Now that the summer heat is here to stay, so is my need for frequent doses of icy desserts. When I posted my recipe for Chocolate Amaretto Ice Cream, I was battling with Shake Shack and their delicious chocolate frozen custard. I seem to have gotten that situation under control and am now enjoying all the fresh fruit that's becoming increasingly available.
This week I was able to pick up a giant bag of sweet cherries at Whole Foods for a pretty reasonable price and some really flavorful peaches at Eastern Market on Sunday. Thus, a new frozen dessert was born. The idea behind the frozen yogurt is that it starts out as smoothie. You have your fruit, yogurt, juice, milk, and flavorings, and you throw them all in the blender. As a general rule, if the combination would taste good as a fruit smoothie, it will probably work as frozen yogurt.
I've experimented a bit and developed the following formula for fruit-based frozen yogurt. As long as you stick with the general proportions, you can really experiment with different types of fruit and flavorings. You can also use frozen fruit - just keep in mind that the frozen yogurt will take less time to freeze in the ice cream maker. Frozen fruit is great to keep in your freezer - it's generally cheaper than fresh fruit and lasts a lot longer. Just don't get the kind that has sugar added to it.
Cherry-Peach Frozen Yogurt
1 to 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen fruit*
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup almond milk (low-fat regular milk and soy also work)
1 oz (2 Tablespoons) Amaretto**
Dash of cinnamon (a couple shakes of the spice jar will do)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
*I used about 1/2 cup of peaches (1 small peach cut up), and 1/2 cup pitted sweet cherries. If you use berries with seeds (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, etc.) I recommend straining the frozen yogurt mixture after you blend it to remove the seeds, especially if you want to serve the yogurt to kids.
**I love Amaretto with fruit, but if you don't want to add alcohol to the frozen yogurt, you can add orange juice instead.
1. Slice your fruit and toss it in the blender. Add the yogurt, milk, Amaretto, cinnamon and vanilla.
To make your life even easier, you can measure the milk and yogurt using the marks on the side of the blender. I start with the milk and pour up to the 4 oz mark. Then I add yogurt to the blender until the liquid hits the 8 oz mark. Then you just add everything else in and save another measuring cup from heading to the dishwasher.
3. Turn your ice cream maker on, or turn your stand mixer on low (if you're using the KitchenAid attachment like me). Pour the frozen yogurt mixture directly from the blender into the bowl of the ice cream maker or attachment. Let it run for 8-10 minutes, or until the frozen yogurt gets to the consistency that you like. Mine usually looks a lot like soft serve, but perhaps a bit icier.
4. Turn off the ice cream maker or mixer. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and distribute the frozen yogurt into your dessert bowls. Add any toppings that you like.
The frozen yogurt has a creamy texture similar to a sorbet and is just sweet enough to hit the spot on a hot day. We get 2 servings out of this, but you could probably stretch it to get 3 depending on the toppings you're using. Fresh fruit would be great to add to the top, but I'm usually tired of slicing fruit by then, so I usually just go for the can of whipped cream.
Here are the nutrition facts based on getting two K&C-sized servings out the recipe (I know, 7 grams of protein and less than 150 calories for dessert? You're welcome.):
Serving Size 210 g