Tools of the trade
You don't need an expensive ice cream maker to crank out frozen pleasures, but you will need some basics, like a blender or food processor and ice cube trays. Beyond that, popsicle mold trays are perfect for something cool on a stick. Can't find one? Then stock up on popsicle sticks (sold in most craft stores) and have a supply of Styrofoam or paper cups on hand. Slushie and ice cone lovers may want to invest in a small ice shaver appliance because it creates a fluffier, lighter product than a blender or food processor.
Sorbet, sherbet and granita are all closely related, but slightly different. A sorbet is a frozen mixture containing unsweetened fruit juices, fruit and sugar combined to provide a very tart and tangy flavour. It differs from sherbet in that it does not contain milk. A granita, meanwhile, is more granular and may have a milk or fruit juice base.
Bring 2/3 cup (150 mL) water with 1/3 cup (75 mL) sugar to boil in a small saucepan and stir until sugar dissolves. Allow this simple syrup to cool. Puree two pints of blueberries, strawberries or raspberries in a blender. Add syrup and ¼ cup (50 mL) lemon juice to berry puree. Blend. Pour into a bowl and freeze for 2-3 hours. Scoop and serve.
Transform the above recipe into a granita by simply pouring the mixture into a roasting pan and freezing 2-3 hours. Remove from the freezer and use a large fork or spoon to scrape the ice into martini or parfait glasses.
This treat is a cinch to make, especially if you buy small, single-serving containers of low-fat, stirred, fruit yogurt. Use a sharp knife to slit the top and insert a popsicle stick. Freeze 2-3 hours. Voila! Instant frozen yogurt on a stick! Or, blend equal parts low-fat or non-fat vanilla yogurt with bananas, berries or mango, pour into ice cube trays, freeze, whirl those cubes in a blender and serve.
Make your own, 100 % juice popsicles at half the price. Simply fill up your popsicle molds with juice, or put a combination of fruit chunks and juice.
Make yourself a slushie that's low in added sugar and high in fibre. Simply blend one part pure fruit juice with one part frozen or fresh cut fruit. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Whenever you want a slushie, simply blend those fruity cubes (or toss into an ice shaver) and enjoy!