Is Icelandic skyr the new Greek yoghurt?

Australia is just jumping on a new food that has been in Iceland for thousands of years.

Skyr, an ancient Icelandic dairy product, is making its way around the globe as the latest nutritionally-charged health food.

After finding popularity in the United States and England, it is now hitting the shelves in Australia's mainstream supermarkets. Before you start chowing down this delicious trend, here's a bit of background.

What is skyr?

Skyr, pronounced 'skeer', is an Icelandic cheese, although not in the same field as say brie or cheddar. It's better known as a yoghurt substitute, commonly paired with granola, fruits and honey for breakfast.

It is often compared to Greek yoghurt, sharing the same sour taste and thick, creamy texture. However, when it comes to nutritional properties, skyr is really upping the ante.

Is it good for you?

Traditional skyr is high in protein and calcium, and low in sugar and fat - making it, more or less, a dream food for the health conscious.

In a 180 grams serve there's up to 20 grams of protein, making it ideal for smoothies and for anyone wanting to forego protein powders in favour of whole foods, Nutritionist Dr Joanna McMillan said.

 "It also has no added sugar – the only sugar present is the small amount left after fermenting – and the energy is pretty low at under 500kJ per serve," Dr Joanna told Lifestyle."Plus, it’s terrific for calcium. So, from nutritional perspective it’s pretty fabulous."

Similar to natural yoghurts, the live cultures also aid gut health.

Where can I get it?

Nudie, Procal and Woolworths now all sell their own skyr products. Procal and Woolies have natural, vanilla and strawberry varieties, while Nudie has a variety of berry flavours.

How do I eat it?

Skyr can essentially be used in place of yoghurt, keeping in mind the thicker consistency might change the texture and density of what you're making. However, it is highly recommended as a breakfast food or snack. Use skyr in smoothies, atop pancakes or even in raita, where you would normally use natural yoghurt to offset a spicy curry.

The taste is sour, like Greek yoghurt, so if you have a sweet tooth, serve with honey or opt for a flavoured version. 

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