Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fresh Strawberry Fro-Yo & Healthy Popsicles!

Last weekend, Peter and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary in the charming little town of San Luis Obispo. That is where we both went to college, and also where we met :)

One of my very first posts on this blog was on roasted brussel sprouts that I got from the San Luis Obispo farmer's market during a visit to S.L.O. last winter. They have a KILLER farmer's market! The entire downtown is transformed into a giant farmer's market every Thursday night and EVERYONE in town is there, young and old. They have everything... jewelry, produce, restaurants, live music, unicyclers juggling fire... literally everything! It really brings the community together :)

In college, I would go to farmer's market every Thursday night and buy a flat of strawberries for a huge pancake brunch that our house would host every Sunday. When Peter and I went up to SLO for our anniversary last week, we got there just in time for the farmers market. I went to my old trusty strawberry distributor at farmers and he remembered me! Anyway, moral of the story... buy up all the strawberries you can find right now before the season is over, and make frozen yogurt and popsicles so that you can continue to enjoy them long after this season is gone :)

Every time Peter and I go out for frozen yogurt, he gets strawberry fro-yo... every time- even if it's just a little bit. Well, with all the strawberries during the summer, I figured that strawberry fro-yo could be a perfect treat I could make for him to enjoy! Now, at the end of summer, it is a great way to preserve the last of these sweet berries so you can continue to enjoy them even as we exit their harvest season. Make extra strawberry-yogurt blend or use leftover fro-yo to make GREAT, healthy, creamy-strawberry popsicles!

Ice cream is pretty easy to make, it just takes quite a bit of time.... but this frozen yogurt is even easier and takes basically no time at all! It really couldn't be any more effortless, quick, or delicious. AND it only requires a couple ingredients:  fresh strawberries, and Greek yogurt :) A little bit of sugar can be used if the strawberries are too tart, but it is definitely not required.

  • 1 lb Fresh Strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups Plain, Nonfat Greek Yogurt (you could also use vanilla or another flavored Greek yogurt, but that greatly increases the sugar content)
  • **Optional: 1/8 to 1/4 cup granulated Sugar, if strawberries are too tart**
Wash all your strawberries and cut them up into quarters. Then stir them well. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit and release its juices for 2 hours or over night (I chose to let mine 'juice' over night :) You want all that sweet juice to mix into the yogurt.

**Depending on how ripe and sweet your strawberries are, you might not need any sugar at all- it can be 'no sugar added'! :) However, if your strawberries are tart or getting to the tail end of the season, you  might chose to use a little bit of sugar (no more than 1/4 cup) to toss with the cut strawberries. This will sweeten them, AND help pull out the juices; the sugar granules cause the strawberry cells to burst (by osmosis) which releases the juices out of the berries. Again, you want all that sweet juice to mix into the yogurt. 

After your strawberries have 'juiced' over night, transfer them to a blender, a food processor, or use a hand blender (like I did) to puree the berries... but not too much; it's nice to get a few fresh strawberry pieces in some of your spoonfuls.

Stir the Greek Yogurt into the strawberry puree until it is well combined.

And churn it in the ice cream machine for about 20-30 minutes. Done. Couldn't be any easier.

Enjoy it immediately in 'soft serve' form,

Enjoy leftovers by pouring it into popsicle molds and freezing it for later! These make a delicious healthy snack. You can also freeze leftovers in an ice cube tray to use for smoothies!

You can also store leftovers in a tupperware tub to eat later, but it will not retain that 'soft-serve' consistency.
If you do eat some later (like we did), just set it out for about 30 or 40 minutes to let it soften to a good consistency again. 

** Helpful Hint: If you freeze some in tupperware, press some plastic wrap onto the top of you yogurt and then snapped the lid on to prevent any freezer burn. When we wanted to eat it, we simply pulled it out of the freezer and removed the plastic wrap, walked down to the beach to catch a little sun, and then we came back and enjoyed our fresh strawberry frozen yogurt when it got to the right consistency!


  1. I have these same popsicle molds! They are so cute, I love the little straw at the bottom. Love the homemade fro-yo recipe, so much better than the store bought stuff and free of nasty additives and colors. Thanks!

  2. Yes Alex, I LOVE these popsicles molds! They catch all the drips and collect it into juice, then you can drink up the juice through the straw :) My mom had this same style popsicles molds that we grew up with, and when I saw these colorful ones at Bed Bath & Beyond, I just HAD to buy them. Aren't they the greatest!?!