I am always on the lookout for fun, new gluten-free products that are a better bang for my nutrition buck. I have recently discovered that I wasn’t getting enough protein, so in an effort to consume more, I turned to yogurt. Greek yogurts have more protein than traditional yogurts. I was on the hunt for a higher protein yogurt the other day at Whole Foods and came across Siggi’s.
Skyr is the traditional yogurt of Iceland. It has 2-3 times the protein of traditional yogurt, a quality that definitely gets my attention. More about Skyr:
Skyr is made by incubating skim milk with live active cultures. The whey, the water naturally found in milk, is then strained away to make for a much thicker, creamier, concentrated yogurt. So to make just one cup of skyr, with all that water going out, you need 3 – 4 times the amount of milk required to make a regular cup of yogurt. As a result of this process skyr comes out with 2-3 times the protein count of standard yogurt.
The history of skyr
According to the Sagas, the original stories of the Norse Vikings, Icelanders have made skyr since settlers from Norway first arrived on the island in the 9th century. The word skyr is probably derived from the Icelandic word skera, which means to cut or slice–– a reference to the ideal thickness perhaps? The modern word for regular yogurt, jógúrt, didn’t exist in Icelandic until the 20th Century. Before then, regular yogurt was sometimes referred to as Búlgarst skyr, or ‘Bulgarian skyr,’ because of its popularity in Bulgaria.
Skyr was always, and is still, made from skim milk after the cream had been floated off to make butter. The skim was incubated with cultures and the resulting yogurt strained to take out the whey. Traditionally, the whey that subsequently came off the skyr was then used to pickle various foods in the summer to help last out Iceland’s long, arduous winters. Thus, skyr was part of a process that historically was centered on maximizing the yield and storage time of milk.
Skyr is a big part of the modern diet in Iceland. It has enjoyed a resurgence of kind in the past decades, in particular among athletes and the nation’s prominent musclemen as a highly coveted and convenient source of protein for them muscles!
Today, all Icelandic skyr is made from cow’s milk. Up until the 19th century, however, skyr was made from both sheep and cow’s milk. Siggi’s skyr is made solely from cow’s milk.
Siggi’s offers 7 different flavors of yogurt: Plain, blueberry, orange & ginger, grapefruit, pomegranate & passion fruit, acai & vanilla. I tried the orange & ginger and quickly fell in love with it. I loved the little chunks of candied ginger that were mixed in! I have tried many thick Greek yogurts, but this was even thicker & creamier! One 6 oz container has 120 calories, 0g fat and 16 grams of protein! The plain has 100 calories and 17 grams of protein. The only downside to this yogurt is the price. It was $2+ for a 6 oz container. Fage and Oikos are usually $1.90+ and Chobani goes for $1.39+. For a good bargain, check out Yoplait’s Greek yogurt line – they typically run about $1/6oz container, but don’t have as much protein.
Siggi’s can be found in many stores across the US. To find the store closest to you, click here. Have you had a chance to try Siggi’s? What did you think?