In old Norse skyr means sour milk. A low fat, thick yogurt known as Skyr has been eaten in Scandinavian countries for centuries. Today skyr is eaten mainly in Iceland and remains a common feature of many people’s diet. It is usually eaten with berries and other fruit.
Traditionally, skyr is made with raw unpasteurised milk, however modern skyr is made with pasteurised skimmed milk. It owes its thick creamy texture to being strained through fabric to remove the whey (the liquid part of the milk). Typically skyr uses four times the amount of milk to make compared to an equivalent quantity of traditional yogurt.
Skyr has been sold in British supermarkets for a number of years but it only recently I have become aware of it. A Yorkshire farm near where I live Hesper Farm is now producing it Arla Foods are also producing it.
What’s to like?
Skyr is thick and white and looks rather like Greek Yogurt. It is slightly sour to taste but not unpleasantly so. It would be a great ingredient for topping breakfast cereals or eating with fruit for a dessert. I liked the taste and texture of skyr.
Skyr is a very low fat product and contains a mere trace of fat (0.2g fat per 100g). It is an excellent source of calcium and protein. Protein can keep you feeling fuller for longer and so this may be an excellent food to keep hunger pangs at bay.
Many people overlook the importance of calcium in their diet. It is essential for bone health and it is one of the nutrients found lacking in many women’s diet.
Can people with a sensitive gut eat it?
Most people with a sensitive gut can eat a small amount of skyr. If you can digest lactose you should be able to eat a regular portion (150g). Even if you malabsorb lactose most people can tolerate 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt. Remember lactose intolerance is an intolerance and not an allergy. If in doubt try a tablespoonful and see how you get on. It is low in fat and so it may feel kind on the gut. Fat is a common trigger for gastrointestinal symptoms.
I thought it would be an idea to use skyr as a topping for a veggie and quinoa salad. You can vary the ingredients but here is the general idea
Skyr veggie and quinoa pots
I made these veggie pots with the ingredients in my store cupboard and fridge. You can vary the ingredients slightly. Use cucumber if you have it or grated carrot. If you do not have quinoa, brown, red or black rice would be lovely. You could also crumble some feta cheese in the salad and add shredded mint.
- 1 aubergine, cut into rings and sprinkled with cooking salt
- olive oil
- 100 g quinoa
- 4 tbsp skyr (or Greek yogurt)
- 1 tsp tahini
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 tablespoon olives – black or green, chopped
- handful of baby spinach leaves, shredded
- green leaves of one spring onion, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted in a hot pan for 5 minutes
- a few pomegranate seeds if you have them
Preheat the oven to 200C /Gas 6
When beads of moisture appear on the cut surface of the salted aubergine rinse it in copious amounts of cold water. Pat dry and lay on a lightly oiled baking tray. Brush the upper surface with a little olive oil and place the tray in the oven for 15 minutes. When the aubergine is tender and beginning to brown on one side it is perfectly cooked. Return the aubergine to the oven for a little longer if you need to.
Place the quinoa in saucepan and cover generously with water. Bring the water to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 12 minutes or until the quinoa is tender to the bite. Drain and allow to cool.
Place the skyr in a bowl and add the lemon juice and season well with salt and pepper. Add the tahini and stir well.
Assemble the veggie pots
Place a tablespoon of quinoa (or other grains if using) in the bottom of a jar or bowl and top with a layer of diced tomatoes. Place a circle of cooked aubergine over the tomatoes followed by a layer of skyr and tahini. Next sprinkle some shredded spinach and spring onion leaves into the jar followed by another layer of aubergine. Add another layer of chopped tomatoes, olives and shredded spinach. Finally top with a little more skyr and a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin and pomegranate seeds.
NB 38g of pomegranate seeds is low in FODMAPS.
Find out more about how to manage your sensitive gut at the IBS Network