Making Your Own Frozen Yogourt
|This is a simple strawberry frozen yogourt.|
Given all the complex flavour combinations available, wifey selected a simple strawberry vanilla flavour without any extras like sprinkles, dried fruit, or nuts.
For tiny amount of yogourt, we paid $2.95. She enjoyed it at the time, but she finished her yogourt after a couple of minutes before we reached the main intersection we needed to cross.
With memories of her yogourt experience, this past March, she wanted to get yogourt when the weather improved. I casually mentioned that we could save some money if we made our own frozen yogourt. She questioned my sanity and wondered if we were capable of making it ourselves. She reasoned that the reason these frozen yogourt shops are popping up was because it was not easy to make. Frankly, I've seen how these things are made and it really didn't look hard.
I used to work in downtown Toronto. As such, when everyone was taking their break, we took advantage of the opportunity by stretching our legs. On hot days, that means stretching your legs indoors. In our case, the underground PATH below the downtown core. There was a frozen yogourt place along our route, so sometimes a co-worker or two would order a frozen yogourt. I noticed, over the many trips, that the fruits provided were frozen and the yogourt itself was also frozen. I also noticed that the proprietor would throw all the ingredients into a blender and add water before blending everything up. The proprietor would then dump the contents of the blender into the appropriate sized paper cups and proceed to charge $4 to $5 for each cup. The co-workers happily paid and happily consumed the yogourt.
I explained to wifey the process of making frozen yogourt. She was skeptical, but wanted to give it a shot. Worst case scenario, she wouldn't like it and we'd still go out and buy frozen yogourt.
Fortunately, we had some strawberries. We proceeded to freeze these strawberries and purchased a 700mL tub of yogourt for $2. I did some research on Google and found that most recipes added sugar to the frozen yogourt. As wifey and I don't like sweet things, I decided to forego the sugar. I threw in the yogourt, frozen strawberries, and milk and blended everything up. I gave it a taste.
Hmmm... it was a little on the sour side.
I think part of the reason for that was the yogourt. Wifey and I aren't fans of corn starch in yogourt. As such, we try to buy the most natural yogourt we can get. Generally, the only ingredients in our yogourt is milk and bacteria cultures.
To balance out the sour, I squeezed a bit of honey into the blender.
I poured the contents into a couple of bowls and wifey sampled one of them.
To her surprise, she loved the yogourt. She especially loved the fact that the frozen yogourt wasn't overly sweet. I suppose that makes sense. They make frozen yogourt taste like ice cream. No one wants to eat sour ice cream. Therefore, they add sugar to the frozen yogourt.
As she ate, I told her the other stuff we could do instead of adding honey like using frozen bananas.
Ever since that day in March, we've been freezing more and more fruits for our frozen yogourt concoctions. In addition to strawberries, we've had blueberries, bananas, nectarines, and even mangoes.
To change things up once in a while, we've even thrown in some dark chocolate. Ever tried strawberry banana frozen yogourt with dark chocolate chucks? We have and it's great!
How about strawberry frozen yogourt with dark chocolate chunks and dried cranberries? The dried cranberries give the frozen yogourt a different texture. Similar to raisins in ice cream.
Recently, I've even thrown in some vanilla extract (for vanilla flavoured frozen yogourt) or cocoa powder (for chocolate flavoured frozen yogourt*).
Of course, since we were already spending money on fruits and yogourt, the only money we're spending to make frozen yogourt is the electricity to power the blender**.
Plus each batch makes at least 3 portions. The extra portions we can't eat, we throw in the freezer. If we feel like frozen yogourt, we just take it out of the freezer to defrost a bit before consuming.
Aside from saving money, wifey really likes the idea that the yogourt we're eating is much healthier than the ones outside. We really don't know what ingredients or chemicals are used in frozen yogourt. By making it ourselves, we know exactly what we're putting into it.
Additionally, any fresh fruit that we cannot finish now goes into the freezer to make frozen yogourt. We're no longer forcing ourselves to finish all our fresh fruit.
If you want to push the envelope, you can also say we're not wasting the paper cups and plastic spoons*** for the frozen yogourt, but really those things have already been purchased by the stores. One way or the other, they will be used.
With that, I'll leave you the recipe for our homemade frozen yogourt. Enjoy.
Loonie IT Guy's Strawberry-Banana Vanilla Frozen Yogourt
Throw all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve. Enough for 4 people.
- 5 spoons of frozen yogourt
- 1 frozen banana
- 4-5 frozen strawberries
- Some milk
- A drop of vanilla extract
*That's how they make chocolate, right? Cocoa powder, milk, and sugar? Although we don't have sugar in our yogourt, there's plenty of sugars from the banana. It really tastes like chocolate.
**My sister gave me her old blender a couple of years ago. It was functional. She just wanted to replace it with a newer model. We rarely used it until I proposed making our own frozen yogourt.
***We saved the plastic spoon from last year's yogourt trip. It is very solid so we use it to scope sugar out of the sugar bowl.