For the longest time, Brent has tried to convince me to buy an ice cream machine. A smart man he is, he knows better than to surprise me with one spontaneously (I am not one for surprises - I'm kind of a control freak in that way). I am sure he truly believes my life will not be complete without one, but speaking as a person with no self-control and an unhealthy obsession with ice cream, you can see my hesitations.
Brent, on the other hand, has an unhealthy obsession with kitchen gadgets. While I can get by with my enamel mixing bowls, chef knife, and wooden spoons, he needs a gadget for everything. He even needs a gadget for a gadget. I have to pick and choose things wisely or our cupboards will turn into a hoarder's dream. Our cupboards are already jam-packed with various small appliances - if that's what you can them - a cotton candy machine, a tiny food processor that works like shit, a George Forman Grill, and avocado slicer, an electric egg poacher. He knows how stressed out I get with an unorganized house, so he is currently in the process of building me a new kitchen island, with 9 large drawers, and I can't wait. I am going to organize everything into a permanent home, and I might even buy a label maker, cause I am one of those type A types - anal retentive, and extra organized - unless we're talking about my underwear drawer, which is a bottomless pit of old sunglasses, expired drivers licenses, and miscellaneous earbuds.
I'm sure you have some sort of idea the direction in which this post is going, cause frozen yogurt is in the title, so I'll just cut to the chase. Last week, after a few glasses of wine, I impulse purchased a Conair Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream Make. Let be real guys, deep down I really just want to be an ice cream scientist, a Bill Nye type.
I am simultaneously ecstatic and fearful of this new machine. For my first icy experiment, I decided to make a frozen yogurt (let's ease into it with something a bit healthier), particularly a balsamic strawberry frozen yogurt - which is one of my favorite flavors from my favorite ice cream shop here in Seattle. I started with a plain low-fat yogurt, one that is pretty sour in flavor. I added granulated and maple sugar for sweetness. I used a bit of half and half cream to add some fat, which gave it a nice creamy texture. I then cooked the strawberries in a sweet balsamic reduction, until the strawberries became soft, and the liquid, syrupy and sweet. For this recipe, the key is to use some really juicy ripe strawberries. I used some California Giant Strawberries, which are available at Costco and Kroger here in Washington. They are in season right now! and are so delicious and taste just like sweet strawberry candy. I swirled the balsamic strawberries into the yogurt mixture and then churned it into delicious frozen yogurt. Guys, homemade frozen yogurt is incredible, particularly one with a really tart yogurt. I have been won over to the homemade ice cream camp. Don't get me wrong, I'll still enjoy going out for ice cream on a hot summer day, but now, I can also enjoy it in the comfort of my own home!
*This post was sponsored by California Giant. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep the Flourishing Foodie delicious. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
California Giant is providing all Flourishing Foodie readers with a coupon to use at your local Costco or Kroger. You can follow the link to download the iBotta app on your phone https://ibotta.com/get-the-app
California Giant has partnered with other fresh produce brands to offer the chance to win a $5000 vacation this summer. To enter the sweepstakes follow the link http://promos.calgiant.com/summer-snacking-sweepstakes-flourishingfoodie
BALSAMIC STRAWBERRY FROZEN YOGURT
makes 3 cups
prep time: 24 hours
cooking time: 7 minutes
2 cups plain yogurt
1/2 lb strawberries, diced
1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3/4 cups half and half cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup
For this recipe you will need an ice cream machine. A day before you plan to make the frozen yogurt, place the ice cream bowl in the freezer 16 - 24 hours.
* When choosing a yogurt, a higher the fat content will result in a creamier frozen yogurt. Also, using a yogurt that is on the sour side, will result in a wonderful flavor balanced with the balsamic strawberries.
Scoop the yogurt into a cheese cloth over a colander. Strain the yogurt for 3 - 4 hours removing any excess water. This will prevent thick crystals from forming when you churn the yogurt. Discard the liquid.
While the yogurt is straining, place the strawberries, 1 tbsp granulated sugar, and balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until the vinegar has thickened and the strawberries soft. Remove from the stove and let cool. You can also place in the fridge to cool. You want the strawberries completely cool before adding to the ice cream machine.
Once the yogurt is done straining, place into a bowl with the half and half cream, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, pinch of salt, and maple syrup. Whisk until smooth. Once the berries are cool, stir into the yogurt mixture. To ensure that the mixture is completely cool, place into the fridge for a few hours before churning into frozen yogurt.
Set up your ice cream machine as per directions. Pour the mixture into the machine and churn until thick and creamy 15 - 20 minutes. Scoop the frozen yogurt into a container ( I used a loaf pan). Smooth the top with a spatula. Press a piece of Saran wrap against the top of the yogurt to prevent ice crystals from forming.
Freeze until the ice cream is hard, at least 5 hours.
Before serving the frozen yogurt, remove from the freezer and let it sit on the counter for 10 - 15 minutes to soften up.
Store int an airtight container in the freezer.