After the last month of reading labels and reevaluating how food tastes to me, I decided that fat-free, sugar-free ice cream is gross, but regular or "lite" ice cream is more sweet than it needs to be. Yogurt has a wonderfully creamy texture, so I decided to give that a try. I ordered a "refurbished" counter-top ice cream maker from overstock.com for about $35, and went to town testing recipes. Here's what I've come up with.
Tropical or Strawberry Fat-Free Frozen Yogurt
1 large 32 oz. tub of fat-free vanilla yogurt
2 Cups frozen fruit (I use the Tropical variety or Strawberry Wal-Mart Great Value brand)
1/2 cup serving Tropical - 92 calories (regular ice cream can be around 140 to 180 calories)
1/2 cup serving Strawberry - 87 calories
1/2 cup serving Blackberry - 96 calories (just threw that in to see if you were paying attention, I think I'll try this variety tomorrow)
Yep, just two ingredients, and the kids especially like the strawberry. Connor's comment was, "This is the best ice cream I ever had!" I'm sure that was an exaggeration. I doubt this beats the overall satisfaction your taste buds get from decadently fat regular ice cream, but still, it's a great substitute. Sue made a comment on my health blog once, that she was impressed that I stayed in my calorie range and still had homemade ice cream. Well, this is my secret, and here is how it's done, step by step.
Measure out two cups of frozen fruit, then soften in the microwave for about 1 to 1-1/2 minutes.
Puree it in the blender.
You wind up with about 7/8 cup of fresh fruit puree. Hmmm, any of you out there a fan of peaches? That would be great, too!
A 32oz. tub of fat-free yogurt. Stir in the fruit puree, and pour it into the core.
The ice cream machine. Here's the basic concept - the frozen core sits on the motor base. The frozen core is about a 1/2" to 3/4" thick cylinder with some kind of gel/liquid substance sealed inside the walls. You are supposed to keep it in your freezer all the time, so that it's ready to go whenever you make frozen treats. The frozen walls win out over the much warmer temperature of the liquid you put in the center, and that's how you wind up with ice cream.
The plastic paddle just rests inside the core.
Fully assembled, with the lid on.
It starts out as a liquid.
It gets a little thicker, starts looking like a milkshake.
Then it gets really frozen, and starts clumping up.
Now it has the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. Now it's time to take it out of the core and either eat it, or put it in a separate container in the freezer. Note - in a completely frozen state, it's not quite like regular ice cream, which is still somewhat creamy when it's frozen. Because there is no fat in this recipe, it's nearly like frozen water, but if you put it in the microwave for about 45 seconds, it softens up enough that you can scoop it.
Eat it up, yummmmmm!!!!
Next, I'll work on some different berry flavors, maybe redo the peppermint I tried a little over a week ago, and work on chocolate.