When I come to think of it, this whole tale contains many more than two firsts; from getting up early for something non-medical, to going on the Tube. However, the two that I am referring to are:
- Going to the launch of a new product
- Trying said product
I was extremely excited to be asked to attend the breakfast launch of Arla Skyr (‘skee-er’) yoghurt. A big step for me, both in terms of something new for my blog, and also the physical and social aspects of attending such an event. Fortunately, it was only 2 hours which seemed very feasible.
Unsure of what to expect, I arrived at Ham Yard Hotel in Soho and, well – wow! Whoever is responsible for the interior design there is very welcome to come and do up my flat any day. Think brightly coloured and patterned wallpaper, kitsch neon signs and a giant orange dispenser (in a good way). Overwhelmed is perhaps a little strong, but I was definitely whelmed at the very least.
The room itself contained, as you might expect, a large quantity of Skyr yoghurt pots, mounds of other breakfast delights and a number of fellow bloggers. I was struck by two things: first, everyone was incredibly friendly and welcoming; secondly, as a blogger, your actual names seems to be interchangeable with the name of your blog.
Charlotte Stirling-Reed, nutritionist of Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped fame, gave us all a brief talk to explain what’s so great about Arla Skyr – a new Icelandic yoghurt. In a nutshell, they are fat free, high protein and low sugar. I was a bit wary of the high protein bit of this. Having always associated high protein with people trying to ‘get massive’ in the gym and consuming vast amounts of protein shakes, chicken and eggs, it’s not something that I’ve thought I needed in my diet. However, Charlotte reassured me that the high protein is good for anybody as it increases satiety (feeling full), therefore meaning you are less likely to want to snack.
The yoghurt is produced using traditional Icelandic methods for straining and filtering, apparently resulting in a very thick and silky texture. Enough talking – let’s move on to the important part!
Released onto the breakfast buffet, I chose to try Skyr in a granola pot with forest fruit compote, as well as in a banana smoothie. The promise of silkiness was no lie. Skyr tastes similar to Greek yoghurt, but perhaps a little thicker and smoother, with a distinct yoghurty tang. It made a delightful breakfast with fruit and granola, though I found the smoothie a little bit too thick.
During breakfast, I took the opportunity to grill Charlotte a bit more about how you can use yoghurt in your diet. Skyr comes in various fruit flavours and so makes a good snack on its own. Charlotte suggested that the plain yoghurt could also be used for:
- pancakes with fruit
- replacing cream/ice cream with desserts
- curry recipes
- frozen and blended with fruit
- making soup
- replacing sour cream in fajitas
As you know, I have had an interest in probiotics recently, so I checked whether this yoghurt contains them. Apparently they do contain a small amount of natural probiotics. However, Charlotte advised that when – and only when – taking antibiotics, it is best to take a probiotic supplement, as well as a prebiotic one, because the probiotics feed on the prebiotics, making them more effective. Got that? Good.
After brekkie, we went for a stroll around Soho with Londonist tour guide Peter. I thought I knew the area pretty well, but Peter introduced us to various quirky places and features I had no idea about. Did you know, for example, that shops in Soho used to have a single cow out at the back, who would be milked when needed to produce small, individual amounts? Or that the milk had a blueish tinge, due to pollution? Or that no plane tree in London has ever died of natural causes as they are so well adapted to surviving in spite of their surroundings? My favourite place that we visited was Phoenix Gardens – a tiny oasis of life in the middle of an urban jungle.
Following the tour, I staggered home, sleeping for over two hours once I got back. The physical activity and pressure of meeting new people and making polite conversation was exhausting, but well worth it. I felt I had really achieved something.
My own Skyr experience:
- My boyfriend and I had Skyr snack size pots with granola for breakfast. Mine was Simply Natural; he got Nordic Sour Cherry. It tasted great, though the granola was a little coconutty for my boyfriend’s taste. The satiety claims must be true, as I definitely felt full for quite some time.
- We tried out some of the Simply Natural on chicken fajitas. The tang was a good contrast for the other flavours in the fajita. 100% worth saving the calories and having this rather than sour cream. Don’t think we’ll be going back to that!
- I made some Lady Grey and lemon cupcakes with rosewater icing. Both the cupcake and icing contained Skyr yoghurt. I think that it gives a lovely light, moist cake and will be using it again in future recipes. The icing was a little too runny, think I need to work on that one!
I am grateful to Arla and Cow PR, both for the yoghurt and the new experiences.
I was given free products to try out but not paid for this review. All opinions are my own.
Caroline Crimson x