The summers are hot, global warming or not, and call for hours in the pool and frozen treats. Here is a frozen treat that you are going to love so much that you might end up making it in the dead of the winter as well – Strawberry Frozen Yogurt. With just 3 ingredients – yogurt, sugar and strawberries, you have a delicious and healthy treat that tickles the taste buds and cools you down. This is a protein rich snack that the little kids (and the big kids) are going to love!
Home made frozen yogurt is an all natural, protein filled treat. Substitute honey for sugar to increases the vitamin and mineral content. This all natural healthy and delicious desert is sure to become a family favorite.
This is not a recipe where you just dump everything into a machine and forget about it. The process is a little more involved, but that makes all the difference. 10 minutes of extra effort gives you a creamier Frozen Yogurt.
I am not particularly fond of gadgets that serve only one purpose. But I do possess an ice cream maker – and usually bring it out for this recipe. When I started making homemade ice frozen treats, it was without a machine, and you will find both versions here. The ice cream machine is optional as the no machine version gives pretty good results.
Fresh or frozen strawberries can be used in this recipe. In summer I like to make this with fresh strawberries. The fresh picked berries from our local area farms are juicy and absolutely delicious. But when the mood strikes and there are no fresh berries available, frozen berries it is. Fresh or frozen, it turns out fabulous every time !!
A perfectly smooth and creamy frozen yogurt has tiny frozen water crystals , air bubbles and milk solids dispersed evenly. The commercial frozen yogurts use emulsifiers and stabilizers to create and maintain this smooth creamy consistency. These are not ingredients generally found in my pantry nor in my recipes. There is a time and place for them, but not in this recipe.
Regular yogurt contains a fair amount of water, which is going to work against us if we are looking for a creamy texture. How to avoid this ? Well strain the it , of course. The next question is – what kind of yogurt should you use? I prefer the regular or skimmed – homemade or store bought. Remember Greek yogurts are thicker and is already strained to some extend, so you can skip this step if using those. But do keep in mind that all Greek yogurts are not the same.
The first step is to strain the yogurt. A muslin cloth or layers of cheese cloth set over a large strainer is perfect for this job. Set the prepared strainer over a bowl and pour the yogurt into it, bring up the sides of the cloth over the yogurt to cover it and set aside for an hour. One hour of straining will take most of the whey out, but not all. I look for reducing the volume by half – from 4 C of regular yogurt remove about 2 C of whey.
The strained yogurt is great for tandoori marinades, making dips, or mix with fruits and granola for a protein filled breakfast or snack. As for the strained whey, do not throw it away either. It is wonderful in smoothies, to knead bread dough or even in soups and stews instead of water.
Now that we have took care of the yogurt lets get to prepare the strawberry syrup. Clean and chop the strawberries – the smaller the pieces the smoother the sauce is . In a pan take the chopped berries, add sugar and about 1/2 C whey (for 2 to 2 1/2 C of sliced berries) and bring to boil. Simmer for about 7 minutes until it begins to thicken. Mash the berries if needed, take off the heat and let cool .
Both the strained yogurt (hung curd, as we usually refer to it in India), and the strawberry syrup can be used in a number of recipes. So if you make, double the batch size and store the leftovers in the fridge to be used with in 3 to 4 days.
Mix the cooled strawberry syrup and the strained yogurt. At this point you have a couple of choices. Option 1 is to just chill and serve in as flavored yogurt and the optional 2 will be to make frozen yogurt . To to be truthful the flavored yogurt is very appealing, add a few nuts or granola to it and serve it for breakfast, or as a healthy snack. This is one even my taste testers approve of !!
My preferred way of making Strawberry Frozen Yogurt is in the ice cream maker. When using the ice cream maker it is important to make sure that there are no large chunks of strawberries. If you prefer to have chunky pieces, strain to remove them first and add back in towards the last few minutes of processing. Transfer the mix into the chilled bowl of the ice cream maker and process for about 10 minutes. Serve immediately of transfer to an airtight container and freeze.
If not using the ice cream maker, transfer the mix into a blender jar. Blend on low for about 3 minutes or until the mix looks uniformly pink and seems to have increased in volume a little. Pour into an airtight container and freeze.
When ready to use, take the container out from the freezer and leave on the counter for 5 minutes. Scoop out and share !!!