Mango Frozen Yogurt (and a discussion on theory vs. practice)

A week or so ago, I bought a pint of thick, full-fat Greek-style plain yogurt. I planned on making the most mouthwatering, yet-undiscovered frozen yogurt flavor, but had no idea what it would be. A week of contemplation went by. What about a fresh, spicy ginger flavor with brown sugar? Maybe those sour cherries can be cooked down to a syrup and swirled in. What if I threw blueberry cobbler pieces into it with mascarpone cheese?

My mind ran amok with ideas, which eventually spilled into the phone receiver at odd times of the day as I shared some of them with Ben.

Me: A cucumber dill or mint frozen yogurt, you know, like a spin on raita?

Ben: Uh, what about that cucumber thing you have in the freezer and never ate?

(the white icicles of strangely cucumbery-tasting “ice cream”)

Me: So?

Ben: Maybe you should stop trying to make something crazy and just make something easy that you like.

What a novel idea. While in theory I wanted to try and perfect my cucumber dill raita frozen yogurt, in practice — and at this time of the year especially — I would really love to munch on fresh, juicy mango bits as I worked about the kitchen. Maaangooo. If I were Homer Simpson, it would be my donut. I know that these things travel many fossil fuel-burning miles to get to the bodega on the corner of my block. But since I’ve been spoiled by the availability of this tropical delicacy my entire life, I cannot lie. They’re truly my favorite fruit.

pulverized to perfection

Nothing could be simpler about the theory behind this frozen yogurt. It combines good, Greek-style yogurt — which I am happy to eat out of the carton already, and a good, juicy mango –- which I am likewise happy slurping off its core like corn on the cob. Mashed up and mixed together, these two things were nearly perfect: the thick, velvety brightness of the mango puree just sweet enough to mellow the fierce tang of the yogurt. I could have eaten this soft mixture, unfrozen, just as well. But if only because it was 80 degrees most of this past weekend I saw people eating ice cream on every block I turned in my neighborhood, I followed through with the frozen plan and gave it a churn in the ice cream maker.

fruit on the bottom

What resulted inspired abnormal bliss. It sparked “Heavens to Betsy” exclamations and “Well put me in a spaceship and light me on fire” bad hyperbole-slinging wonder.

Why would anyone eat mango ice cream? I wondered. This version was far superior — tangy. Sweet. Fresh, fresh, fresh. I guesstimated a modest 1/2 cup of sugar to mash with my (very ripe) mango and it turned out well, though this hinges upon the ripeness and flavor of the particular mango used. No lemon juice was needed, due to the tartness of the fruit as well as the yogurt. No cream or egg yolks needed due to the dense, buttery richness of the Greek yogurt.

As further testimony of its overwhelming creaminess, I placed a scoop before Ben, who did not witness the cooking and had no idea what the orange stuff was (or was supposed to be) and asked him to guess. Apparently not being very familiar with mangoes, he could only come up with three things to describe it: “like apricots,” “creamy” and “buttery.” Ha!

mango ‘n cream

Mango Frozen Yogurt
(makes almost 1 quart)

1 pint (16 oz) Greek-style plain yogurt (preferably not light or reduced fat)
1 large, ripe mango
½ cup sugar

Peel mango and cut as much flesh as possible away from its pit (reserving a couple small pieces for serving with later if desired). Coarsely chop the mango and transfer pieces to a food processor or blender. Pulse for a few seconds until pureed. Add sugar and pulse for a few more seconds.

In a large bowl (or container you will eventually use to freeze the frozen yogurt in), gently fold the yogurt in to the mango mixture. Do not whip. Turn mixture into an ice cream/frozen yogurt maker and follow the machine’s instructions for churning. Once it’s done, serve immediately or freeze for 2 hours first to “ripen” the frozen yogurt.

Cost Calculator
(for about 6-8 servings)

1 pint Greek-style plain yogurt: $2.99
1 large mango: $1.50
1/2 cup sugar: $0.25

Total: $4.74

Health Factor

Five brownie points: Someone needs to help me understand the science behind the trend of probiotic yogurt cultures that help aid indigestion (and what types of yogurt it includes), but the one thing I do know is that all yogurt offers a laundry list of nutritional benefits, from supporting the immune system to being an excellent source of protein. Even though the indulgent full-fat Greek style yogurt I purchased packs 10 grams of fat per half cup serving, I’d like to think that it’s fat well spent. A fresh fruit high in Vitamins A and C like mango never hurt matters, either.

16 Responses

  1. mark

    At least a ‘mental’ health factor of 5 brownies…lol

  2. martha

    YUM! We make our own yogurt at home and I drained and made ice cream of it plain with just a bit of sugar. I’d been wondering what we could do next and you’ve just answered my question. I can hardly wait.

    And it’s yogurt so it’s totally good for you. 🙂

  3. Leslie

    Looks delicious! I love Fage Greek yogurt, and I’ve found that the fat-free yogurt (at least in its non-frozen state) is just as creamy and wonderful as full-fat.

  4. Aoife

    I’m getting so jealous of all the people casually making ice creams and froyos. The ice cream maker we have is a giant, leaky thing. I need a new one, preferably something cheap. Any suggestions?

  5. Thew

    I knew I froze all that peeled peach pulp for a reason, ’cause I bet a peach & ginger combo would work wonders here, too. And me thinking I’d be making bellinis in November.

  6. Ceci

    The recipe sounds amazing! May I make a suggestion? Adding cardamom to it might make it even tastier.

  7. cristobal

    I made this 2x over the weekend. It was awesome. Ridiculously easy, too.

  8. vanessa (of vanesscipes)

    Looks great! I love Greek style yogurt so this is sooooooo up my alley.

  9. cathy

    Hi Ceci: cardamom and ginger flavors do sound like a really, really nice pair for fresh Greek yogurt. I’m not sure why, but it just does. I’ll have to try your suggestion sometime!
    and Thew: I hope the peach & ginger frozen yogurt flavor works out well!
    Aoife: Hey, what do you mean “casually?” But anyway, I highly recommend the $50 Cuisinart one. It’s about the only one in its price range, is as small as a big food processor and has one of those keep-in-the-freezer churning bowls. I’ve seen professional chefs even use them on Iron Chef. Good luck! (Ice cream/frozen yogurt blogging face-off, perhaps?)

  10. Sunil Mehta

    Made it with ginger and cardamom. Delicious

  11. Gigi Foret

    My goodness! This was so simple and perfect and its soo divine.

  12. C Harris

    OK…..I’m in. just got the new cuisinart 50$ job with the keep in the freezer bowl. I’m gonna give this a shot, wish me luck. I’ll let you know the results

  13. amanda

    yummm. thanks for the inspiration. I took greek style yogurt (almost a pint), added 2 mangoes w/ some juice, about 1/2 a cup of coconut milk (the kids like the froyo icy), a little stevia and a little honey. delish!

  14. Sandra

    I googled this recipe, on my way home stopped to buy yogurt and mango, but the mangos were green! So I bought organic frozen cubed mango already peeled 🙂 I went home and made it and believe me it was a HIT!!!! Yummy! Thanks sooo much for sharing.

  15. cupuacu

    I cant say ive ever had this type of ice cream before, but it looks delicious! Im definitely going to give a shot one of these days. And I love mangos so it shouldnt be to difficult.

  16. phaladaagro

    I am using much similar PRODUCTS, I think you for the detailed information about this.

    Organic Mango Pulp manufacturers

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