Make Your Own Frozen Yogurt

Carolyn Shearlock of The Boat Galley shares her recipe for galley made frozen yogurt with us.

If you’re cruising in a hot climate, you probably crave ice cream.  We did.

Whenever we’d hit town, we’d do all our errands, take everything back to the boat, and put it away.  Hot and tired, we’d then make one more trip ashore . . . to the local ice cream shop.  We so wanted ice cream aboard Que Tal. But our freezer didn’t really get cold enough for it, and it was too small — and too filled with meat — to hold more than a couple of servings.

Then one day I saw a sign that the ice cream store now had frozen yogurt . . . and that got me thinking.  I knew how to make wonderful thick yogurt and did so on a regular basis. I could freeze a tiny little container at a time and make more as we ate it. I didn’t know if my freezer got cold enough, but I figured I could try. As soon as we got back to the boat, I put some yogurt in the freezer. Hopefully, we’d have a treat after our hike the next day.

Oh, my! This was my singlemost successful experiment in cooking on the boat! I soon began making frozen yogurt almost every morning, and we’d have a nice cool treat after our afternoon hikes.

When other boats heard about it, I suddenly had a dozen friends wanting to learn how to make yogurt (learn how on Carolyn’s web sitewww.theboatgalley.com) and those who already knew how to make yogurt were asking for tips on freezing it. If you are in — or heading toward — a hot climate and have even a tiny amount of space in your freezer, this is one of the best treats you can make!

None of the cookbooks I had aboard even talked about frozen yogurt, so I learned by trial and error. My method is detailed below, but one thing to note is that while you can make frozen yogurt from commercial yogurt, it’s infinitely better when made with homemade or Greek-style since they don’t have gelatin added, which many commercial yogurts add as a thickener.

Frozen Yogurt

A small margarine tub (1 cup or less) with lid works best as the freezing container. The thin “hard” plastic works much better than the thicker “soft” plastic of most food storage containers. A thick plastic bag can also work, if you are very careful to check for holes.

Yogurt will freeze rock solid if sugar isn’t added. Use 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar per cup of finished frozen yogurt. My experience has been that Splenda works just as well; I have not tried other no-calorie sugar substitutes.

Mix the yogurt, sugar and any add-ins (see below for ideas) in a small container, cover and place in the freezer for about 6 hours, until frozen to about the consistency of ice cream.

The exact time will vary depending on the temperature of your freezer, how full it is, the container you’re using (for example, a metal container will chill its contents much faster than a thick plastic container), and how large a batch you’re making. On a hot day, it doesn’t matter whether it’s “perfect” or not!

Some of our favorite add-ins:

  • Fresh or canned fruit, cut into cubes no larger than ½”
  • Soft dried fruits like raisins, dates, apricots, prunes, figs or cranberries, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Nuts
  • A swirl of honey, peanut butter or Nutella
  • Almost any sort of chocolate candy, cut into bite-sized bits
  • M&M’s or Reese’s pieces
  • Oreos or other cookies, broken into bits
  • Granola or bran cereal (good with honey instead of sugar)
  • Vanilla, rum, Kahlua, Amaretto or orange liquor
  • Nestle’s Quik or other flavorings for milk (if they contain a lot of sugar, decrease or eliminate the sugar)
  • A swirl of Hershey’s syrup — wonderful with a few peanuts thrown in.

However you do it, enjoy your treat!

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