Well, put down the spoon because I have an exciting new obsession to share that you're bound to love!
Greek yogurt is awesome because it's delicious, creamy, thick, and loaded with protein (about double as much as regular yogurt) in addition to all the usual probiotic and calcium benefits of regular yogurt. Greek's neighbors (in a far removed sort of sense) from the north have Greece beat in terms of healthy, delicious, and satisfying cultured dairy creations.
Icelandic yogurt (=skyr) is made from four cups of whole milk that are skimmed, heated, cultured, allowed to rest, strained, strained, and strained to create one cup of protein packed goodness!
Smari Organics brings that protein-packed, potentially longevity-boosting yogurt to the US!
It's no coincidence that Icelanders have among the highest life expectancy in the world - 83.3 years for women and 78.8 for men.
The yogurt, with its crazy high protein levels, may be partly to thank for Icelanders' famous strength (not only from Viking days, but more recently from being the 8 time winners of 'Strongest Man in the World').
If not that, I can't believe that it isn't related (causally) to the fact that they were ranked as the fourth happiest nation in the world in a 2006 international study (taste that awesomeness, realize it's healthy, and yes, you will be happy, too).
Smari comes in four popular flavors - strawberry, vanilla, blueberry, and pure (=plain).
It can be purchased in convenient single serving 6oz cups at a variety of stores, including Whole Foods (just use their handy-dandy Smari Finder to find Smari near you).
With 0g of fat and 17-20g of protein per flavor, this figure-friendly snacks really can't be beat.
And did I mention that Smari Organics keeps it organic and grass-fed? Because they do. Also, there's no Red20 (or whatever the heck the colorings usually are) in the Strawberry Smari - just a drop of red beet concentrate for color, which gets two thumbs up from me!
Don't worry, you can't taste the beets, it's sweet, creamy, and delicious.
Speaking of thick...Icelandic legend has it that people in remote Iceland villages eat it with a knife and fork. You're skeptical, right?
SERIOUSLY GUYS, THIS STUFF IS THICK. It's amazing. Period.
I didn't need a knife and fork, but I also didn't need my usual million cups of granola to make it satisfying. The sweet, simple, fruity blueberry and strawberry Smari yogurts made a delicious snack all by themselves (like a less sweet, more substantial mousse) and the vanilla was great with a sprinkle of dried cranberries on top.
I tend not to like vanilla, as I think they often try to be too dessert-y, but Smari Vanilla isn't too sweet and doesn't try to be dessert-y, but ends up being scrumptious. Yum!
I had the plain with a little granola sprinkled on top and a dollop of jam and peanut butter before a three hour lecture all the way over at Northwest Labs (on the far side of Harvard's undergraduate campus) and was satisfied and focused all through class.
These are a keeper! Definitely a new favorite food and a new favorite study aid. Double win!
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Have you tried Skyr?
What's your favorite way to eat dairy and get your calcium in?
Have you ever been to Iceland? Tried Icelandic Cuisine? Met a Viking?