Icy Creamy Healthy Sweet
Nothing beats the heat like frozen treats. Whether you prefer ice pops or snow cones, frozen yogurt or slushies, there’s no denying the satisfaction of digging into a frosty sweet treat on a hot summer’s day. If you’re a health-conscious epicure with a sweet tooth, it can be hard to justify that rich scoop of ice cream or sugar-filled pop, but there is a way to enjoy the best of both worlds, satisfying your sweet cravings while also keeping things light and healthy.
We’re a family that loves desserts. Rarely a day goes by that I don’t indulge my sweet tooth, and with two growing boys to feed, I am always coming up with healthy treats to help them end their day on a sweet note. What I’ve found is that there’s simply no reason that desserts cannot be healthful and nutritious. Once you begin playing in the kitchen, experimenting with making sweets that are as healthy as they are delicious, there is no limit to where your creativity can take you. This can be especially true for frozen treats; focusing on in-season produce and high-quality ingredients will ensure that your ice pops and ice creams are delicious, light and satisfying. For me this means sourcing dairy from a local farm, fair-trade chocolate from reputable companies, in-season fruit from the farmers’ market and herbs snipped from my own garden. It also means relying on natural sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey, dates and coconut sugar rather than refined sugar.
My family has become so accustomed to high-quality, homemade, whole foods–based desserts that my kids don’t find much satisfaction in store-bought treats. Sure, they are sweet, but beyond that there isn’t much in the way of freshness, depth of flavor or texture. This only confirms what I have always believed: once you commit to wholesome cooking with an emphasis on quality ingredients, you’ll never look back. This holds as true for desserts as it does for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The beauty of making your own frozen treats is that you will be able to trust that every ingredient, from the dairy and chocolate to the fruits and herbs, are up to your own high standards.
Cookbook author, photographer and Edible Rhody contributor Christine Chitnis lives with her husband and sons in Providence. Visit her at ChristineChitnis.com.
The excerpt, recipes and photos on this and the following pages are from Icy Creamy Healthy Sweet by Christine Chitnis, reprinted by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO. RoostBooks.com.