Avocado Frozen Yogurt RecipeAugust 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.
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)
Tags: Avocados, Fiber, Lutein, Potassium
Posted in Food and Drink, Nutrition, Recipes