I saw a post Sis Blogging Partner made or shared on Facebook the other day about a pumpkin frozen yogurt recipe and proceeded to have the longest Facebook convo of my life to date. Obviously the idea of pumpkin frozen yogurt was appealing to us! Since there’s no time like the present, we got on that like a dog on a meaty bone, except this was a little more about the healthy side of things. The recipe we found seemed a little underwhelming for the effort, though, so we tried the following recipe from the blog, A Sweet Pea Chef.
Let’s see a show of hands for those who’ve felt Fall in the air recently. Mine are way up. What…it’s still in the 90s most days? Oh yeah, sure, the humidity it still trying to strangle us, but – but! It’s been so much cooler in the mornings, and the air at night feels a little more crisp. Folks, it’s on. The countdown to Fall is here! Oh, September 22, you are a beautiful thing.
An even healthier way to go with this frozen treat is to not add much of any sugar, but the last time I looked, I mean tasted, Greek yogurt is a really tart thing and pumpkin, while distinct, is also very plain. The two need a sweetener (or two) to help them reach their peak appealing best. I had some of this praline maple syrup on hand, so in it went!
After the sweeteners (brown sugar as well, folks), pumpkin and yogurt, you just mix in the usual pumpkin pie spice suspects: cinnamon, ground cloves and ground nutmeg. Yes, you can use fresh-grated nutmeg. Yes, you could use a pumpkin pie spice blend if you already have it on hand, just be sure to add a little at a time and taste test to see if you want more. Start with, say, half a teaspoon and go from there.
At this point, stir everything till fully incorporated and taste it to see if you want it sweeter, more cinnamony, more nutmegy – you get the idea. Be the master of your own pumpkin frozen yogurt flavor!
Into one of those cute little counter top ice cream makers the mixture goes! We added a half cup more pumpkin puree than called for the get a little stronger pumpkin flavor, and the whole mixture was just enough for my Cuisinart ice cream churner. Alternately, you can place the mixture in a freezer safe container, covered, and stir it every so often till it’s thickened enough to serve. I have no personal experience doing this method, but many recipes suggest it as an alternative to an ice cream churner. The churner gets it to a semi-soft consistency, but it too will still need some freezer time to get more firm.
And after pretty little effort, this is what you get! A really creamy, pumpkiny-good, Fall-inspired bowl of yum. Admittedly, it was really tangy, but hey, it depends a lot on the brand of yogurt you use, and next time I might just sweeten it a little more. As per usual, though, it’s a good recipe that you can tailor to your specific tastes. Want to avoid some of the sweetener? Leave it out. It’s that easy, and it’s now that much easier to enjoy Fall in a somewhat healthier way at least. Because the comfort food parade, it is coming!
Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt
from Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt with Roasted Pecans by A Sweet Pea Chef (A superb food blog – check it out!)
Prep Time: 10 minutes Chill Time: 3-4 hours Level: Easy Makes: 1 1/2 to 2 quarts
1 quart (32 ounces) vanilla yogurt
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup whole raw pecans (optional)
To roast the pecans, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread whole raw pecans over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Bake pecans for 4-5 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and stir the pecans to toss around. Bake for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until the pecans begin to give off a sweet scent. Allow to cool and then chop or crush pecans.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients (minus the pecans) and mix well. Using a whisk will help to break up the possible lumps in the mixture. Taste for flavoring. If too sweet, add more yogurt or pumpkin puree. If not pumpkin-y enough, add more pumpkin puree. If not sweet enough, add equal parts maple syrup and brown sugar.
Pour mixture into a prepared ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s guide. Freeze for at least 3-4 hours prior to serving.
Top with chopped roasted pecans when serving.
You may be wondering – hey, where’s your pecans, you food hussies?! And you would be correct, we forgot the pecans! We actually didn’t intend to roast them, but we did mean to throw some raw ones on top of the ice cream, cuz – yum. We just didn’t want to heat up the oven to roast them, and then forgot by the time the yogurt was firm enough to scoop up to use raw ones. Oopsies.
I was psyched to try this recipe because I still have pumpkin puree I made last Fall in the freezer, and yes, it’s still perfectly good. It may have a slightly less strong pumpkin flavor though than the canned variety, but know your own puree will work fine if you have any.
Last but not least, and this may be a duh kind of note to make, but if you have a wide freezer-safe container that will fit in your freezer at the time, the shallower your yogurt is in the container, the quicker it will freeze. I ended up using a bigger, wider container than I was originally going to, and our yogurt was actually ready in about two hours.
You don’t have to use Greek yogurt, but I do like it for its exceptionally creamy consistency. Even the fat free variety is very creamy. My experiences with this are the Chobani brand shown and Fage. Cabot also makes a wonderful vanilla bean greek-style yogurt that would probably work, though it’s not nearly as thick as the others. All are very tart, so remember that when sweetening yours.