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Cool Summer Treats

  To perk up heat-wilted youngsters, freeze up a batch of Buttermilk Sherbet. Or fire up your ice-cream freezer and crank out some Chocolate Sorbet or Chocolate Marshmallow Ice Cream for a great ending to a hot summer day.

  Other refreshing and healthy treats are Northwest Pita Pockets, featuring nutritious canned pears from the Pacific Northwest.
They’re a snap to assemble and make a delicious lunch. And the Pear Yogurt Pops are refreshing and a great activity when the kids complain they’re bored. Supply them with bowls of gummy bears, chocolate chips, sliced fruit, or colored sprinkles and watch them create their own low-fat snacks. It’s a great way to combine nutrition and imagination. The only hard part is waiting for them to freeze before they’re eaten!

PEAR YOGURT POPS

1 can (16 oz.) pear halves or slices, drained

1 carton (8 oz.) low-fat yogurt with fruit

Popsicle molds or 4-oz. paper cups and craft sticks

Optional: colored sprinkles, chocolate mini-

morsels, gummy bears, sliced fruit

In blender or food processor, combine pears and yogurt and process until smooth. Divide mixture evenly among molds or paper cups. (If using cups, insert craft stick in center of each pop.) For fun pops, experiment with alternating layers of yogurt mixture and sprinkles or chocolate chips. Freeze until firm, approximately 3-4 hours. Makes 4 pops.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST PITAS

4 pita bread rounds, halved

4 large lettuce leaves, washed and dried

8 oz. thinly sliced ham

1 can (16 oz.) pear slices, drained

8 slices cheddar cheese

Prepared low-fat Ranch salad dressing

To assemble sandwiches, open pita pocket halves and line with lettuce. Layer enough ham slices, pear slices, and cheese to fill each pocket evenly. Drizzle with Ranch dressing as desired. Makes 4 servings.

BUTTERMILK SHERBET

2 cups buttermilk

1 cup crushed pineapple (drained)

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/16 teaspoon salt

1 egg white

Mix together buttermilk, pineapple, all but 2 Tablespoons sugar, vanilla, and salt. Freeze until slushy. Beat egg white until stiff and add the remaining 2 Tablespoons sugar. Transfer this to a cold mixing bowl and beat until fluffy. Fold egg white mixture into buttermilk mixture and return to freezing tray. Freeze quickly without further stirring. Makes 4 servings.

CHOCOLATE SORBET

4 cups water

1-1/3 cups sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

5 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium heavy saucepan, heat water, sugar, and salt together, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the chocolate and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is velvety smooth, about 25 minutes. Do not allow this to boil. Cool to room temperature, then stir in the vanilla. Chill, then freeze according to the instructions for your ice-cream maker. Transfer to freezer containers to store. Makes 5 cups.

CHOCOLATE MARSHMALLOW ICE CREAM

3/4 cup marshmallow cream

1 cup half-and-half

4 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, 

chopped

1 egg, at room temperature

1/2 cup less 1 Tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups heavy cream

Warm marshmallow cream in the top of a double boiler or in a pan within another pan of water. In a heavy saucepan, combine the half-and-half and chocolate. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
Meanwhile, beat the egg and sugar until thick and light in color. Gradually beat in the hot chocolate mixture. Stir in the vanilla and heavy cream. Fold in the marshmallow cream and chill. Freeze according to the instructions for your ice-cream maker. Transfer to freezer containers for storage. Makes 1 quart.

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