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Avocado Frozen Yogurt Recipe

August 3, 2010 Written by JP       [Font too small?]

In the late 1990′s I was working as a health food store consultant. I would advise the buyers and owners of health food stores about which types of supplements I thought were safest and most effective. On occasion I’d find myself in the middle of “rush hour”, when the health food store staff was outnumbered by patrons. This gave me an opportunity to work with customers in a more direct fashion. In addition, it allowed me to converse with individuals about what worked and didn’t in the personal application of natural remedies. I vividly recall one instance when I approached an older lady who was comparing labels in the protein powder isle of a family owned store. I offered some information and suggestions but also posed a few questions. Out of that exchange, I learned about an interesting ingredient that she always used when making protein shakes – avocado. Instead of using cream or milk in her blends, she used cold water, ice and a whole avocado. This gave her a dairy-free alternative that was rich in potassium and helped manage her borderline-high blood sugar and hypertension.

My wife and I are just back from a trip to Martha’s Vineyard – just off the coast of Cape Cod. Much of the time there we encountered hot and humid days – not ideal weather unless you’re at the beach or at an ice cream parlor. Although we’re both on a low-carbohydrate eating plan, we still managed to enjoy a few scoops of sugar-free ice cream while away. This hit the spot and didn’t affect our health goals. But I’m certain that some of the ingredients in that low-carb ice cream were not exactly ideal. The fact is that the healthiest way to enjoy frozen yogurt or ice cream is generally to make it at home.

That’s when I recalled the avocado lady from my distant past. She’s the one who inspired the following frozen yogurt recipe. Please note that this frozen treat can be made with or without an ice cream maker. Using an ice cream maker will allow for a more functional and refined end-product, but it’s not absolutely necessary. I’ll offer tips on how to make it both ways.

The question that many of you may be thinking is “Why add avocado to frozen yogurt?”. It’s a fair inquiry that has a sensible answer. First and foremost, I want to point out the spectacular nutritional composition of avocados. Each avocado yields an impressive 30% of the RDA of folic acid, 20% of the daily requirement of potassium and 36% of the bone and heart supporting nutrient, Vitamin K. Just one of these green fruits also contributes 9 grams of dietary fiber and plenty of the desirable monounsaturated fats. This collection of nutrients has consistently been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke incidence. I’d go so far as to say that I wish doctors would prescribe a daily avocado instead of many of the pharmaceutical medications they’re quick to dispense. (1,2,3,4,5)

Healthy Fellow Avocado Frozen Yogurt

1 cup unsweetened Blue Diamond vanilla almond milk *
5 dropperfuls of NuNaturals Alcohol Free Stevia
2 large organic, omega-3 enriched egg yolks
2 medium, organic, ripe avocados
1 cup plain Greek, whole-milk yogurt
the juice from one organic lemon
the zest of one organic lemon
1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
1/4 tsp of NutraSalt or salt

* In my opinion, the refrigerated variety of almond milk tastes much better than the self-stable, tetra-packed products. This applies to the various brands I’ve tried.

Nutritional Content: Calories: 225. Protein: 7 grams. Fat: 20 grams. “Net” Carbohydrates: 5 grams. Fiber: 5 grams. 4 servings per batch.

Begin by chilling a metal bowl in the freezer. Zest the rind of one lemon and add it to a 1 1/2 quart pot along with the almond milk, stevia and vanilla extract. Warm the mixture over low heat. In a separate bowl, whisk two egg yolks. Add the egg yolks to the warm almond milk and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the contents thicken. You’ll know it’s ready when the liquid coats the back of a spoon. This usually takes about 4-5 minutes. Please do not skimp on the stirring. Insufficient stirring could result in “scrambling” of the eggs. Once thick, pour the warm liquid into the chilled metal bowl and whisk in the Greek yogurt. Then peel and cube the avocado and place the cubes in a blender along with the juice of one lemon and the cooled almond milk/yogurt mixture. Blend until completely smooth. At this point you can either pour the contents into an ice cream maker or an appropriate freezer container. If you use an ice cream maker, follow the directions set forth by the manufacturer. If you don’t have this kitchen aid, simply freeze the mixture in a covered container and stir it every hour or so for a total of 4 to 5 hours.

For those of you who won’t use an ice cream maker, please be aware that this variety of frozen yogurt is best served fresh. By that, I mean 4-5 hours after making it. At that time, the frozen yogurt will have a pleasant “soft serve” consistency. If you opt to freeze it for future use, you’ll need to defrost it a bit and mix until it reaches a desired consistency. Leaving it in the freezer for long periods of time results in a very hard freeze. This process may require a bit of trial and error when you make your first batch. After that, you’ll know what works best based on your freezer and kitchen equipment.

Meals Containing Avocado May Increase Antioxidant Absorption
Source: J. Nutr. 135:431-436, March 2005 (link)

If you need another reason to put avocados on the top of your grocery list, consider this: they’re an abundant reservoir of cancer-fighting phytochemicals. Apart from nutrient density, avocados contain therapeutic components such as alpha and beta-carotene, lutein, persenone A, Vitamin E and zeaxanthin which appear to “target multiple signaling pathways and increase intracellular reactive oxygen leading to adoptosis” i.e. death of cancerous cells. To date, avocado extracts have been investigated with regard to a number of malignancies including breast, oral and prostate cancer. (6,7,8,9,10,11)

As if that weren’t enough, the pigments that impart the green hue to avocados are nutritional warriors in the battle against degenerative eye conditions (age-related macular degeneration and cataracts), memory loss and even shield the skin from the damaging effects of environmental damage, such as UV radiation. If you still have lingering reservations about the high fat content of avocados, please note this: many of the beneficial antioxidants and nutrients in avocados require fat in order to be absorbed properly. (12,13,14)

I really could go on and on about the health benefits of this recipe. I could tell you that egg yolks are also an abundant source of carotenoids and phospholipids that are likely to work synergistically with avocados. A mention or two about the positive attributes of the probiotics contained in Greek yogurt (L. Bulgaricus and S. Thermophilus) would also be in order. But I’ll go easy on the science today. After all, we’re just talking about frozen yogurt. Or, are we? (15,16,17,18,19)

Be well!

JP

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9 Comments to “Avocado Frozen Yogurt Recipe”

  1. hiphopmuse Says:

    Avocado frozen yogurt sounds…unconventional…but I’d try it. Who knows, it may actually be delicious as well as healthy!

  2. Maketta Says:

    That sounds interesting. I like avocados. I usually eat them in my salads.

  3. JP Says:

    Hiphopmuse and Maketta,

    My wife and I both enjoyed this recipe very much. It’s creamy, rich and has a subtle custardy, lemony flavor. Very refreshing, IMO.

    Be well!

    JP

    PS – I love avocados in salads as well. Guacamole is another favorite of mine.

  4. Nina K. Says:

    Hi JP ☺

    nice to see that your are doing now your own ice cream too ☺.

    I have problems with avocado, each time my belly is really bad aching, thats not cool, i like the taste of avocado but i think im a little allergic to it. So i only put avocado on my skin ;-)

    i tried recently a diy icecream with almond cream as the fatty base. very good. combined it with dark chocolate sprinkles and tart cherries (less carbs than sweet cherries) and “a little bit” (haha was more than a little bit;-) ) amaretto liqueur ♥ very tasty.

    ot: im very happy to announce that we are going on summer holiday for the first two weeks in september: spain/fuerteventura costa calma! YAY! ☼☼☼ it will be hard for me to follow my low carb diet there, they have so good pancakes for breakfast ;-)

    Greetings from the far side and stay healthy and happy ☺
    Nina K.

  5. JP Says:

    Nina,

    Bad news about the avocados but great news about your summer holiday! We’ve never been to Spain but hope to get there one day. Enjoy your time off in paradise! :)

    Be well!

    JP

  6. Shira Says:

    Hello JP. This receipe looks great. I’m a big fan of avocados and can’t wait to try it. Hope you and your wife had a great time on vacation!

  7. JP Says:

    Thank you, Shira. :)

    I hope you enjoy the recipe when you try it.

    Our work trip/vacation went very well. I’m actually going to post a column about our trip later today. Health tips while on the road.

    Be well!

    JP

  8. Rosemary Says:

    I finally got to try your recipe today and I liked it! At least I liked the version I made which was close to your recipe. I didn’t have almond milk and tried substituting unsweetened coconut milk. My milk and egg mixture didn’t seem to be thickening. I didn’t know whether to go with it thin or not and decided to quickly stir in some almond flour. It thickened when I added it but it caused a graininess in the finished product. I wasn’t sure from the directions if you were supposed to keep heating the custard while waiting for the mixture to thicken. I did keep heating and stirring it the whole time.

    I used SweetLeaf liquid Stevia; egg yolks from our own chickens; yogurt I made from Half & Half.

    I used a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker to finish it. It will likely be rock solid tomorrow but the texture was terrific after about 30 minutes in the Cuisinart was and just about perfect a couple hours later when I had a serving of it.

    I will definitely make this again. If I don’t have almond milk I’ll make some with the almond flour and water and strain it before adding.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  9. JP Says:

    Thank you for trying the recipe out, Rosemary! :)

    When we made the recipe, the almond milk + egg yolks thickened enough to coat the back of the stirring spoon. I kept the mixture continuously on low heat and never stopped stirring. But even if it seems a little thin, it should be fine once added to the other ingredients – no need to add the almond meal, IMO. There’s plenty enough fiber in the avocados to provide for a creamy, thick texture.

    Making your own homemade almond milk should be fine. My only suggestion would be to add a touch of vanilla extract if you like the flavor. That ought to approximate the taste of the Blue Diamond product we used.

    Thanks again for the feedback. It’s much appreciated!

    Be well!

    JP

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