Healthy breakfast for fitness, sport, muscle building diet with greek yogurt, fresh blueberries and maple syrup. Served with rye bread sandwich topped with low fat and high protein quark cheese. Served ready to eat on white background. Top view with copy space.
What Exactly Is Icelandic Skyr?
By Andra Picincu
Skyr is a staple of Icelandic cuisine — offering both flavor and nutrition — that has been around for over 1,000 years, and it is often referred to as the "Viking superfood." The American version is similar in taste and texture to yogurt, but the skyr produced in Iceland is very thick, with a cheese-like flavor and consistency.
What makes skyr so popular is its distinct aroma and high protein content — the unflavored version has more than 12% protein, less than 1 gram of fat, and is a good source of calcium. It fills you up quickly and may help protect against heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure when consumed as part of a balanced diet.
To make Icelandic skyr, cow's milk (skim or low-fat), is heated to 165°F for up to 20 seconds and then cooled down to 99°F. Active bacterial cultures from a previous batch of skyr are added, plus milk clotting enzymes (rennet), then it’s fermented for about five hours, cooled down, and strained to remove most of its whey, resulting in a thick, high-protein yogurt-like product.
The process isn't that different from cheese making — Wisconsin cheese has pretty much the same ingredients (plus salt), but skyr contains a special starter culture that originates in Iceland. This creamy treat is delicious on its own, but you can also mix it with oatmeal and fruits, blend it into smoothies, or add it to soups, stews, and mac and cheese to improve their texture.