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Darn good

in the spoon

What would you consider the value of a bowl of frozen yogurt?

To be clear, I don't mean its sentimental value, nothing as romantic as all of that, I'm talking about nitty-gritty, slap-a-pricetag-on-that-puppy value.

Hold on, let me give you the details before you all start yelling out answers all The Price is Right-style on me.

This is not just any frozen confection. It is removed from the insipidly-sweet ranks of those frozen yogurts parading as ice cream. It has the unmistakable twang of yogurt, softened only slightly by sweetness. This is one that puts Greek yogurt front and centre; yogurt so thick that when spooned it falls lazily back upon itself in luscious folds. This is one where the yogurt plays equal partner to handful upon handful of mixed berries that have been squished and squashed into a violet-hued pulp.

It's darn good stuff.

Still can't decide? I'll be more specific. Would you think that the aforementioned frozen yogurt was worth, hmm ... I don't know ... say, a bouquet of peonies?

I'm totally serious. You can keep your dollars and cents, thank you very much, I will happily hand over pints in exchange for armfuls of blooms.

Why, you ask? The peony is one of my two absolute favourite flowers. They are, without a doubt, the most feminine of beauties; debutante-dreamy with their frilled crinoline petals. And I am surrounded by them, everywhere but in our yard. While our neighborhood is filled plentiful bushes, heavy with showy blossoms, ours is a peony-free zone. Our yard is too shady for their liking.

In lieu of turning to a life of floral theft, I am seriously considering a trade with our neighbors. Or, better yet, a frozen yogurt stand at the end of our driveway. One bloom for one scoop of equally girly-girl pink yogurt sounds fair, doesn't it?


My father has glorious peonies growing at home; if our neighborhood's contingent are debs, his are divas. His bushes boast bountiful blooms, bodacious in their size. He kindly gifted me with some recently, on Father's Day no less. (If you look carefully in the photograph above, you'll catch a glimpse of his flowers in the reflection on the spoons.)

The next day, I made Dad a batch of mango frozen yogurt.

So all's well that ends well, dear reader. The only thing wanting is that I do wish I offer you some frozen yogurt. We could sit around my kitchen table, leaning into our bowls, and have a good chat. I could excitedly share with you the news that I am a contributor to the summer issue of UPPERCASE magazine.

I came to know about UPPERCASE gallery through the art of Jennifer Judd-McGee. When she unveiled the piece she had completed for an upcoming show, I was curious to learn more about the (Canadian!) gallery hosting the exhibit. And when I did, I became an immediate fan of Janine Vangool and her many creative endeavours. The magazine is her latest, and I am happy to be included in its pages.

The issue will out on July 2nd. Here's a sneak preview of what I made, and a peek between the covers. In other news, I have also been working on a revised About section, with a little more about me and answers to often asked questions. See the link at the left.

Bumbleberry Frozen Yogurt
Greek yogurt is rich to say the least, and heavy on the tongue. It provides a rounded base to all the high-note acidity of the fruit juices.

2 cups fresh mixed berries, I used strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries
2/3 cup granulated sugar, see note
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 cups Greek yogurt, or well-drained whole milk yogurt

Take your lovely berries and, in a large bowl with 1/3 cup of the sugar, crush the life out of them with a potato masher or the back of a spoon. Add the lemon juice, stir briefly, and cover. Allow the berries to macerate at room temperature for about an hour.

Using a coarse sieve set over another large bowl, press the berries through the mesh with the back of a spoon. Underneath the juices should be thick and slightly pulpy, but all seeds and larger fibers should remain above. Once all the berries have been sieved, you should have a generous 1 cup of purée.

Stir in the yogurt. Sweeten, a little at a time, with the remaining sugar. As so much will depend on the sweetness of your berries, add the sugar judiciously, tasting often. You want to take the mixture to where it tastes balanced to your palate, then sweeten it a little bit further. Sweetness is dulled by freezing, so this extra oomph will compensate.

When satisfied with the level of sweetness and all the sugar has dissolved, cover and chill the mix for two hours. Freeze according to your ice cream maker's manufacturer's instructions.

Makes about 1 quart. Soften at room temperature for a few minutes before scooping.


• I have used as little as a 1/2 cup of sugar, and as much as almost a full cup for this recipe.
• As Elise points out, frozen yogurt will turn icy once frozen for more than 6-8 hours. So really, the universe is telling you to eat this yogurt the day its made. If you really must store it for longer than that, follow her advice and "add a tablespoon of vodka or kirsch to the mixture right before churning."

Reader Comments (24)

What a gorgeous color! I have just started making friends with my ice cream maker but I can't truly enjoy the ice cream because I have seen what goes into it! I know I could enjoy this frozen yogurt guilt-free. And peonies are my favorite too!

June 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDana

If you add a little vodka (a tablespoon or two) to the mix, it won't become as icy when frozen. I made this exact recipe, with just strawberries and the vodka, last weekend.

June 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterronnissweettooth

I must buy an ice cream maker now, if only to make this recipe!

June 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjodye

Tara, it sounds like we share the same affection for peonies and berry-flavored frozen yogurt! This recipe comes at the perfect time, for an ice-cream maker is at the tip-top of my "to buy" list and our blackberries are about to explode on the vine.

And, congratulations on your piece in UPPERCASE! It looks like a lovely publication.

June 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea [bella eats]

If I were your neighbor, I would grow peonies JUST so I could trade you for frozen yogurt :)

June 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSprouted Kitchen

Beautiful! I need an ice cream maker first though!

June 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterzoe

Greek yogurt with mixed berries? Heaven. Enough to make me want to get my ice cream maker out from the back of the closet.

June 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

YUM!!!!!!!!! I am going to make this!! I LIVE on greek yogurt, no joke! thanks :) cant wait!

June 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Beautiful colors and lovely recipes. Thanks for sharing!

June 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnh

I too love peonies, and had never been given any until I blogged about it. My Husband tends to get them confused with petunias... I say blog and you shall receive. Perhaps I should make him some frozen yogurt?

June 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNikki

Thanks you so much for stopping by I have been clandestinely sneaking peeks at your alarmingly simple and artistically restrained food photos via tastespotting for quite some time. So I consider it an honor that you found my site through that same venue. GREG

June 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSippity Sup

My goodness, that frozen yogurt looks dreamy...the color is wonderful!

June 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

as always, amazing! thanks for sharing ... happy weekend to you!

June 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersimplesong

Between that stunning photograph (you even set out an extra spoon - thanks!) and your beautiful prose, it's clear that you are trying to torture us. If all you want in return is a few peonies, consider them in the mail.

And congratulations on the magazine! I checked out the preview and it looks like a lovely project. I can't wait to see and read more.

June 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJess

Dana, the blackberries and blueberries are the reason for the lovely shade - they add such a depth of colour, it's lovely. I know what you mean about ice cream; the amount of eggs and sugar and cream is a bit daunting. I've made a few of Jeni Britton's custardless ice creams before. They're still rich, but at least a bit better for you.

ronnissweettooth, thanks for pointing out that tip again; I'd already included it in the notes section to the recipe, but a reminder is always a good thing!

jodye, a friend of mine makes frozen yogurt by pureeing frozen fruit with yogurt and a touch of sugar in a blender. I cannot vouch for the method myself, but she says it is delicious and a totally-worthy stand in to real soft serve.

Andrea [bella eats], just another thing we seem to have in common. Thanks so much for the kindness regarding UPPERCASE. I'm giddy.

Sprouted Kitchen, we'd be such good neighbours!

zoe, thank you!

Rachel, please report back if you do. This summer, our core has taken permanent residence in our freezer.

Jennifer, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Anh, you're most welcome.

Nikki, perhaps you should! It's all about karma, no? So send out some goodness, maybe peonies will come back to you.

Sippity Sup, I do not believe that I've ever heard my photographs described in such a way. Thank you. And by the way Greg, you've inspired me to make some bagels.

Emily, I have to admit, I find this yogurt the most dreamy if you do not let it harden too long. After churning, we are happiest to devour it after about 4-6 hours in the freezer. It is still slightly soft and melting, and the flavour just pops. Yum.

simplesong, thanks my friend. Hope you had a great weekend.

Jess, if you look at the top of the frame, there's a second bowl there as well - set out just for you! It's waiting.

Thanks for the congratulations, Janine does a great job with the magazine. It is a truly inspiring publication.

June 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertara

Oh my. There is just so much wonderfulness in this post. That frozen yogurt looks divine. And peonies are one of my favorites, too. They are chaotic, and when they smell good, they smell so light and fragrant.

I can't wait to see the new magazine-- congratulations on your contribution! Janine is indeed an inspiring individual!

June 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersusy

Love the simplicity of it...and what a nice color. Great for the summertime...yummie!

June 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJuliana

Lovely site! Enjoyed reading through and flicking thru the wonderful photographs.

Do check me food blog out at:

June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMEGalomaniac

Lovely! And so nice to see that the Spirit of Capitalism is alive and well! Peonies and fro-yo for everyone! :D

July 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Riehm

That last comment from Jeff Riehm was actually from me. Too many profiles in this house! I'm sure he'd love the yogurt, if not the peonies! :)

July 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteronlinepastrychef

Yum...this looks amazing. I can't wait to give it a try. Thanks!

July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKendra

looks yummy and I'm sure I could come up with a bit of mixing like your friend that would make it almost acceptable as ice cream....

July 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBumbleVee

Juliana, frozen yogurt is something prefer to be simple. So glad that you agree.

MEGalomaniac, thanks so much for the kind words. I will be sure to visit your site!

Jeff Riehm/onlinepastry chef ;) ahh yes, the sweet dividends of a capitalist society (sorry, couldn't resist).

Kendra, you are so very welcome.

BumbleVee, Sprouted Kitchen has an amazing frozen yogurt recipe that includes some cream. It might be what you're looking for!

To the Anonymous poster whose comment does not appear, I appreciate feedback - both positive and critical. Your comment has been removed due to the language used. If you do not enjoy this site, so be it. That's the wonderful thing about the internet - I am sure there is a place out there that is better suited to your taste.

October 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertara

Looks so yummy! Can I use fat-free Greek yogurt with this recipe?

August 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCathy

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