Chobani Non-Dairy Coconut-Based Yogurt


I’ve tried a lot of non-dairy yogurts, and most of them have been terrible. Some, inedible. But this new coconut-based yogurt from Chobani exceeded my expectations. I used to like the coconut-based Coyo — which was better than any of the almond milk-based yogurts — but its texture can be grainy, and when cold it tends to solidify. Not appealing.

Chobani’s coconut-based yogurt, on the other hand, has a smooth consistency and a nice white color. The only problem I noticed upon opening it was how little product there was in the cup. It looked only about two thirds full. But I suppose this would be convenient if you were throwing some fruit or nuts in there.


The flavor of Chobani’s non-dairy yogurt is similar to Coyo, but a little less strong on the coconut. This is a good thing, in my book. You can still taste the coconut, however, and after eating an entire container, I was kind of over it. But I’d still buy this yogurt again. It’s perfectly fine when consumed with berries and granola, and would probably work great in smoothies or a mango lassi.


Keep in mind that this yogurt is pre-sweetened with cane sugar. I don’t usually like pre-sweetened yogurt, preferring to adjust the sweetness on my own with honey, but it wasn’t cloyingly sweet. It has a nice tartness to it, as yogurt should.

Finally, a dairy-free yogurt that doesn’t suck! To read my reviews of other dairy-free yogurts, click on the “yogurt” tag below.


Nutella Latte at Republic of Pie


It’s been three days since I had a Nutella latte at Republic of Pie, and I’m still thinking about it. My obsession may be related to the fact that I am attempting to cut down on caffeine, making afternoon coffee a forbidden fruit. But I’m also obsessed because this latte rocks.

Republic of Pie is a popular coffeehouse in the arts district of North Hollywood. The place was packed on a late Friday afternoon, hipsters as far as the eye could see. But the real test was the dairy-free lattes. As a faithful drinker of Peet’s, I was prepared to do my usual comparison and be disappointed.

My new fave, the Nutella latte

But something caught my eye on the Republic of Pie menu: the Nutella latte. It does not actually contain Nutella, the chocolate hazelnut spread; it’s just espresso and steamed chocolate hazelnut milk. This sounded more interesting than my usual almond milk latte. So I asked the barista my two standard questions:

  1. Is it dairy-free?
  2. Is it sweet?

Luckily, the answer to the first was yes, and to the second, “Just a tiny bit.” He told me the only sweetness came from the chocolate hazelnut milk itself; there was no added sugar.

Believe it or not, I had never tried hazelnut milk before. These days, more and more dairy-free milks are popping up, many of them made from nuts. I happen to be in the minority of Americans who like hazelnuts, so hazelnut milk seemed like a natural fit.

Many dairy-free milks at Republic of Pie

The Nutella latte blew my mind. It was chocolatey, nutty, and as promised, just a hint sweet — not enough to be cloying. The coffee itself was bold but not bitter. And it was so smooth and velvety! It’s like a subtle version of a mocha.

It is now officially my favorite coffee drink.

Though I’m still committed to cutting down on caffeine, I’ll indulge in a Nutella latte as a “sometimes treat” when in the neighborhood. I encourage all dairy-free latte lovers to give it a try and see what I’m talking about. Brave the hipsters and the bad parking. It’s worth it. The pies are also pretty amazing.

REPUBLIC OF PIE, 11118 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601

Strawberry rhubarb pie… a slice of heaven.

More Dairy-Free Pizza, Please

I’ve been dairy-free for over five years, and most of the time I don’t really miss “the deadly poison.” There are so many dairy-free alternatives now that there’s no reason to feel deprived. But every so often, I do. And usually it involves pizza.

You can get pizza with vegan cheese at “build your own” pizza restaurants like Blaze, Pieology, and MOD. But while those pizzas aren’t bad, they’re not the same as an old-school New York pizza, the kind with a thin but flavorful crust that leaves a powdery film on your hands after you fold a slice in half and sink your teeth into it.

To be honest, I haven’t had any true New York pizza in L.A. They say it’s something in the New York water that makes the pizza crusts (and bagels) so special, and that’s why you can’t get good pizza and bagels here. The closest you can get is at Mulberry Street Pizza, owned by Cathy Moriarty (the actress from Raging Bull), and Joe’s Pizza, a branch of the New York pizzeria on Bleecker and 6th Avenue that I used to live a block away from.


In researching this blog post, I discovered that Joe’s Pizza in L.A. now offers Daiya vegan mozzarella on their whole pies. Finally! This is a recent development, and one that I hope more pizzerias follow suit on. (Mulberry Street, I’m talking to you.) It would be great if you could get these by the slice as well.

When I get a hankering for pizza, sometimes I don’t want to go to a “build your own” pizzeria and deal with the assembly line. Sometimes I want to go to an old-fashioned Italian restaurant with red-and-white checkered tablecloths and candles in chianti bottles. And sometimes I want to just pick up the phone and order a pie from the closest Domino’s.

I dream of a day when every pizzeria, from Domino’s to the fanciest Italian restaurant, offers dairy-free cheese as a matter of course. It’s really not that hard.

So Delicious Dairy-Free Ice Cream Sandwiches


The ice cream sandwiches that I used to get from the Good Humor truck still hold a nostalgic place in my heart. They were simple: vanilla ice cream between two rectangular chocolate cookies. Years ago, when I was on a month-long meditation retreat, we went on a day trip into town (the only time we left the monastery) and were given one dollar to spend on whatever we wanted. Other people bought a pint of fresh strawberries or dental floss. I bought a Blue Bunny ice cream sandwich.

A dairy-free ice cream sandwich like the classic has been surprisingly hard to find. (Tofutti Cuties are the closest thing, though they’re soy-based and I can’t eat soy.) But now So Delicious has come out with a coconut-milk ice cream sandwich that is very close to the classic Good Humor or Blue Bunny one. It’s smaller — about half the size — but that’s a good thing!


Usually, I like my cookies crisp. But the cookies in those classic ice cream sandwiches were soft and moist, almost like cake, and their forgiving texture made them easy to eat. Have you ever tried to eat an ice cream sandwich that has hard cookies? When you bite down, the ice cream shoots out the sides. It’s frustrating and makes a mess.

The soft cookies, on the other hand, allow you to take a neat little bite.


As for the dairy-free ice cream in the middle, it’s the right texture, but the flavor of coconut is too strong to fool you into thinking it’s real vanilla ice cream. If you like coconuts, this won’t be a problem. If you don’t, beware.

I’ve just discovered on the So Delicious website that they make an almond-milk ice cream sandwich. I suspect I’d like this one better. As soon as I can find it, I’ll try it and post my review.