Banana, Vanilla and Cinnamon Frozen Yogurt

Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free and Low Fat

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Guess what the temperature is. Just guess. It’s 31C! That’s 90F! Not that hot you protest? It’s only ten in the morning! Bluuugh. All I want to do today is join my dog lying down on the cool tiles, occasionally dipping my entire head and feet mournfully into my water bowl. Well I might leave the water bowl to him, but he is making it look so tempting. 

Having a desserts blog and living in Australia can make you feel very out of sync at times, especially at the change of seasons. Every picture in my blog roll is full of pumpkin spice cakes and fruit hand pies and donuts. People! What is with all the donuts! Five minutes ago you couldn’t turn around without being assaulted with a photo of a popsicle stick and now it seems deep-fried sugar encrusted cake is taking over the world? Well when I put it like that, it makes sense. It makes a lot of donutty sense actually. I keep picturing Homer Simpson drooling and saying “Mmmmm dooonuuuts”. 

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 Today was meant to be my first mango recipe of the summer. (My first mango recipe ever!) It was going to be a refreshing sorbet perfect for this stinky weather but…I ate all the mangos. Mangos are just one of those fruits that don’t need to be messed with to taste better. They’re not like apples, which literally transform when you bake them. They’re an entire meal in themselves. I feel bad even adding yogurt to cut up mango at breakfast time if it’s perfectly ripe and juicy. So I ate them all! And I’m sorry. I promise mango will soon adorn these walls very soon.

Instead the banana war continues. I mentioned recently the overload of bananas filling the freezer, numbered at the moment around twenty. That’s right. It’s gone up. Banana makes a great instant sorbet as lots of people know, especially if you add cocoa powder or chocolate chips! But I’ve never tried it in a frozen yogurt recipe before. 

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 To bring out the banana flavour and give some depth to the frozen yogurt I added some cinnamon and vanilla extract, as well as a scoop of honey. I wasn’t expecting much, not even enough to post about. You can’t really bake frozen bananas so I couldn’t caramelise them or anything fancy to ramp up the flavour.

But I was so wrong. One bite of this and I realised I should never underestimate the power of the banana again. It’s so creamy! Please, don’t be tempted to ruin this with super fat reduced yogurt, save that for your smoothies and instant banana froyo!  Low fat yogurt freezes as hard as a rock and tastes bland as well. I’ve talked about it when I made berry and honey frozen yogurt, and also lemon curd frozen yogurt. You can use 2%, just take it out of the freezer before you want to eat it and let it soften. Or eat it within two hours of putting it in the freezer. 

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 The best yogurt to use though is full fat natural yogurt. I really hate the way homemade ice creams and sorbets freeze so much harder than store-bought. I made a chocolate ice cream last week that was so amazingly soft even straight from the freezer because of a rich and silky custard base. But sorbets can be quite tricky!

I did some research this week and discovered that most store-bought ice creams and sorbets contain anti-freeze to keep them soft. Oh my gosh. It’s “green” antifreeze which is apparently ok for animals and humans, but seeing as no research has confirmed that yet…I think I’ll stick to homemade from now on. I did discover something hopeful though! On the back of the best mango sorbet tub ever the ingredients listed were water, sugar, fruit, the usual subjects, and…glucose syrup! None of the other ingredients looked like they might be there as a softener, could glucose syrup be the answer we’ve been looking for?!?!? This summer we will find out.

You can add more or less honey depending on your preferences with this recipe. Use spotty bananas that are fully ripe, but not those blackening bananas that should be saved for breads and muffins. If the bananas are too ripe their flavour will be really overpowering. Similar with the yogurt, try to find one with a medium flavour rather than super strong and tangy. Bananas actually have a tangy note to them if you’ve ever noticed and the yogurt can accentuate it in a strange way. 

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Banana, Vanilla and Cinnamon Frozen Yogurt:

500g (1 pound, 17.5 ounces, 2 cups) natural yogurt

300g (2-3 medium, 1 cup blended) bananas, frozen or fresh

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tablespoon- 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

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 Method:

Blend the bananas with the honey, vanilla and cinnamon until completely pureed. Slowly add in the yogurt, blending until smooth. Allow the mixture to cool in the fridge for as long as possible. Overnight is ideal. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to instructions.

For no ice cream maker, never fear! Pour the mixture straight into the tub and put in the freezer. Every 30 minutes or so, take out and stir completely with a fork, breaking up any clumps. Do this until completely frozen. You can also do this by blending it a few times during the freezing process. For instant ice cream love, you can freeze it until just solid and eat it when it’s still creamy. 

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27 thoughts on “Banana, Vanilla and Cinnamon Frozen Yogurt

  1. Oh my gosh, this looks too good. I love the moment of excitement when you see a delicious recipe and realize you have everything you need to make it already — and especially here, because I don’t have an ice cream maker and have been longing to make ice cream all summer. I’m one of those Northern hemisphere blogs you mentioned that’s heading into fall recipes, but I think I’ll have to make this anyway :) (Also, it’s nice to know that I won’t be totally shunned if I feel like posting a blueberry recipe in January thanks to folks on the other side of the world!)

  2. Hello
    I am so excited to make this!
    I am confused about the method though..
    “Allow the mixture to cool in the fridge for as long as possible. Overnight is ideal. ”
    “Pour the mixture straight into the tub and put in the freezer. Every 30 minutes or so, take out and stir completely with a fork, breaking up any clumps. Do this until completely frozen.”
    Which method do I use? Why is there two? Please clarify..:)

    • Hi Han, so either allow the mixture to cool for as long as possible and pour in an ice cream maker for the set time of your machine and freeze accordingly,
      OR
      if you don’t have a machine, pour straight into a tub and freeze, scraping it all up with a fork every hour or so so that it doesn’t freeze too hard. There’s two methods because not everyone owns an ice cream machine.

      • So pour it into a shallow dish and freeze for 1 hour, then take it out and either break it up and throw it in a blender or just shred up the ice chunks with a fork. Repeat this maybe twice more over the next couple hours (maybe twice more) until it is frozen solid. You can just freeze it hard straight away, it will just freeze quite hard and you’ll have to take it out of the freezer maybe 20-30 minutes before you want to eat it to let it soften :)

      • The taste won’t be affected, it’ll just lose some creaminess :) When I freeze it solid I just use a hot knife (hot from running it under hot water) to cut off some, and then blend it in a blender to make a super quick and creamy froyo.

      • Hello again

        Is it possible that I put it in the fridge for an hour or two to freeze it until just solid but still soft and creamy? Is there a specific time?

        I hope you don’t mind these questions

      • Hi Han, I don’t mind at all! Did you mean the freezer? You can definitely do that. For an alternative super quick frozen yogurt that tastes exactly the same as this one but has to be eaten straight away, just blend frozen banana directly with the yogurt, honey and other ingredients. The frozen banana will partially freeze the yogurt. Pop it back in the freezer for ten minutes or so to make it firmer, or eat it straight away. Depending how much banana you use it will be the same texture as ice cream :) (the more banana the colder and more smoother it will be)

        Let me know which way you try!

      • Hello
        I tried freezing the bananas first for 7 hours,and then, I blended it with yogourt and honey. But it is very liquidy. So I decided to freeze it and breaking up the clumps every 30 minutes or so. But it feels a bit icy and not very creamy.
        Any suggestions?

      • Hi Han
        Freeze it completely, when you want to eat it use a hot knife to scoop out a portion you want, blend it straight away in a blender, stick it back in the freezer for ten minutes and you’re good to go. It’ll be super smooth and creamy. You might be using a brand of yogurt with a high water content as well, try and find the creamiest one, with a high fat content, for the best results.

  3. Hi there! I’m confused about the measurements, specifically “500g (1 pound, 17.5 ounces, 2 cups) natural yogurt”. So, it’s 2 cups of yogurt? How much does the recipe yield? I have an ice cream maker I’ve only used once but I think the limit is 1.5 qt.

    Thanks for the tip on the yogurt. I just made rasp/dk chocolate frozen Greek yogurt, using 0% fat and – holy cow – I had to leave it out for 45 mins just to be able to shave it! Full fat from here on out! LOL! Can’t wait to try this with mini dark choc chips! thanks!

  4. Thanks, it’s in the ice cream maker as I write this but I realize I goofed. I blended the yogurt with everything else rather than mixing it in last per the directions. I’m hoping it freezes! Oops! Lol!

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