Summer Ritual Checklist
(as dictated by fashion/women’s magazines)
At least two months’ worth of eating salads and not much else: check.
Daily litres of cleansing, cellulite busting water. Green tea, if you are feeling fancy: check.
Crossfit/PX90/Zumba/parkour as if your life depended on it: you betcha.
Scaly Winter body: buffed, waxed and sprayed.
Healthy, cooling frozen desserts cos you deserve it: um, hang on a sec.
At this time of year Mars ice cream bars and Hagen Daz tubs jostle for space with the so-called healthy frozen desserts. Contains real fruit puree! Low-fat mocha ice dessert – with real chocolate pieces! Raspberry-swirl frozen yogurt parfait!
Don’t they sound go-od?
But look at the label. Just look at it. Ugh huh? Gums, seaweed thingies (carrageenan), some chemistry class stuff. But hey, it’s low calorie and, if I close my eyes and think of Ryan Gosling, I may even enjoy it. 🙂
Some such iced confections have a skewed idea of what is healthy. No fat, no gluten, no dairy but loads of sugar and weird sub-food ingredients. Don’t think so. Some others (but very few) are very healthy but sound and taste rather joyless. Pass me a juicy peach instead please.
Now, what if you could make something in the comfort of your own home – in your bikini, if you so desire – that is not only gloriously healthy, for a frozen dessert*, but tastes flipping awesome?
(*not as healthy as grazing on kale. Or eating an apple. Just saying.)
And what if I pinky promised that it was almost as good as one of the most calorific frozen desserts I can think of, the semifreddo? Well, wouldn’t you just want to know what that might be?
This is my iteration of a beautiful frozen treat I found in Zest For Life, a Mediterranean healthy cookbook by Connor Middelmann-Whitney and reviewed in this post (along with a recipe I use all the time). Considering the simple ingredients my take is quite different, so do have a look at her book for the original recipe. My one below has taken a southern turn to Turkey – by way of Scotland. If you can get your head around that one.
I have tried this out on numerous cancer nutrition classes and other groups, with approval in the form of empty plates and no leftovers. I hope that’s a good enough recommendation for you. :-). And no, no one wore a bikini. But you could.
Rose and Summer Berry Skinnifreddo – A Frozen Turkish Delight!
Adapted from Zest for Life by Connor Middelmann Whitney
The title is my wordplay on the much more calorific, well-known Italian semi-frozen dessert. semifreddo.
If you don’t fancy – or don’t have – the rose water, just leave it out. It will still be delightfully and refreshingly delicious. As for the bananas, I don’t always bother using frozen as the iced berries do the job of thickening the lot just fine. But use frozen bananas if you already have them stashed in the freezer. They cut easily enough from frozen. Also, if your fruit is sweet enough, of course forgo the maple syrup, but it does lend a little something special.
1 ½ medium bananas (about 180g) roughly chopped – frozen if you like
400g frozen blueberries
100g frozen raspberries
200g Greek yogurt, or thickened non-dairy yogurt – 0%, low fat or full-fat
1 tbsp maple syrup OR date syrup (more to taste)
¼ tsp rosewater
Lemon juice, just a wee squeeze
Fruit for serving
What you need: sturdy food processor or blender; clingfilm; loaf tin
Blend one banana, the blueberries and about three-quarters of the yogurt (just eyeball it) with ½ tbsp maple/date syrup and all of the rosewater. Scrape down the sides as needed. You will have to do this a couple of times at first but it quickly smooths out. Spread half the mixture onto a flat piece of clingfilm, shaping it roughly to the dimensions of the tin. Lift the clingfilm and place into the tin. Doing it this way rather than lining the tin with the clingfilm makes sure that there are very few wrinkles when you upend it for serving.
Rinse the food processor or blender and add the raspberries, the remaining yogurt, banana and maple/date syrup, plus the lemon juice. Dollop the raspberries onto the blueberry mixture
Remove the clingfilm and upend onto a serving dish. Decorate with berries and slice into serving pieces. Depending on the warmth of the day, you may wish to let the skinnifreddo sit for a short while before cutting.
Note: I’ve done it as all raspberry and although it tasted a.ma.zing, too many pips for our liking. This is my very happy compromise.
PS it looks a little ‘wonky’ but that’s because I was attempting to marble it but didn’t in the end do so. Yours will be prettier, 🙂
Miss R’s Track of the Week: Trouble from Bitter:Sweet – sexy, skinnifreddo eating music
I am sending this fruity frozen sweet over to The Spicy Pear, Eat Your Veg and Delicieux for June’s Four Season’s Food, with Red as the theme. My raspberries qualify so over it goes! Louisa at Eat Your Veg also co-hosts with Vanesther at Bangers and Mash for their Family Foodie event. This month’s theme is “outdoors” – perfect. Ren Behan is gamely still hosting Simple and In Season, despite quite possibly having just given birth. Wow! And lastly to the lovely Mark over at Javelin and Warrior’s Cookin’ W/ Luv for his Made With Love Mondays. Thanks so much to all of you fabulous hosts with the most!