Summer becomes a lot sweeter with a scoop of something homemade, creamy, and cold. Real-deal ice cream can run you upwards of 300 calories per scoop. And while the offerings at trendy yogurt shops may be lower in calories, they're full of sugar (27g in a small), artificial flavors, and fillers and are surrounded by an endless display of calorie-dense toppers. Churning your own lighter ice cream is simple and fun, but what if there's no time to boil custard? Our trick: 2% Greek yogurt. It's a refrigerator staple, and it "churns" into a rich, creamy confection when blended with a little honey and vanilla bean. This ice-cold treat has less than half the calories of ice cream, 40% less sugar than fro-yo, and a hearty 10g protein. Bonus: You don't even need an ice-cream machine (though it works in one).
THE FORMULA Combine 2 cups 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt and 3 tablespoons honey in a bowl. Scrape seeds from half a vanilla bean; add seeds to yogurt mixture. Pour mixture into a gallon-sized zip-top plastic bag. Lay bag flat, spreading mixture into an even layer and pressing to eliminate air pockets. Seal tightly; lay flat in freezer. Freeze 3 to 4 hours or until almost firm. Break mixture into small pieces, and place in the bowl of a food processor; add 2 tablespoons half-and-half. Process until very smooth. Pour mixture into an 8 × 4–inch loaf pan; cover surface with plastic wrap. Freeze 1 to 2 hours or until firm but scoopable. Serve immediately.
THE COMPARISON Cooking Light Frozen Greek Yogurt 133 calories 3g fat (2g sat fat) 10g protein VS. Homemade Ice Cream 303 calories 24g fat (14g sat fat) 4g protein
SERVES 4 (serving size: ½ cup)