Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

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Early summer is upon us, which means fresh, succulent strawberries will begin to make appearances at local farmers markets and roadside vendors soon … and that’s a wonderful thing!

I still haven’t decided if I’ll drive down to Oxnard for the annual Strawberry Festival in May, but I’ll definitely be indulging in fraise as much as I can in the coming months. And I’ll also be making lots of desserts with the juicy berries, including this refreshing frozen yogurt.

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Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
Recipe inspired by David Levovitz’s recipe but modified slightly
(Makes about 2 quarts)

2 lbs fresh or frozen strawberries
32 oz plain yogurt
1 cup maple syrup
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon vodka (optional)

① Cut strawberries into small pieces, removing the stems.  Mix in the maple syrup, vodka, and lemon juice, and let it sit for about 2 hours to let the flavors soak in.

② Puree the mixture in a blender. Don’t liquidity completely, if you like some strawberry bits.

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③ Combine the strawberry puree with yogurt and mix well with a spatula.  You can put the mixture in an ice cream maker at this point, but you can skip this if you don’t own it, or don’t want to bother (like me this time).

④ If you’re not using the ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a plastic container and freeze for about 6 hours. Take the container out of the freezer several times to mix occasionally.

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You might want to take out the container from the freezer and leave it out for about 10-15 minutes before serving, to soften the frozen yogurt a little so it’ll scoop better.

I love this dessert. It’s tastes like a mixture of frozen yogurt and fruit sorbet, and a great alternative to a high-calorie ice cream.

The New “Third Place”: Pinkberry

a-pinkebery-signSaturday night … out with the girls … and waiting in a long line just to get in to the hot spot in Los Angeles. But unlike the good old days of getting all dressed up and waiting to get into a hot nightclub, we were instead waiting in line of at least 20 people deep at 9:30 p.m. to get a bite of an unbelievably refreshing frozen yogurt from Pinkberry.

I think people either love this place for the mouth-watering flavor of the frozen yogurt that tastes more like real yogurt than the traditional kind, or hate it because its popularity has gotten a bit out of hand. I, myself, belong to the former group of Pinkberry minions, and my heart beats in delight every time I see the brightly-lit pink swirly logo.

a-pinkberry-yogurtWell, there’s really not much that hasn’t already been said about this place so I won’t say much other than to state that I love it. I tried the pomegranate topping for the first time, along with strawberries and blueberries, and it was absolutely jaw-dropping good. What a way to welcome the arrival of autumn.

The reason why this place works is because it provides people with the “third place,” a place for people to meet and hang out outside of home and work  — the way that Starbucks became a mega success. It’s very smart that Starbuck’s Howard Shultz is now a part of the fro-yo phenomenon because Pinkberry would have given the coffee giant a little, friendly competition.

Pinkberry (they are all over the place now): 332 E. Second Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

★★★★★