Hot, humid days are tough to beat in Charleston. Most people either isolate themselves in their air conditioned homes with an ice cold glass of sweet tea or embrace the scorching weather by venturing to the beach. To me, anything frozen is considered a delicacy during these summer months. My mother made the most delicious coconut sorbet for Memorial Day. Its creamy texture and flavor were sublime. I didn’t want my helping to end (which I quickly remedied by eating almost half the batch). If I’m going to keep indulging in desserts, I decided to make a batch with a little less fat (coconut milk has a bunch of fat, good fat, but fat nevertheless).
Sorbets are quick desserts to prepare and are also very low calorie. All you need is a few ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your pantry: water, sugar (evaporated cane sugar preferred which I will explain later), fruit and voila! Simple as pie…but infinitely healthier.
I decided to roast the fruit in order to bring out their natural sugars. Roasting creates a sweeter flavor without having to add extra sugar. The sorbet turned out to be very sweet so if you prefer a less sweet sorbet, reduce the amount of cane sugar. I decided to add some lime juice to create a flavor balance and counteract the sweet flavor from all the sugars. Did I mention limes are wonderful antimicrobials?
Lately, I have not been able to get enough ginger. Ginger tea, ginger ale, ginger lattes, ginger scones, you name it. Did your mother ever give you ginger ale when you were sick? The reason for this is because ginger has a bunch of immune boosting qualities. Ginger is also a great digestive aid and can help relieve nausea. A tip for grating your ginger: use a spoon and gently scrape the ginger skin off the ginger. The skin is so soft that a vegetable peeler is not necessary. Fresh ginger of course has more nutrients than dry ginger. However, if you can’t access fresh ginger, dry ginger will be fine.
Here’s a fact you may not have known. Did you know brown sugar is simply bleached white sugar rolled in molasses?! For the longest time I thought that brown sugar was a healthy alternative to white sugar but boy was I wrong. Both undergo a bleaching process and can actually be detrimental to our bodies. As if bleaching wasn’t enough, some companies filter their sugar with bone char (animal bones) to create a whiter hue. Not very appetizing.
I’ve probably made you never want to eat a cookie or put sugar in your coffee ever again. Don’t fret. There are wonderful alternatives. Unbleached evaporated cane sugar is a type of sugar that is less processed and refined than white or brown sugar, meaning it has retained more of its nutrients (i.e. riboflavin) since its minimally processed. It is also, as its name suggests, unbleached. Who wants bone pieces in their sweets? Not me.
Roasted Rhubarb Strawberry Sorbet Recipe (Serves about 6)
- 1 cup rhubarb, chopped into bite size pieces
- 1 cup strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 3/4 cup unbleached evaporated cane sugar
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 lime
Set oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place berries and rhubarb on baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes. Set pan aside to cool.
Combine water, sugar and ginger in saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for a few minutes (until sugar is dissolved). Remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature.
Blend berries, rhubarb, liquid mixture and lime juice in food processor or blender until blended smooth (if you prefer a chunkier sorbet pulse less). Add mixture to ice cream maker and follow directions according to manual (for mine, I blended for about 20 minutes until the sorbet began to look icy and frozen). Serve with a sprig of mint for a cool and refreshing treat!
Roasted Rhubarb Strawberry Sorbet Nutrition Facts: Serving Size: 1 serving, Calories: 102, Calories from Fat: 0, Total Fat: 0 g, Saturated Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1 mg, Total Carbohydrate: 27 g, Dietary Fiber: < 1 g, Sugar: 25 g, Protein: < 1 g.