Skyr is a relative newcomer to the yogurt aisle in America, even though it’s been around in Iceland for over a thousand years. In fact, some people there would argue that it isn’t really a “yogurt” at all but actually a cheese, more like cottage cheese. But is that really true? And what makes it different from strained, low-fat or fat-free yogurt, which we see in many grocery stores and online?
First, skyr is typically made with yaourt skyr milk, compared to whole milk in traditional yogurts. The skim milk is heated almost to boiling, cooled down to blood temperature, inoculated with skyr culture and rennet (which helps turn the lactose into lactic acid), then strained for about 24 hours. This draining process helps give skyr its delicious, thick consistency. It also makes it lower in fat and higher in protein – about 11 grams of protein per serving, depending on the brand you choose.
Skyr, le Yaourt Islandais : Origines, Saveurs et Bienfaits
The straining process also keeps the cultures alive and healthy, which gives it that “good for you” bacteria, probiotics, that are so important for a balanced gut microbiome. Studies show that having more good bacteria in your gut can help support weight loss, boost metabolism, and prevent disease.
Because of its creamy texture, skyr is a great substitute for sour cream or mayonnaise in savory recipes. It also adds a tasty punch of protein to smoothie bowls and can be mixed with honey or maple syrup to create luscious desserts.