Chillin’ With Berry Frozen Yogurt
By Cal Orey
It’s time. The weather is warming up. That means no-cook recipes for lighter foods are here! I discovered this week that you can have your ice cream and eat it too! In other words, if you do it yourself the sweet treat can be super healthy and comfort food.
On the weekend at Safeway I noticed strawberries were a great price for a big bunch. I fantasized about baking a decadent strawberry cobbler, deep dish pie, and even scones topped with glaze. Then, my pounds-off (yes, it’s working at 120 now, but I’ve morphed into a vegetarian-vegan deprived bunny rabbit clad in skinny jeans) pre-summer phased kicked in; I took another route.
I used to go to our former 31 Flavors and order a frozen yogurt. And I’ve purchased cartons of the stuff, too during past summers. Then, this week when watching Pioneer Woman on the Food Network channel I watched the star made a quickie strawberry-mango ice cream. I thought, “I’m going to change it up since I’m a West Coast girl. It’s time to use the South Shore Tahoe-style strawberries, lose the island mango and chocolate plus no food processor. So, my name is on it.”
Confession: After I made a batch I noticed it wasn’t thick and ready to serve like the superstar’s ice cream. I popped the fruit mixture into the freezer. Staring at the chime clock and hearing chimes every half hour got me wondering: “Will it chill?” At 8 P.M. I opened the freezer, took out the plastic container, and guess what? I did it! I scooped up two mounds of berry frozen yogurt! Here’s my simple tried-and-true recipe.
STRAWBERRY WALNUT FROZEN YOGURT
½ cup Greek yogurt (I used plain)
¼ cup organic half and half (I may try heavy cream next time)
2 tablespoons honey
¼ cup white granulated sugar
½ cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Mint sprigs or dried mint (optional)
In a blender (mine has a pulse button) or food processor (I still haven’t splurged on one due to my love for the trusty, multi-task blending machine), blend frozen strawberries. This is a task but it works! Add yogurt, half and half, honey, and sugar. Pour mixture into a plastic container. Put it into the freezer. Chill. Best served once frozen, about two hours. Garnish with nuts for crunch and mint for a nice minty flavor. Serves 4 to 6.
Is it easier to buy frozen yogurt? Of course! But using fresh fruit, and your fave Greek yogurt, local honey—without an ice cream maker is empowering! No unwanted ingredients. Will I do it again? Oh yeah. Think of all the flavors to mix up. And the dog days of summer haven’t even started. Frozen yogurt, anyone?