Eaten any potato chips lately? What kinda oil do ya reckon is in those? ;)) So although I don’t believe it’s necessary to cut out all soy from one’s diet (and I do believe that some soy is beneficial in a healthy diet), I also limit the amount I consume. For today’s snack, I went with a just-as-tasty alternative: soy-free Vegan yogurt.

Vegan Greek Yogurt

Above and below, homemade soy-free vegan yogurt

Soy free Vegan Greek Yogurt

Today’s yogurt-licious flavor was peach soy-free vegan yogurt.

I made a huge serving and ate it all; twas delish!

I blended it all together at the same time. But if you want a chunky peach yogurt, you can blend, then add the peaches and quickly re-blend.


What are your beliefs about soy?

Do you make an effort to include some soy in your diet for its health benefits? Or do you limit your soy consumption? Abstain completely? Or perhaps you’re completely overwhelmed at all the conflicting claims, and you don’t know what to think: soy is good! soy is bad! eat more soy! don’t eat soy! I think it’s a good idea (obviously I’m not a medical doctor) to include some soy in your diet (mostly in an unprocessed form), but not to go overboard. Variety is the key!

P.S. I know you’re wondering: I didn’t eat the flowers ;).

I did devour the delicious raw Hot Chocolate bar on the side, though.



Published on August 24, 2010

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  1. britchickruns says

    I’m not too scared of soy anymore – I went through a phase of being totally freaked, but now I figure I eat minimal processed soy (like, very rarely!), and the soy I do have is all organic, non GMO I’m not gonna have kittens over it. Plus, I don’t drink, smoke, I exercise, I’m fit, healthy, I eat a varied fab diet..I can cope with some soy!

  2. Justine says

    I think I’m with the latter group. I know there is some soy in one specific product that I consume but I avoid it for the most part. I guess I figure that if I’m not going to have an actual serving of spy then I should avoid the processed stuff.

  3. todayslady says

    I rarely have soy. I like it but its so hard to digest! I mainly stay away from it because of digestive issues but the whole controversy over it also gives me reason to limit my consumption. I loooooove edamame though 🙂

  4. Jennifer - jcd says

    We drink soy beverage at breakfast quite a bit. Habit, I guess. We switch it up wth almond milk or pecan milk once ina while. I share the same soy beliefs at CCK – it’s good in moderation, and best in the least processed form. We eat processed foods (except soy beverage) very rarely in our house, and when we do they uaually have whole food ingredients like black bean burgers (from a local place) and Smooze ice pops. No modified soybean oil or glucose/fructose (corn syrup) in our house.

    As for other forms of soy, edamame and tofu make an appearance occasionally but we prefer beans and lentils and vegetables. It’s not because we shun soy, it’s more because we like other foods more. Let thy tummy guide you…

  5. Lauren @ WWoB says

    Katie, I while I was in Tibet I learned some things about food that rocked my world. The big ones are that: CANOLA OIL, agave nectar, raw cashews, and all soy products are very harmful to our bodies! I was on the trip with an author of an Eastern medicine book, his name is Daniel Reid. He said the onlyyy soy that is okay to eat is straight up bean curd. No processing. And that is quite hard to find!

    Also… while I was in Tibet, I did eat the flowers. 😉

  6. Britta says

    All looks fabulous. I have heard from a very advanced yogi friend of mine that soy is not so hot for you. Also, if you are a vatta (as I am) ayurveda recommends to avoid it, as it is too drying to the system.

  7. vegetalion says

    I generally get around 3 or 4 servings or less of soy per week. I use soymilk in cooking/baking because I like the texture better than ricemilk and the other kinds of milk are hard to find organic, but I don’t really drink it… and we maybe have tofu 2 times a week, maybe tempeh once a week. I always get annoyed with the zealots on either side, though–I know someone who makes sure to have at least one serving of soy every day, and I know people who won’t touch tofu or soymilk for fear of the many “dangers” of soy–both seem extreme to me.

  8. coffeeandthepaper says

    I JUST had the “soy conversation” with my nutritionist last week!

    Honestly, I eat soy. I eat probably an 80% vegan diet, so I find that it’s a great source of protein and a very healthy food. Soy in some forms, however, is not healthy. My soy “rules” and I use that term loosely because I do break them from time to time!)

    1. I do make sure my soy is organic and free of GMOs.
    2. I mostly stick to soy in it’s least processed forms (soybeans, tempeh, and tofu)
    3. I try not to rely on soy as my only source of protein. It’s important to mix it up!

  9. The Vegan! says

    I totally agree with you! Some soy if fine, but too much of anything( except our beloved dark leafy greens) is not good for you. I vary my diet and make sure that the soy products I do eat are non GMO and not proccessed, not just because its soy – but because I try not to eat that stuff anyway!

  10. 40apples says

    I do tend to keep a lot of soy products (the obvious ones like soy milk and tofu) to a minimum because I know that I’m already consuming oodles of it anyway without even trying. Like, I usually don’t have soy products at home (except for randomly right now some tofu and tempeh) but I WILL eat them when out because they’re so often in the vegetarian options at restaurants/cafes. So no, not too spooked about it generally, though I am aware of the dangers of excess!

  11. S says

    I agree with you–I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with soy in its natural state, the way people in Asian countries have been eating it for like forever. It’s when it’s used as a milk or meat “substitute” by our animal-protein-obsessed society, or turned into hydrogenated soybean oil and put into every processed food there is, that it gets to be a problem. I think eating a big hunk of grilled tofu is weird, just like I think eating a big hunk of grilled meat is weird (though the tofu is obviously less ethically problematic), and I think drinking a big glass of soymilk is weird just like I think drinking a big glass of milk is weird. I guess sometimes I feel like one of the problems with Americans and soy is that since it’s not a traditional food in our culture, and its usage was only introduced very recently, we don’t really understand it–so we end up romanticizing it (soy is a magic Asian cure for cancer!) or demonizing it (soy is harmful and unnatural!) because many of the ways it’s used ARE unnatural. It’s similar with corn–I feel like corn is getting a bad rap because of the whole “high fructose corn syrup” thing, but there’s nothing wrong with corn tortillas or corn on the cob! As you say, everything in moderation–and preferably not overprocessed 🙂

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Love your insight! And I’m so happy you brought up corn, because you are so right that it gets a bad rap due to the fact that manufacturers put it in EVERYthing these days. But how can anyone say no to a grilled corn on the cob at a summer barbecue?!

  12. S says

    P.S. As you probably know, soy milk doesn’t have to be processed–you can buy and cook dried soybeans, blend them with water, and strain for all-natural soymilk!

  13. StephORama says

    While I’m not scared of soy, I really don’t each much of it. I like almond milk waaay better than soymilk, so I don’t drink soymilk. I really love tofu and have it once or twice a week. I don’t eat much fake meat because the gluten used in it gets my gut really unhappy, so that cuts out a lot of soy, too. So I guess tofu, edamame, and a few other random things here and there are about all the soy I eat.

  14. Faith says

    I do a moderate amount of soy – the soy in my Clif Bars + maybe 1 block of tofu per week is about it. I go for Almond Milk as my milk alternative and I don’t really care for soy meat replacements, although once in a blue moon I get a craving for the Hickory Smoked Tofurkey, but that’s still more of a random occurrence than a fridge staple.

  15. VEGirl says

    My mom makes soymilk (and therefore makes tofu with it– she is the only one who likes the homemade soymilk!). We don’t buy many processed foods (our brown rice tortillas are the exception), and so we aren’t really exposed to all the converted soy ingredients. We have all talked about it and we agree that, no, soy is not bad in of itself. But yes, non-organic GMO soybeans are not healthy, and that isolated soy stuff is also not natural nor healthy.

    In the past months, however, mom hasn’t had the time to make tofu or soymilk and so, honestly, I haven’t eaten any soy for a LONG TIME. If it wanders into my life in a natural, organic form, yum! But otherwise, I’m fine without it.

  16. Fi says

    I used to eat a lot of soy, in replacement of dairy, but I find now, that I can only have so much, a yoghurt a day is more than enough for me. I have moved onto goats milk, its soo nice and yum, and hey, goats jump around cliffs and mountains until they are really old, so its gotta be good for something, ;D

  17. thedelicateplace says

    i like that you used the word ‘eschew’ in this post haha. i don’t consume much soy at all! i don’t like the taste of tofu and my GI doesn’t dig it either ;p i do like edamame and consume that from time to time but i never buy ‘frankenfoods’ as i like to call them (think veg hot dogs or soy pups) ::shudder:: no thanks!

  18. Anonymous says

    why is soy bad? can someone please explain this to me? i always thought it was a good thing, and women are supposed to eat it to fight off breast cancer?

  19. Vanilla says

    I grew up eating tofu in my family. My mom often made tofu stir-frys, tofu soup and Mapo tofu, but everything was in moderation. Sometimes tofu, sometimes chicken…although I don’t know if I’ll get too much tofu I was vegetarian. I switch soymilk and almond milk. I try to eat less soy bars (like luna bars) and more raw bars (like Fudge babies!) 🙂


  20. Christyn @ All Ways Nutritious says

    you are so right that soy is completely processed. second generation soy foods are made using high heat and pressure, chemical solvents, acids and alkalis etc….which are very likely to contain or produce toxic residues. some lab technicians get frustrated b/c they do not even recognize soy in some of the soy products end product!! soy protein, which is added to thousands of grocery items has never received GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) as a food additive. Soy Protein Isolate was used to bind and seal paper products in the past, not as a food. the best types of soy to eat are old-fashioned fermented soy — like miso or tempeh. i never really liked the taste of soy so i don’t consume it. i would consume it in limited amounts if you do enjoy it 🙂

  21. Bianca- Vegan Crunk says

    I eat soy … lots of it and I make no attempt to limit it in any way. I know its in loads of processed foods, but I’m not all concerned about it. But then again, I didn’t go vegan for health reasons. I also eat lots of other junk. I do count calories, but only to keep myself from gaining weight …

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      See, you are TOTALLY living proof that stressing out about having a “perfect” diet is much more harmful than eating a little white flour, processed soy, etc. every now and then! Seems to me you are PERFECTLY healthy and happy to boot. So why worry and change your diet or worry about the effect of every little thing you put in your mouth?? 🙂

  22. Danielle says

    I try and limit (not eliminate…just limit) my consumption of processed soy. Because I don’t think *anything* that’s been heavily processed is ‘good for you.’ People think taking a wheat kernal and removing the bran/germ (white vs. wheat flour) is bad but think that taking a soybean and removing the outer covering (the fiber/fat) is good for you! Not a criticism at all…I just think it’s interesting 🙂

  23. A Teenage Gourmet says

    I eat soy foods when I want soy foods, which isn’t very often. However, if I want tofu for dinner, I’ll definitely have it. I buy almond milk instead of soy milk because I think it tastes better.

  24. Yuri says

    I don’t really care. I think it’s a waste of time and energy to spend so much time wondering on whether something’s healthy for you or not [especially with things where youc an’t really say in the first place] – so I just eat whatever I like. I mean, why skip something I actually like because it might turn out to be a little harmful if eaten in $QUANTITY? in the end, it might even turn out it isn’t and then there was no reason to pass anyway!

    And so, since I really like soy milk, I have it almost every day… it also has more protein and fat than most other plant milks and thus comes closer to cow milk, which might be helpful since it seemed to be well-encorporated in my pre-vegan diet; although it’s not the main reason to consume it, as I said.

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      As long as you get enough calories to meet your energy needs, most people don’t need to worry about getting enough protein :). Many foods have protein that you wouldn’t think of, such as grains… or even veggies!

  25. spoonfulofsugarfree says

    Personally, I a few doctors I’ve been to do not recommend overdoing the soy intake. So if I don’t HAVE to eat it, I won’t. For example, I choose almond milk over soy milk. But I do like to stir fry some edamame and tofu into my rice and veggie mix every once in a while, and I like to experiment with making a pudding with tofu sometime in the near future.

    But, when it comes to protein powders, I stay away from soy. I use Vega, which is a mix of hemp, brown rice, and green pea.

  26. ecogrrl says

    i use it for my truffles (soy creamer, non-gmo) but otherwise besides the occasional tofu, don’t seek it out. i don’t like the taste of soy milk or soy in my coffee, and have a mad love for silk’s almond milk!!!

  27. BroccoliHut says

    I LOVE soyfoods (ahem, tofu), but due to the inconclusive health effects of soy, I’ve decided to eat it in moderation. I’ve also heard it can exacerbate hypothyroidism, so I try not to go overboard:)

  28. River (Wing-It Vegan) says

    Mmmm. Soy. I love me some tofu! Unfortunately soy makes me all foggy and groggy if I eat too much of it. We should all eat whatever makes us feel good and pay no attention to all these confusing studies! 🙂

  29. Emily says

    I am a soy eater in moderation, too. I think that moderate dietary soy is fine…but it is hidden in lots of products these days, which is kinda scary. I don’t go out of my way to consume soy because I think that you can obtain health benefits from other foods…but I don’ t think it’s harmful to include it in your diet! 🙂

  30. cookeatburn says

    I don’t really worry at all about my soy comsumption. I like soy foods, and I probably eat a decent amount (processed and non-processed), but it is just too much for me to worry about! I don’t want to freak out if my bread, snack bars or chips have soy in them – in theory I won’t eat enough of them anyway to have issues. And non-modified soy? Bring it. Yum tofu yum! 😛

  31. Emilia says

    Thanks for the recipe, gurl 🙂 I throughly enjoyed it– Enough that I picked up some agar agar flakes at Whole Foods– My 2nd trip in the last two days. I know, call me crazy, I’m a bit addicted to that store presently 🙂

    I mad a rich variation tonight for a snackage: After I made the pudding/ yogurt (whatever you want to call it) I blended it with Nutribiotic chocolate rice protein then put chocolate butter (magic shell) on top with strawberries.Mmmmm. It was SOOOOOO heavenly. Tasted just like chocolate moose– No joke! Thank you, CCV.

    And YES, I DO love soy, a bit too much. I try to only eat it once a day because from what I’ve read, I don’t want an allegry or anything related coming my way 🙂

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Ooh Whole Foods two days in a row? Sounds like we would be great friends 🙂 :). So you’ll never hear me calling you crazy!
      And I think chocolate mousse (and chocolate mousse pie) is my absolute favorite food ever!

      • Emilia says

        Yes, TWO days in a row… haha you may not call me crazy, however I do 🙂 My pay check has fully gone to WF 🙂

        Yes, the choc. mousse turned out GREAT– healthy and nutritious, just the way I lik’ it 🙂

  32. Mary @ Bites and Bliss says

    I drank soymilk for a really long time..and eat/ate a lot of tofu, soy beans, soy flour, soy protein powder, etc. Until I recently discovered I might have a slight sensitivity to it (along with lactose!) so thank goodness for Lactaid milk and whey! I know it’s not vegan. :/ but pescatarianism allows it so that’s good lol

  33. Rebecca says

    Oh soy…my favorite debate!

    I would have to say it all comes down to the fact that we never fully know what is beneficial and what is harmful and, that being said, most everything (foods, medications, etc) has positives and negatives. Also, EVERY body is different. What works well for some people can wreak havoc on another’s system. Therefore defining foods in good and bad terms (except for say, refined corn syrup) is virtually impossible—and I would have to say unnecessary.

    However, I second the concern with soy being EVERYWHERE. I do think it is funny how people seem to see soy as a novel food when it is one of the 3 leading crops in the U.S. and, yes, is found in almost every food we consume.

    Personally, when I was a vegan I ate what most considered to be a healthful diet. While it is, just with any eating regimen, to load up on junk food I made it a point to not do that. However, I did include some soy products.

    What did I discover? Although I expected to feel fabulous after hearing so many great things about soy products, veganism, and so on, I actually felt HORRIBLE. I was tired, gained weight and a whole host of other yuckiness.

    Although I eat a primarily vegetarian diet these days by choice, I know that I feel better eating animal protein. That is just how my particular body works. I wish it wasn’t the case but if I happen to have my one meal a year containing meat I feel like a new woman (and I have experimented with getting enough B vitamins, iron, protein, making sure to consume certain vitamins/foods with other foods in order to increase absorption and bio-availability of nutrients and so forth.

    However, I still try to avoid soy when I can. As you said, the soy we primarily consume in this country is highly-processed. If I had an actual, ungenetically modified soybean I might feel differently but, in all honesty, that is virtually impossible to find in the U.S. (What a sad state of affairs when produce exposes us to the most pesticides…in addition to the unknown effects of franken-fruits and veggies!)

    I think diets are constantly in flux…people’s dietary needs, preferences, and beliefs change according to their age, tastes, the latest nutrition research, geographical location, and stage of life. For that reason I do not, and probably will never, call myself a vegan or a vegetarian even if that is what I am practicing at the time.

    Does it make sense for me to follow an eating plan that has proven to not work well with my own personal body type? Probably not. But, we all need to experiment, make choices that agree with us at the time, and be open to changing things up when we are ready…without subjecting ourselves to judgement from ourself and from others. (I hate to admit it, but one of the many reasons I don’t eat meat is that I fear people will see me avoiding meat 99% of the time and then “call me out” the one time I take a bite of a burger).

    Sorry for the long comment…this is one of those topics that gets me going (in a good way of course). Thanks for brining up this highly-relevant topic.

    • Anonymous says

      On the adverse , I actually think that you should have posted the long comment. Many people try certain diets that their body can’t understand and when the immune system
      Is altered by this the bodys natural bacteria( what is found in probiotics) is altered . I hold a BS in Nutrition and just researched the topic for my own vegan lifestyle when I wasn’t feeling great for no reason. I eat almost all raw, nothing processed and no soy but found out that I was low in the probiotic area and my immune system was reacting. That body chemistry is so delicate. When the body recognizes any change in routine like travel, or diet, some peoples, mine included , react poorly. I found out if I added plcegan, allergen free probiotics several times a day I feel great. I also use Vega Whole Health Nutrition Optimizing powder. I AM NOT endorsed at all but this stuff has changed almost every healthy function in my body . I use this, eat simple combinations of food usually, and avoid all allergens and soy and feel great.
      I feature tons of ideas and recipes on my blog if you want to check that out:)
      Thanks for your post, it’s important.
      Thanks for hosting this topic Katie:)

  34. Meghan says

    I don’t try to purposely avoid soy, but I don’t eat a lot of it. I guess I figure I got so much of it eating processed foods while in college no need to have it now….. I agree with the poster who said processed soy is kind of weird, but I feel like eating soy more naturally, like edamame is fine.

  35. monicanelsonfitness says

    The soy subject! It is a goond one, right? I think soy is fine here and there but it should not be a huge staple in ones diet. I am all about some edamame:) Your soy-free vegan yogurt sounds killer.

  36. hmcclees says

    Katie, I can’t WAIT to make this. I’m allergic to soy on ALL levels and so I am off to WFoods tomorrow to buy some agar agar ! Question, for the Smashberry Jam, can I use arrowroot to thicken the jam or do I just use fruit? The recipe wasn’t listed on the link you gave!:) Thanks so much!!:)

    I’d love for you to check out some of the latest on The Soulful Spoon when you get a chance!:) Love ya fellow Chocolate Fan!:)

    Heather McClees

    *Have a Cacao Filled Day*

  37. Stella says

    I’m undecided about soy and have only every tried soy milk. I avoided it all this time because of reading about the processing and that it’s not the best for us in terms of digestion, but I decided recently I am going to try some more soy products and just stick with the moderation rule. I don’t eat a completely non-processed diet, I just try to cut back on processed foods as much as I can so I really don’t think a little bit of soy now and again is going to do much damage.

  38. Emma says

    I’m on the fence about soy. I used to have soy often- replacing soy milk for regular milk and eating tofu and what-not. I’ve slowly moved away from that, although I’ll usually switch up regular milk and soy milk now and again. The only thing that concerns me at this moment about soy is that my family has a history of thyroid problems and I have read sources on the debate about soy and its affect on the thyroid. Instead of freaking out and avoiding soy completely, I think I’ll just try to be mindful of my consumption of it- eating tofu/tempeh/miso every now and then, avoiding processed foods using soy as an additive (they’re probably not very good for me any way, regardless of the soy, haha!), and avoid soy products that I would tend to consume liberally (like soy milk).

  39. Melissa says

    I use coconut and almond milks, rice protein powder (when I do shakes) and… eat a block of tofu a night in pudding form. It’s seriously ridiculous! I basically make your “whipped cream” without the extra liquid, sweeten with half a banana and stevia and add spices and dried, defatted coconut to it. Coconut cream pie tofu pudding. Yum! Since I use the lite Mori Nu, I just eat the whole box.

    I’m not afraid of soy.
    Meat/dairy/eggs are soooo much worse that I’m still ahead of the game, IMO.

  40. Tamara says

    Living in an allergic household – we do not eat anything with soy in it. Yes, we have a limited choice of processed foods but they aren’t really good for you anyway, right? Both of our children have allergies including, soy, nuts, dairy and green peas (I guess the statement – eat your peas – they aren’ t going to kill you really wasn’t a good thing to say! 🙂 )

    I love when I find websites that have alternatives that are not soy based or nut based. Thank you! If you know of any other sites that I would find beneficial, I would appreciate hearing about them. I spend a lot of time on the weekends cooking from scratch for the week but it is well worth it. (And many of your recipes are big hits!) Thank you!

  41. Melissa says

    So, please, how did you make soy-free vegan yogurt? The link goes to making a pudding like thing with agar-agar….do you add a culture? Please help!

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