Make Homemade Italian Ice

Here are some recipe ideas from our editor. What could be better on a hot summer day than something fresh, fruity and frozen? These healthier versions of tradional ices pack a lot of flavor and nutrition. And it's just another way to get the most out of your food processor.


Most homemade Italian ices involve taking fruit juice and boiling it with sugar. Storebought versions are usually loaded with high fructose corn syrup. Neither option is ideal from a health standpoint. I prefer to use whole berries and pieces of fruit sweetened by honey and small amounts of freshly squeezed citrus juice. When you drink fruit juice, you are consuming all the sugar of a fruit without any of the fiber. The fiber is in food to slow absorption of sugars; without it your blood sugar spikes and insulin levels are raised. Using whole fruit actually adds welcome flavors and textures. No one will even know this is a healthier version!

You'll find detailed recipes below for my three favorite ices: blueberry lemon, banana orange and watermelon lime. Try substituting your favorite fruits instead!

Blueberry Lemon Ice

Blueberry skins are loaded with anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants found in purple and blue foods. It makes sense to use the whole berry when possible. The lemon adds vitamin C and bright flavor; the tartness it adds is well countered by the sweetness of the honey. This is my favorite homemade ice, one I make at least once a week throughout the hot summer months.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of whole blueberries, either fresh or frozen and thawed
  • The juice and zest of 1 organic lemon (make sure it's organic; conventional citrus fruits have harmful food coloring in the skin)
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup of filtered water

Directions

Place all ingredients into the work bowl of your food processor fitted with the multipurpose blade. Process until well blended. Transfer to a shallow baking dish; put the dish into your freezer. Run a fork through the mixture every 30 minutes until it is frozen.

Banana Orange Ice

Bananas and oranges are sweet enough already; this ice doesn't need any added honey. You'll get potassium from the banana and vitamin C from the orange. This ice gives me that litlle energy boost I sometimes look for in the afternoon.

Ingredients

  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • The juice of four organic navel oranges

Directions

Follow the same instructions as for blueberry lemon ice.

Watermelon Lime Ice

The sweet watermelon and tart lime go together perfectly in this ice. Watermelon is a great source of both lycopene and vitamin C. You can keep extra watermelon cubes on hand in the freezer so you are ready to make this in minutes whenever you want. A shot of vodka added to the mix will create a tasty adult frozen treat, perfect for hot summer days.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of seedless watermelon, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • The juice and zest of one organic lime

Directions

Freeze the watermelon until solid, about 3 hours. Place the frozen cubes into the work bowl of your food processor fitted with the multipurpose blade. Add the lime juice and zest. Process until well blended. The ice is ready to be served; it won't need any additional freezing.

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