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. Vermont says:

    Fage is the best – 0% fat is delicious.
    Favorite way to eat?
    Mix it with about 1/2 c. blueberries, 1 – 2 Tablespoons Vermont Maple Syrup (much more flavor than honey) and about 1/4 cup chopped walnuts. I usually buy the small containers…… cheaper than the big containers here!!

  2. B Rei says:

    Must try Trader Joe's Greek Yogurt. It is absolutely delicious. Breakfast, snacks, a generous dollop atop their TJ's Veggie Panang – superb!

  3. Beth says:

    I LOVE Fage!! I eat it for breakfast with fresh fruit, chopped & toasted walnuts, and a bit of honey drizzled over. Sometimes I sprinkle some sort of coconutty granola over the top in place of the honey. It's the best way to start the day.

  4. healthymom says:

    Siggis sounds good, I will have to look for it. Fage is what I eat with local honey. YUM!! I make a smoothie for my kids out of this with 2 TBL honey and 1TBL PB and a little ice and 1/4 c. skim milk. They LOVE it and they are getting some MAJOR protein.

  5. Els says:

    I like Cabbots better than any of these.
    Els

  6. Sally says:

    After reading all your reviews will try to find Fage. Have eaten yogurt for years.sally

  7. Bill says:

    Actually, you can make just about any of the commercial yogurts yourself as long as they contain active cultures. Making your own allows you to put in what you want and keep out what you don't. For less than 15 minutes prep time and 2 hours incubation time, we make the best yogurt in the world right from a combination of Activia and Bulgarian cultures.

    We are so happy with it we started our own website: http://mryogurt.info/

    We make a couple gallons a week and there is only 2 of us – we are retired. And we do eat a lot of yogurt.

  8. Nancy says:

    Fage is my favorite (it also can be made into a GREAT frozen yogurt in your ice cream machine!), Chobani is also very good. Though it's been a few years since I made it, yogurt is very easy to make at home. Use good quality milk from a local farmer and go from there. Easy and delicious!

  9. Julie says:

    Sweet snack: Greek yogurt with some chocolate protein powder mixed in, with sliced strawberries and some cinnamon. Tons of protein, but tastes sinfully good.

    Spicy snack: Mix Greek yogurt and salsa, then use that as a dip for fresh veggies.

  10. maria says:

    try Mountain High with the live A. bulgaricus . Add diced cucumber, garlic, dill, olive oil, salt and optional walnuts. Its a cold summer soup, extremely refreshing and good for you :)

    • Athens says:

      Maria, use the same ingredients (minus the walnuts) with a good strained yogurt, like FAGE, and you won't have soup, you'll have Tzatziki, the yummy garlic sauce that is served with meats and in Gyro's!

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