Like many people who deal with severe food sensitivities, I have accumulated a kitchen full of unitaskers. I’ve learned to explore all kinds of possibilities with the tools I have, and one of the most useful has been the ice cream maker. Most ice cream recipes are fairly complicated, involving a cooked custard with egg, which has to cool before churning. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that frozen yogurt is much less complicated. In fact, all you really need is yogurt.
Sweet or Savory
Yogurt as a frozen base lends itself beautifully to either sweet or savory flavors. Try some of these flavor combinations for a savory frozen yogurt:
shredded cucumbers and fresh mint
mashed/seeded tomato and fresh basil
Avocado and lime juice
olive oil, sea-salt and sunflower seeds (or other nuts and seeds)
Sweet flavors are much more common and easy on our American palate. You can make a tasty frozen yogurt treat by simply adding containers of fruit-on-the-bottom low-fat yogurt to your ice cream maker and processing. A few other additions will increase the texture and flavor, such as cream and vanilla.
Storing Frozen Yogurt
The elements that help frozen yogurt stay creamy in the freezer are air, fat and sugar. The ice cream maker whips some air into the mix while churning. If there is more water content than fat, ice crystals form and the yogurt becomes very hard after a few hours in the freezer. You can soften it by letting it thaw for 20 minutes on the counter before serving. You can also soften it by adding fat, removing water, or adding ingredients that don’t freeze, such as alcohol or sugar. One or more of these changes will help the frozen yogurt consistency after freezing:
Use full-fat yogurt
Strain lowfat yogurt in cheesecloth to remove excess liquid before churning
Add 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup whole milk
Add two tablespoons of liqueur or vodka to each batch
Add up to 1/3 cup granulated sugar to each batch
Add 1 teaspoon gelatin dissolved in a small amount of warm water before churning
Black Cherry Frozen Yogurt With Fresh Blueberries
12 ounces fruit-on-the-bottom black cherry low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup fresh blueberries, cut into quarters
Mix ingredients together in a medium bowl until sugar is mostly dissolved.
Process in ice cream maker according to directions.
Serve immediately, or freeze up to two hours in an airtight container before serving.
If freezing longer, let thaw for five to ten minutes before scooping, or use ice cream softening setting on microwave.
Serves three to five people.