Easy Homemade Frozen Yogurt!

caramel-pumpkin-yogurt

Yes, you heard me right. I said “easy” and I meant it! This recipe is easy and perfect for making quick froyo from ingredients you have in your refrigerator. Make it “to order” and mix plain or flavored yogurt with jam or fruit puree and any other fixin’s your heart desires!

If you want to invest a little more time, you can even make fresh Homemade Yogurt.

fresh-yogurt

Now before we get started, let me just say that the froyo you buy at the store is mostly sugar (or artificial sweetener), flavorings and gums/emulsifiers. You don’t really get the flavor of the yogurt shining through because most of the flavor comes from the sugar, or artificial sweetener and flavorings. And, if it weren’t for the gums and emulsifiers, it would freeze into a solid block.

You need a little fat and a little real sugar to get real frozen yogurt. If that real sugar comes from fruit or fruit puree, that’s fine. Just don’t leave it out if you want edible frozen yogurt.

As for the fat, well you need some in order for it to have the proper frozen consistency. If you opt for low fat or no fat yogurt (0% or 2%), consider adding a teaspoon of some form of fat per 1/2 cup of yogurt. I used browned butter for my batch of lemon yogurt and a pumpkin caramel with butter in it for my pumpkin caramel yogurt.

Experiment with the fat you use to get the flavor and consistency you want. Try healthier fats like avocado puree, coconut oil, olive oil, or nut oil to complement your flavor profile.

I have not experimented yet with natural or artificial sweeteners, or lowering the sugar content to see what happens. If you are watching your sugar intake, try using the least amount of sweetener and taste as you go until you get the right flavor. If using fruit, dissolve the sugar or sweetener into warm fruit puree, let cool then add it to your yogurt.

frozen-yogurt

Basic Frozen Yogurt Recipe

1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar

2 cups plain yogurt

2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon fat

Ice

Rock Salt/Ice Cream Salt

Basic Steps

  1. Dissolve sugar in a tablespoon or two of warm water or juice (heated gently)
  2. Add the fat and let it melt
  3. Stir in the yogurt and cool quickly in ice salt bath
  4. Put the yogurt still sitting in the ice salt bath in the freezer
  5. Freeze for 1-2 hours, stirring every 30-40 minutes until frozen
  6. Serve, or transfer to freezer container

For the Ice Salt Bath, layer ice cubes and a couple of tablespoons of rock salt in a bowl, set your pan or container of yogurt in the bath. Stir the yogurt mixture to cool it quickly, cover, then set the whole thing in the freezer.

 

  caramel-and-yogurt

Pumpkin Caramel Froyo Mixture

caramel-pumpkin-yogurt-copy

Pumpkin Caramel Frozen Yogurt

Make a simple caramel by melting 1/2 cup sugar with a tablespoon or two of water over low heat, then increasing the heat and letting the mixture turn amber. Immediately remove from heat when it turns light to medium amber and gently add a tablespoon of butter, stirring as it melts. Now stir in 1/4 cup pumpkin puree at room temperature and a teaspoon of ground pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. Let cool and stir in your yogurt, then freeze as directed above.

 

lemon-froyo

Lemon Brown Butter Frozen Yogurt

Heat a tablespoon of butter on medium heat until it begins to foam and brown slightly, toasting the milk solids. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, juice and zest of one lemon and stir until sugar is dissolved (place back on low heat if necessary). Let cool and stir in yogurt, then freeze as directed above.

lemon-frozen-yogurt

Flavor Hint: If your mixture tastes too sweet or seems like it “needs something” try adding a pinch of salt (regular-not rock/ice cream salt). I had some vanilla flavored salt in the pantry and added a pinch to both my frozen yogurt mixtures to offset the sweetness and add depth of flavor. Just don’t add too much or you’ll get salty yogurt!