A few weeks ago I mentioned getting the ice cream attachment for my Kitchenaid stand mixer. That probably seems like an odd gadget for someone who avoids keeping fattening treats in the house at all cost.
“Your kugel is fantastic – probably the best I’ve ever had.” (As evidenced by the fact that I ate half the pan of cheese-and-sugar-laden goodness on my own.) “Oh, what’s that? You want to send it home with me? Oh, no thank you, no no no. I wouldn’t be allowed to eat that in my house.”
I was ridiculously excited about this ice cream maker, though I actually had no intention at all to make ice cream. Huh? See, I was convinced that I could make high protein, low-carb, non-fat, all natural frozen yogurt to satisfy my cravings for something cold and sweet all summer long. With fat free plain Greek yogurt and stevia, of course. Sounds just about perfect, right?
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I was smart enough to do a little research first. Surely I wouldn’t be the first to try it out. I more than got the hint that using fat free yogurt is a risk right off the bat, because anything without fat is likely to freeze rock-hard. Fat keeps things soft. Like my abs. Good thing there is alcohol. Like fat, alcohol doesn’t like to freeze. So adding some vodka to the mix should help.
I felt more than ready to go. Armed with a giant tub of fat free Greek yogurt, stevia, vodka, vanilla, and a little xantham gum (just to help it thicken up)I whipped up a mixture that tasted awesome right out of the ice cream maker, and even after a few hours in the freezer. But the next day? Forget it. Rock hard fro-yo failure.
I tried a few more times, scouring the internet and changing the mixture a little each time. Though steadfastly refusing to add sugar or fat. Ultimately, I got tired of making enough frozen yogurt to last a few days and not being able to enjoy it.
Amy, the sweet and talented author of Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free, seems to have put a lot of time into experimenting with lower-calorie ice creams and fro-yo’s. She seems to know what she’s talking about. So I studied her recipes for light ice cream and lemon-meringue frozen yogurt, and finally gave in to the the idea of adding a little fat and some sweetener with calories (Amy says you need at least a little agave with your stevia to make it work.)
Inspired by her method, I set out to make a mojito-flavored frozen yogurt. With plenty of mint and lime leftover from Ben’s birthday celebration (the man loves his mojitos) this was the natural choice.
So I bet you’re dying to know whether the frozen yogurt stayed sufficiently soft and scoop-able after ample time in the freezer. The answer is yes! I’ll admit that it’s not perfect; it’s a bit hard so taking it out a little while before you plan to eat it is a good idea. But it’s a big improvement from what I was working with before. Also note that I used nonfat yogurt, whereas Amy uses full fat or 2%, which probably makes a difference – though in this recipe I am using rum for the flavor, which might also assist with good freeze-ability.
I’m going to work on improving it a little more, and coming up with more flavors, of course. But in the meantime, I’m enjoying a long holiday weekend with another scoop of frozen mojito.
1/2 oz mint leaves
1 cup 1% milk
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum
1 teaspoon arrowroot starch
1/4 cup (50gm) sugar
2 large eggs
16 oz nonfat plain Greek yogurt
pinch of powdered stevia extract ( less than 1/8 teaspoon)
juice and zest of 1 lime
2 oz light rum
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
Heat milk & mint over medium heat until milk is just bubbling around the edges of the pan. Turn off heat and let steep for about 30 minutes. Strain milk into bowl, squeezing excess liquid from mint leaves. Discard the leaves. Allow to cool.
Place the arrowroot starch into a small bowl and pour about 2 tablespoons of the milk over it. Stir to dissolve.
Add the xantham gum and sugar to the remaining milk and whisk vigorously (an immersion blender works well.) Pour into a saucepan, add the sugar, and heat over medium-low heat, just until the sugar is dissolved.
Whisk the eggs in a bowl. When the milk is warm, add about 1/4 cup to the eggs, whisking constantly. Slowly pour the tempered egg mixture into the saucepan with the milk, stirring constantly. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until mixture is thick and coats the back of the spoon. Do not let it boil.
Place the yogurt in a large bowl. Stir in the milk and egg mixture, and remaining ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for several hours or overnight. Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 1.6 g
Cholesterol: 54.7 mg
Sodium: 53.8 mg
Total Carbs: 11.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.3 g
Protein: 8.4 g