This summer reminds me a lot of my childhood. I totally believe in Global Warming but I have to say the last few years have been some of the coolest summer’s I remember. But this summer, and this week in particular, has been a scorcher with temps refusing to dip below 90. 10+ years ago this would have been the ideal summer! Pool side lounging, visits to neighboring beaches and Playland, and warm summer walks after sunset. 10+ years later and I can’t wait for the temps to get back into the 80’s. We need our lazy summer days spent outdoors and I need to be able to walk into my kitchen at 3 p.m. without feeling like I’m going to faint. Luckily, I’ve been making lemonade out of this week’s lemons. Or should I say Fro-yo!
I first made ice cream a few years ago when my husband, then boyfriend, bought it for me as an anniversary present. Romantic, right? But in truth it turned out to be a super useful and fun present. We made all different types of ice creams and sorbets but it took me until last year to make my first batch of fro-yo. Primarily because I’ve never been a big fro-yo fan (If I want ice cream, I just have it), but also because everyone agrees making fro-yo can be complicated.
For starters, many sites suggest you drain the yogurt for hours to remove much of it’s liquid. Then it suggests you add tons of sugar, both for textural and flavor purposes. Time + tons of sugar just didn’t seem like plusses for my family. I made frozen yogurt last year because I wanted my son to have a taste of summer without all the sugar. I ended up making a black cherry fro-yo with shaved chocolate as his first taste of “ice cream”. My son was thrilled and even my husband was begging for more!
I wanted to switch it up a bit this year. I’ve been obsessed lately with all things strawberry + beet. There’s something about the way those two come together that always makes me so happy. For one, in my opinion, it makes the sugar totally optional. Because I was making this for the babe I decided not to add sugar but I could see how adding a bit (1/8-1/4 cup) could make the sweetness pop even more. Especially since, once frozen, the sweetness is lessened considerably.
I also love how earthy the beet tastes. I used ‘Love Beets’ beet juice but could definitely see blending it up next time so a few bits remain. Texture is where it’s at! That’s why I made sure to chop up some strawberries to add them to the mix to make it even fruitier. The strawberry bits also added an icy bite which was so welcome (and needed) this weekend.
- 1.5 pints strawberries ( 1 pint quartered, 1/2 pint cut into small cubes)
- 1/4 cup beet juice (or 2-3 small blended beets would work well)
- 3 cups yogurt (I used non fat Siggis but whole fat would be excellent as well)
- 1/8-1/4 cup sugar (optional)
- Begin by cutting strawberries.
- Blend quartered strawberries with beet juice in a blender or small food processor.
- Into a large bowl mix 3 cups of yogurt (I used plain Siggis and explain why below) with blended strawberry and beet mixture. This is also where you would add the sugar if you chose to.
- Fold in strawberry bits.
- Chill covered in refrigerator for an hour.
- Turn ice cream machine on and pour in mixture.
- After 25-30 minutes mixture will be thick enough to remove from machine.
- Carefully add frozen yogurt mixture into container of choice (I used a metal pan dish lined with wax paper).
- Place in freezer for 30 minutes to set then scoop and serve!
My secret to not having to drain the yogurt is obviously my fave yogurt ever: Siggi’s! I know I’m always raving about them but they are the key to a low-fat and stress free fro-yo. I used the non-fat 0% plain yogurt but could you imagine how decadent the 4% vanilla would be here? We don’t have to imagine- go out there and make it!!
If you’ve never made fro-yo (or ice cream) I say do it!! Sure, banana nice cream is awesome, but if you want to go all out pick up a cheap ice cream maker (this is the one I use) and you won’t regret it!