Frozen Yogurt Experiment

jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)

I am trying to make frozen yogurt without using the churn. Last week, I froze some fresh berries and then blended them with yogurt. I then put everything in the freezer. After a few hours, it became hard as a rock. And there was some crystallization which I hate because it hurts my teeth!.


I am going to try again tonight. This time I am going to use fresh strawberries, plain yogurt, some honey a little bit of vodka. No idea if the vodka will help.


Have any of you ever tried making frozen yogurt. If so, what is the trick to prevent crystals from forming?

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ediej1209 AL Zn 7

Seems to me that recipes I've seen without using a churn call for the mixture to be stirred every so often while the mixture is solidifying in the freezer. Maybe that helps prevent crystal formation?

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plllog

The vodka helps, but the strawberries have water and that's always going to crystalize. You can cook them down and steam out a lot of the water, but it will have a slightly jammy flavor. Dehydrated berries turned into powder would be a good choice. There's also water in the yoghurt, unless you strain it, and it will go icy, too, if it stays in the freezer over enough time, moreso the leaner it gets.

Are you using full fat, or even enriched yoghurt? The fat content helps keep it softer, but also melts fast at room temperature. I've considered getting a portable chiller where I could put frozen treats at more appropriate temperature, but I don't have a good place for it. It's only a few hundred dollars, but you need floor space and a plug.

An insulated ice cream container, pre-frozen when you fill it, helps a lot.

When I was in college, I made a great quick and easy dessert with large choux puffs stuffed with strawberry Yoplait. If I made them after 3:00pm, they were perfect after dinner. That was just long enough to firm up without going hard or icy.

Churning puts air in, which helps it be softer, but mostly the hard comes from being too cold.

I haven't had a lot of luck making frozen yoghurt that stayed nice over time in a regular freezer. Ice cream, sorbet, gelato, sherbet, I've wrangled. Frozen yoghurt is something I serve right out of the machine or an hour later at most. The sherbet does get hard even in the insulated container, but it warms to scoopable pretty quickly without losing texture or getting weird. It hardens back up in the freezer and repeats. The others don't like going full hard.

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nancyjane_gardener

Vodka always helps!

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Islay Corbel

On TV, they just seem to blend frozen fruit with the yogurt and eat it straight away.

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jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)

The vodka helps, but the strawberries have water and that's always going to crystalize. That's what happened and it has an extremely unpleasant texture unless you let the whole thing melt which kind of defeats the purpose. I agree with you that somehow the strawberries can't have moisture in them so powdered makes sense. When I make no churn mango ice cream, I cook the mango until it reduces by half. That take out a lot of the moisture. I suppose that can be done with the strawberries.

I have been reading up on the subject and generally frozen yogurt requires an emulsifier or a stabilizer so when it's made commercially there are chemical things that go into it. I was toying with the idea of using some buttermilk which I think can act as an emulsifier. I am going to try first without the strawberries and see what happens.

Of course, Islay is correct that you can mix the frozen yogurt with strawberries and serve right away! Way too easy, lol!



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plllog

I've tried adding food gum (guar or agar agar), which is what they use instead of mineral chemicals in some better commercial brands, but even using a very little bit makes me not like the texture, i haven't tried it since I was given the Vita-Mix, however. It uses brute force to emulsify the heck out of stuff. Essentially, the gum does the job of fat, of keeping the yoghurt softer even when frozen at too low a temperature. I don't know if it would help, but in many gelatos they use starch or flour in the same way. Hm... except those may be cooked, which would kind of activate the starch.

Frankly, I think buttermilk would introduce too much water and extra funk. At that point, why not start with Greek yoghurt which has less moisture, from draining, and already has the funk? I like frozen Greek yoghurt but made the mistake of serving it to friends. Viz-a-viz the starch idea, I put a banana in 2-3 cups of Greek yoghurt which sweetens it and adds body from all the starch and fiber in the banana. It still freezes hard (not full fat), but doesn't go icy right away (anything will go icy over time). There's too much water in plain yoghurt for it to make much of a difference.

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jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)

OK, I have given up on trying to figure out how to do pure frozen yogurt. However, I found this combo recipe and it looked really good to me. I drained the whey out of the regular yogurt to get a thicker texture and then I followed this Mary Berry recipe for "no churn lemon yogurt ice cream". It is not fully frozen yet but I tasted it and there are no ice crystals. It has the texture of granita di limone. There is a lot of fat in the ingredients! I guess the trick is that it needs lots of fat. Link

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plllog

Yep! Fat stays soft at a lower temperature than water, and crowds out water. But there is water in the milk and yoghurt. I think you did well to drain the yoghurt. You'll get a slightly thicker texture, but that's not a bad thing when you're trying to get rid of water crystals forming. Notice that whipping the cream takes the place of churning to aerate the mix. It sounds good. I hope it stores well!

Re lots of fat, not that the commercial ice creams that have no additives, like Ben and Jerry's, have a huge percentage of butterfat.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

The process for that lemon yoghurt recipe is exactly what I was thinking about suggesting. I used to make sorbets in my Cuisinart that way.

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jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)

I actually did make it in the Cuisinart. Very easy. Turning granulated sugar into caster sugar was funny. I walked away from the Cuisinart to do something else and when I came back there was a big ole dusty cloud of sugar emanating from the machine. Should have plugged it I guess.

I have the dessert chilling in the freezer at the moment and I suspect it will be pretty hard when I pull it out. The recipe says chop it into blocks and give it a whirl in the Cuisinart. Hope the texture holds up. I really love these no-churn frozen treats. I have very little space in my freezer so trying to find a space for the ice cream maker bowl is always a challenge. This kind of recipe obviates the need to make space.



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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

That sounds exhausting, lol. But I tend to do the same and get a bee-in-the-bonnet and don't stop the trials until I get it right. And then nobody cares but plllog, haha. ; ) (teasing)

I was going to suggest a little elec model. But you have that. Love mine.

Remember years ago when Amazon would send free appliances when you ordered a pack of pencils or a simple replacement battery...how I got my little cuisinart model.

I've only perfected two non-dairy flavors, ice cream sandwiches, then last summer started making popsicles. (dessert for bbq parties that don't need bowl and spoon/fork.)

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

I used to freeze my mixtures in a 9"X9" or 8"X8" cake pan and cut into chunks to puree & aerate in the processor and re-freeze in airtight containers.

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plllog

Yep. I care about final outcomes. ;) I'm sure plenty of lurkers do too.

This topic teminds me so of my college days! Now, popsicles. I still have my popsicle mold. I even know where it is, but talking about freezer hogs! We used to freeze the juice from canned fruit (packed in juice) for free popsicles, and didn't mind the whole sugar-water thing back then. Now we have an ice cream freezer and granitas and sorbets from whole fresh fruit, nutients intact, but less of the silly joy of youth. Which takes me back to childhood and those plastic packs of neon frozen sludge. Those were awesome! Especially the blue ones. Probably full of carcinogens. But awesome. I have some silicone food tubes. I could make some, without the dye, but would it really be anything but a weird way to deliver an overchilled granita?

Jerzeegirl, I hope the whole thing works out. This recipe (+Carol) is the first time I've heard of post freeze aeration. These no churn but with air workarounds are fascinating.

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