After a long day at the beach, it's so easy to make a quick ice cream stop, which can make it difficult to watch your diet. But, with a little willpower and planning, you can treat yourself and your family to something indulgent, delicious and healthy, like homemade sorbet, granita or chilled soup.
Summer melon granita with fresh mint
We hope fresh summer produce is as accessible as ice cream in your town. If so, pick up honeydew, cantaloupe and mint and make this refreshing recipe. What's a granita, anyway? It's like a cross between sorbet and a slushy. Don't worry if you can't scrape the ice every 30 minutes, as directed. As long as you scrape it a few times in those beginning hours, you'll get a granita-like texture.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 24 mint leaves
- 8 ounces honeydew, chopped
- 8 ounces cantaloupe, chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Mint sprigs for garnish
- Combine the sugar, water and mint leaves into a medium pot. Boil the mixture for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool. Remove mint leaves and discard them.
- Using a large blender, combine the honeydew, cantaloupe, lemon juice and salt, and cooled sugar-water mixture; blend until completely smooth. Pour the mixture into an airtight container and chill for 3 hours.
- After the 3 hours have passed, stir the honeydew mixture well and pour it into a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Freeze the mixture for 5–6 hours. Make sure to scrape through with a fork every 30 minutes for the first 3 hours (to separate the crystals). Serve in a chilled glass and decorate with mint sprigs.
Sugar-free coconut raspberry sorbet
This sugar- and lactose-free recipe can be ready in minutes. Be sure to use frozen raspberries because they make this recipe a sorbet without added ice. If you'd like to use up some fresh raspberries (or blackberries) from your fridge, just freeze them overnight, and they'll be solid by morning.
- 1/2 cup canned light coconut milk, cold
- 1/3 cup coconut water, cold
- 3 tablespoons sugar substitute
- 8 ounces frozen raspberries
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
- 3 tablespoons (additional) unsweetened coconut flakes for garnish, toasted
- Mint sprigs (optional garnish)
- Pour the coconut milk and coconut water into a small mixing bowl. Add the sugar and mix until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Place the frozen raspberries and the coconut-sugar mixture into a food processor bowl. Add the 1/4 cup of toasted coconut flakes. Pulse 10 times and process for about 45-55 seconds, or until smooth.
- To serve, scoop the sorbet from the bowl and sprinkle on the additional coconut flakes. Top with the mint sprigs, if desired.
Chilled watermelon soup
Hosting a summer barbecue? Guests will welcome a cool treat before they even get to dessert. This chilled soup is a cinch to make, but tastes surprisingly complex. You'll be deemed a culinary wiz! To lighten this up a bit more, use low-fat or fat-free vanilla yogurt.
- 4 cups watermelon cubes, seeded
- 1/3 cup apple juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt (optional garnish)
- Fresh mint leaves (optional garnish)
- Process the watermelon, apple juice, lime juice, ginger and honey in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides.
- Cover and chill for 1 hour. Serve in individual bowls with a dollop of yogurt and a sprig of mint, if desired.
David Venable is QVC's resident foodie and cookbook author.
More chilled dessert ideas
Blueberry basil granita
Strawberry beer sorbet
Chilled strawberry soup