By Stephen Stancak

Top 8 Dairy Free Snack Options Rich in Probiotics

In the world of nutrition, it’s common to read endless posts from health experts on the benefits of ditching dairy from your diet, with the promise of a clearer complexion and fewer digestive issues being just a few reasons to swap the creamer in your coffee for a plant-based alternative. With an estimated 30 to 50 million people in the United States alone suffering from an intolerance to lactose, it’s clear that consuming dairy is problematic for a large portion of the population.

Although lactose intolerance is a fairly common diagnosis, some may find it difficult to totally eliminate dairy from their diet, especially if they suffer from a sweet tooth, with commonly processed desserts or pre-packaged snacks containing a plethora of gut-irritating milk derivatives such as whey, milk powder or lactose.

Lucky for you (and your sweet tooth), at dalci, we’re on the non-dairy bandwagon, baking up gut-nutritious brownies and blondies that are decadent without the addition of dairy. Although our brownies don’t contain dairy, they’re still rich in probiotics– aka living bacteria and yeasts that are just one important piece of the gut-healing puzzle. We’ve chosen to steer clear of probiotic strains associated with dairy due to the numerous downsides associated with consuming dairy– think bloating, acne, and even brain fog. 

Downsides of Consuming Probiotics With Dairy 

Probiotics are commonly associated with dairy products like cultured yogurt and kefir– a tangy fermented beverage made from cow’s or goat’s milk. Because a dairy inclusive diet is sometimes considered the key culprit to an inflamed stomach lining and associated conditions such as leaky gut, consuming commonly known probiotic rich dairy products and beverages is out of the question for many mindful eaters. 

Additionally, conventional dairy products, like nonfat greek yogurt for instance, do more harm for your gut than good. Widely consumed processed dairy items are falsely marketed as gut healthy, yet they may contain harmful antibiotics that can disrupt your gut microbiome. 

With this knowledge in mind, other gut-health conscious food brands are choosing to avoid milk derivatives and experimenting with dairy free probiotics instead. You might be wondering, what exactly is a dairy-free probiotic? 

Keep scrolling for the full scoop on dairy-free probiotics, plus a roundup of 8 delicious non dairy, probiotic-rich snack options worth storing in your kitchen cabinet for when those snack cravings kick in.      

What Are Dairy Free Probiotics?

Before we give you the lowdown on dairy-free probiotics, let’s get acquainted with the human microbiome which is home to a diverse collection of microbes. Microbes are a combination of bacteria, viruses and fungi, including yeasts. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a live microbe is considered a probiotic if it promotes good health when safely consumed, and can survive after ingestion even when some strains reach the small and large intestine. 

Unlike dairy probiotics, dairy-free strains do not contain cow’s milk or milk from livestock and they are grown on an alternative medium to dairy such as a SCOBY for example, which is used to ferment kombucha. If you’re a newbie when it comes to shopping for dairy-free probiotic infused snacks, make sure to scope out the ingredients first before purchasing. 

To ensure your probiotic doesn't include dairy, we recommend steering clear of the following ingredients: whey protein, rennet, casein, lactose, lactulose, lactic acid, and zinc caseinate. Paying attention to these ingredients is key if you have a serious milk allergy or adhere to a strict plant-based diet. Lucky for plant-based eaters, food scientists have discovered a way to sneak probiotics into non dairy packaged snacks. 

What is the Magic Probiotic Strain Used in Most Packaged Snacks? 

It’s common for numerous processes such as heating, fermenting or freezing to be involved when it comes to the production of your favorite pre-packaged, non dairy snacks. We did some research and found that commonly used probiotic strains in food production like Lactobacillus for example, can’t withstand the number of processes that go into whipping up functional foods. 

That’s where the magical probiotic Bacillus coagulans comes in to save the day. It’s a shelf stable strain that can withstand the cooking and baking processes that kill off probiotic strains that require refrigeration until they’re consumed. Best of all, this specific strain can upgrade your current health routine. We’re all about a *major* health glow-up, especially if that involves munching on probiotic-fortified snacks that can improve our digestion, aid with muscle recovery, and boost our immune system. 

When we’re not loading fermented foods like kimchi or sauerkraut onto our plates, we like to up our dairy-free probiotic intake with one of these 8 delicious snacks that are gut and taste buds approved. 

Plant-based Probiotic Snack Options

1. Purely Elizabeth Probiotic Granola: 

purely elizabeth probiotic granola natural vegan snack

Purely Elizabeth managed to give their gluten and refined sugar-free granola a major healthy glow-up with the addition of probiotic cultures like inulin (a dietary fiber) and the dairy-free, shelf stable strain Bacillus coagulans. For some added crunch and gut-loving goodness, we love topping our morning coconut yogurt bowls with the Chocolate Sea Salt variety. It’s the breakfast your gut will thank you for. 

2. Wildwonder Prebiotic + Probiotic Sparkling Drink: 

Wildwonder Prebiotic and Probiotic Sparkling Drink good dairy-free beverage example

Get ready to sparkle from the inside out with wildwonder’s variety of gut-healing sparkling beverages. Bottled up with live vegan probiotics and flavored with functional herbs and luscious fruit juices like pink guava and juicy mangoes, wildwonder’s bevy of beverages are both delicious and gut friendly.

3. cocojune Organic Cultured Coconut Yogurt: 

cocojune organic cultured coconut natural snack yogurt-free

The secrets out, we’re coco for cocojune’s creamy and delicious plant-based yogurt alternative. We love how simple, clean and natural their blend of organic gut-healing ingredients are with coconuts as the main staple followed by spring water, cassava root and live vegan probiotic cultures. 

4. Forager Project Cashewmilk Yogurt Drink: 

Forager Dairy-Free Probiotic Drinkable Cashewmilk Yogurt natural healthy gut drink

If you’re looking for a vegan, drinkable replacement for kefir, Forager’s gut-boosting beverage is the perfect replacement. Made from a creamy base of nutty cashew milk and luscious coconut cream, this plant-based beverage is the best drinkable yogurt for the mindful foodie. Sip away with the knowledge that you're treating your gut to over 1 billion live active probiotic CFUs with every serving.

5. Yumbutter Plant Protein + Probiotic Almond Butter: 

yumbutter Plant Protein Probiotic Almond Butter packaged snack

We love that Yumbutter managed to make eating healthy on-the-go super quick and easy with their squeezable and portable probiotic rich almond butter. Spiced with organic cinnamon and packed with the same dairy-free probiotic strain as Purely Elizabeth’s granola, it’s the perfect gut-loving topping for your daily oat or smoothie bowl.

6. UPLIFT Gut Happy Cookies: 

Uplift Gut Happy Prebiotic Cookies best options prebiotic treats

Got (plant-based) milk? Gut happy about a good for digestion, crunchy cookie that is reminiscent of milk’s favorite cookie sans the nasty additives. UPLIFT’s RD approved, organic and Non-GMO cookies contain 1 billion CFU probiotics so you can feel less guilty about sneaking an extra cookie or two from the cookie jar.

7. Anita’s Coconut Milk Yogurt Alternative: 

Anita's coconut milk yogurt dairy free probiotic food

Anita’s managed to whip up a non dairy probiotic rich yogurt that mimics the thick and creamy texture associated with traditional yogurt. Unlike other dairy-free alternatives on the market, Anita’s coconut milk yogurt manages to achieve a luscious consistency without the addition of thickeners or fillers. Best of all, each 6oz serving of this dreamy plant-based yogurt contains over 300 billion diverse species of probiotics. 

8. dalci Gut Healthy Brownies & Blondies: 

dalci variety pack gut healthy dairy free probiotic snack
We managed to do the unthinkable, aka bake up a better-for-you brownie that doesn’t skimp on taste, texture or decadence. Your gut and taste buds will thank you for snacking on a treat that’s sweetened with mineral and probiotic rich coconut sugar. We’re all for satisfying our sweet tooth with a natural and low GI sweetener that even has the added benefit of probiotics.