It is hardly a surprise when you see Greek yogurt becoming so popular, with big names launching their line of products. It is probiotic, it is healthy, it packs in a lot of nutrients and is considered quite versatile in the kitchen. And the health-conscious are crazy about it because of the very same qualities. What people like most about Greek yogurt is that no matter how low fat the version is, it retains a wonderfully creamy texture.
So it was only natural that these companies would take the popularity even further and take it beyond regular plain yogurt and introduce it to the frozen food market. Because of the rich, creamy texture, it gives out a unique taste that is akin to ice cream, but not quite. You can be forgiven to believe that frozen Greek yogurt is just what it says; Greek yogurt that has been in the freezer. Later in the article, we will discuss how to make frozen Greek yogurt, but first, let us find out if frozen Greek yogurt is healthy.
Choosing the Right Frozen Greek Yogurt
Frozen Greek yogurt can be an excellent replacement for ice cream for its low-fat content and virtually unlimited flavors. But if you want to keep it healthy, you will have to follow certain tips so that your diet is not compromised.
- Don’t Go Crazy with Toppings: We know there are almost limitless toppings available for frozen Greek yogurt, ranging from hot fudge caramel, whipped cream or chocolate chips and all of these could be irresistible. But imagine the amount of sugar that would be adding to your diet. Avoid anything syrupy, but you can replace sugar with honey if you must. Instead, use low-fat toppings such as granola, nuts, and fresh fruit. You can also opt-out of toppings entirely and consume it as is.
- Limit Your Intake: Sure, the friend at the gym suggested that you can eat as much frozen Greek yogurt as you want, but also remember that the more you have it, the more fat, sugar, and calories are going in your system. Stick to the smallest available sizes (don’t be lured by giant tubs) and limit your intake to one portion at a time. You should keep in mind that this is not health food, but a dessert.
- Fat-Free? Check Again: While buying a product, please check the label carefully. While it may say “fat-free” prominently on the front, you might be surprised to find the high sugar content in some products. Look for a product that also has low sugar content, since some manufacturers add extra sugar to their product to compensate for the flavor or texture.
- Use Honey as Sweetener If You Must: Honey is quite versatile and you have over 300 varieties of it to choose from. Besides, you would require a little quantity without longing for sweetness. It also helps that honey has a degree of nutritional value and offers you relief in allergies.
- Make Your Own: In this article about how to make frozen Greek yogurt, we are going to choose our ingredients. Choosing your ingredients gives you control over what you are going to consume.
The Health Benefits
Compared with other frozen desserts, frozen Greek yogurt may have several health benefits, such as:
- It contains vitamin B12 and calcium that are responsible for good bone health. It is a known fact that regular calcium in your diet may reduce osteoporosis risk.
- Because of the probiotics present in it, frozen Greek yogurt is beneficial for your gut health.
- Since frozen Greek yogurt is packed with protein, the consumer feels fuller for longer periods. This could mean fewer snacks in between meals and hence a chance of weight loss.
- For the same reason, frozen Greek yogurt helps build muscle mass.
- The number of calories you burn per day goes up because Greek yogurt is rich in protein. So having it as a part of a balanced diet is a good idea.
- It may also help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- There is a good chance that the consumption of frozen Greek yogurt may also reduce the risk of some cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure.
Now that you know a little about it, let us proceed to find out how to make frozen Greek yogurt.
Making Frozen Greek Yogurt
The preparation of frozen Greek yogurt is not just easy, it is also extremely healthy. What’s more is that the recipe is completely customizable, meaning you can replace the ingredients that we have listed according to your flavor and then some. You can use any type of Greek yogurt, whether is is fat-free or full, or any frozen fruit in the recipe. Needless to say, you can add any toppings that you like (while maintaining your health parameters) and use any amount of sweetener (provided the fruit you are using is already sweet enough).
As we already said, there are no set rules for the type of ingredients you want in your frozen Greek yogurt.
- 3-4 Cups of Frozen Fruit: We are using mangoes, strawberries, bananas, and cherries. These are the most important ingredients since they would provide the texture and the creaminess that is associated with the frozen Greek yogurt available on the market. You can find good quality frozen fruits in any season and abundance.
- ½ or 1 Cup of Greek Yogurt: We recommend that you use the unflavored, plain yogurt since you are already using a variety of frozen fruits.
- Honey: This is optional since you may or may not like your dessert extra sweet. In case you do, you can use up to 3-4 teaspoons of honey.
- Vanilla Extract: Use in a tiny quantity, about 1-2 spoons, but not more than that. Vanilla tends to overpower other flavors and if you overdo it, you would end up with frozen Greek yogurt in a strong vanilla flavor.
- Food Processor: A good-quality food processor that can make short work of frozen fruit.
How to Prepare
This is as easy as it gets. Put all the frozen fruits in the processor, along with the vanilla extract, honey, and Greek yogurt. Set the processor on medium speed and let it run for about 4-5 minutes. Frozen strawberries and mangoes require a longer churning period, while bananas disintegrate quickly, in less than 2 minutes.
You may need to check after the processing is done if there are any remaining lumps. If there are, run the processor again for about a minute. Alternatively, you can use the back of a spoon to flatten them out.
You can start devouring it right from the processor and there is no harm in it, but be patient. When you are sure the mix is consistent, transfer the contents to an airtight container. Put this container in the freezer immediately and leave it overnight or up to 6 hours. If kept in an airtight container, it can last up to 1 month.
- Be as bold as you want to be with this recipe. You can use any type of ingredients and don’t be shy if the mix comes out pretty strong smelling. The yogurt in it will dull the flavor a little anyway.
- You can scoop out little balls of the mix before freezing them. That way, they will retain their smooth texture and shape and will make serving them easy.
- You can do away with the fruits entirely and directly use a flavored yogurt too!
So there you have it, the simplest recipe on how to make frozen Greek yogurt. The best part about this is that you can control what ingredients go in it, including the Greek yogurt itself. If you are buying it off the shelf, remember that some products have a higher sugar content and that may interfere with your health regime, so it's a good idea to take a good look at the label.