I love yogurt, I live for yogurt, I live to die and come back to life for yogurt. When I landed back in the big city, the first thing I thought about was yogurt. Just kidding, the first thing I thought about was my happiness and glee of being home, then yogurt. Well, it would have been that, except in all actuality, the second thing I thought about was the anxiety that the airliner brought me when I discover that my larger bag, with all of my clothes and Christmas gifts (and Wii) had been misplaced and was NOT on the baggage claim. Ahhh, freakout time. Luckily, they located it, to find out that it had been misplaced and was coming on a later plane. So, I came to the airport at two, after my much needed and SUPER DELICIOUS lunch with my daddy, get my bag, then come home. Wonderful! Yogurt.
Despite what many would think, I am a health nut. I exercise, work hard to eat the recommended values of fruits, vegetables, and protein in the day, all while staying in a 1200-1300 calorie limit, according to how much exercise that I had gotten that day. I have never liked milk in the least bit, but I love yogurt, so I get my dairy and calcium from that. That being said, I am obsessed with Frozen Yogurt (Fro-Yo), I always go to the self-serve places and get 9 ounces of plain tart with vanilla, then top with strawberries and raspberries. This is a typical lunch for me, it keeps me full for FOREVER. They have two places in Savannah that I always hit up, I couldn’t live without my yogurt.
I discovered a method of creating my own Fro-Yo by using Fage Greek Yogurt. This isn’t product placement, its just the only company I really know of. Greek yogurt is an extremely thick yogurt that comes from straining . I had tried the 0% (or skim) several times, thinking it would be like the plain tart. Well, plain tart is sweetened, and I realized this after trying it. I didn’t like it the first time I had it, mainly because it is SO tart and so thick that it was always overwhelming to the palate. I was determined to find out what to do, because I wanted to enjoy this yogurt and eat it frequently, because 8 ounces of it contains 120 calories and, get this, 20 grams of protein. That’s more than a chicken breast. Just saying.
Sugar, yes, has calories, but really, there isn’t a ton of sugar in this, an 8 ounce serving is 270 calories (which is the same per ounce of self-serve Fro-Yo) and contains the same amount of protein. I could only have about 6 ounces though, it fills you up so much! 6 ounces of this yogurt is 170 calories with 13 grams of protein, with the addition of vitamin C in berries or fiber in whatever bran flakes or cereal bits that you choose to top it with. That’s the magic of all! What’s also good is the ability to control the sugar, I used about 3/4 c. of sugar, that was sweet enough for me, 1/2 cup wasn’t quite enough, it was still extremely tart. After this, I used good-quality vanilla extract to really brighten up the flavor. What tied it all together was the 1/2 tsp. of sea salt, it was a good way to round out the flavor.
Be sure to taste as you go!
The yogurt is thick, sure, but it still has a lot of water that we can get out, it imparts no flavor to the yogurt and just adds a higher risk for ice crystals. So, an overnight trip in the fridge in a fine mesh strainer lined with two layers of paper towels set over a bowl would get all of that excess out.
Look at all of that water! There was at least 1/2 cup in there!
Look at how thick it got! Heck! It’s like cheese! Delicious vanilla-y cheese. Now, this is too thick to pour into the ice cream maker, so I added milk to thin it out a bit.
I know what you’re thinking, “We just took out all of that water…to add milk? What’s WRONG with you?” I HAVE AN ANSWER, KIDDIES! As I said earlier, the water gives the yogurt no flavor, it’s just there. The milk adds more of a rich background to the yogurt, rounding out the flavor even more without taking away the wonderful tartness that is the yogurt.
A twenty minute trip in the ice cream maker got it to the perfect consistency!
Topped with strawberries (I had frozen here, just chopped up and thawed), this was the ideal and filling breakfast that I needed! It was a hit with the ‘rents as well!
The difficulty here is storing, yogurt doesn’t have enough fat in it (or in this case, none, despite the touch of milk) to stay soft and scoopable when stored in the freezer. So, I got some small, individual serving cups and evenly divided the leftovers up into them, that way if I wanted some yogurt, I could just pull out a serving, let it thaw a bit and enjoy it all the same.
Give it a try! Please! Its SOOOO delicious!
2 17.4 oz. Cartons of Greek Yogurt (Total [Whole] or 0% [Skim], any fat content you want)
1/2-3/4 c. Granulated Sugar, according to your taste
1 T. Vanilla Extract (Optional)
1/4 tsp. Fine Sea Salt
1/2 c. Milk (any fat content)
Chopped Fresh Fruit (Recommended: Strawberries, Raspberries, Kiwi, Blackberry, Mango, Banana, etc.) or whatever topping you want.
-Freeze Ice Cream Maker bowl according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Line a fine-mesh strainer with two layers of paper towels and set over a bowl, making sure to have at least an inch of space underneath. Set aside.
1. In a bowl, mix together yogurt with sugar, starting with the lower amount and add more according to your taste. Add in salt and vanilla extract (optional) and stir well to combine.
2. Pour mixture into the prepared strainer, cover with paper towels and cover with plastic wrap and allow to strain overnight.
3. Place strained mixture into a bowl and discard the water, stir in milk.
4. Start up the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions and gently pour in the yogurt. Freeze until the yogurt reaches soft-serve consistency. Serve topped with your favorite toppings.
-To store, divide the fro-yo into individual serving cups and freeze. Allow to thaw for 10 minutes or so before enjoying in order to get that wonderful consistency back!