Tag Archives: frozen yogurt

Homemade Ice Cream — It’s a (YayLabs!) Ball! #Review

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We like homemade ice cream as much as anyone, and we’ve owned our fair share of ice cream-making supplies: a really nice electric ice cream maker (which I sold after it fell into disuse for a few years when the kids were very young), a hand-cranked ice cream maker (fun but it took some effort and time, so I gave it to my friend for her country house), and then an electric one again (seldom used, sadly).

And then guess what I was asked to try out? Stonyfield teamed up with YayLabs! to send me a SoftShell Ice Cream Ball. It’s a soft-sided ball, like a playground ball. You put your ice cream ingredients in one end and in the other, ice and salt. You’re supposed to use rock salt, but I don’t have rock salt. I have kosher salt. That worked fine. I found that regular table salt worked fine, too.

Ball, yogurt. Pretty simple. Add ice and salt, then roll.

Ball, yogurt. Pretty simple. Add ice and salt, then roll.

You don’t need to get fancy with the ingredients. You can just add yogurt! Or yogurt and some sweetener. Or cream and a little sugar and maybe some vanilla flavoring. Or just fruit juice. You choose. Anyway, the first time we used it, I had on hand Stonyfield Organic French Vanilla Lowfat Yogurt. I normally only buy Stonyfield Whole Milk Plain, but I somehow had vanilla on hand. So we used that. I didn’t add anything to it, just put the yogurt in the ice cream side of the ball.

It has its own stand!

It has its own stand!

Then ice and kosher salt in the other side, made sure it was closed tightly (careful not to cross-thread it!), and we rolled it around.

Add ice cream ingredients here.

Add ice cream ingredients here.

Though it looks like a playground ball, you cannot drop, kick, or throw the ice cream ball, or the hard plastic inside will break. You do not want to break your ice cream ball. You want to sit on the ground and roll it around.


We made it into a game, the boys and I, and rolled to each other. After 10 minutes, per the instruction book, I scraped down the sides (not well enough, it turns out) and we rolled it for another 20 minutes. The yogurt wasn’t quite frozen but it was good enough for us! According to the instructions, higher fat products freeze more quickly, which is probably why the lowfat yogurt wasn’t quite frozen yet.


They were laughing the whole time except when I took pictures.

But it was good. The kids would have liked it a little sweeter, but they were OK with it as it was.


Oh, I forgot, we added some chocolate syrup near the end. To the freezing yogurt, and to the ball, and to the floor…

Then we brought it up to Maine when we went to visit dear friends in a cabin on a lake way up there. We bought cream in town and used some sugar. I used a pint of heavy cream and maybe 1/3 of a cup of sugar. We had no vanilla flavoring or maple syrup, so sweet cream ice cream it would be!

We rolled it around, first my friend and I and her toddler, then the boys and men joined us. Eight people, ages 2.5 to 43, rolling this ball in a great game and having fun.


I forgot to ask my friends for permission to put their kids’ photo in the blog post, so you just see my kids rolling it here.

I think that’s the best part of this ice cream ball — the time spent making a game of rolling it, laughing, passing to each other, taking turns, letting the littler kids get a chance. It’s community-building. I scraped the sides better this time, and when it was done, whoa. Beautifully frozen sweet cream ice cream.

It may not be our everyday way to make ice cream, nor the way to go if you want more than a pint (in Maine, we each got a few spoonfuls), but it’s fun, for sure, and we can take it camping with us! (Car camping, obviously, so we have a cooler for ice and yogurt or cream. I don’t backpack with that stuff.)

If you need a fun addition to your summer treat supplies or a brilliant hostess gift, try this ball. It’s fun. I just hope they come out with a full-silicon version we could use for dodgeball or kickball. Wouldn’t that be awesome — playing kickball and making ice cream at the same time?



Stonyfield Pearls: Review


Photo credit: Stonyfield

Photo credit: Stonyfield

Oh hey, did I forget to mention that I’m now an official Stonyfield blogger? That’s pretty great, considering I have long relied on Stonyfield yogurt for breakfast, smoothies, snacks, and general yum. While I have been known to be fond of small-batch yogurt from biodynamic farms where I used to live, Stonyfield is one of those good, trustworthy brands I can count on finding in most places I shop. 

I know they’ve gotten really big, but they still care about farms and land and food and people. (I got to talk to Stonyfield founder Gary Hirshberg the summer before last, about all kinds of things, including how Stonyfield is dealing with the great common Greek yogurt issue of What To Do With All The Whey. He’s a likeable guy, even if we didn’t quite see eye to eye about added sugar.)

Anyway, being a Yo-Getter means I get to review Stonyfield products and get to write some other stuff for them, sometimes.

Of course, soon after being accepted into the program, I arrived home to find a large box marked “Perishable” on my stoop. I carried it in, ripped it open, and found a cooler stocked with Stonyfield Pearls.


Hey, what crazy savage ripped open the box of strawberry-chocolate, on the right? Oh, that was me.

Normal bloggers who review things would probably video the unboxing, or at least take a few photos of it all before diving in like a starved wild animal.

Photo credit: Stonyfield

Photo credit: Stonyfield

However, Stonyfield Pearls are one of my favorite treats. I got to try them last year when they first hit the market. Do you know about these things? They’re marvelous. A ball of frozen yogurt encased in a soft-chewy “edible fruit skin” (think mochi, but a very thin layer of it, made of fruit). Amazing taste and texture and form factor. Our sitter had just arrived, so I invited her to dive in with me.

Wiki Art Card 4 copy

Photo credit: Stonyfield

Did it cross my mind at all that I should photograph any of this? Um, ah, well, somehow, no. A few days later, I felt a vague memory bubble up, something about reviewing — OH!!! whoops.

So, well, at least I turned my college-age sitter onto them, and she will tell her friends…

Keepin' it real. This is what one looks like in bad lighting after you've bitten it.

Keepin’ it real. This is what one looks like in bad lighting after you’ve bitten it.

Here’s some key info from Stonyfeld about the Pearls:


  • Scoops of Stonyfield’s decadent organic frozen nonfat yogurt wrapped in delicious, all natural fruit coatings.
  • They are deliciously inspired by how nature packages fruits-like the skin of a grape and a giant step towards a truly sustainable package 


  • Exquisitely delicious
  • Only ≈ 20 calories each
  • Portion controlled
  • With melt-free and mess free skins, they are handheld and portable, opening up new possibilities for on-the-go snacking.
  • No spoon, no cup, no limits! 


  • The patent pending WikiPearl® technology creates a delicious protective skin from natural food particles.
  • The skin protects the yogurt from the outside, enabling it to be washed, carried and handled without being damaged.  
  • Stonyfield is proud to be collaborating with the inventors of this technology, Harvard professor Dr. David Edwards and his Cambridge-based company WikiFoods


  • Peach & Vanilla
  • Coconut & Chocolate
  • Strawberry & Vanilla
  • Strawberry & Chocolate


  • Stonyfield Frozen Yogurt Pearls now available across New England at Whole Foods Market (except Providence store) and are located in the freezer aisle at $3.99 for two.

 2 FOR $6


WikiPearl and Stonyfield were recently the proud recipients of one of TIME Magazine’s Top 25 Inventions of 2014.  http://time.com/3594971/the-25-best-inventions-of-2014/item/wrappers-you-can-eat/

Photo credit: Stonyfield

Photo credit: Stonyfield

[Disclosure: I was provided with samples of Stonyfield Pearls by Stonyfield Yogurt for my review. I was not otherwise compensated. All opinions are my own.]