I received a SoftShell Ice Cream Ball from Yay Labs. I am a Stonyfield Blogger, and this post about my homemade strawberry frozen yogurt is compensated, but all opinions remain my own.
Today is the last day of National Ice Cream Month, and we have been indulging. Sometimes we’ve gone out for ice cream, but more often we’ve made it at home. And sometimes our ice cream has been frozen coconut milk ice cream, sometimes it’s been full cream ice cream, and sometimes, we’ve had fun with homemade strawberry frozen yogurt, amongst other flavors.
Because when we went strawberry picking early in the month, we came back with so many strawberries we had to find plenty of uses for them. Needless to say, the arrival of the SoftShell Ice Cream Ball from Yay Labs couldn’t have come at a better time. I remember growing up and making homemade ice cream on the deck during parties with the old fashioned hand crank that was so much fun… for the first thirty seconds. The updated idea with this ice cream ball is perfect!
Because it’s a smaller size, the ice cream is done much faster. We succeeded in making our homemade strawberry frozen yogurt in under twenty minutes by having the yogurt pretty cold and freezing the strawberries before chopping them. Couple that with really cold temperatures from the ice that was further chilled by the rock salt we know and love from that old-fashioned hand crank, and we had our creamy frozen yogurt in no time!
The second I took this out of the box, the wee ones started begging to make some homemade frozen strawberry yogurt – since we’d just gotten back from strawberry picking that day. Like I said, perfect timing. How could I say no to those adorable faces?
Needless to say, they immediately took it outside and played “hand soccer” with the ball on the sidewalk in front of our house. The goal was to push the ball past the other player by rolling it. This is definitely a no throw and no kick type object, but they had a blast. The second time we made this, they took it into the basement and set up “bowling pins” and kept score bowling using the ice cream ball – done granny style rolling of course, not a full windup that has the ball off the ground at any point. No photos of that given the disaster area the basement becomes every time I turn my back.
And yes, it really is that easy. You can check out the details of how to use the Yay Labs SoftShell Ice Cream Ball via my video, as I’d rather focus on the fun and ease of the homemade strawberry frozen yogurt we made!
Homemade Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
There’s something about homemade that just tastes better, and this is no different. All the rolling around makes the homemade strawberry frozen yogurt super creamy, which we all loved. I used the vanilla yogurt which was already sweetened so added no sugar to it, but if I were using plain yogurt, I would add a third of a cup of sugar to this, in addition to the frozen strawberries and vanilla. I love the kick of vanilla so added a bit to this, but you could definitely leave it out and simply go with the Stonyfield vanilla yogurt and strawberries and call it a day.
Rock salt is the other key “ingredient” that you’ll need. Adding it to your ice (NOT your ice cream base) lowers the freezing temperature of the ice so it gets below 32 degrees. Colder temps means faster freezing time, so don’t skip it. You can easily find your rock salt in the grocery story near all the sugar and flour and salt, usually on the bottom shelf labeled rock salt or ice cream salt (since that’s primarily what it’s used for now).
I froze my freshly picked strawberries so they were colder, too, which helped our homemade strawberry frozen yogurt freeze even faster. It was still super easy to cut them into bite size pieces and then add them to the yogurt and vanilla. Stir that up, and you’re ready to go.
Add your yogurt mixture to the canister side of your ice cream ball. Twist the top on tightly, then flip the kickstand and turn your ball over to the other side. Go ahead. Add extra strawberries if you feel daring!
Open that side up and add your ice. I used over half the ice in my ice cream maker, as it is a deceptively large area in the ice cream ball.
Once I had it full, I added my rock salt and closed the lid. I shook it around to redistribute my ice cubes and… lo and behold I had room to add plenty more ice. And yep, more ice means colder temps, so fill it up!
Once you screw the second side back on and put the kickstands into place, you’re ready to rock and roll. Literally. I handed the ball off to the wee ones who had a blast playing. After five or so minutes, I opened the top of it and scraped down the sides to get the already frozen yogurt dispersed throughout the ice cream ball rather than having the edges freeze solid and the center still not completely frozen. We repeated this process a few times, and it was surprising how quickly it froze with the cold ingredients and plethora of ice.
To remove the homemade strawberry frozen yogurt, I found the best way was to open the ice side and pour it all out. I then ran water into that side and swished it for maybe twenty seconds. Then I turned it back over and opened up the ice cream side. The water helped loosen it from around the edges so that I could remove it more easily. Do not use metal of any kind. I found that a wooden spoon with a flat top worked best for me.
From there, eat and enjoy. Immediately freeze and leftovers in a separate container. They’ll last for a few weeks, but the sooner you eat them the better… because then it’s an excuse to make this homemade strawberry frozen yogurt again!
- 3 c Stonyfield vanilla yogurt
- 1 t vanilla, optional
- 1 c strawberries, frozen and chopped
- 1/2 c rock salt (for ice not the frozen yogurt base)
- Mix together your yogurt, vanilla, and strawberries in a bowl. If you are using plain yogurt, add 1/3 cup of sugar to sweeten. Do not add any sugar or other sweetener if using vanilla yogurt.
- Add the frozen yogurt base to the canister side of your ice cream ball and seal.
- Flip over your ice cream ball and open the second side. Add as much ice as will fit, then pour in the rock salt. Close the ice side and shake to redistribute your ice cubes. Open and add more ice to fill, then seal again.
- Roll and shake your ice cream ball for five minutes, Open the frozen yogurt side and use a wooden spoon to to scrape the frozen edges off and stir into the rest of the mix. Seal again and repeat the process until the entire mixture is frozen.
- Remove all the ice and fill the ice section with water. Swish around for twenty seconds then dump out. This will help loosen the frozen yogurt and make it easier to remove for serving and storing in your freezer.
- This will last a couple weeks in your freezer. Let it sit at room temperature for five to ten minutes to soften a bit before serving.
If you use plain yogurt, add 1/3 cup of sugar to your base. If you use vanilla or other flavored yogurt, no other sweetener is needed.