The argument of skyr vs. yogurt is common as many people believe that both are one and the same. While both are strained yogurts, the Icelandic skyr is typically thicker, less tart, and has higher protein levels than traditional yogurt.
Skyr vs. Yogurt: What Is the Difference?
Both yogurt and skyr are similar in the fact that both are healthy treats that can either be eaten as a stand-alone snack or added to an existing recipe. The real difference between skyr vs. yogurt is the ingredients that are used to produce them. The best way to understand how each is unique is to learn about both.
What Is Skyr?
Skyr originates from Iceland, and it’s pronounced as “skeer.” Many people have heard of yogurt, but skyr is still making a name for itself in America. Over in Iceland, skyr has been around for over 1,000 years. Skyr is prepared differently, and it’s strained in such a way that it’s much thicker and more densely concentrated than Greek yogurt.
If you really think about it, skyr is not even the same type of food. Because of how it’s prepared, skyr is technically considered a cheese. It’s prepared by heating skim milk before adding skyr cultures. Then, curds will form as it’s drained for many hours in order to hit the right consistency. Although it is very thick and full of flavor, most skyr is actually prepared with skim milk. However, there are some manufacturers that make it with whole milk.
Like yogurt, you can eat skyr on its own and add a topping of fruit, honey, or granola for extra pop. It can also be used as a primary ingredient in larger dishes, just like yogurt.
Health Benefits of Skyr
Both treats are considered healthy, but in the grand battle of skyr vs. yogurt, skyr is ultimately the more healthy treat, for many reasons. Due to how it’s prepared, skyr is loaded with protein, and it's packed with minerals, and vitamins. On top of that, it also has fewer carbs, sugar, and fat than other classic yogurts. Unless cream is added to the mix, and it usually isn’t, then skyr is also fat-free.
Because skyr is so high in protein, it’s also very beneficial for people who want to lose weight and manage their body fat. The key is that skyr makes you feel fuller for much longer, so you aren't interested in eating other unhealthy foods. Also, the combination of low carbs and high protein makes this treat perfect for controlling sugar levels.
Like yogurt, skyr is high in calcium, which is key for increasing bone mass density and preventing bone loss as you age. One serving of skyr provides about 20 percent of your daily requirement.
What Is Yogurt?
Most people are more familiar with traditional yogurt. It’s made from milk that has been fermented and cultured, and then strained. During the straining process, the watery part of milk that remains after the formation of curds, referred to as whey, is slowly drained, which provides its consistency. Yogurt is also typically higher in protein and lower in sugar. You can find non-fat, low-fat, and full-fat varieties out on the market. Yogurt can also be eaten by itself or be included as a component in a larger dish.
Health Benefits of Yogurt
Yogurt, and especially Greek yogurt, is loaded with nutrients, including calcium, iodine (good if you have a thyroid deficiency), B12 (ideal for energy and brain function), and probiotics (which regulate your gut health). Like skyr, yogurt has a lot of protein, which is vital for repairing tissues, building muscle, and combating illness. As you age, the components in yogurt can also help to keep your skin healthy and shiny.
Other Differences to Consider
There are other differences to consider when thinking about the debate of skyr vs. yogurt. For instance, while both are made with cow’s milk, which means they both contain lactose, skyr contains less lactose than yogurt. That’s because skyr has a longer straining process, which removes more of the whey. So, if you have a lactose intolerance, then choosing skyr may be the smart option.
Also, there are differences when it comes to taste and texture. Both have a bit of a sour taste, but skyr has a much more mild flavor than yogurt. As far as texture, skyr is much thicker, and yogurt is more creamy.
Many people eat one or both of these two products because of the benefits to gut health. While both will help, skyr is just a bit better in this regard. That’s because it contains more probiotics that provide healthy gut bacteria growth. The result is reduced inflammation, an enhanced immune system, and better digestion. Skyr also contains more vitamin D which is a building block of a healthy body.
What Are Substitutes for Yogurt
Although Skyr is typically considered to be its own thing. Yogurt has a fair share of alternatives that you can use if you don’t like the taste or you look in the pantry to see that you’ve run out when you need it most. Consider these yogurt alternatives:
If you have sour cream or creme fraiche in your fridge, then consider the alternative. Both contain more fat than yogurt, but they will have a similar consistency. These alternatives will be less acidic and richer than regular yogurt.
Lemon Whipped Cream
Add some lemon zest of squeezed lemon to your whipped cream. The result is a very similar alternative that will give your dish a flavor pop.
Although not the best of the alternatives listed here, buttermilk will still provide a suitable choice if you have nothing else.
Like yogurt, cottage cheese is fun to snack on. Plus, you can add nuts, fruit, or your favorite topping to provide extra texture. If you don’t have cottage cheese, then try ricotta.
This fresh and creamy sauce is great with a pinch of lime juice. It makes a tasty dairy-free alternative to yogurt.
If you just need a dollop of yogurt, but there’s none in the fridge, then a bit of guacamole or avocado will do the trick.
This is another solution when you’re looking for a dollop of something special to top your next dish. There are many varieties of hummus on the market, so you have plenty of options.
There are yogurt enthusiasts that use this ingredient in many dishes for their family and friends. Here at Moms Who Think, we have five yogurt-inspired recipes that you should try at least once:
Blueberry Smoothie – If you’re looking for a refreshing beverage, add one container of blueberry yogurt with some berries, milk, and a banana. You won’t regret it.
Cheesy Chicken and Mushrooms – Add a half cup of yogurt plus mozzarella cheese, pimientos, and a handful of other ingredients to chicken for the perfect dish.
Cinnamon Orange Pork Tenderloin – One to two tablespoons of yogurt plus orange zest, orange juice, and boneless pork tenderloin chops equal one delicious dish.
Boneless Pork Tenderloin – Add wine and yogurt plus a handful of other ingredients to your pork tenderloins and make an unforgettable feast.
Greek Yogurt Halloween Snacks – If you’re feeling festive, add dip bananas into a thin layer of yogurt and make spooky and fun snacks.
As you can see, there are several differences when you compare skyr vs. yogurt, including how it’s made and the nutritional content. Both are tasty treats on their own or as part of a larger dish, so pick them up at the store and enjoy the smooth flavors.