Vanilla Frozen Yogurt & Granola

My parents gave me an ice cream maker for my birthday last year, but, seeing as how it was November, it stayed in the box for months.  With temperatures finally breaking 80 degrees, I decided to dust off the box, and put the ice cream maker to use.  I flipped through The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz and found that frozen yogurt seemed to be the easiest to make (no heating a custard on the stove and waiting for it to cool, no chopping and macerating of fruit).  The recipe below is based on his recipe for creamy vanilla frozen yogurt, which uses Greek yogurt in place of normal.  I added some fresh vanilla for taste and appearance.  The granola was also really simple to make and turned out to be awesome; I ate it for breakfast with non-frozen yogurt every day last week.  While the recipe only takes about 30 minutes to make, your ice cream maker bowl usually needs to freeze overnight before it can be used.  I store mine in the freezer so I don't have to plan ahead.

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt & Granola
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 3 cups of each

3 c full-fat Greek yogurt
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean
2 c rolled oats
0.5 c puffed rice
0.25 c slivered almonds
0.25 c raw sunflower seeds (not in shell)
5 tbsp honey
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
0.25 c dried cherries
0.25 c golden raisins

(1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees
(2) Slice the vanilla bean down the center and scrape out the seeds (save the bean! see notes below)

(3) Mix vanilla seeds with yogurt, vanilla extract, and sugar until combined

(4) Cover and refrigerate

(5) Melt butter and honey in a small saucepan over low heat

(6) Mix together oats, rice, almonds, sunflower seeds, salt and cinnamon

(7) Pour melted honey-butter mixture over oat mixture and toss until well-coated

(8) Spread on a parchment paper lined baking sheet

(9) Bake for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp and beginning to brown

(10) When granola goes in the oven, remove the yogurt from the fridge and freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions (mine basically says "pour into frozen bowl; turn on")

(11) When yogurt is done, transfer to a seal-able container and freeze until granola is ready  (my yogurt took about 20 minutes until it was too stiff for the machine to keep stirring)

(12) Remove granola from oven and toss with cherries and raisins

(13) Scoop a generous helping of frozen yogurt into a bowl and top with granola

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What was cooking this time last year?

Notes: When frozen for a while, the yogurt got really hard and dry.  I removed it from the freezer, let it sit for about 15 minutes, and then it was back to the right consistency.  Place your spent vanilla bean in a jar full of sugar to make vanilla sugar - great for cookies, coffee, and pretty much anywhere you would want the deliciousness of sugar and vanilla at the same time.

Xerox - 4 weeks old & 4 years old

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