Honey Vanilla Frozen Yogurt is a probiotic rich frozen dessert that’s healthier than ice cream and so refreshing on a hot day (we love it for breakfast!)
vanilla frozen yogurt that’s decadently delicious
Homemade frozen yogurt is such an easy and health(ier) way to give your ice cream machine a workout in the summertime, but I’ve avoided it for a while because most homemade frozen yogurt recipes yield a mixture that turns rock hard in the freezer. Not this one!
I’ve solved all that here with some inspo from my delicious honey ice cream. Honey, and a bit of cream, keeps this mixture from freezing rock solid, so you can scoop and enjoy it over a few days. It’s also got a lovely, soft flavor from the honey and the vanilla that goes well with so many toppings and desserts, I think you’ll find it super versatile.
ingredient list for healthy frozen yogurt (without the additives)
- yogurt – You’ll want a regular whole milk yogurt, but not Greek-style. (Greek yogurt can develop an unappealing texture as it freezes.) For this recipe I used Brown Cow “cream top” whole milk yogurt and it worked out great.
- honey – choose a honey you like, since it will contribute most of the flavor here. I used a mild honey, but you can use a more assertive honey if you love it. Honey has the bonus of keeping the yogurt soft and scoop-able.
- vanilla – a whole tablespoon adds a lovely background flavor to the frozen yogurt. If you’re feeling flush, use the seeds of a vanilla bean.
- a pinch of salt
- heavy cream – the extra fat from the cream makes a much smoother frozen yogurt and also helps prevent it from freezing quite as hard in the freezer. Counting calories? You can reduce the cream or leave it out all together (just replace with more yogurt), but be aware that it will make this frozen yogurt tangier, and less rich and creamy.
frozen yogurt FAQs
Probiotics, or gut-friendly bacteria, are present in some yogurts, and they will be labeled as containing live or active cultures on their containers. According to my research, probiotics survive freezing, so frozen yogurt that is made with probiotic yogurt will maintain those health properties (the live cultures become dormant when frozen, then come back to life with your natural body heat after you eat them…cool, huh?)
I found the best is a whole milk regular (not Greek) yogurt. You can use low fat yogurt but it will not be as tasty or creamy. Whole milk yogurt produces the creamiest frozen yogurt. Be sure to look for the words ‘live cultures’ on the label.
You can make this recipe using all yogurt if you like, but it will not be as rich and creamy.
I haven’t tried either of these, but they should work fine. They are both thinner than honey, however, so may not have the same softening effect that honey gives this recipe in the freezer.
I use the Cuisinart Ice Cream Machine, it’s well priced and works great. There’s no need for fancy bells and whistles, this machine is basic and reliable.
fun ways to enjoy frozen yogurt
- frozen yogurt shops are famous for the over-the-top-toppings choices, so take a page out of their book and get creative with your toppings! Think fresh fruit, chocolate chips, sweet cereal, anything you like!
- have some fun and serve this frozen yogurt for breakfast! I topped mine with some granola here, but you could also go with some fresh berries, chopped nuts, or a drizzle of extra honey.
- The subtle tang of frozen yogurt works really well with a lot of summer desserts. I would love to serve it alongside a fresh peach cobbler, or blackberry pie bars.
more healthier frozen treats!
- Chia Limeade Popsicles
- No Churn Wild Blueberry Frozen Yogurt
- Fresh Plum Popsicles
- Healthy White Peach Popsicles
- Guava Sorbet
- Wild Blueberry and Almond Butter Yogurt Popsicles
- Concord Grape Frozen Yogurt
- Rhubarb and Greek Yogurt Popsicles
Honey Vanilla Frozen Yogurt
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey, salt, and vanilla, until smooth.
- Add the cream, and whisk until combined. If possible, chill the mixture until cold.
- Pour your chilled mixture into an ice cream machine, and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Spread the ice cream into a freezer safe container and freeze for several hours to allow it to firm up before serving.
- For best results, chill your mixture for a couple of hours before processing in your ice cream machine. Shorter freezing time = a less icy frozen yogurt.