Dairy-free replacements have grown wildly popular in recent years, with the plant-based industry seeing a 61% increase in non-dairy milk in the last five years. And while cashew and almond alternatives have reigned supreme in this market, there is now a new option for people looking to cut dairy from their diet: pili nuts.
Pili nuts are found on the pili tree, which is native to northern Australia. These trees can also be found in the Philippines and in the volcanic soil of the Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia. While pili nuts may be new to America, Bicolanos (people from the Bicol region in the southeastern area of Luzon) have been eating pili nuts for hundreds of years.
And for good reason. Pili nuts have more vitamin E and magnesium than any other nut, and they have been linked to a host of health benefits including lower cholesterol and lower inflammation. They are also rich in antioxidants, potassium, calcium and omega 3 fatty acids.
While pili nuts are notoriously hard to crack (making them an unlikely snack), they’re finally starting to find their way to America. This is thanks in large part to the efforts of one woman, Elizabeth Fisher, CEO and founder of Lavva, a dairy-alternative yogurt that combines the power of the pili nut with nothing but plant-based ingredients and organic yogurt. Keto-friendly, dairy-free and with no added sugar, Lavva can be found at Whole Foods and other health stores.
Fisher first created Lavva as she was on a recovery journey from advanced-stage cancer, and she found that pili nuts made a wonderfully rich, buttery yogurt that rivaled any other dairy-alternative yogurt she had tried before.
While most dairy-alternative yogurts get their thickness from gums and starches, Fisher wanted Lavva to have 100% real food ingredients and no added sugar. Made with organic fruit and boasting 50 billion live vegan prebiotics per serving, Lavva is now the second top-performing yogurt in the dairy-free yogurt set, even beating out dairy-free darlings like So Delicious, Forager and Silk. And it’s all thanks to the power of the resilient pili nut.
You can also find pili nuts in other forms, like with this Pili Nut Butter, which is paleo and vegan. Pili Hunters Pili Butter can be found on Thrive Market. It’s made with pili nuts, extra virgin coconut oil, coconut manna and Himalayan salt.
Or try this recipe for homemade pili nut milk. Cheers to this awesome little nut!