So down here in North Carolina, we’re getting to that part of the summer when it’s just plain hot. The air is sticky and humid, and the sun just won’t quit. The A/C is whacked up as high as it can go, and we’re still sleeping with two fans blowing cool air on us every night.
And there’s nothing this heat makes me want more than ice cream and other frozen treats. If I could just walk around with a camelback full of peanut-butter chocolate milkshake instead of water, I would.
But not only would that be really, really sticky, it would likely lead to some major sugar comas. As much as I love ice cream, I just can’t eat it the way I used to. All that fat and sugar tastes great going down, but I usually end up with a stomach ache and a feeling of regret from over-indulging.
So, I’ve been on the lookout for a new frozen treat that helps me get my fix without making me feel bloated or like I’m teetering on the edge of a sugar crash. After some research, I found my answer: frozen fruit.
It turns out that something pretty magical happens to frozen fruit when you stick it in a blender with a few things. It turns creamy and smooth, almost like an instant sorbet. And by adding a few other ingredients, we can take that fruity, refreshing flavor to the next level and make a truly satisfying summer treat.
The chocolate-lover in me was skeptical, but this strange, frozen-fruit concoction is yummy. Plus, it’s low-calorie and only contains the natural sugars of the fruits and honey you use to make it. Honestly, it’s as close as I’ve gotten to enjoying a pint of “ice cream” completely guilt-free. And you don’t even need an ice cream maker. All you need is a few ingredients, a blender and a freezer.
Do make sure that you store your fro-yo in an air-tight container. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even buy some adorable reusable pint containers or cardboard pint containers to give your fruity fro-yo its own designer label.
Now, if you’re looking for a fruit-forward, rich, creamy ice cream recipe that uses all the fat and sugar, check out my peach ice cream recipe. You won’t be disappointed. But if you’re looking for something on the lighter side, I cannot recommend this fruity, low-fat option enough!
At-Home Fruity Fro-Yo Tips and Tricks
Before whipping up this refreshing treat, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- The Fruit. This recipe works wonderfully with any kind of frozen fruit or combination of fruits. Frozen mango and banana both create an extra creamy texture, and peaches add that hint of light sweetness. My favorite so far has been mixed berry and mango.
- Honey. The honey helps make the fro-yo “scoopable”, meaning that it prevents it from freezing into a solid block of frozen fruit. You can substitute with maple syrup here too.
- Vanilla. This is the ingredient that makes all of the difference when it comes to flavor. The vanilla takes your fruity fro-yo to the next level, making it taste more like a decadent dessert and less like a smoothie. I go through so much vanilla that I like to keep an 11oz bottle on hand at all times.
- Toppings/Mix-ins. Like other homemade ice cream recipes, you can add some mix-ins to this fruity fro-yo. I recommend smaller pieces of fruit, dark chocolate chips or sprinkles to add a little extra fun without too many extra calories. The fro-yo tastes extra delicious topped with whipped cream.
Fruity Fro-Yo Recipe
- 2 cups Frozen fruit of your choice
- 1 Tsp. Vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup Greek yogurt, whole-fat or low-fat
- 2 Tbsp. Honey
You’ll also need:
- A blender
- An air-tight container for storage
- Put the fruit, vanilla, Greek yogurt and honey into a blender. Pulse the ingredients a couple of times to mix them together.
- Blend on medium for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the blender to ensure the honey and yogurt are thoroughly integrated. Blend on medium for another 2 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides again, then blend on high for 2-3 minutes. The mixture should start to look smooth and creamy, but still thick.
- Taste test the mixture. If you’d like it just a bit smoother, you can blend it on high for another minute or so. Avoid over-blending as the mixture will start to melt and become runny.
- Gently stir in any mix-ins now. Transfer the mixture into the air-tight container and chill in the freezer for 1-2 hours.
- When ready to eat, let the fro-yo thaw for a few minutes before scooping, topping and enjoying.