BlackberryFroYo1

If you’re one of those people who have, thus far, stuck to your New Year’s resolutions of healthy eating (or are trying to get back on the bandwagon), here’s a quick, easy and scrumptious dessert recipe that won’t leave you with extra calories to burn off or the guilt of cheating on your diet. It’s also a good way to get a serving or two of fruit into your daily diet.

What’s great about this recipe for frozen yogurt is that you don’t need an ice cream maker to put it together. The only equipment you’ll need is something many people already have stowed away in their kitchen cupboards — a blender or food processor. If you don’t have either, I’d highly suggest investing in one, as their blending and chopping possibilities are practically endless. Purchase an inexpensive one at Target, Wal-Mart or online (and you don’t need anything fancy, just one that performs the basic functions).

The original recipe I adapted this from uses a half cup of sugar which I’ve replaced with a quarter cup of light agave nectar. Agave nectar (or agave syrup) comes from the sap of the agave plant. Yep, the same plant that tequila is made from. But don’t worry, you’re not going to get buzzed from this sweet nectar, it’s just a healthier substitute for refined sugar. It’s lower in calories than sugar and also has a much lower glycemic index, meaning it won’t give you a spike in your blood sugar and can be used by those on low-carb diets and those with blood sugar issues.

As for the base, I like to use natural, low-fat Greek-style yogurt that’s free of preservatives, as it has more protein and is bit lower in sugar and carbohydrates than regular yogurt. It’s thick texture also makes for a creamier frozen yogurt. If you’re going the vegan route, then use a soy-based yogurt instead.

And don’t think you’re limited to fruit found in the freezer for this either. Frozen fruit is great because it is flash frozen at its peak ripeness, but fresh fruit works just as well. Buy fresh fruit when it’s in season (and on sale) and use it instead. Just don’t forget to remove any large seeds or pits before throwing it in the blender.

Feel free to use whatever fruits suit your tastes in this recipe. I particularly like to use frozen blackberries and cherries, but you can mix and match as you please. A fun flavor concoction I recently came up with included blackberries, apples and watermelon. Delish! Want to add more protein and flavor? Add a tablespoon of natural peanut or almond butter.

With this healthy alternative to ice cream, you can still get your frozen yogurt/ice cream fix and a maintain that girlish figure.

Blackberry Frozen Yogurt
Adapted from Eating Well Magazine
Makes 4 – 3/4 cup servings

Ingredients:

1 package (12 oz.) frozen blackberries
1/4 cup light agave nectar
1 container low-fat Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

1. Combine fruit and agave nectar in a food processor or blender and pulse until coarsely chopped.

2. With the machine on, gradually pour the yogurt and lemon juice into the feed tube. Process until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides once or twice.

3. Place the mixture into a container with a lid and freeze for at least 4 hours until serving.

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