I think it’s only right that I give you fair warning. The next two weeks on the blog will include a generous portion of fruit, a good amount of dairy, and not a single vegetable. It’s not that I’m anti-vegetable or anything, it’s just that, well, I haven’t exactly been eating any lately. It’s a trend I’m hoping to reverse, but I’ve suddenly found myself with four dessert recipes developed, photographed, and ready to go. How it happened is still a mystery to me, though I’m certainly not complaining (my jeans, on the other hand…).
Instead of bombarding you with everything all at once, I’ll be posting a new recipe every 3-4 days, and in the meantime, I intend to improve my diet a bit. In fact, tomorrow I’ll be getting together with my sister-in-law, Jenny, to cook an assortment of wholesome meals and snacks that we can have on hand for the coming week. I’m thinking if veggies are already incorporated into tasty salads or soups and there are nutrient-rich baked goods just sitting around waiting to be eaten, the odds of me making a healthy choice (instead of grabbing yet another handful of chocolate chips) are dramatically increased. We’ll see how it goes.
Back to the sweets: today I’m sharing my rendition of Blackberry Sage Frozen Yogurt. There are only five ingredients in the mix, and using Greek yogurt as the base is a great way to have the satisfaction of a frozen dessert without all the work of a traditional custard ice cream (not to mention the nutritional benefits). Developing this recipe was a delightful bonding experience with my husband. We completed three rounds of testing, trying to get just the right balance of flavors, and I truly enjoyed receiving his feedback and suggestions. Tackling projects together as a married couple can sometimes result in more conflict than it’s worth, but more and more it seems we are working cooperatively, playing nice, and becoming closer in the process (yay progress!).
This frozen treat has all the tang of Greek yogurt which I’ve offset by the addition of honey and woodsy sage. Earthy herbs can easily overpower a dish, but my goal here was to have the sage at the forefront without it being too strong, and I think we accomplished that. The blackberries provide another layer of flavor, but again it’s on the subtle side. The final product is a dessert that is easy, light, and perfect for summer.
- 2/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh sage leaves
- 4 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
- 3 cups full fat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons light rum
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the honey and sage and heat until the mixture just simmers, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the blackberries in a medium saucepan over medium heat, mashing them to a puree with a fork or potato masher as they soften. Bring to a simmer and cook for 11-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced to a syrup consistency. Use a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon to push the cooked berries through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, extracting as much syrup as possible. Discard the pulp and transfer the blackberry syrup to the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
- Rinse and dry the strainer used in the previous step, then pour the honey and sage mixture through it into a bowl, again using the back of a spoon to help squeeze all the honey from the sage. Discard the sage leaves.
- Once the blackberry syrup has chilled and the sage-infused honey has cooled to room temperature, pour both liquids into a mixing bowl along with the Greek yogurt and rum. Stir until the mixture is well incorporated, then freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Serve immediately, or transfer the frozen yogurt to a lidded container and place in a freezer for a couple of hours until it reaches the desired firmness.
Portions of the method adapted from Simply Recipes.
Tips and Tidbits
- While this basic recipe features ingredients that I enjoy, it can accommodate a myriad of flavor combinations. Try using raspberries or blueberries instead of blackberries, or perhaps mint, basil, or lavender as a substitute for the sage (if using dried lavender, you will need a smaller quantity since it is so potent).
- Liquor helps keep the frozen yogurt soft and scoopable, but so little is used that the taste of the rum is nearly undetectable. If you don’t have any on hand, brandy or vodka can be used to achieve the same end.
- If you prefer to use lower fat Greek yogurt, you may do so, but know that the final product may not be as creamy.