Last week was my last cooking class for the summer at Hawarden Hills Academy. I wanted to do something special and fun for the kids, but not too complicated. I thought of ice cream sundaes, but I didn’t want to drag ice cream makers to the school and frankly, I didn’t think the kids would care much about making the ice cream–they would most likely sit impatiently waiting to pile on the toppings and dig in. So I looked around for something easy. I found some recipes for “instant” frozen yogurt that used frozen fruit and a food processor to blend the yogurt. The processing of the frozen fruit with the yogurt was supposed to create a soft frozen yogurt “instantly.” Cool (literally). I tried it and just wasn’t happy with the texture–the fruit was completely pureed and the yogurt wasn’t really frozen–it was like a yogurt slushie. So I played around and ended up with an easy method that the kids can definitely do at home. It just requires a little patience.
Homemade Frozen Yogurt (without an ice cream maker!)
Makes: as much as you need
Time: 3-4 hours
Plain or vanilla flavored, yogurt (full-fat or lowfat is okay)
Flavorings or “add-ins” for yogurt, such as:
Fresh or frozen fruit
jams or jellies
baby food (pureed fruit)
vanilla extract (if using plain yogurt)
espresso shot (or instant coffee) (for the grown ups, of course!)
maple or blueberry syrups
The basic method: Put around 2-3 cups of yogurt in a freezer-safe bowl or container. Mix your flavoring through and place in freezer for 1-2 hours. Using fork, stir mixture thoroughly, scraping the sides to mix in the partially frozen bits, breaking these up into smaller chunks. Put back in freezer for another 1-2 hours. Repeat stirring process. Freeze again, then remove and stir once more before scooping into bowls for serving. It’s not as smooth as a churned ice cream or frozen yogurt, but it’s definitely just as satisfying on a hot day. And you made it yourself! Bonus: it’s super-easy for the kids to do. Enjoy guiltlessly!
Once your frozen yogurt is completely frozen through and has been stirred 2-3 times, it’s ready and is best if enjoyed right away.