In partnership withIcelandic Provisions

This Nutty, Creamy, High-Protein Snack Fueled the Vikings — and It’s Perfect for Me

published Feb 16, 2022
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Credit: Icelandic Provisions

Standing in my sweatpants in the kitchen, watching the snow flurries through the window, I figured I’d have a snack before heading out to shovel. I needed something that was quick and easy to eat (read: no cooking required), but also gave me some actual energy to handle the snow.

After surveying the fridge, I settled on something that I’d learned had a history of fortifying people to power through much more than a little shoveling. It was a kind of cultured dairy product invented in Iceland, called skyr (pronounced like “skier”), where seafaring Vikings once cherished it as a filling source of protein. My flavor, Icelandic Provisions’ Coconut & Almonds, was just what I was looking for.

For nearly 1,000 years, Icelanders have been eating skyr, which resembles a thicker, more luxurious version of Greek yogurt. Modern snackers can reap these rewards with Icelandic Provisions skyr, which is made with milk from family-owned dairy farms in upstate New York and certified heirloom cultures from Iceland — the only U.S.-made skyr to do so! Because each cup of skyr is made from about four cups of milk, the result is extra creamy and packed with protein. My Coconut & Almonds had 11 grams, but it still tasted rich and just sweet enough feel like a treat — not something I was grudgingly eating in the name of self-sustenance.

Credit: Icelandic Provisions

The rest of the Fruit & Nut line didn’t disappoint, either. Each cup has juicy bits of fresh fruit alongside crushed nuts in utterly craveable combinations. Peach, Apricot & Almonds reminds me of a summer crumble, but without all the sugar or hours spent pitting and peeling produce. For me, Wild Blueberry & Walnuts is the platonic ideal of a superfood snack, with tart berries balanced by creamy skyr and crunchy nuts for texture. It’s hard to believe I used to make dry, crumbly trail mixes when I could have been spooning up this decadence. I love the natural sweetness of Strawberry & Almonds, too. Strawberry yogurts tend to overwhelm with cloying additives, but this tastes precisely as berries should.

The newest flavor, Cherry & Almonds, is a rather sophisticated combination of ripe black cherries, crisp seeds, and crushed nuts — which you can turn into a delectable cherry almond brûlée or heavenly cherry almond puffs if you’re feeling ambitious. Now, I can’t look at cherry-flavored lip balm the same way again. I want to savor each spoonful, whether I’m sitting in front of my laptop or gazing out on the Icelandic fjords (hey, a girl can dream).

Credit: Icelandic Provisions

Skyr’s versatility — nutrition-wise and flavor-wise — is huge for me. I’m guilty of periodically skipping breakfast, but this is so convenient, plus it keeps me energized for hours. I love it as a mid-afternoon snack, when 4:00 p.m. hits and the So, when’s dinner again? thought arrives. Not uncommonly, I’ll go for Coconut & Almonds or Strawberry & Almonds as a light dessert when I’m craving something sweet but still healthful.

If you’ve ever attempted to outfox fatigue with frantic cups of coffee, or unsuccessfully battled the mid-afternoon slump with sugary snacks, you know how hard it can be to keep energy high and hunger at bay. Fortunately, there’s a better way: the Viking way.