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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Frozen Yogurt Redefined…and in my own kitchen!

Have you had the latest in frozen yogurt?  I must admit, I’m a bit obsessed.  It’s healthier, with live cultures still intact.  The taste is tart, not as sweet, and just plain delicious.  I first had the opportunity to indulge at Fraiche, a yogurt cafe in Palo Alto, CA.  Red Mango, a Korean-based chain currently in 10 states, is right down the road and just as delish.  (There is an ongoing, very heated & emotional debate among my friends over which is better…it may come to blows.)

As I mentioned, I’m obsessed.  For Christmas I got an ice cream maker, which I am LOVING by the way.  Anyway, I think I have it down!  I’ll probably make frozen yogurt so much now that I’ll get sick of it…but I honestly can’t imagine that happening.

Here are my recipes!  I have one more experiment to run, but I feel comfortable sharing this as is.  It’s awesome. (Quick note: I used lowfat yogurt and whole milk in these recipes, unless otherwise indicated.)

If you like FRAICHE:
– 2 C plain yogurt
– 1/4 C sugar
– 1/2 C milk
– Mix ingredients together, follow directions for your ice cream maker (Cuisinart – 25 minutes)

If you like RED MANGO: (um, I must admit, this is my preference)
– 2 C plain yogurt (greek style yielded the best results)
– 1/2 C sugar (a little less than 1/2 cup, actually)
– 1/2 C milk
– between 1/8 – 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
– Mix ingredients together, follow directions for your ice cream maker (Cuisinart – 25 minutes)

For both recipes, eat as is or top with your favorite fruit…or mini chocolate chips if you feel so inclined!

(PS – In my quest to recreate Red Mango, I discovered xanthan gum, which works as an emulsifier. It keeps ice crystals from forming, so you get a creamier texture. Xanthan gum is what made the difference between similarities to Fraiche versus Red Mango. You can find it at Whole Foods and other such stores.  It is also used frequently in gluten-free cooking, if you were wondering.)


  1. Great tip about Xanthan gum!! I was reading in Cook’s Illustrated that vodka is a good emulsifier, and now I’m happy to hear there’s a substitute for that!

    AND. . . I have some plain yogurt in my fridge right now, I may just have to try it out.

    AND. . . Looks like I need to try red mango!!

  2. 2

    We got an ice cream maker too…I want to figure out a good recipe without sugar or honey or such – maybe a fruit juice as a sweetener…something natural. Any ideas? I will try the xanthum gum too. Thanks.

  3. 3
    Jane Maynard

    it seems like using some sort of fruit juice or something like that would work. I like the tart not-so-sweet flavor, and I think that could be really yummy.

    what about agave nectar? I hear it is a good alternative to sugar and honey…low gycemic index. I’ve never used it myself, but I’ve heard good things.

  4. 4

    I have been wondering if I could re create the new trend in frozen yogurt. I just love it. So I might be off to buy a new ice cream maker!!

  5. I absolutely have to get an ice cream maker now! If you could figure out the pinkberry recipe, I’ll make it all day, every day until I am completely fattened.

  6. 6

    it’s funny you posted this, as i was just looking up a recipe for frozen yogurt tonight. i was going to try this david liebovitz recipe referenced on the 101 cookbooks blog:

    it’s pretty similar to yours, except it’s straight greek yogurt without any milk. i’ll let you know how it turns out (unfortunately i left my freezer bowl in the cupboard instead of the freezer and alas i have to wait til tomorrow to satisfy my craving/curiosity).

  7. 7

    Could you post some good ice cream recipes as well?

  8. 8
    Jane Maynard

    emma – I am definitely planning on posting ice cream recipes…as I make them. I’ve only done one so far and it wasn’t anything special, not worth sharing…but I am definitely going to be venturing into the ice cream world as well. stay tuned!

    as for pinkberry…I haven’t had their yogurt, but I think they were around before red mango. I hear red mango rivals pinkberry…I’m thinking they’re probably not too different. needless to say, I want to try them out!!! 🙂

    lindsay – I’ve thought about trying it without any milk, just straight up yogurt. maybe I will next time. I do have to say looking at 101 cookbooks – I think adding the zanthan gum makes a big difference. especially if you put leftovers in the freezer for later – without the zanthan it gets very icy. I’m so proud that my recipe is so similar to heidi’s! 🙂 I’m going to try hers, but include some xanthan as well.

    I will say this – I have used regular yogurt, but now that I’ve used the greek style (which is similar to using a strained yogurt) I’m not going back to the regular…the texture is better.

    wow – this comment is WAY too long. 😉

  9. 9

    Thanks! I’m looking forward to some good ice cream recipes! I’ve only tried two with my Cuisinart and they didn’t turn out so great.

  10. 10

    update–i tried the 101 cookbooks recipe tonight, and it is SO good. perfectly tangy and just sweet enough. i didn’t find the texture to be icy, but i haven’t done the deep freeze yet. we’ll see how it is tomorrow. i usually put a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the ice cream or yogurt to help prevent ice crystals and it’s worked well for me. i’m not anti-xanthum gum, but i haven’t had a big problem with texture in my ice creams so far.

  11. 11
    Jane Maynard

    hi lindsay – glad it came out! I’m sure it was good…my fraiche version doesn’t have xanthan. but you gotta try it sometime…it’s just cool what happens! I’m totally going to try it sans-milk next time. can’t wait.

    I was going to mention – to those of you who can’t find greek yogurt, you CAN strain it yourself. although, seems like a lot of work and the unstrained version is still good. but just putting all the options on the table!

  12. 12
    Nicole Beckstrand

    Hello! Awesome!! Love tart fro yo and have ice cream maker so will experiment this weekend. Thanks!!

  13. This is perfect! I have been trying to find a good recipe for fro-yo. I know I can trust yours. 🙂

  14. Is it too late to talk about frozen yogurt? I made some tonight with the 101cookbooks recipe + xanthum gum– fantastic.. great texture, flavor, etc. What I’m wondering is if you all have used whole milk yogurt or low fat. I used whole milk plain yogurt and just strained it in the fridge for a couple hours before. I’m just wondering if lowfat yogurt would be just as tasty..

  15. 15
    Jane Maynard

    the first few times I tried it I used low-fat yogurt, and it tasted great. the last few times I’ve used whole milk greek yogurt (I’m too lazy to strain it – go christie!) and it tastes great. I just bought some low-fat greek to give it a whirl, but I’m certain it will be just fine.

    IN FACT…I used UNSTRAINED low-fat yogurt the first time and it was still fantastic. can’t go wrong.

    glad the zanthan gum worked with the 101 cookbooks recipe…that’s next on my to-do list. as if I haven’t eaten enough yogurt the last three weeks!

  16. 16

    so, after deep freezing my un-zanthaned yogurt, it kind of falls apart when i scoop it. giving it a minute to melt outside the freezer and a good stir remedied it well enough for me. the texture was fine in my mouth–not icy. i’m sure the zanthan gum would make it a really good texture though.
    by the way, i used 2 cups (after straining)of whole milk yogurt and 1 cup strained lowfat yogurt. it was plenty rich and good and i’m craving it daily now.

  17. 17

    Ummm…I’m not sure if I should thank you or curse you! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Red Mango! Although I couldn’t bring myself to grab some the last time I was walking by and it was 12 degrees outside. And I just put my brand new ice cream maker bowl into the freezer this morning. Now I just need some xanthan gum. Mint chocolate chip today, Red Mango style tomorrow!

  18. 18

    Jane – I just found your blog and I love it. I live in Menlo Park and LOVE Red Mango and Fraiche. Thanks for the recipes. I’m on my way to TJ’s right now for the yogurt. Have you been to Penzey’s, the new spice store in Menlo Park? I thought I’d stop there to see if they have the xanthan gum.

  19. My girlfriend is borderline addicted to Fraiche. She loves the chocolate and vanilla swirl.

    I think Fraiche is good, but I wish their non-frozen yogurt was a little better. The last time I ordered, it was a little bland.

  20. 20

    Hey Jane!
    i just want to say thank you sooooooo soooo much!! for this recipe, i’ve been to iceberry which is on the east coast, and pinkberry which is on the west coast, and ive been looking for months for a similar recipe. When i came to this website from 101cookbooks which required 3 cups of greek style yogurt, and 3/4 cups of sugar, it was good, but it was not similar at all since it was way too sweet and way to creamy even when i used non-fat greek style yogurt.

    but now im going to try your red mango style yogurt since it is similar to pinkberry’s, even though pinkberry came after red mango. but yeah instead for this recipe im going to try it with non-fat greek style yogurt, and skim milk, you should try it too since red mango’s fro yo has 0 grams of fat.

    but yeah thank you sooo much for the recipe!!! =D

  21. you’re welcome, mark! 🙂

  22. 22

    Just made it last night….WONDRFUL!!! I substituted cocnut milk for the milk and put a little fresh squeezed lemon in. Everyone thought it was a hit. Thanks for sharing(We love Red Mango so this is a great substitute:)

  23. 23

    Well….I’m only 13y late to this particular party but THANK YOU! I knew I wanted to make frozen greek yogurt and was pretty sure there should be xanthan gum involved so I literally just choogled “frozen yogurt recipe xanthan gum” and here I am! Being in Buffalo NY where we are strict custard people and it’s been decades since we even saw a TCBY -they used to be all over the place in the 90s, now we just have some lesser-gourmand chains- so I’ve never had Fraiche or Red Mango but feel like I know what they’re about just from pop culture hype.

    Anyway, I plan on using fat free greek yogurt, which I’ve mistakenly frozen before while trying to quick-cool and it was actually still pretty creamy even sans lipids…I’ll do some vanilla and some with fresh raspberry purée.

    Also, I don’t have an ice cream maker but found some manual recipes that yes, require more effort, but from all accounts come out almost just as well. So using your ingredient ratios and their methods, I have high hopes for success!

    So thankful I found your blog, I’ve eyeballed some other recipes in the past few minutes and I’ll be sticking around!

    Hope all is well! Xo

    • thank you for your comment, melissa! I hope it came out – it must have! 🙂 And I love your dedication to make it manually, even. So awesome. “See” you around!!

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