05/29/2012 06:05 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Money Mindful Meals: Vanilla Frozen Yogurt


Photo Credit: Small Kitchen College

My parents are moving and my mom has been asking me for months to help her sort through a few boxes in the garage. I have been procrastinating going home and sorting through math tests from the second grade and photo albums from high school. But when I ventured home for Mother"s Day brunch, I couldn't refuse my mom's appeal to help her clean the garage.

There I was on a 65 degree sunny Sunday afternoon, sitting amongst boxes, dust, and several of my mom's old kitchen appliances. (Does anyone else get excited when they hear the words 'kitchen appliances'?)

My mom was going to sell her donut maker, pizza stone and ice cream machine, amongst other barely used cooking tools. I wasn't about to let that happen. That afternoon I came back to my apartment with more gadgets than my small kitchen could fit and was determined to put one to use right away.

Since it was still 65 degrees and sunny out, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to break out the ice cream maker.

I decided to opt for something simple. Really simple. 3 ingredients simple. $3 simple. Vanilla Frozen Yogurt.

This frozen yogurt tastes exactly like something you get at Red Mango or Pinkberry: tart, sweet and healthy. Except creamier, richer and cheaper. No more scrambling for quarters at the bottom of my purse to buy a $5.65 cup of Red Mango. For $3 I can make four delicious cups of vanilla frozen yogurt. Now I just have to figure out how to make Red Mango's mochi ball topping.

Alex Milling is a recent graduate of Northwestern University and loves dry red wines.



Photo Credit: Small Kitchen College

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks, adapted from David Lebovitz
Serves about 4

When I made this, my ice cream maker did not turn off automatically after 20-40 minutes of churning. I ended up letting the machine churn for a total of 45 minutes and the consistency turned out perfect. Also, Heidi pointed out that it was important to use whole-milk yogurt. I was wary of trying a low-fat version since this would change texture and flavor.

Total Cost: $3.00
Cost Per Serving: $0.75

3 cups whole-milk Greek-style yogurt ($3.00)
3/4 cup sugar (in-stock)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (in-stock)

In medium bowl mix together yogurt, sugar, and vanilla until the sugar is dissolved. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

—Alex Milling for Small Kitchen College