Archive for the ‘Healthy/Kind of Healthy’ Category


Watermelon Sorbet

July 31, 2009


This is the third installment of an informal series I like to call Things to Make in Your Ice Cream Maker That Are Somewhat Healthy. Or something like that.

First it was Lime Coconut Ice Cream. And then we had Strawberry Buttermilk Gelato. And now, Watermelon Sorbet. The lime juice with the watermelon is outstanding!

Watermelon Sorbet

From Cooking Light, but I  changed it to all watermelon instead of watermelon and cantaloupe.

1/2  cup  sugar
1/3  cup  water
3  cups  cubed seeded watermelon
3  tablespoons  fresh lime juice

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until sugar dissolves. Cool completely. Place watermelon in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth.

Combine the sugar syrup, watermelon puree, and lime juice. Pour the sorbet mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon sorbet into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 1 hour or until firm.


  • I used 3 heaping cups of cubed watermelon
  • I used bottled lime juice.
  • I don’t recommend doubling the amount; I tried it and it was just a little bit too much for my ice cream maker. An extra 50% of the amount would fit.

Strawberry Buttermilk Gelato

July 2, 2009

It’s strawberry season! I bought four quarts of fresh strawberries directly from the farm where they’re grown. I ate some as-is, froze some, and used some in this delicious gelato. This is a light, fresh, beautifully colored frozen treat.



  • This recipe is from Cooking Light. In the comments on their site, a few people mentioned that the full amount wouldn’t fit in their ice cream maker; the amounts below are half of the amounts on CL’s site.
  • Usually I don’t notice the seeds on a strawberry, but I did notice them in the gelato. Next time, I’ll put the strawberry puree through a fine strainer. Of course that means that I need to get a fine strainer before I make this again!
  • I made this last year with strawberries that I had frozen and it was just as good. If you use frozen, measure them while they’re frozen to get an accurate amount. I pre-sliced and froze 2.5 cups so that I can make another batch later on!

Strawberry Buttermilk Gelato

from Cooking Light

1 cup sugar (I reduced the sugar to 3/4 cup)
1 cup water
2.5 cups quartered strawberries
1 cup low-fat buttermilk

Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour into a large bowl; cool completely.

Place strawberries in a blender and process until smooth. Add strawberry purée and buttermilk to sugar syrup; stir to combine.

Pour the strawberry mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


Lime Coconut Ice Cream

June 5, 2009

Is this sherbet? Sorbet? Ice cream? Ice milk? Let’s not get technical about it. This is a refreshing frozen dessert with a fabulous fresh lime flavor.

This recipe is adapted from the book Ice Cream and Iced Desserts by Joanna Farrow and Sara Lewis. In the book, it’s called Coconut Ice Cream, but to me it’s the lime that shines. I used light coconut milk, so that could have made it less coconut-y and more lime-y. Whatever you call it, this is very tasty.

lime sorbet2

A big thank you to my husband for taking the cool photo!

A few notes:

  • I used light coconut milk instead of the regular coconut milk called for in the original recipe.
  • I decided to add some rum to the mixture after reading David Lebovitz’s article Tips for Making Homemade Ice Cream Softer. Next time, I’ll increase the rum to 2 tablespoons.
  • This does not have the texture of a creamy ice cream; it’s more like a sorbet.
  • I made this using an ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid mixer. This was my first time using the attachment and it worked great!

Lime Coconut Ice Cream

2/3 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

2 limes

14 oz can light coconut milk* (the original recipe calls for regular coconut milk)

1 tablespoon coconut rum (the original recipe does not include this)

Put the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Cool the syrup and then thoroughly chill in the refrigerator.

Zest the limes finely, taking care to avoid the white pith. Stir the zest into the sugar syrup.

Cut the limes in half and juice them. Stir the juice into the sugar syrup.

Add the coconut milk and the rum to the sugar syrup mixture. If there are any lumps in the milk, whisk the mixutre until it is smooth.

Follow your ice cream maker’s instructions for churning the mixture. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, this article provides instructions for making ice cream without a machine.

* Be sure to use coconut milk and not cream of coconut. You may be able to find it in the Asian section of your grocery store.


Cumin Curried Hummus and a Thank You

April 17, 2009

Mmmmm. Hummus.


But before I get to the recipe, I want to say thank you to Michele of Veggie Num Nums. She had a giveaway on her site and I won! I am now the proud owner of a cupcake tote and cupcake cookbook. The tote is awesome, because I can stack up to 36 cupcakes, put them in lockdown, and transport them safely to their destination. Thank you Michele! Check out her site for some great vegetarian and vegan recipes, along with Tuesdays With Dorie goodies and some cute animal pictures.

OK, on to the hummus. It is a food processor recipe, and I know a lot of people grumble about using their food processors, but this is so good and will save so much money over store bought hummus, it’s worth it! I have made it with a stick blender and it works, but it will be chunkier.

I love dipping pretzels into this, but raw veggies are a smart choice, and Kashi TLC Original 7-Grain crackers are also a delicious dipper. Or spread it onto a sandwich. Perhaps a sandwich made with homemade pita bread!

This makes a lot. I like having a vat of hummus in the fridge, but you may want to cut this in half if you don’t want quite so much.

Cumin Curried Hummus

from Cooking Light: link to their recipe is here.

  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil
  • 3  garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1  tablespoon  curry powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  cumin seeds (I use a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin)
  • 1/2  cup  water
  • 3  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice (I’ve been known to use bottled)
  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  (15 1/2-ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add curry and cumin; cook 30 seconds or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Place garlic mixture, water, and remaining ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. Store in the refrigerator.


Fruit Granola Bars, or “everything is homemade now”

April 11, 2009

I was kicking around the house the other day, not sure what I felt like doing, and I declared that I was going to make some granola bars. My husband’s response was “everything is homemade now.” I’m not sure if he meant that as a good thing or not, but I’ll take it as a compliment.

I looked over the recipes I had bookmarked and picked this one on Becky’s Satisfying My Sweet Tooth blog. What sold me on this recipe was that it includes cinnamon chips and I had a bag of them that I hadn’t opened yet. I tried a few and wow! They are really tasty. Becky’s recipe was inspired by one in the Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cookbook. My inspiration was Becky’s version. So that means I’m two degrees of separation from Ina Garten, right? I better stay by the phone in case she invites me to dinner!

These turned out great and I’ll definitely be making them again. They’re really chewy and the cinnamon chips add a great flavor. My husband’s review? He ate one and said “It tastes just like a granola bar. One from the store.” I’ll take that as a compliment.


A few notes:

  • The dried fruit I used was what I had in the pantry. It’s easy to change the fruit based on what you have and what you like. 
  • I know that the Eggo syrup sounds weird. I just really like how it tastes, so I subbed syrup for half of the honey. You might want to use all honey.
  • The crushed Fiber One cereal was a replacement for wheat bran, which I didn’t have. I don’t know if this was a good substitute, but it seemed reasonable.
  • I wasn’t sure what size pan to use; I guess it depends on how thick you want them. I used a 10×15 pan but spread the bars to cover about 3/4 of the pan. A 9×13 pan would make thicker bars.

Two Degrees of Separation from Ina Fruit Granola Bars

2 cups oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 c crushed Fiber One cereal
3 T unsalted butter
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup Eggo brand lite pancake syrup 
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dates, chopped
1/2 cup dried mango, chopped
1/2 cup cinnamon chips

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix oats, almonds, and coconut together in a pan with sides (see notes about pan size). Bake, stirring occasionally until lightly browned, about 12 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 300. Line the pan with parchment paper.

Transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl and add crushed cereal.

In a small saucepan, melt honey, syrup, butter, and brown sugar. Stir in vanilla and salt. Pour over oat mixture. Add dried fruit and cinnamon chips and mix well. Pour mixture into the parchment-lined pan and press evenly. 

Bake at 300 for 25 minutes. Cool slightly before cutting into bars and cool completely before serving.

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