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. VeggieGirl says:

    I love eating Greek yogurt (Oikos brand!) either on its own or with some raw almonds.

  2. Julie says:

    I totally agree! Fage has always been my favorite. I prefer the 2%, and use it as a sour cream replacement in baking all the time. My favorite time to snack on greek yogurt is during that late afternoon slump. I top it with a little good quality honey, or homemade jam or marmalade. It really satisfies that sweet craving I get around that time, and the protein fills me up until dinner. Yum!

  3. Casey says:

    I have been really looking forward to this post! Greek yogurt is one of my favorite foods!!! My 2 favorites are Fage and Chobani. I love it with fruit and cereal for breakfast or plain as a snack!!!

  4. Vicki says:

    I make my own and it's creamy and delicious and way less expensive. You can get a yogurt strainer from Amazon for about $15, buy the 32 oz. Dannon low fat yogurt. Just plop it in and the next day you'll have thick creamy greek yogurt. I use it in everything. Dips, smoothies, hummus, salad dressings, sauces, in my oatmeal. If you use a lot of it, by one or two yogurt strainers and save yourself some $.

    • Shell says:

      I use a colander and a coffee filter or even some paper towels to thicken up yogurt! I started using this low tech method in college and, while I splurge on whatever brand of Greek yogurt is on sale to eat for breakfast now, I thicken up my own for savory dishes that use more yogurt. I spread it around on the coffee filter or towel and let the yogurt sit for as little as an hour, and it thickens up nicely. I use it for tsatziki or as a marinade with Indian spices for chicken skewers. Yum!

  5. Babs says:

    I like plain yogurt on pasta with a little garlic salt – it makes a great low fat alfredo alternatve.

  6. Beth says:

    I am so glad I read all the comments. I just started eating greek yogurt, Greek Gods. I definately will try all of the others. I put 1 oz. walnuts with my yogurt, for an afternoon pickup.

  7. Geri says:

    I have been making Smoothies with Fage yogurt, plain yogurt, ice, a splash of non fat milk and some fresh berrries or banana. Also a spoon of Peanut butter makes a great smoothie too.
    Fage is hands down the best one, I have tried them all

  8. To me, Siggi's is the best! My fave, hands down. It's worth the extra $$$

  9. madoo says:

    Skyr is not yogurt, it's skyr!!! Totally delicious, totally different product.

  10. Mollie says:

    I use Oikos and l always get two containers just because there is less. but 1 serving is a cup and they have about 2 to 2 1/2 servings per container.

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