Alternative dairy company Plant Veda has created vegan lassi (an Indian yogurt drink) from cashews and real fruits without cane sugar that contains gut-healthy probiotics in order to encourage more people to transition to a healthy plant-based diet and move away from animal milk products.
Vancouver-based Plant Veda has made innovations in its cashew-based milk range, expanding to include lassi, a blended yogurt drink popular across South Asia and coffee creamer,
Traditionally, lassi is made from yogurt, and includes water, ice, sugar, salt, and if need be, spices and fruit that helps promote gut health and cool down the body, according to Ayurvedic medicine principles.
Founder couple Vanita and Sunny Gurnani, who recently immigrated to Canada, gave up animal products after having a meal at a vegan restaurant in San Jose some years ago before founding Plant Veda.
The duo claims that when people make a shift towards a plant-based diet, they may be missing out on probiotics, as several dairy-free products don’t add these healthy gut bacteria that are crucial to good digestive health, especially given that 70% of our immune system depends on the proper functioning of the gut.
The company’s latest product, a vegan probiotic lassi, contains 10 billion probiotics per serve to boost good gut health– Plant Veda says these levels surpass the traditional dairy equivalent. It also eschews cane sugar. Made from cashews, oats, Himalayan salt, fruit pectin, and live dairy-free cultures, the lassi comes in Mango, Turmeric Ginger, Saffron Cardamom, Strawberry and Blueberry flavours.
In an interview with Straight, Sunny said: “We learned about cruelty in the dairy industry and how calves get separated from their mothers during a very young age. We were expecting at that time and could relate to the emotional stress on the mother and the baby. We turned vegan and later learned about health benefits as well and are raising both of our kids vegan. Our kids are very healthy and active.”
We learned about cruelty in the dairy industry and how calves get separated from their mothers at a very young age. We were expecting at that time and could relate to the emotional stress on the mother and the baby and hence, we turned veganSunny Gurnani, co-founder, Plant Veda
In a press release seen by Green Queen, Plant Veda President Michael Yang said that the team didn’t just want to find a replacement for dairy but something that is 10x higher in health benefits. “What we decided to do is create a revolutionary product that’s a healthy blend of multiple ingredients that doesn’t just taste nice but is all-natural and provides total nutritional value.”
Along with plant-based lassi, the company makes plant-based milk which apart from cashews, includes coconuts and oats, is sweetened with 1g of maple syrup and is available in flavours like Cane Sugar-Sweetened and Agave Sweetened. The company even makes coffee creamers that come in flavours like Original, Vanilla, Hazelnut and Chai Spice.
For its innovative vegan lassi, the company received VegExpo’s Product of the Year 2019 award and a ‘Clean Choice Award’ by Cleaneating Magazine in 2021.
Elsewhere, organic plant-based creamery Forager Project used a cashew milk base to create its new product line of ice creams across the U.S. Another plant milk company Califia has unveiled vegan-friendly beverage items that include plant-based probiotic yogurt drinks and ready-to-drink almond milk cold brew coffees.
Several consumers are transitioning to plant-based milk owing to reasons with dairy milk being associated with ill-health, global warming and animal cruelty. In a recent study by plant-based nutrition brand Raw Sport, more than 70% of its customers are permanently ditching animal-based dairy from their diets.
Lead image courtesy of Plant Veda.