Young children are known to keep their parents, especially moms, on their toes when it comes to exciting foods to eat. But the real challenge lies in making them nutritious yet not dull. Not all children love fruits, and those who do are perhaps very selective in the fruits they consume. A great way to resolve this issue is by offering them sorbets and ice-creams which can be turned into delicious frozen desserts rich in fruits. Typically, ice-creams are creamy while sorbets are icier in taste and texture. While a sorbet is typically made with a combination of fruit, sugar and water, ice-creams are milk or cream-based. For the healthier version of sorbets and ice-creams, let’s focus on the benefits of sweet and creamy fruits and avoid or limit the use of creams, condensed milk, and added sugar. Following are some hassle-free sorbet and ice-cream ideas to make delicious treats for both the kids and adults!
- Watermelon sorbet: Take a fresh watermelon, and dice it into small sizes. Remember to remove all the seeds. On a baking tray, place the diced watermelon and freeze it for five hours or overnight. Next, remove the frozen cubes and blitz it in a blender in shorts bursts (as the frozen pieces may be hard and put extra load on the blender). Squeeze in the juice of a sweet lime or lemon, and add a teaspoon of honey (try not to add sugar as most fruits themselves have sugar). If blending gets difficult, you may add a small amount of warm water, scrape the edges, and blend once again. Scoop the sorbet into bowls to serve. The mellow taste will leave you craving for more! You can follow the same procedure for any fruit of your choice, including strawberry, mango, banana, kiwi, or grapes.
- Custard apple sorbet: While this may be a little more time-consuming in comparison to the previous recipe, this exotic dish will be worth the extra minutes. With the help of a spoon, scoop out the custard apple from its skin and transfer it on a strainer kept over a bowl. Using a hand whisk, beat the custard apple so that the pulp is separated from the seeds and can pass through the mesh of the strainer. From time to time, remove the seeds from the filter as you add in more custard apple to retrieve the pulp.
Once you have extracted the pulp, transfer spoonfuls to a baking sheet with ample distance between each scoop, and freeze it overnight. The next day, transfer the frozen custard apple pulp into a blender and blend well. Since custard apples are naturally sweet, you do not need to add any sugar. Once blended, scoop out the sorbet and enjoy the delectable dessert!
- Banana ice-cream: You may often notice that bananas go brown after a few days. Most of us hesitate to eat bananas at this stage but overripe bananas have maximum sweetness. As a matter of fact, instead of tossing them out, peel them and slice them into 2-3 cm pieces. Freeze the banana overnight and blend well until you obtain a texture similar to soft-serve. You can serve this right away or if you prefer a firmer texture, then freeze again for around 30 minutes and voila you will have instant, one-ingredient banana ice-cream, free of added fats and sugars.
But what if your children hate bananas or get bored of this soon? Don’t worry; you can make other flavours too! You can add cinnamon powder, cocoa powder, frozen/fresh berries like strawberries to create fun and exciting flavours.
- Ice-cream sandwiches: To a bowl of cold water, add a teaspoon of lime juice. Thinly slice an apple and add it to the water. Remove the core/centre of the apple slices and use cookie cutters to make a variety of shapes. Add a scoop of the banana ice-cream on an apple slice and top with another slice. Freeze and serve.
- Yoghurt ice-cream: Yet another recipe that doesn’t call for too many ingredients is yoghurt ice-cream. Blend frozen fruit (like mango or strawberry) in a blender or processor until you obtain a smooth consistency. Add unflavoured/plain yoghurt and blend again to maintain consistency. Serve immediately or freeze again and plate it up when required. Garnish with freshly chopped fruit while serving.
- Chocolate (avocado) ice-cream: To a blender, add peeled and pitted avocado, ripe banana, cocoa powder, honey, lemon juice and mint leaves. Blend until you achieve a creamy, rich consistency. Freeze overnight (or for at least 4 hours) and serve. You can even make a plain avocado version without the chocolate. Add more mint and a sprinkle of chocolate chips to make mint choc-chip ice-cream or you go nuts by folding through some finely chopped nuts like almonds or pistachios!
Tips to keep in mind while making sorbets/ice-creams:
When you place the diced fruit on a baking sheet, lay them in a single layer and leave some space after each piece to ensure that you don’t get a large solidified mass that is difficult to blend. - Use the blender in short bursts while pureeing because the blades may get hot and may melt the sorbet - While making sorbets, it’s okay to add some water for easy blending. You can also use orange juice or lime juice to replace the water if the combination works well with the fruit of your choice. Sorbets and ice-creams are wonderful fruit-based dessert options, and by making them at home, you can help keep them nutritious too.