Mid-February of last year I was half way through my last semester at university, and my roommate was finishing up the second portion of her teaching practicum. We were both also a month into our resolutions of hitting the gym three times a week, eating healthier, and trying to lose some of the weight we’d put on during uni. Of course, this meant we were both crabby, having only our lettuce-and-chickpea diets to sustain us through our studies.
Previously, when we had been stressed or overwhelmed with our classes, my roommate and I would order pizzas (smothered in extra cheese and jalapeno-ranch dip), march over to Timmy’s to get a 6-pack of donuts, or zip through McDonald’s for a McFlurry (with extra toppings, obviously). We couldn’t do that anymore. It wasn’t conducive to achieving our goal. Nor did it really help lessen the urge to nap mid-afternoon.
But we needed something. We were stress-eaters, and we were also very supportive of each other; when one said “I need chocolate,” the other would reply with “Thrifty’s run?” Of course, this had to stop. But with what could we replace our beloved DQ ice cream cake that was equally as sweet and satisfying?
Hello, frozen yogurt!
From then on it was a trip to Qoola (the nearest Fro-Yo joint) that helped us get over our stress-induced cravings. Although I’m now 90 percent sure that switching from ice cream to frozen yogurt topped with brownie bits, sugared coconut, and mixed fruit hardly helped our waistlines, it made us feel better about treating ourselves. It was the idea of eating yogurt and frozen fruit over sugar-saturated ice cream that made us feel less guilty about our binges. Trust me, that made all the difference.
This frozen yogurt dessert was inspired by those Qoola trips. The recipe is simple and only requires healthy, wholesome ingredients like fresh mango and strawberries, passion fruit pulp, and protein-packed Greek yogurt. It’s sweetened naturally with raw honey and given a tropical twist with a squeeze of lime juice. It’s perfect for those hot summer days when you’re too sticky to move, but it’s equally as great during winter study sessions when you need a reminder of the freedom summer will bring.
Tropical Frozen Yogurt
- 3 mangoes, peeled, pits removed, and diced
- 200g strawberries, halved
- 170g passion fruit pulp
- 350g Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp honey (or agave or maple syrup)
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Toasted unsweetened, shredded coconut, for topping (optional)
- Diced pineapple, for topping (optional)
Toss the mango and strawberry pieces into a freezer safe bag and freeze until solid, about 2 hours. (Alternatively, you can use store-bought frozen fruit.)
Once the fruit is frozen, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until very smooth. It will be quite runny. Transfer the mixture to a 9×5 loaf tin, lined with baking paper. Place the tin in the freezer for 6–8 hours or overnight.
To serve, scoop into serving bowls and top with toasted coconut and pineapple for a true tropical getaway.
- To toast coconut, preheat the oven to 160 C (325 F). Spread your desired amount of shredded coconut evenly on a baking paper lined tray and toast for 6–10 minutes. Keep a close eye on it after 6 minutes so that it doesn’t burn.
- This recipe can be adapted to suit vegan diets by replacing the Greek yogurt with a non-dairy substitute and using agave or maple syrup in place of the honey.
Do you ever stress-binge like my roommate and I? What is your favourite treat to grab?