Yoghurt Blueberry ice cream (low fat, low sugar)
Making healthy ice cream can be difficult. By reducing fat and sugar, many end up rock-hard in the freezer and several alternative sweeteners do badly in ice creams.
But there is hope! Here is a very nice blueberry-flavoured yoghurt ice cream, low in both fat and sugar!
The base – Yoghurt ice cream without sugar
Yoghurt ice cream can differ – personally, I find the ones based on yoghurt and cream to be among the tastiest. However, today the challenge is to reduce the fat (and the sugar) so I opted for a middle way: by using Turkish (or Greek) yoghurt with a fat content of about 10 % and an equal amount of milk, the overall fat will still be significantly lower but not so low as to create too much structural problems or a too “thin” mouthfeel.
To sweeten the base, I opted for my favourite alternative sweetener – birch sugar, also known as xylitol. Xylitol is, in my view, perfect for ice cream making – while most other alternative sweeteners do little or nothing to maintain a softer ice cream structure (resulting in the ice cream freezing rock-hard), xylitol actually does this even slightly better than ordinary sugar. The drawback? If you have a sensitive stomach or eat too much of it, you could get a tummy ache. And dogs can’t eat the ice cream either (no showstopper in my book, as there are many other things – like chocolate – that dogs can’t eat either).
Since I will add some (sugar-sweetened) blueberry jam to the base, my yoghurt ice cream won’t be totally sugar free. However, it is of course also perfectly possible to use the base with any other (sugar-free) flavours!
If you have no xylitol and/or care little for the “sugar free aspect”, feel free to simply use 120 ml ordinary sugar instead: the rest of the recipe stays the same:-) .
With so relatively little fat, it would seem important to make sure that the base is properly emulsified. While this could be achieved by adding a couple of egg yolks, I opted for a couple of tablespoons of soy lecithin: a vegetable alternative emulsifier well suited for ice cream-making without eggs. Since lecithin does not require any heating to work (and, unlike eggs, doesn’t require any pasteurisation), there is no need to make this ice cream on the stove: all we need to do is mix the cold ingredients together and whisk well!
How much lecithin should be used? Many who advise on egg replacements suggest to go by 1 tablespoon = 1 egg.
However, for ice cream emulsion-purposes – considering the amount of lecithin in a normal egg – it would seem that 1 teaspoon = 2 eggs (or close to 2 gram) would be quite adequate (or even more than adequate) for our recipe. Lecithin is not considered a dangerous substance so if you stray a bit and slightly overdose, there should typically be no other problems than the spending of slightly more powder than strictly necessary.
For the blueberries, I opted for good-quality blueberry jam! This is, in my view, a very good way of adding fruit to ice creams (as long as you like the flavour of the jam of course)!
How to do it or “Just mix everything together”
Since Lecithin powder easily lump together, I suggest starting by mixing it with the (dry) xylitol. Then, simply add the milk and the yoghurt and whisk well.
When the base is done – or almost done – it is time to add the blueberry jam!
You can either add the jam during the last phase of the churning, or churn the base to finish, flatten it and spread the blueberry jam over the top. Then stir the jam into the ice cream by using a knife or similar!
For the jam, I recommend a good one with a high content of berries.
Delicious freshly churned!
Yes, as with most ice cream, this one is very nice to enjoy immediately after the churning! Arguably a bit soft, but those who wish for a bit more firmness can always put the ice cream in the freezer for an hour or so before helping themselves 😉
The result: delicious even the day after!
The real test, however, came the next day. Should the yoghurt ice cream now have frozen rock-hard, or should I be able to scoop it without too much effort and frustration?
And yes, it could be done! Granted, just like many other quality ice creams, this one proved to be easier to handle after about 10 minutes or so out of the freezer. However, in my book, this is very good – and particularly for a “slim” ice cream 🙂
The blueberry flavour leaves nothing to be desired, and the yoghurt adds a particular tangy, refreshing touch to the ice cream. In general, I belong to those who think that portion-control rather than “fat-free/sugar-free” is the preferred way when it comes to ice creams. However, in times of need, it is nice to have a slimmer and still very OK alternative to turn to. If you don’t like blueberries, feel free to enjoy the base on its own (“pure yoghurt ice cream”). Or with a different jam. Or with some other add-on you may long for! So bring out the yoghurt and set the stage for a relatively guilt-free ice cream ride!
- 250 ml (about 1 cup) milk
- 250 ml (about 1 cup) yoghurt (Turkish or Greek style, about 10 % fat)
- about 1 teaspoon soy lecithin (alternatively, 2 egg yolks: note - if using eggs, the base needs to be cooked!)
- 100 ml (about 2/5 cup) xylitol (birch sugar)
- about 100 ml (about 2/5 cup) good quality blueberry jam (the one I used had about 63 % fruit)
- Mix the dry ingredients (the xylitol and the soy lecithin) together in a bowl.
- While whisking, add the milk and the yoghurt to the mix: whisk until all has blended well.
- Churn the base in your ice cream machine.
- Towards the end of the churning, add the blueberry jam OR add the jam once the churning of the base has finished (flatten the base, spread the jam on top and swirl the jam into the ice cream with the help of a knife or similar: return the ice cream to the freezer to firm up a bit before serving).