Tart Cherry Fro-yo {with White & Dark Chocolate Chips}

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of the Cherry Marketing Institute.

Ultra thick and creamy tart cherry frozen yogurt loaded with dark chocolate and white chocolate chips. So decadent, you’d never guess the base is FAT FREE!

Tart Cherry Fro-yo with White & Dark Chocolate Chips: Easy, ultra creamy and healthy!

After an incredible summer in Portland, I’m back in Phoenix. Back to real work, and back to 100++ degrees. And again I’m wondering…WHY DON’T I LIVE IN PORTLAND? Well, a fantastic husband, my puppies and an entire life time of family and friends make the heat livable I suppose.

Tart Cherry Fro-yo with White & Dark Chocolate Chips: Easy, ultra creamy and healthy!

Totally unreasonable amounts of frozen yogurt don’t hurt either. ;) You may have noticed that before I left I was on a bit of an ice cream kick. I finally figured out my ice cream maker, and I just couldn’t stop. The real deal, full fat ice cream is just so hard to recreate that I was a little nervous to go back to homemade fro-yo. I mean, I am a HUGE fan of soft serve, and I will eat it any time, any day, but it is just so hard to make something at home that doesn’t turn into an icy mess.

Tart Cherry Fro-yo with White & Dark Chocolate Chips: Easy, ultra creamy and healthy!

The good news? This is by far the BEST frozen yogurt I have ever made! The base is so rich and creamy, and packed with tart cherry flavor. You may remember a little bit about the benefits of tart cherries from this Tart Cherry Lime Elixir. They are said to reduce soreness and oxidative stress, and aid in recovery. Also, they are delicious. I’ve been drinking tart cherry juice plain for the 7 Day Cherry Juice Challenge, and it is the perfect amount of sweet and tart.

Tart Cherry Juice Challenge

This challenge is great leading up to a big race or event, and it’s incredibly easy to incorporate! If you love the taste of tart cherry juice, just drink 8 ounces a day, or you can use 2 tablespoons of the concentrate as a shot–college flash backs anyone? Except I like the idea of actually feeling better the next day instead of worse (the woes of getting older)–or diluted in another beverage.

Tart Cherry Fro-yo with White & Dark Chocolate Chips: Easy, ultra creamy and healthy!

Okay, back to the fro-yo. We all know that cherries pair magically with chocolate. White chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate syrup, you name it. I went for a combination of white and dark chocolate to create more flavors, but you are free to use whatever you’d like. Or, if you’d like to keep this 100% fat free, feel free to skip the chocolate all together, and it will still be delicious!

Tart Cherry Fro-yo {with White & Dark Chocolate Chips}

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Tart Cherry Fro-yo {with White & Dark Chocolate Chips}

Ultra thick and creamy tart cherry frozen yogurt loaded with dark chocolate and white chocolate chips. So decadent, you'd never guess the base is FAT FREE!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3-1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tart cherry juice concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ tablespoon bourbon or vodka, optional
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, sugar, tart cherry juice concentrate and vanilla extract until combined and sugar is fully dissolved. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Freeze according to ice cream maker instructions. Add bourbon or vodka in the last 2-3 minutes of freezing. This is optional, but recommended—it keeps the frozen yogurt from freezing hard and icy. Fold in chocolate chips. Frozen yogurt is best served immediately, but can also be stored in a freezer safe container, just allow 10-15 minutes thawing time before scooping.
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To learn more about tart cherries and their benefits, check out ChooseCherries.com, or follow their Facebook / Twitter /Pinterest / YouTube!

 

Ricotta Chocolate Chip Ice Cream {with Honey & Vanilla Bean}

Rich, creamy ricotta ice cream loaded with mini dark chocolate chips with underlying flavors of honey and vanilla bean. All the flavors of a classic cannoli in ice cream form!

Ricotta Chocolate Chip Ice Cream {{with Honey & Vanilla Bean}

Do you ever love something so much that you feel like no matter how much you try to describe it, you can never quite put it into words? It’s how I feel about Mia Michaels’ choreography, or when I saw One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest on Broadway, or when I first discovered CILANTRO! I can’t tell you how good it is, you just need to experience it with me.

Ricotta Chocolate Chip Ice Cream {{with Honey & Vanilla Bean}

That’s how I feel about this ice cream. I felt like no matter how many pictures I took, or adjectives I thesaurus-ed, nothing could quite capture my new favorite ice cream. I loved it more than any ice cream I’ve ever purchased at a homemade ice cream shop, and definitely more than anything I’ve ever bought at the store.

Ricotta Chocolate Chip Ice Cream {{with Honey & Vanilla Bean}

First of all, I am OBSESSED with ricotta cheese. Once upon a time, I spent like an entire year on phase 1 of the South Beach diet. It was not a good year. I can tell you, however, that my favorite part was “snacking” on low-fat ricotta cheese. And by “snacking”, I mean opening the tub, grabbing a spoon, and looking down to see half the container had disappeared. Whoops.

Ricotta Chocolate Chip Ice Cream {{with Honey & Vanilla Bean}

But it’s not just the ricotta that makes this so special. It’s the hint of honey, the little specs of vanilla bean that carry a bold flavor (one of my very favorite flavors), and the multiple dark chocolate chips you get in every bite. I don’t know what it is about the mini chocolate chips that make them so much better, but they really do make a difference here, and although you are free to use whatever chip you like, I highly suggest the tiny guys for this recipe. Mini chips = more chips in every bite = automatically better.

Ricotta Chocolate Chip Ice Cream {with Honey & Vanilla Bean}

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours

Yield: 5-6 cups

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Ricotta Chocolate Chip Ice Cream {with Honey & Vanilla Bean}

Rich, creamy ricotta ice cream loaded with mini dark chocolate chips with underlying flavors of honey and vanilla bean. All the flavors of a classic cannoli in ice cream form!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon, optional
  • 3/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, combine whole milk and sugar over medium to medium-low heat. Stir constantly until sugar is fully dissolved and incorporated. Remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Add heavy cream, honey, ricotta, cream cheese, vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract and blend in a large blender or food processor. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight.
  3. Freeze according to ice cream maker instructions. If desired, add bourbon during the last few minutes of freezing. Fold in chocolate chips then transfer to freezer safe container to finish freezing completely.
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French Onion Burgers

Satisfy your craving for French onion soup in the summer time with these big, juicy beef burgers stuffed with caramelized onions, then topped with melty gruyere and even more caramelized onions. 

French Onion Burgers with tons of caramelized onions and melty gruyere

Once upon a time, I’m pretty sure I thought caramelized onions actually had caramel in them. I mean, they’re sooo sweet and delicious. I just figured they at least had buckets of sugar to get them to that point!

French Onion Burgers with tons of caramelized onions and melty gruyere

Turns out, onions are kind of magical, and you probably already know that if you let em cook on low heat for a ridiculous amount of time, they transform into the sweetest and most tender veggie you will ever eat.

French Onion Burgers with tons of caramelized onions and melty gruyere

It does take a while, but it is soooo easy. Once I get them going, I generally prep everything else I have to do for dinner and then, if dinner is super easy, sometimes I just watch Netflix and go back to the kitchen to stir them around every now and then. They are totally low maintenance.

French Onion Burgers with tons of caramelized onions and melty gruyere

As much as I love onions, ya know what really makes French onion soup for me? That thick layer of bubbly cheese on top. Bubbling cheese is like the stuff dreams are made of. Put it on top of that thick slice of bread they put on top, and your meal is pretty much guaranteed to be awesome. Bread. Cheese. Onions. Done.

French Onion Burgers with tons of caramelized onions and melty gruyere

But I have to say, it’s all even better when sitting on top of a super juicy beef burger that has even more onions hiding inside! It’s so good, you totally don’t even need the bun. In fact, I won’t eat a burger unless it’s good enough to eat bunless. It’s kind of a rule in my house because 99% of the time I toss the bun after it serves its purpose of looking cute on camera, and eat my delicious burger nekked. ;)

French Onion Burgers

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 3-4 burgers

Serving Size: 1 burger

French Onion Burgers

Satisfy your craving for French onion soup in the summer time with these big, juicy beef burgers stuffed with caramelized onions, then topped with melty gruyere and even more caramelized onions.

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • generous pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef (94-96%)
  • pinch thyme (fresh or dried)
  • pinch paprika
  • 2-4 ounces sliced or shredded gruyere cheese
  • whole grain buns for serving (if desired)

Instructions

  1. In a large pan, cook onions and garlic in olive oil and balsamic vinegar over medium-low heat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft and caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl combine ground beef, 1/4 of the caramelized onions, thyme, paprika, and an extra pinch of black pepper. Form into 3-4 even patties (depending on how big you like your burgers).
  3. Grill burgers to desired doneness. Top immediately with gruyere and allow to melt slightly then top with a generous portion of caramelized onions. Serve immediately.

Notes

For even cooking in your burgers, gently press your thumb into the center of each patty before cooking.

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Snickers Ice Cream

Ultra soft and creamy sweet cream ice cream loaded with chopped Snickers bars. The perfect summer treat that you will want to repeat all year round!

Psssst…Stick around for a super awesome giveaway at the end of this post!

Snickers Ice Cream

Can we talk about homemade ice cream? It took me so long to get it right, which is silly because it is stupid easy. I’m just lazy and I never read the instructions on my ice cream maker. Sometimes I’m surprised I can even boil water.

Snickers Ice Cream

I kept not chilling my ingredients well enough, and then after, like, 10 minutes I would give up on the churning because it had been soooooo loooong and nothing was happening. So I’d throw it in the freezer where it would then become hard as a rock and proceed to eat it anyway because ice cream is freaking delicious. Frozen solid or not.

Snickers Ice Cream

So this perfectly made ice cream is a recent development and I cant stop, won’t stop. I am obsessed, and I don’t care that I have probably gained like 17 pounds from my summer ice cream obsession. Totally worth it. Plus, running makes up for all calories, right? Shhhh, don’t rain on my parade.

Snickers Ice Cream

This is without a doubt, the richest, creamiest ice cream I have ever tasted. I have to admit, after this one, I lowered my fat content a bit on future ice cream recipes, but sometimes you just need the full fatty goodness, and I’m not going to keep that from you. You absolutely can play with the amounts of whole milk / heavy cream depending on what you’re in the mood for. This ice cream is half milk / half cream, and let me tell ya, the texture is so soft and creamy that I would dare to call it perfection.

Snickers Ice Cream

I loaded up this baby with about 100 Snickers bars (yeahhh, we’ve already established that it’s not healthy, and I’m not even sorry), but you could also use Reese’s or Butterfinger, or really whatever you want. I personally love it with Snickers. The way the caramel and chocolate freeze and get extra chewy. It’s totally dreamy.

Snickers Ice Cream

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours

Yield: about 1 quart

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Ultra soft and creamy sweet cream ice cream loaded with chopped Snickers bars. The perfect summer treat that you will want to repeat all year round!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped Snickers bars

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, combine whole milk and sugar over medium to medium-low heat. Stir constantly until sugar is fully dissolved and incorporated. Remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature then add heavy cream and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Cover and chill for 4 hours or up to overnight.
  2. Freeze according to ice cream maker instructions, then fold in chopped Snickers. Transfer to freezer safe container to finish freezing completely.
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And nooowwww for a very exciting giveaway! I, along with some of my friends, am giving away a $125 Target gift card, a $125 Amazon gift card and a $50 Starbucks gift card. Pretty much all of my favorite things. ;) Giveaway opens July 9th at 12am EST and will remain open until July 23rd at 11:59pm EST. Open to US residents only. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

As I said, this giveaway is sponsored by some of my favorite people. Check them out and see what they’re up to. :)

Julie from White Lights on Wednesday | Aubrey from Real Housemoms | Nancy from The Bitter Side of Sweet | Becca from It’s Yummi! | Brianne from Cupcakes and Kale Chips | Alyssa from What’s Cooking, Love? | Raquel from Organized Island | Deb from Cooking on the Front Burner | Jenn from Endlessly Inspired | Melissa from Persnickety Plates | Megan from The Pink Flour | Heather from French Press | Nicole from The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie | Kelley from Miss Information | Paula from Call Me PMc

Greek Lamb Burgers

Bold, flavorful and tender half lamb/half beef burgers stuffed with feta cheese and topped with creamy tzatziki sauce. Everything you love about a classic gyro in healthy, summer burger form!

Greek Lamb Burgers: Like a healthier gyro in burger form!

I F-ing love a gyro. When I worked at my last school, we did our shows at the MAC which is dangerously close to this little hole in the wall Greek restaurant. I had actually never (whaaaaat???) eaten a gyro (and I still pronounced it with a j sound…shhhh…), but my friend Emily raved about it, and I have to tell you, I have not stopped thinking about that damn gyro ever since.

Greek Lamb Burgers: Like a healthier gyro in burger form!

We’re talking years here people. When I love food, I don’t forget about it. Trust me, I still talk about this Italian restaurant I ate at in London when I was 14.  I can’t remember to return pretty much any emails, but I can remember the meal I ate 5 zillion years ago that was “life changing”. It’s a gift. You know, like how Karen in Mean Girls can tell the weather.

Greek Lamb Burgers: Like a healthier gyro in burger form!

Okay, so we all know I have a bit of a burger problem, yes? I have actually heard my man food and meat loving husband utter the words “burgers….again?”. Yes. Once June hits (okay…May…), burgers multiple times a week are not only normal, but expected. I mean, sometimes I change it up. With a hot dog.

Greek Lamb Burgers: Like a healthier gyro in burger form!

But this was not a “burgers…again?” moment. This was one of those getting feisty and fighting over the leftovers all week long moments. I’m serious. It gets crazy over here. Like a race to the fridge to claim the good leftovers. We’re both very considerate and grown up human beings.

Greek Lamb Burgers: Like a healthier gyro in burger form!

Okay, let’s discuss what makes these burgers so flippin fantastic. First of all, they are half lamb, half beef. Lamb is delicious. If you haven’t gotten on board yet, I highly suggest it. I find lamb to be one of the juiciest, most tender and flavorful meats. Well, this has a lot to do with the high fat/calorie content. Now, if you don’t care about that sort of thing, feel free to use all lamb. That would be delicious. While I don’t count calories, or any macronutrients, or even really anything past the #8 (dancer joke…see what I did there? ;) ), I still do think about that sort of thing, and I would prefer to get all the flavor, but keep it a little on the leaner side.

Greek Lamb Burgers: Like a healthier gyro in burger form!

That being said, in the name of “health”, obviously I had to stuff them full of freshly crumbled feta and smother them with creamy tzaziki because…obviously? Oh, and you can totally use a bun. I never do. I buy them for photos. It’s pretty silly. But these babies looked gorgeous on their own with just some fresh greens, the grilled onions, black olives, green onion and fresh parsley. There was so much going on, I just wanted to show them off for exactly what they were. I can tell you that these will definitely be making their way back into my burger rotation, and they will take your next grill night not just to the next level, but like a lot of levels up. ;)

Greek Lamb Burgers

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8 burgers

Serving Size: 1 burger

Greek Lamb Burgers

Bold, flavorful and tender half lamb/half beef burgers stuffed with feta cheese and topped with creamy tzatziki sauce. Everything you love about a classic gyro in healthy, summer burger form!

Ingredients

    For the burgers:
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef (93% or higher)
  • 2-3 ounces freshly crumbled feta
  • 3 tablespoons minced onion
  • generous pinch oregano (finely chopped or dried)
  • generous pinch thyme (finely chopped or dried)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • generous pinch each salt and pepper
  • For serving:
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced and grilled
  • fresh greens
  • tratziki
  • fresh chopped parsley
  • sliced olives
  • chopped green onion

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the burgers. Mix until just combined. Form into burger patties and grill to desired doneness, about 3-5 minutes per side. Lamb, like beef, does not need to be cooked well done, but do make sure it reaches 160 for food safety.
  2. Serve over fresh greens (or on tops of your favorite buns) and grilled onions. Top with tzatziki, parsley, olives and onion. Leftovers may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
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