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. @jujube5160 says:

    Definitely Fage – it has the most amazing texture and lack of tanginess that makes it ideal for so many uses… Went to my local grocery store last week and there was a sampling table set up with Fage – the demonstrator gave me 7 coupons worth $1 off each container … it was on sale, of course, so I was able to stock up on the cheap! Will always buy Fage over other Greek styles regardless of price — not something I have a problem spending a little extra on for myself because it is worth it!

  2. kbwyo says:

    i like to use it in making mashed potatoes and use it in making a super easy fish sauce for fish tacos!!!!!

  3. Sherry says:

    Absolutely love Fage 0% fat yogurt with bear naked granola as a meal with an apple on the side. This is my favorite "go-to" lunch, it always satisfies and is very filling! I have also had the Chobani fat free plain and it is a close second and a little cheaper.

    • Tammi says:

      I agree the Fage is good with Bear Naked Granola. I also add a little spoon full of the reduced sugar jam if I don't have fresh berries. I buy the Bear Naked Peak Protein granola since it has fewer carbs than the other flavors. They all make a great breakfast mixed together!

  4. Lisa says:

    I like fage and chobani. I like mine sprinkled with oats and berries with a little drizzle of agave nectar. Or sprinkled with granola.

  5. Momala says:

    Fage is the best! I have it every morning with diced fresh fruit. When it's on sale I stock up, otherwise I "treat " myself!

  6. Grace Moore says:

    My FAVE is Fage, it's great with mangoes and granola!!
    The best!!

  7. april says:

    i like to eat greek yogurt with pistachios and a dollop of honey. it's a nice healthy snack and the nuts give it lots of texture so your very satisfied and the honey is a perfect compliment to the tartness of the yogurt.

  8. lspt says:

    Try Fage with agave nectar, either drizzled over or stirred into to. I add a sprinkle of chopped pecans. Tastes decadent!

  9. Kina says:

    Where do you find greek yogurt?

    • danawhite says:

      Hi Kina –
      You can find Greek yogurt at most grocery stores. We shopped for nationally available brands at large chain grocery stores. Some of the yogurt websites have information about where you can buy their specific products.

  10. miriam says:

    I can only get Oikus where I live and really like it, plain, nonfat. I too, have recently been warned about diabetes, so have cut back on carbs and sugars. I take my fresh fruit home and puree in the blender and freeze in ice cube trays, then place in baggies. I also freeze my berries and cherries. For a morning smoothie, I put yogurt in the blender and add several cubes of different fruits and a few berries…great!!! Other times, I use it with Zone cereal and a teaspoon of agave syrup for a nice breakfast or snack.

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