The best plain nonfat yogurts
It’s no secret that plain nonfat yogurt is now a ZeroPoint™ food (hooray!). It’s perfect as either a protein-packed snack or full-on breakfast. WW editors were determined to find the best ones for each of your basic needs among the plethora of varieties on the market.
Before getting into the results, you should know that all plain, nonfat yogurt is not created equal. It comes in a few different types: regular, Greek, and Skyr, and each one can satisfy specific needs and tastes:
Regular: This familiar type of yogurt is made by thickening milk with gelatin or milk powder, or evaporating it. Once the milk is thick, it’s pasteurized (to keep it safe for eating) and homogenized (to keep it creamy). Lastly, cultures—living organisms, sometimes called probiotics—are added to change the milk’s natural sugar (lactose) into lactic acid, which thickens the milk even more.
Greek: Made similarly to regular yogurt, the difference is that Greek yogurt is strained to concentrate its solids and remove some of the whey. It takes about three times more milk to make Greek yogurt than regular yogurt.
Skyr: Yogurt and Skyr are both cultured dairy products, but the cultures used to make them are different. The cultures used for Skyr give a creamy mouth-feel, while yogurt cultures provide a sour, tart taste. Skyr is also much thicker and more densely concentrated than other yogurts. It takes nearly four cups of milk to make just one cup of Skyr.
After sampling 10 brands that included all three of these types of yogurt, we chose the following, based on plain yogurt tastes and needs:
Best plain yogurt: Trader Joe’s 0% Plain Greek Yogurt
This alternative grocery’s store brand beat the other, more popular national brands in our taste test. Our testers described it as having “a nice consistency” and “not too thick, not too thin.” In addition, testers gave it high marks for taste and texture.
Creamiest plain yogurt: Siggi’s 0% Plain Skyr
Looking for something with a little more heft? Siggi’s should be your new go-to. Its tangy flavor makes it great on its own or with toppings, and as a great base for dips. Our testers said it would be “great mixed with some fresh fruit.”
When you’re looking for some excitement: Trader Joe’s 0% Plain Icelandic Style Yogurt
Trader Joe’s landed two spots on our top five list—and deservedly so. Their Icelandic yogurt is smooth and flavorful. Tasters said this has a “strong, tangy flavor that woke up [their] taste buds.”
Heartiest plain yogurt: Fage 0% Plain Greek Yogurt
Our tasters described this option as “thick, creamy, and filling.” It has a bit more of a pucker punch to it than the Trader Joe’s Greek, but can still be used as a base for fruit or granola.
Best plain yogurt to eat sans toppings: Green Mountain Creamery 0% Plain Greek Yogurt
Green Mountain Creamery’s Greek yogurt isn’t as thick as the others on our list, but our testers loved its “smooth texture.” Its mild taste makes it a great choice for dips. Green Mountain Creamery uses only rBST-free Grade A milk, and all of its products are naturally gluten-free (some Greek yogurts may contain additives that include gluten).
Best plain yogurt to cook with: Stonyfield Organic 0% Fat Smooth & Creamy Plain
Our tasters noted that while it didn’t have a lot of flavor, it had a “super creamy” texture and was “good to mix into something.” We recommend saving this one for cooking.
Whichever yogurt you choose, chances are you won’t always be eating it by itself. Here are a dozen things to do with yogurt!