Plagued by a bad reputation and image issues for years, it’s safe to say that vegan yogurt has finally moved out of the dark corner of specialty health food store and into mainstream markets. Once viewed as a sad substitute, more akin to radioactive sludge than cultured dairy products, this basic staple has come a long way in a very short time.
My favorite flavors tend to skew towards citrus; orange, lemon, key lime, or grapefruit if you’ve got it. Tart, brightly acidic, intense but in a good, “wake you up” sort of way, the best options are just lightly sweetened. Bright and punchy, but still well balanced by a moderate amount of sugar. Thick, rich, and almost like custard, it’s been hard to find anything quite like it since WholeSoy & Co went under.
Unexciting as it may sound, unsweetened plain yogurt is my mainstay these days. This blank canvas can open the door to all sorts of cooking and baking applications, from sweet to savory and all things in between. Without the vaguest hint of sweetness and a very tangy finish, it has almost a cheesy flavor. Thoroughly drained and pressed, I can easily see it becoming a delicious farmer’s cheese type of spread! I couldn’t wait long enough to find out, but after two days sitting in cheesecloth, it did thicken up nicely to create…
Frozen yogurt. Blood orange frozen yogurt, to be precise. I must have caught the ice cream bug again because all of a sudden, I just can’t stop churning! With a few more gorgeous blood oranges languishing in the fridge, I felt compelled to do something special with them, and this easily fit the bill.
Bold and tangy, the citrus sings a pitch-perfect harmony with the yogurt base. Crunchy shards of caramelized peel add in bursts of intense orange flavor, accompanied by deep, burnt sugar notes to round it all out. This recipe takes a bit more patience than your standard frozen dessert, but it is absolutely worth the wait.
- 1 (24-Ounce) Container Unsweetened, Plain Vegan Yogurt
- 2 Blood Oranges
- 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 3/4 Cup Light Agave Nectar
- 2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier, Limoncello, or Vodka
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
- line a strainer with two layers of cheesecloth, place over a large bowl to catch the drips, and pour all of the soy yogurt in. Cover the top with another sheet of cheesecloth, and place the plastic yogurt container lid on top of that. Use a can of beans or tomatoes (anything you’ve got) as a weight by putting it squarely on top of the plastic lid. The lid is there to disperse the weight a bit, and prevent yogurt from squeezing out around the sides of the can. Let sit in a cool place (but not the fridge) for approximately 48 hours, until 1/2 cup of “whey” has drained out.
- Meanwhile, take your oranges and remove the peel in long, thin strips. Cut away as much pith as possible, and reserve the oranges’ flesh for later. Place the peels in a small sauce pan and add water to cover. Bring it to a boil, turn off the heat, and thoroughly drain away the liquid. Cover again with fresh water, and repeat this process for a total of 3 times. This will help to remove excess bitterness.
- Next, add in the the sugar and 1/2 cup of water, turn on the heat to medium, and bring it to a boil. Once the sugar has dissolved, reduce the heat slightly so that it’s stays at a gentle but energetic simmer. Swirl the pan every few minutes, until the sugar begins to take on a golden amber color. At the point that the mixture is fully golden brown and caramelized, quickly pour everything out on a silpat or piece of
parchment paper, and do you best to separate the peels. Let cool completely before breaking into small shards. Save them in an air-tight container to prevent the sugar from melting or softening.
- With both of the most difficult elements ready to go, transfer the drained yogurt into your blender or food processor, along with the agave, alcohol of choice, and vanilla. Trim away any remaining white pith from the reserved orange flesh, remove pips if you spot any, and toss the whole oranges in as well. Blend thoroughly, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, until completely combined and perfectly smooth. Be patient, and don’t worry if the mixture becomes rather warm in the process.
- Chill thoroughly for at least 2 hours before churning in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. As you transfer the soft, fresh frozen yogurt into an air-tight container, fold in your caramelized orange peel shards.
- Stash the containers in your freezer for at least 4 hours before scooping and serving. The peels will eventually soften over time, so this is best served within a week, though it can certainly be stored longer.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 169Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 17mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 1gSugar: 33gProtein: 1g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.