April 17 2016

Frozen Yogurt Fresh from Your Freezer: Making Fat-Free, Sugar-Free Frozen Yogurt at Home

I thought I would turn from my quest to make meat moist for a moment and turn to something a little more refreshing: frozen yogurt.  I don’t know anyone who leads a fit and balanced lifestyle who doesn’t love frozen yogurt.  It’s good stuff.  I’ve also never found a healthy, yummy recipe for a fit and balanced lifestyle to make at home. They all require heavy cream or high fructose corn syrup.

If I’m going to use heavy cream, real sugar and whole milk, even if there are no eggs, and there’s some kind of yogurt involved in the base, especially if that yogurt is full-fat kind, I think I’d rather make ice cream.

I found a great recipe.  It just wasn’t low fat. This was a problem I ran into with so many homemade frozen yogurt recipes. So I macgyvered a recipe to get what I wanted. The original recipe for Passion Fruit Frozen Yogurt comes from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, available on Amazon in hardcover and for Kindle. I first had Jeni’s on a trip to Ohio last year, so I trust her ice cream. I trust her flavors; I trust her recipes. I had some reservations about revising perfection, but she has a great start and that’s exactly what I needed. So, I went to work.

It was not going to be the same or even close. I didn’t expect it to be. Generally, I don’t believe in substituting. I used to be a private chef, and if I had client who needed to go low cholesterol, low fat and low sodium and was used to filet mignon with blue cheese butter melted on top and big heaping bowls of fettuccini Alfredo, I would gently say, “We could substitute, but how about it if we just start over?”   Soy textured beef protein with low fat blue cheese crumbles and even the best faux-fredo recipe is never going to taste as good when you have a certain flavor profile fixed in your mind. So generally, I like to start from scratch. But ice cream (and frozen yogurt) is little different.  I trust that someone else got the proportions right.  I just didn’t want the want fat content ,and I didn’t expect their flavor content either. I was prepared for something that did not taste like Jeni’s custard or even her full fat frozen frozen yogurt recipe.

The original recipe includes 1 ¼ cups low fat yogurt (strained from 1 quart), 1 ½ cups whole milk, 2 ounces cream cheese (5 tablespoons), ½ cup heavy cream, ½ cup sugar and ¼ cup corn syrup.

Here’s my recipe:

Non-Fat Sugar Free Passion Fruit Frozen Yogurt

1 ¼ cups non-fat Greek Yogurt*

1 ½ cups Skim Milk

3 Tablespoons Cornstarch*

4 Tablespoons low fat cream cheese

½ cup Skim Plus Fat Free Half and Half

2/3 Cup Splenda

¼ cup Skinny Girl Agave

6 Large Passion Fruit

3 Tablespoon Splenda

*The original recipe called for 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Because I used so little fat, I used closer to 3 to thicken the yogurt, which worked really well. I also choose the Greek Yogurt rather than straining regular yogurt because it’s not only already strained, but because it’s thicker to account for the absence of fat.

Here’s what you need: You’ll need an ice cream maker. There’s really no work around or substitute. You can find one on your favorite online superstore for about $30. I love mine. I use mine a lot. Once you have the basic technique down, it will become your go-to for a people-pleasing party, potluck or pass-around plate.  In the summer, sugar free sorbet is really easy to make and a happy, healthy, yummy addition to any event whether you mix up something marvelous for a party, potluck or put out something on hot summer night for a couple of friends. I promise to share all stories and secrets, and  sugar-free sorbet as soon as the weather is warm enough to melt it more than just in your mouth. For now, get yourself setup with an ice cream maker and get started with passion fruit frozen yogurt!

The Method:

licensed via bigstockphoto.com

licensed via bigstockphoto.com

To begin, strain 6 passion fruit over a bowl. Measure out a half a cup of the pulp/juice and bring to boil with 3 tablespoons of Splenda. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a small bowl, mix about 3 tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch to a make a smooth slurry. Set a aside.

Beat the cream cheese in a medium bowl until fluffy.

Combine the remaining milk, half-and-half, Splenda and Skinny girl agave and very gently bring to a rolling boil. Skim milk scalds easily. Boil for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, add the cornstarch slurry. Return to heat, returning to a boil, and cook until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Gradually whisk the hot mixture into the the cream cheese until smooth. Add the yogurt and passion fruit syrup, whisk until smooth.

Fill one bowl with ice and set the other bowl inside. Jeni suggests putting the mixtures in a Ziploc bag. Let cool until cold, refrigerating if necessary.

Spin the yogurt in an ice cream machine. Remove to an airtight container.

Photo published with permission from K. Moffett

Photo published with permission from K. Moffett


And I’m sure you will! I was so pleased with my fat-swapping experiment I could barely stop nibbling on this long enough to photograph it! It was absolutely delicious!


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