I decided to try out a vegan recipe for this staple of greek mezze – tzatziki. It’s a pretty simple recipe in theory, as long as you consume dairy – but finding a vegan alternative is often easier said than done. I’m not a vegan but I don’t really eat much dairy at all and haven’t for a long time. I allow myself exceptions from time to time in order to enjoy some cheese. or a gourmet dish on occasion – like a risotto in an excellent restaurant if I’m really tempted. On the other hand, I always try to avoid milk, cream and yogurt. Yes, I know that it might sound a bit odd to say on the one hand that I don’t like eating dairy, but that I still eat cheese from time to time. But what can I say, it’s a complex question and I’m a complex person!
In any case, as a result of not eating dairy products, it’s been a long while since I’ve eaten tzatziki. and I’ve definitely missed it. The famous greek yogurt has always been my favourite, with its velvety texture and delicious flavour – everything about it is wonderful. So far I haven’t been able to find a vegan remplacement worthy of the name – I tried out some ‘greek yogurt’ made with soy, but I was barely able to swallow it without choking and had to spit it out – soy and I really aren’t made for each other… For a vegan tzatziki there were several options – tofu, cashew nuts, soy yogurt, coconut yogurt.
I tend to find that tofu leaves an aftertaste in this type of recipe, so I’m not really a fan. Cashew nuts seem like a good alternative, the only problem is you need to have a way of getting lots of them. They’re my favourite nuts, but they’re hard to find at an affordable price – and since I always try to do budget-friendly recipes, I decided to give that idea a pass as well. Soy yogurt – well, I think you probably already understand my feelings on. As for coconut yogurt, it realy isn’t my fave either. I had the chance to try several different brands that everyone seems to be in love with, but I couldn’t really get with the trend. It’s so filling that after two spoonfuls I already start to feel sickly, and I don’t find the taste as incredible as everyone else seems to, either.
Everything changed when I discovered Made With Luve – honestly this brand has changed my life. Their vegan ‘dairy’ products, based on lupin beans, are a delight. I haven’t been let down by any of their products so far: the ice creams are delicious, the cream cheeses divine, and the yogurts are a gift from the vegan gods. So I used their ‘plain’ yogurt for this recipe. I’m not sure whether this brand’s products are available yet outside of Germany, but I encourage you to check their website to see if they deliver. I assure you, you won’t regret it! If that’s not possible for you, you can still try out my recipe using whichever yogurt you prefer – greek, coconut, soy – just pick one you like and give it a shot! 🙂
If you make my vegan tzatziki, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @berlinandcoconuts I love seeing your recreations!
- 1/2 large organic cucumber, 300 g
- 2 cups lupine natur yogurt or yogurt of choice, 500 g
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh dill, finely chopped 15 g
- small handful fresh mint leaves, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 small lemon juiced, about 2 tbsp
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 - 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, for flavor (optional)
Finely grate the cucumber with the skin on. Drain excess moisture (and keep it for a green juice 😉 )
Add lupine yogurt (or yogurt of choice) to a large mixing bowl and add grated cucumber, garlic, dill, mint, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil. Stir to combine.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
You can serve immediately but I find that the flavors develop better when left in the fridge for at least one hour.
This tzatziki is delicious on its own but you can pair it with these Easy and Vegan Falafels.