Intro: Frozen Yogurt for Smoothies
Do you enjoy smoothies? I am recently getting in to them. I like the idea of upping the protein and flavor, and really didn't want a watery iced-down drink. So, I thought I would share my solution with you: yogurt "ice" cubes!
Step 1: You Will Need:
You probably already have most of what you need on hand to make yogurt "ice" cubes!
* Ice cube trays
* Oil (that you won't mind the taste of in your smoothie, like coconut or something neutral like grapeseed)
* A freezer
* A narrow spoon and/or a CLEAN flavor injector
Step 2: Oil Your Cube Trays
This step is the longest and most tedious, but you will be glad you did it when you are bleary-eyed trying to get that yummy smoothie goodness in the morning!
Take a bit of your oil on your clean finger (or, in the case of something like grapeseed oil, you could start with a small drop in each cube). Smear a thin layer on all the sides and the bottom of each cube section, going all the way to the top. It does not need to be so thick that the oil puddles on the bottom, but you do want to make sure you get adequate coverage.
This is why you want an edible oil - you are likely going to end up with some of it in your smoothie. I have found coconut oil is quite pleasant, even with berries. but anything you don't find offensive really should be fine.
Step 3: Fill Your Trays
This part is fun, especially if you have a flavor injector syringe! Fill each of your cube sections nearly full of yogurt. I used plain, full fat yogurt but whatever you plan on using in your smoothie should work.
If you are using the syringe, swirl it around a bit as you fill the cube to make sure it fills evenly with no air bubbles. You can try to smooth out the top if you like, but since you are going to pulverize the end result anyway, as long as there are no giant peaks that would stick to something as they freeze it seems pointless to worry about whether it is smooth or not.
You can certainly fill the cubes with a narrow spoon if you don't have a syringe! In fact, you will likely need to use a spoon to do the last few cubes when you are running out of yogurt at the end.
I do recommend the syringe if you can. As you can see in the second picture, the two full trays had very little mess outside of the cubes, but the partial tray is noticeably sloppier (that is where I had to switch to the spoon).
Step 4: Stack and Freeze
This part is easy! Simply stack your trays and pop them in the freezer! I put pieces of aluminum foil in between just in case I filled the cubes too full, so they wouldn't stick together. This is totally optional. I just don't want to risk hassle in my bleary mornings :D
I set these up early afternoon on a Sunday (2PM maybe) and went to use them first time on Monday morning around 7AM. They were solid, but I would say Tuesday morning they were really hard and easier to work with. If you are using a lower fat yogurt they may solidify faster than that. Monday's smoothie turned out fine though.
Step 5: Enjoy!
After at least 12 hours you should be good to go with your yogurt "ice" cubes! I found I could not twist the tray the way I can with water cubes, but a little wiggling and then flipping it upside down with my hands over the cubes (so they don't all fall out!) worked just fine. It did not take much persuading to get the cubes out at all (yay oil!).
Pop a few in your blender in place of water ice cubes and enjoy a creamy boost of protein in your smoothie drink!
Hope this has helped you streamline your process!