07 Mar What Is Skyr?
By Kristen Simonds, BSc, Contributing Blogger
A walk down the dairy aisle reveals shelves packed with an overwhelming variety of yogurt. From Greek yogurt to soy yogurt to fruit-bottomed yogurt, plus full-fat and low-fat varieties, the choices are endless. But now there’s a new, yet ancient, type of yogurt being stocked on shelves across the country: skyr. Pronounced “skeer” this traditional Icelandic yogurt has been made for over 1,000 years.
Skyr contains just a few simple ingredients: skim milk, microbial enzymes and bacterial culture. Traditionally, the yogurt is made by combining skim milk with live active cultures, then straining out the whey to create a thick and creamy yogurt. Skyr is similar to Greek yogurt, but it’s strained even more to create a thick stick-to-your-spoon product. In fact, about 3-4 times more milk is needed to produce one container of skyr than one container of regular yogurt!
Skyr has a slightly sour dairy flavor, with a hint of sweetness. In addition to plain skyr, commercial manufacturers have also created flavors like vanilla, strawberry, and peach. Keep in mind that these flavored varieties often contain added sugars. Though skyr has a smaller market share than Greek yogurt, consumer demand has been growing rather quickly. But how does skyr stack up against its competitors? Let’s take a look:
Plain skyr (per 170 g): 110 calories, 19 grams of protein, 7 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fat
Plain Greek yogurt (per 175 g): 100 calories, 17 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fat
Plain yogurt (per 175 g):60 calories, 10 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fat
Strawberry yogurt (per 175 g): 170 calories, 7 grams of protein, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fat
Most skyr products contain more than 20 grams of protein per cup, with little to no fat or added sugars. Skyr is high is calcium and vitamin D, as well as other vitamins and minerals found in milk products, which keeps your bones and muscles healthy and strong. It’s also a great choice for those who are lactose intolerant, as the yogurt is naturally lactose-free. Packed full of probiotic cultures, aka ‘friendly’ bacteria, skyr may help improve digestive health and potentially boost immunity. Skyr makes an excellent addition to smoothies, sauces and dips, desserts, and other baked goods! Like other yogurts, skyr, can fit into a healthy diet and help meet the recommended 3 servings of dairy each day.
Kristen Simonds, BSc is a recent graduate of the Honors Specialization Nutrition and Dietetics program from Western University in London, Canada. She hopes to become a Registered Dietitian in the near future and use her love of food, nutrition, and fitness to better the lives of others. She is passionate about culinary nutrition and cooking nutritious plant-based recipes for her family and friends.