Cool 4th with Frozen Strawberry Yogurt

With the 4th of July holiday coming up this weekend, I am looking for some of the great food that I enjoyed as a kid. One of the key items from my childhood was making homemade ice cream. My brother and I shared the job of churning the ice cream and it was the old turning-the-handle method, not an electric motor doing it. We’d sit out in the back under the shade of a tree and turn it for what seemed like hours, but really wasn’t that long. When it got tough to turn, the ice cream would go into the freezer to cure. That was the best tasting ice cream ever. But things change.

Now ice cream is a rare luxury and I look for low carb ice cream. In my area, I can find vanilla Breyers Carb Smart, which is soft, creamy and has a wonderful flavor. For a while, Wal-Mart carried the chocolate Carb Smart also, but I haven’t found it recently. They also make ice cream bars.  A 1/2 cup serving of Carb Smart is 4 net carbs, so it can work easily into a strict low carb lifestyle. There are a few other brands that have ice cream that is lower in carbs, but not as low as CarbSmart. Check out your grocery store if you are looking for pre-made ice creams and be sure to look at the net carbs.

The drawback is that the flavors available are vanilla and chocolate. You can use the vanilla as a base and add other ingredients to it to create additional ice cream flavors. Or you can make your own.

Recently, we acquired a Cuisinart Soft Service Ice Cream maker and I started experimenting with it. One of the first ice creams I made was Strawberry Yogurt Ice Cream. What could be better for red in the red, white and blue for the 4th of July? So here’s the recipe. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, I’m including the instructions to make it without one.

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

12 oz (2 containers) Kroger Carbmaster Strawberry Yogurt           or Oikos Plain Greek Yogurt
1 – 1/2 cups Strawberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 cup cold Water
1/2 cup Sugar Substitute
1 teaspoon Strawberry Extract
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

Put strawberries and sugar into the food processor and pulse until the ingredients are smooth and blended together. Add heavy cream, extracts, yogurt and cold water. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to make the ice cream.

Turn on the ice cream maker and pour in the ingredients. Allow to mix for 12 to 15 minutes before checking for consistency. If it isn’t frozen enough, let it freeze another 5 minutes and check again. Repeat until it is the desired consistency. Remove ice cream from the freezer bowl and put into a container with a tight lid, placing plastic wrap over the top of the ice cream to prevent freezer burn.

Freeze for at least 30 minutes. It will harden or cure into a harder ice cream. Serve and put any leftovers back in the freezer.  To serve the next time, remove about fifteen minutes before serving to allow to soften. This gets very hard.

Makes 10 servings.

Nutrition Info per serving (Plain yogurt will be a little higher in carbs.)
Calories: 144.2 Fat: 13.5 g Net Carbs: 3.4 g Protein: 2.4 g

To make without an ice cream maker, maker the mixture up as above, then pour it into a 2 to 3-quart glass pan, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until it is almost solid. This will vary with your freezer and the depth of the pan. Check it on every hour. Pour or spoon the almost frozen mixture into a blender or food processor and mix until it is creamy and thick. Pour back into the glass dish or into a container with a lid and freeze for at least four hours. It should be solid and will have to thaw a little before serving.

Looking for a potato salad substitute for summer picnics, try this Texas-Style Turnip Cauliflower Salad.

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