Friday, August 20, 2010
5 Diet-Friendly Frozen Treats
These simple, "homemade" frozen treats will cool you off without killing your diet.
You can find plenty of diet-wise frozen fruit pops and other frozen desserts at the supermarket that contain no more than 100 calories per serving. With few exceptions, however, these goodies get their low-cal count from artificial sweeteners and fats. So, while commercial brands are good in a pinch, there's really nothing like the taste of frozen treats you make yourself, starting with fresh ingredients, especially when they're this easy to prepare.
Frozen Iced Tea Cubes. Take refreshment a step further by freezing iced black, green or herbal tea in ice cube trays. Tea itself contains no calories and neither does any lemon juice you add for flavoring. The less sugar or honey you add to sweeten, the fewer calories you'll have in your iced treat and the more you can enjoy on a hot day. Once they are partially frozen, you can insert a popsicle stick or lollipop stick into the center of the cube (both types of sticks are available in cook shops and in the cooking/baking department of many large supermarkets). Or simply pop the frozen cubes out into a cup.
Watermelon Slushie. Freeze chunks of seedless watermelon in a covered, freezable food storage container. Whenever you want a frosty treat, throw a few chunks in a blender or food processor and whirl with an on/off motion until you have a frozen slush. If you like, add a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice. Be careful not to over-blend, or you'll end up with cold watermelon soup (also a tasty treat but probably not what you were expecting)!
Frozen Bananas. When it comes to homemade, it doesn't get any easier than this. Peel a small, ripe banana and sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browing. Wrap it in plastic wrap, aluminum foil or freezer wrap, and pop in the freezer for several hours or until solid. Once frozen, or at least semi-frozen, bananas have the consistency of ice cream. If you like nuts, roll and press your banana in just a dusting of very finely chopped almonds or walnuts before wrapping and freezing. For an easy-grab pop, pop, insert a flat popsicle stick into one end before freezing.
Frozen Grapes. Freeze individual grapes on a tray. When frozen, pour the grapes into a freezer-safe food storage bag or container. Frozen grapes make great diet food because they are small treats that you won't gobble up as quickly as fresh grapes. They also seem like more of a treat than fresh grapes because, like bananas, they take on a creamier consistency when frozen.
Raspberry Semifreddo. In Italian, semifreddo means "half cold," and is used to describe a variety of partially frozen (or partially thawed) desserts that include ice creams, cakes, custards and fruit mixtures. You can make a Line a (9 x 5-inch) loaf pan with aluminum foil so that the foil hangs over the long sides of the pan. In a mixing bowl, combine a large container (32 ounces) vanilla or honey flavored yogurt with 1 cup fresh raspberries (or any fresh cut-up fruit or berries). Spoon the mixture into the lined pan. Freeze at least overnight. To serve, transfer the semifreddo from the freezer to the refrigerator for 1 hour to thaw slightly, just until it is easy to slice but not yet thawed. Use the foil to remove the frozen loaf from the pan. Cut into thin slices to serve. You can cut the entire loaf and refreeze slices individually. Let the slices thaw for at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator to enjoy them semifreddo. Top with additional fresh fruit, if you like. A great variation: In a blender or food processer, combine the yogurt with a ripe banana until almost pureed, before mixing with berries and freezing.
Posted by Jenn at 2:52 PM