With summer comes the craving for sweet, frozen treats that take us back to our childhoods. Ice cream, frozen yogurt, popsicles—you want them all!
But sometimes the desire for those cold, refreshing sweets is at odds with your health and fitness goals. When you need to be more in control of what goes into what you eat, making these treats at home is actually easier than you might think.
Frozen yogurt can be your go-to summer dessert. There are so many flavours you can make, and it only needs 2-3 ingredients.
Here is a chart showing possible flavour options:
5-6 cups frozen fruit
650g-750g container Yogurt*
• Mixed berries
• Super fruit mix
• Plain yogurt
• Vanilla yogurt
• Plain Greek yogurt
• Flavoured Greek yogurt
• Non-dairy yogurt
• Kefir (1L)
• Add frozen fruit to your blender and pulse until fruit has a granular texture, like coarse sand.
• Pour in yogurt, and blend with fruit “sand” until well mixed. Taste test to determine whether sweetener is needed. Add to taste, if necessary.
• Pour thickened fruit and yogurt mixture into a freezer-safe container. A covered glass container that is well chilled will have the best results. Freeze for 30 minutes and serve.
*Fat Free products are not recommended. The higher the fat content, the better the consistency will be. Also, fat content relates directly to satisfaction levels. A small amount of a higher fat yogurt is much more satisfying than a large amount of fat free yogurt, so overall caloric intake is lowered.
Whether you need sweetener is up to your personal tastes, but remember the sweeter the fruit you use, the less likely you are to need added sweetener. Also, if you’re using any type of flavoured yogurt, sugar is already added and will affect the taste.
You can use a similar method to make ice cream, even if you don’t have an ice cream maker. Use 500ml/2 cups of cream (whipping cream will have the best results, but half and half will work, too) instead of the yogurt. When you blend the cream and fruit, it will have the consistency of a thick milkshake. Freeze in a pre-chilled, covered glass container. Every 30 minutes, remove from freezer and scrape sides, stirring gently, until set.
Finally, let’s talk about popsicles. They’re really easy to make at home. The hardest part is waiting for them to freeze so you can eat them! At this time of the year you can buy popsicle molds at any store that sells housewares. A simple recipe to make 4-6 popsicles is:
• 2 cups unsweetened fruit juice
• 1 cup fruit purée
• 2 tsp lemon juice
• Liquid sweetener to taste
The lemon juice is used to prevent discoloration of the fruit. The sweeter the juice and fruit you use is naturally, the less likely you are to need any added sweetener. Mix fruit flavours—how about orange juice with raspberry purée? Or Pineapple juice and mango? If you want to make a refreshing citrus combo, lemonade and blueberry would be a great combination. Obviously the lemonade will have sugar added already, but the tartness of blueberries will tone down the sweet, and you won’t need to add any additional sweetener. Once you’ve chosen your flavours, mix your ingredients well and pour them into the mold, leaving about 1 cm of space at the top for expansion. Freeze until set, overnight for best results. Once they’ve set, it’s just like eating a fudgesicle!
There are so many easy ways to enjoy frozen treats in the summer without sacrificing your dietary goals and staying in control of your intake of sugar and additives. Make right choices and be creative with your flavour combinations.
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