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).

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.

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.

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.

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

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. Ashley Moore says:

    Personally, l love chobani. I put raspberries and blackberries in and it is delicious. Visit http://saborlatinorecipes.com for healthy cooking and eating tips.

  2. kjd220 says:

    I've only eaten Fage, Chobani and Oikos, and find Fage the best, and Chobani a close second. To keep costs down, I buy the large tub (32 oz?) of Fage at Costco for less than $6. I mix approximately 2/3 cup of the yogurt with 1/2 tablespoon of honey and about a cup of berries. I eat this every morning during the work week and it keeps me going until lunch (thanks to the high levels of protein and relatively low sugar content).

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  4. Joanne says:

    fage is the best hands down- I do also enjoy skr icelantic when it is on sale at whole foods and olympia from greece is really creamy too

  5. Amy says:

    Plain greek yogurt makes a great healthy substitute for mayonnaise in chicken salad.

  6. Arlene D says:

    I have been eating Greek yogurt and fruit for breakfast for two years now and have lost a lot of weight. While I had been eating Fage almost exclusively, I now buy the Kirkland brand from Costco. Slightly less protein but half the price and has a great flavor. Highly recommend it.

  7. GrammaKK says:

    Did you look at Brown Cow, it's an organic greek yogurt, very tasty and cheaper than the one organic yogurt you looked at.

  8. Tijana says:

    The best yogurt is Kefir! My personal favorite: http://lifeway.net/Products/Kefir/NonFatKefir/Non
    Low in fat, rich in probiotics, light. My favorite way of eating it is over briefly (not entirely) cooked in skim milk rolled oats, with half a tea spoon of raw honey, twice double than oats fruits, whatever available (cut apple/pear, grapes, blueberries, strawberries – no banana) and then all that soaked in non fat kefir. mmm yummmy! very healthy, low in cholesterol, keeps me full from 9am to about 3pm.

  9. Lise says:

    Zoi non-fat plain yogurt should really be on your list. It is the smoothest, tastiest Greek yogurt I have found.

  10. Rose says:

    I enjoy Greek yogurt and add a little granola to it. Delicious.

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