Taste Test: Nonfat Greek Yogurt

by in Taste Test, June 22, 2010
The Contenders: Which Greek Yogurt Tastes Best?
The Contenders: Which Greek Yogurt Tastes Best?

When we did our vanilla yogurt taste test a few weeks back, everyone asked about Greek yogurt. We shopped for the brands our Facebook fans asked for — find out how they stacked up. Plus: Our favorite ways (sweet and savory) to use this creamy treat.

Greek-style yogurt is thick and creamy because it is strained to remove some of the water. It has a velvety texture and tangy flavor that makes it handy for both sweet and savory applications (more on ways to use it below). We scoped out nonfat, plain varieties and used our 5-point rating system (5 being the highest) to rate taste, consistency and nutrition.

For nutrition, we paid special attention to calories and protein. Greek yogurt is higher in protein per ounce than regular yogurt because there’s less water. All brands were fat-free, contained probiotics and had very small amounts of sodium (100 milligrams or less).

Fage
Rating: 5
Cost: $1.69 (6-ounce container)
Nutrition Info: 90 calories; 15 grams protein
Our Take: We can see why this was one of the favorites on our Facebook page. It was the creamiest with a mild and pleasant tang –- a perfect snack or light breakfast with fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey.

Oikos
Rating: 4
Cost: $1.99 (5.3-ounce container)
Nutrition Info: 80 calories; 15 grams
Our Take: You’ll pay a little extra (for less yogurt) in this case, because it’s organic. It was a little thinner and less pungent than some of the other guys, but still a solid choice overall.

Chobani
Rating: 4.5
Cost: $1.25 (6-ounce container)
Nutrition Info: 100 calories; 18 grams of protein
Our Take: A close second to Fage, this yogurt had great flavor and a slightly lighter texture. It was also highest in protein — 3 grams above the others.

Greek Gods
Rating: 3
Cost: $1.25 (6-ounce container)
Nutrition Info: 60 calories; 6 grams protein
Our Take: Lowest in calories and protein, this yogurt didn’t have the same creamy texture or tangy flavor that Greek yogurt is famous for. This brand also contains two thickeners, pectin and inulin. While these are considered very safe to eat, they are used to replace some of the milk. That’s how they got the calories so low, but also why its protein content was a mere one-third of  the others.

“Skyr” Icelandic Yogurt
While perusing the yogurt section we came across Skyr (pronounced “skeer”) yogurt. Native to Iceland, the two flavors we tried were less tangy than Greek-style varieties, but they were more dense and creamy. They were also much more pricy! Here’s the rundown.

Siggi’s
Cost: $2.69 (6-ounce container)
Nutrition Info: 100 calories; 17 grams protein

Skyr.is
Cost: $2.79 (6-ounce container)
Nutrition Info: 110 calories; 22 grams protein

Ways to Enjoy Plain Yogurt
Use plain Greek yogurt to thicken smoothies and salad dressings or as lower fat alternative to sour cream. We love it in this mini parfait of fresh cherries, slivered almonds and a sprinkle of turbinado sugar (pictured below).

Dana's Greek Yogurt Parfait
Dana's Greek Yogurt Parfait

Learn how to make your own Greek yogurt.

TELL US: What’s your favorite way to eat Greek yogurt?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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Comments (98)

  1. lurl says:

    We will be buy the Heritage Turkey which is one of the earliest birds found in the US.
    The charge for such a lovely bird is $197.00 for an 18 pound creature. We will also be serving a brace of Pheasants. At $200.00 a bit pricey but oh so good. Hand raised on the best of foods. I don't really care about their being raised in a wild environment but after having them over ten years ago we just love them. Besides, we can afford them.
    I will also be purchasing one of their excellent hams. We do have a large table that will serve 30 easily so that will be it will all the lovely associated dishes and breads.
    We start with beautiful shrimp and oysters from Washington and Oregon. Can't get better than this.

  2. I love Fage – it is my favorite. Siggis would probably be my favorite if it weren't so expensive – it tastes like cheesecake!

    My favorite way at the moment to use greek yogurt is to add a warm muffin (referably w/ chocolate chips in it!) and mix it together with some fruit. It almost has the texture of cake and frosting!

  3. @EvanFMFF says:

    Great review! all my favorites. And I agree: Fage is best, but I go with Chobani because it's the cheapest. I like my greek yogurt with some raw, local honey and maybe fresh berries.

    • Jan says:

      Raw honey has natural peroxides that will kill the probiotics in yogurt. A small amount maple syrup or organic fruit spread would be a better choice.

  4. emm ell says:

    my favorite has been fage, but i get chobani sometimes too because it's a bit cheaper. i like it with agave nectar or honey and blueberries and granola!

  5. Jim says:

    Greek yogurt MUST be considered not only as a traditional yogurt, but all the things you can use it for – add it to any recipe that calls for sour cream and you have gone low/no-fat, and a tremendous protein punch!

  6. Ann Rein says:

    I love Fage, but I won't eat nonfat anymore. The 2% is good, the whole fat is awesome!

  7. kjb says:

    I have tried some of these Greek Yoguurts and still prefer Brown Cow, which I notice was not even tried…..

    • Kjb,
      Does Brown Cow have a Greek yogurt? I love their regular yogurt varieties but haven't seen the Brown cow Greek yogurt at my market.

      • amanda says:

        they sure do! it is good. i don't know if they all have this but the lids are actually a coupon so if you buy two you get one free.

  8. Sandy says:

    I like to eat it for an afternoon snack with some blueberries

  9. Tiffany says:

    Olympus yogurt is very good also. I found it at whole foods but it's pricey $2.19 each for 6 oz..but occasionally it is on sale 10/$10.
    http://www.olympusdairyusa.com/en/products/yogurt

  10. Gail says:

    I believe Inulin is considered a prebiotic. Maybe that is why it is included. Trader Joes, & other places sells Inulin powder as a prebiotic. And it is sold as a fiber supplement to.

    • CO_Mama says:

      From Wikipedia: Inulins are a group of naturally occurring polysaccharides produced by many types of plants. They belong to a class of fibers known as fructans. Inulin is increasingly used in processed foods because it has unusually adaptable characteristics. It can be used to replace sugar, fat, and flour.

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