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Frozen Yogurt Season

Mango, raspberry-lime and honey-goat's milk frozen yogurt (AJC Staff)

Mango, raspberry-lime and honey-goat's milk frozen yogurt (AJC Staff)

A few folks have been asking about the frozen yogurt I mentioned in a post the other day. As our friends all know, my family and I eat lots and lots of yogurt during the spring and summer months. Here’s a 2008 story I wrote for the newspaper, with recipes.

A CULTURED TREAT

My first batch of homemade frozen yogurt resulted, I recall, from a creative cleaning out of the fridge, which explains the unusual flavor combination: honey-lime-vanilla-goat.

It was also a bribe for my chore-averse children. If they would not only clear the dinner table but fill the dishwasher and put the leftovers away without bickering or stalling, then I would provide dessert. That seemed fair.

Working quickly, I flavored a half carton of goat’s-milk yogurt (bought on a whim, never finished) with the aforementioned ingredients and poured them into an ice cream maker. I had no idea what I was doing but figured something cold and sweet would result. My kids aren’t picky when it comes to cold and sweet.

What emerged from the ice cream maker was remarkably similar in texture to the soft-serve frozen yogurt at Yoforia or Juicygreen — creamy and thick on the spoon but with a fine, crystalline iciness on the tongue.

The flavor was all its own — tart, elusive, goaty, sweet but not too. Fantastic.

After churning out several batches of honey goat over the next few weeks, I began to branch out, experiment, question the recipe.

Could I add fruit? Yes!

Could I use Greek yogurt? Nonfat yogurt? Yes and yes.

I was onto something, and the kids were all too happy to keep washing dishes in anticipation of the next batch. Me, I was excited to take our ice cream machine out of its virtual mothballs — the island of lost appliances in the cabinet over the range.

Making actual ice cream isn’t hard, but it requires a commitment to craft. You have to think in terms of recipes and start with either a cooked custard or a base so rich in butterfat that it stays scoopable after you churn it and then freeze it solid.

In the long run, this never worked for me. I’m more of a “what’s for dinner?” kind of cook than a craft kind of cook.

Beyond that, I’m all for fattening treats now and again, but I did have a moment’s pause while glugging a quart carton of cream into a bowl for peach ice cream. Did I really want to feed this to my kids?

My frozen yogurt, however, would never be fattier than whole milk and offered the added health benefits of active cultures. It always came out of the machine thick, luscious, perfect at just that moment in time. The leftovers, granted, became hard and dull in the freezer, but we rarely had any excess.

Now we eat frozen yogurt at least twice a week. Peaches, raspberries, strawberries, bananas, coffee and maple syrup have all taken turns as the principal flavoring. It is a forgiving concoction. Reduce the sugar, up the amount of fruit, substitute honey or agave nectar, switch yogurt brands — no biggie.

In fact, the more I played with the recipe, the more we all began to favor versions that highlighted rather than hid the bracing tang of yogurt.

A little fresh yogurt, a little fruit, almost no sugar, a clean table and a purring dishwasher — I can’t think of a nicer way to finish dinner.

RECIPES

When Jun Kim first visited a friend in Atlanta, he was struck by the absence of frozen yogurt shops, which were proliferating all over California. He saw a business opportunity and now operates the branches of Yoforia in Alpharetta, Perimeter Mall, Vinings and Morningside.

Kim makes his yogurt from fresh, nonfat Stonyfield Farm organic yogurt and nonfat organic milk, freezing it in a machine that brings the temperature down to 20 degrees.

“The price of these machines is like the price of a car, ” says Kim. “That’s how we get such a smooth finish.”

Yogurt made in a $99 home ice cream machine may be softer and icier than that served at Yoforia, but no one is likely to complain. Here are some recipes to get started.

Raspberry-Lime Frozen Yogurt

4 servings

Hands on: 5 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

With a flavor as bright as its color, this yogurt would be appropriate for a dinner-party dessert. If you have a large machine, double the recipe. Also, taste the raspberries after they macerate, as very sour ones might require a spoonful more sugar.

  • 1/2 pint (1 small container) fresh raspberries
  • Scant 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 pint plain yogurt, preferably Greek-style, 2 percent butterfat

In a nonreactive bowl, combine the berries, sugar and lime juice and let rest for 10 minutes to macerate. Lightly mash with a fork and add yogurt. Churn in ice cream maker until thick like soft-serve ice cream, about 20 minutes depending on the machine.

Per serving: 142 calories (percent of calories from fat, 13), 7 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 2 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 7 milligrams cholesterol, 86 milligrams sodium.

Banana-Chocolate Chip Frozen Yogurt

4 servings

Hands on: 5 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Choose a yogurt with a little less tang. Liberte from Canada (available at DeKalb Farmers Market) is just the ticket, but Stonyfield Farm, a widely available organic brand, is good, too.

  • 3 ripe medium bananas
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pint whole milk yogurt
  • 2 ounces chocolate (milk or dark)

In a bowl, mash the bananas, sugar and vanilla and let rest 5 minutes, or until sugar dissolves. Combine with yogurt and churn in ice cream maker until thick like soft-serve ice cream, about 20 minutes depending on the machine. When yogurt is nearly ready, melt the chocolate in the microwave in a microwave-safe measuring cup. Drizzle the melted chocolate slowly, in a thin stream, into the machine to form chips.

Per serving: 326 calories (percent of calories from fat, 23), 6 grams protein, 60 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 9 grams fat (5 grams saturated), 19 milligrams cholesterol, 70 milligrams sodium.

Mango Frozen Yogurt

8 servings

Hands on: 5 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

All Indian markets and many larger stores with international ingredients (such as DeKalb Farmers Market) stock cans of fragrant alphonso mango pulp from India. It’s actually better in frozen yogurt than fresh mango. Definitely use Greek-style yogurt here; its dense creaminess makes for a fantastic platform for the honeyed flavor of this mango.

  • 1 pint canned Indian mango pulp
  • 1 pint Greek-style yogurt, preferably 2 percent butterfat
  • Juice of 1 lime

In a bowl, combine the pulp, yogurt and lime juice until smooth. Churn in ice cream maker until thick like soft-serve ice cream, about 20 minutes depending on the machine.

Per serving: 65 calories (percent of calories from fat, 27), 2 grams protein, 10 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 2 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 8 milligrams cholesterol, 29 milligrams sodium.

Honey-Lime-Vanilla Frozen Goat Yogurt

8 servings

Hands on: 5 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Redwood Hill Farm goat’s-milk yogurt (available at Whole Foods Markets and other retailers) gives this unusual frozen dessert a distinctive flavor and wonderfully creamy feel on the tongue. It’s great as is or with some fresh-cut mango, kiwi or strawberries.

  • 1 quart plain Redwood Hill Farm goat’s milk yogurt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Juice of 1 1/2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (better yet — seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla bean)

In a bowl, combine the yogurt, honey, lime juice and vanilla until smooth. Churn in ice cream maker until thick like soft-serve ice cream, about 20 minutes depending on the machine.

Per serving: 114 calories (percent of calories from fat, 24), 4 grams protein, 24 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, 4 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 16 milligrams cholesterol, 58 milligrams sodium.

Coffee Frozen Yogurt

8 servings

Hands on: 5 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Only lightly sweetened, this yogurt is good as is, but perhaps is better with a dash of chocolate syrup over the top.

  • 1/2 cup strong espresso, cooled
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 quart plain yogurt

In a bowl, combine espresso, sugar and yogurt until smooth. Churn in ice cream maker until thick like soft-serve ice cream, about 20 minutes depending on the machine.

Per serving: 124 calories (percent of calories from fat, 28), 4 grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrates, no fiber, 4 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 16 milligrams cholesterol, 57 milligrams sodium.

TIPS FOR INGREDIENTS

  1. Use any kind of yogurt, though Greek-style will give you the creamiest texture.
  2. If mixing in fruit, go for types with more body, such as peaches, berries or tropical fruits. Avoid melons.
  3. Remember that freezing dulls flavor, so make your yogurt base a little sweeter, more sour or more intense than you expect from the frozen product.

17 comments Add your comment

Kathy

May 21st, 2010
12:37 pm

I have been making the raspberry-lime concoction since you first published a few summers ago – unbelievably good and idiot-proof. Have made all kinds of berry/citrus/herb combinations. All pretty good.

Reds

May 21st, 2010
1:53 pm

Any recommendations on a good “first” model ice cream maker? I don’t have one!

affordablefoodie

May 21st, 2010
3:14 pm

Do you happen to know of the most affordable ice cream maker on the market? One that works well, of course.

BigEdAtl

May 21st, 2010
3:25 pm

I have the KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment for my stand mixer and like it. Cooks Illustrated recommends it, the Cuisinart and the Hamilton Beach. That test was in 2007 so there may be some newer better ones out by now.

Dre

May 21st, 2010
4:28 pm

Yogli Mogli – Johnson Ferry

M&M

May 21st, 2010
4:57 pm

Menchie’s is great!!

Funkidivagirl from Funkidivagirl.com

May 21st, 2010
5:37 pm

Thanks so much for these recipes! My kids and I have been making ice cream in the summer for the last couple of years I have been wanting to try frozen yogurt because it’s healthier (although our Banana Pudding ice cream is the best in the world). I am going to print out these recipes and try them for sure.

Funkidivagirl from Funkidivagirl.com

May 21st, 2010
5:39 pm

Oh, and we have the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker and it works great.

John Kessler

May 21st, 2010
5:59 pm

I hear that Kitchen Aid attachment is great. We have a Krups we bought for $50 15 years ago, and it has never failed us. Hope you all enjoy the recipes!

Reds

May 24th, 2010
8:18 am

BigEd— thanks for that suggestion! :)

Amanda

May 24th, 2010
2:48 pm

I was experimenting last night, and made popsicles with Greek yogurt, pomegranate and lemon juices, and vanilla sugar, plus a bit of an orange liqueur to keep them from getting rock solid. SO GOOD. I am definitely trying out that coffee one in this form too.

Reds

May 25th, 2010
10:19 am

Kitchenaid attachment ordered. Maybe it will come before this weekend. That would be AWESOME!

Silvia

May 27th, 2010
8:48 pm

Thanks for the recipes and tip on ice cream makers. Amanda, thanks for tip on the liqueur. Yogurt is really good bruleed too! Can’t wait to make frozen next.

Lisa

May 31st, 2010
12:38 pm

I made the mango recipe but I couldn’t find canned mango puree at Harry’s so I used a bag of frozen mango chunks thawed and pureed with 1/3 cup sugar. It’s not really sweet but it’s very creamy and refreshing. Thanks!

Yogurt

May 31st, 2010
1:18 pm

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