Obsessed With Greek Yogurt? Enlighten Your Taste Buds With Icelandic Yogurt
I think it’s safe to say that the Greek yogurt trend has surpassed its yearlong craze and officially obtained a permanent place in the diet of millions of Americans. From Greek yogurt granola bars to Greek yogurt dipping sauces, this versatile protein has made an appearance in almost every aisle of the grocery store. However, I couldn’t help but notice a new style of yogurt slowly gracing the dairy section, lined up right next to the Chobani and FAGE: Icelandic skyr yogurt.
While Greek yogurt has countless benefits — high protein content, calcium, rich thickness, and multiple creative flavors — you may be asking yourself: “Why should I switch to Icelandic yogurt?” I’m a huge advocate of, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And I’ve been eating Greek yogurt for four years or so now, but I am slowly introducing more and more Icelandic yogurt into my diet. Why, you ask? Let me explain.
Although labeled as “yogurt,” Icelandic yogurt is actually a strained, skim-milk cheese called skyr; which dates all the way back to the Norse vikings of the 9th century. The liquid goes through a straining process similar to Greek, but requires 3-4x more milk to produce than regular yogurt. This results in an abundance of protein (about 3x as much as regular yogurt), live bacteria cultures, and a ton of belly-friendly probiotics.
“So what’s the deal — this stuff is great for you, but how does it taste?” If you’re one of the millions of Americans who has fallen in love with the evident thickness of Greek yogurt, make way for Icelandic yogurt. It’s actually a little bit thicker than Greek yogurt — yes, I said it, THICKER. You can literally stick your spoon in it and it’ll contently stand straight up without drooping to either side. Nutritionally, it has just as much protein as Greek yogurt (some brands contain more), and is even a bit creamier.
The Contenders, Icelandic Yogurt Edition
I’ve come across three main contenders in the Icelandic yogurt market, and I’ve constantly found myself going back for more. Here are the three brands to keep your eyes peeled for:
- siggis: this is quite possibly the most popular of the three and the most widely recognized. Some of their most popular flavors include: Orange & Ginger, Blueberry, Coconut, and Mixed Berry. Right now siggi’s has a seasonal Strawberry & Basil flavor that I still need to get my hands on (exclusively available in Whole Foods). They have nonfat and 2% flavors in 6 oz. containers. I usually buy their 0% plain and add a bunch of fresh fruit and high-fiber cereal to make an easy-to-go parfait bowl in the morning.
- Skyr: this brand is a bit harder to spot, but I’ve seen it at multiple Whole Foods Markets. They have four flavors: Plain, Strawberry, Blueberry, and Vanilla. All of these have zero fat and at least 16 grams of protein per serving. The only downfall here is that it tends to be on the pricier side — around $2.50 for a six-ounce container.
- Smari: this was the latest brand of Icelandic yogurt that I found in my local health food store. The six ounce 0% plain container has the highest amount of protein for the fewest calories (20 grams of protein for 100 calories). I tasted a small hint of the cheese flavor here, but it was still extremely creamy and delicious. The substitution of Icelandic yogurt for Greek yogurt in this recipe would make a mean protein cheesecake…
This rising food find is worth the purchase — it’s versatile, delicious, and has a plethora of health benefits. Keep your eyes open as it starts to make its way into more food markets in your area. However, you can always try making your own if you haven’t seen it around yet.
Have you tried Icelandic yogurt? Tell us your thoughts below!
Kelcey Zacarese is a 20-something working at an advertising agency in New York City. She recently graduated from Drexel University in Philadelphia with a degree in Global Journalism and Greek Yogurt Mastery.
She's an utter gym rat and health nut, who spends her free time wandering around Whole Foods or random streets in Soho. Kelcey traveled the country playing soccer and has also published pieces for Thought Catalog in the past.
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