Make Your Own Tropical Frozen Yogurt—Without a Machine!

Photo by RightOne / iStock
Photo by RightOne / iStock

Creamy, dreamy tropical frozen yogurt made without a bulky, expensive ice cream machine?! It’s true! All you need are four ingredients: fresh pineapple, bananas, coconut-flavored yogurt, and honey (plus a blender). The result is a tangy, fabulously refreshing, and healthy summer treat reminiscent of the cultishly-popular pineapple Dole Whip you find at Disneyland or Walt Disney World.

Kids will go bananas for it, we promise! (And grown-ups may end up eating it straight from the blender…)


TROPICAL FROZEN YOGURT

Yields: About 1 quart

Total time: 10 minutes prep/3–6 hours to freeze

INGREDIENTS

  • ½–1 cup coconut-flavored yogurt, such as Noosa®, regular or Greek (2% or full-fat will make your frozen yogurt richer, creamier, and more scoopable)
  • 1–2 tablespoons honey*  
  • 3 cups fresh ripe pineapple, cut into small cubes and frozen
  • 2 cups ripe banana, cut into thin coins and frozen

* Ripe bananas and pineapple are naturally quite sweet. If your fruit is very ripe, you can cut back on the honey, but we still recommend adding 1 tablespoon to balance and deepen the tart and tangy flavor of the pineapple.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add ½ cup yogurt and 1–2 tablespoons of honey to a blender or food processor and blend until combined (about 15 seconds)—combining these two ingredients first prevents the honey from hardening when it touches the cold fruit. The mixture will likely splash upward while blending, so be sure the lid is on tight and scrape down the sides of the blender before the next step.
  2. Add the frozen pineapple and bananas to the blender in small batches. Turn the blender off each time you add a new batch and stir the contents to help prevent the frozen fruit from jamming up the blender’s blades. (Using the mix or chop function on pulse mode can also help avoid jams.) Blend for 3 minutes until smooth (no lumps). If desired, add more yogurt for more flavor and texture.       
  3. Voilà! You’ve made a creamy, refreshing frozen yogurt that’s ready to eat: Scoop it into bowls or ice cream cones and serve.
  4. To store the frozen yogurt for later, transfer to a loaf pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula or large spoon. Cover the pan with tin foil and place in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat, remove the frozen yogurt from the freezer and run an ice cream scoop down the length of the pan to get a nice, round scoop. If the yogurt is too hard, let it soften on the counter for a minute or two. Enjoy!

Bonus: The base for this frozen yogurt (and many other no-machine recipes) is the combination of frozen bananas (always and only frozen!), yogurt, and honey. The frozen bananas provide the creamy, custardy texture, the yogurt lends flavor and richness, and the honey adds sweetness without forming ice crystals when frozen.

The initial process is always the same: combine the yogurt and honey first. Then go ahead and experiment by adding new ingredients along with the frozen bananas, or swirling them into the finished product before freezing. Try these tasty additions:

  • A handful of frozen blueberries, strawberries, or mango with a squeeze of lemon
  • Cinnamon and a splash of sweetened condensed milk
  • Coconut flakes and a swirl of melted Nutella® 
  • Chopped pecans or walnuts and a swirl of caramel sauce
  • Peanut butter swirl and chocolate chips
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder and vanilla
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