Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lactose-Reduced Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

About a week or so ago, after many months of searching, my husband brought home a much welcome baby.
Cuisinart ice cream maker 
Its the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence Yogurt, Sorbet and Ice cream maker.  I’m in love.  It just happened that the day it arrived home in my husband’s arms, was the day my copy of David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop arrived on my doorstep fresh from Amazon.

If you are a lover of frozen treats, I implore you to get your hands on an ice cream maker and this book.  His witty style fills the pages, along with gorgeous photos.  There is almost every icy treat you can think of…custard and non-custard based ice creams, sherbets, sorbets, frozen yogurts and even granitas.  There is an entire section at the back for “sweet accompaniments” which include cones and bowls, marshmallows, sauces, truffles, peppermint patties, and chocolate chip cookie dough,  all that are suitable for being swirled into ice cream.  I know, what am I doing with an ice cream maker and a book about ice cream, being lactose intolerant, right?  The section on sorbets has an impressive 33 different recipes, all dairy free.  There are also sherbets and frozen yogurts, which I’m in the process of testing using lactose-free dairy.
This is where the Blueberry frozen yogurt comes in.

blueberry sorbet-1

The one thing that Mr. BotC absolutely loves(besides me of course)  is blueberries.  He also loves yogurt.  You wouldn’t know it though, because it is very rarely in the fridge…all because I really, really don’t, and he has to be prodded into buying things that only he will eat.  I used to eat it as a small child, but the older I got, the more I was put off by the sourness, the tang that I think makes people love yogurt.  I know that it is good for you, and all in the name of trying to push my boundaries a bit, I decided I would try out the Blueberry fro-yo in the sake of my husband (and because then it wouldn’t sit untouched in case I truly couldn’t stand it!). 

I have read that regular yogurt is well tolerated by some lactose intolerants, but being that I haven’t eaten it since a child I didn’t feel like testing that theory.  We set out to find some lactose-free yogurt, and among the dozens of varieties offered, there was only one that was lactose-reduced, by 90%.  Unfortunately it only came in 1%, as every recipe in the book calls for full fat dairy products, to prevent iciness.  I threw caution to the wind as this was the only option available.

After my husband devoured a few spoonfuls, he sighed, “you could sell this”.  You just can’t hear that often enough.

blueberry sorbet-2

Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

  • 1 heaping cup *strained lactose free/reduced yogurt (3 cups normal yogurt-I used one 750g container of Astro BioBest 1% Lactose Reduced yogurt) –see note on making strained yogurt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 cups wild blueberries, frozen (you can also substitute fresh)
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
In a blender or food processor, blend together the yogurt, sugar and blueberries.  Press the mixture through a strainer to remove the seeds. Stir in the lemon juice.  If you’re using frozen blueberries, you can proceed directly to the next step as the mixture will be very cold.  If using fresh, chill for at least an hour.
Pour the chilled mixture into the bowl of an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's directions.  It can be served immediately if chilled enough to your liking or transferred to an airtight container and placed in the freezer.

*Straining yogurt makes it much thicker and richer.  I found using the brand of yogurt I did, that I needed about 3 cups (750g container) of normal yogurt to make 1 heaping cup of strained yogurt.  Simply put a colander or mesh strainer over a bowl (you don’t want it to sit directly in the bowl, as you need it to drain), line with cheesecloth or strong paper towel and then pour the yogurt on top, wrap the cloth/towel around the yogurt and place another bowl, or something moderately heavy on top for pressure.  Leave 6 hours or overnight in the fridge to strain.

blueberry sorbet-3

Being that Mr.BotC knows more about how yogurt and blueberries should be, I asked him if he found it icy.  He shook his head emphatically “no”.  Being as he is my tester for all the recipes posted here, he will eat said food, and then offer up what was good (or bad), or what could be done to improve it.  This though…all that was left was a bowl that was swiped clean (and my husband isn’t really a bowl licking kind of guy!).  He even said it was better than a popular ice cream shop near his parent’s cottage, and he loves their products.  He couldn’t tell that the yogurt was almost lactose-free.
And what did I think?   It wasn’t half as sour as many fruit fro-yos I’ve sampled, and had a nice smooth finish.  The lemon juice really brightens it up, and it wasn’t overly sweet.  I am looking forward to trying this out when the blueberries come into season in the summer.  As a yogurt skeptic I still  don’t think I’m at a place where I could eat big bowlfuls, but I actually did thoroughly enjoy a scoop or two, sans stomach ache.
I am now really looking forward to playing around with chocolate and vanilla flavours…the bowl is in the freezer just waiting for me;)


  1. Beautiful frozen yogurt -- the color is amazing. Funnily enough, I was just uploading my lemon frozen yogurt (with blueberry swirl) to the same Flickr group as you when I noticed your lovely photos :-) I guess we're on the same wavelength!

  2. Mike: Thanks, we loved the colour too!

    Allen: I think the bright colour really sells it, always helps when something actually looks the way it tastes. I'm glad that it finally warmed up some (if even fleeting) so that I could finally pull out some warm weather treats!

  3. Lucky You - who said don't give women appliances......what a showing of love! Looks tremendous, and as far as your aversion to yogurt - I'm going to check back with you on that, something that maybe could change things,,,,.
    And yes - there is nothing like your loved one telling you you could sell it !

  4. Timeless Gourmet: Thank you! Yeah, when I got my food processor from him as a Christmas gift this year, I was extremely happy! (hey, it makes our lives easier, thats worth excitement!) The funny thing with the aversion to yogurt is, I absolutely love love love sour cream. Go figure. I think if I could figure out a way to maybe subdue the tanginess of the yogurt, I could work my way up. I'm tryin'!