It’s been a very cold, snowy winter. Like many others, I have enjoyed more than my fair share of cookies and comfort foods and am trying to scale back a bit now in the new year. Still, I am definitely a dessert person. After dinner, I crave something sweet, something to savor. So recently, I have been scouting out sweet foods I can eat and feel good about. Now, I realize that it seems a bit strange to talk about frozen yogurt in January, but work with me here. It’s a great dessert.
I have been seeking foods low in fat (and not too high in sugar) but also high in nutritive value. Scratch Frozen Yogurt is definitely just that. Also, it’s something I can switch up a bit so I don’t get bored.
All it takes is some (organic) fat-free, plain yogurt, frozen fruit and berries, and honey. I buy one of those 32-ounce tubs of yogurt and use half per recipe. For the fruit, I grab a variety of frozen berries and fruits and keep all of the open bags in a large plastic storage bag in the freezer. The fruit provides most of the sweetness, and a few teaspoons of honey finishes it off. You buzz it up in a blender or food processor, and you can drink it just like that as a smoothie or pour it into a container to freeze. That’s it!
Now, aside from the sugar, think about what this treat provides. You have the calcium and live cultures in the yogurt (most, but not all, cultures do survive the freezer.) The berries have vitamins like A, C, and E as well as antioxidants and some minerals, and the honey contains a variety of B vitamins and minerals.
If you want to go crazy, you can put in other stuff. For a while, I was putting in a tablespoon of brewer’s yeast (and some extra honey to disguise the taste), but my husband couldn’t stand to eat it. You could also add other common smoothie ingredients like fresh banana, orange juice, protein powder, green tea, spirulina (algae) powder, or flax seed oil.
All in all, it’s a good amount of nutrition and a sweet treat. It’s cheaper, too, than buying organic frozen treats in the store. Be a bit careful of tiny raspberry and blackberry seeds if they might cause a problem for you and your teeth. I just crunch them up, but if you will find that unpleasant, try sticking to less-seedy frozen treats like cherries, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, and mangoes.
Scratch Frozen Yogurt
16 oz. fat-free plain yogurt, 1½-2 c. frozen fruit and berries (try ¾ c. raspberries, ½ c. cherries, ½ c. mango), 2-3 t. honey (4-5 servings)
Pour yogurt into blender or food processor. Add frozen fruit and berries ¼ cup at a time, blending thoroughly after each addition. After adding fruit, have a taste. Add honey as needed, probably 2-3 teaspoons, and then allow the blender to run for about a minute to distribute the honey throughout the cold mixture.
Pour into a cup to drink as a smoothie, or pour into a container to freeze overnight for frozen yogurt. (If frozen yogurt is too hard to scoop, thaw in microwave for 10-20 seconds or set out on the counter for 20-30 minutes.)