Friday, July 12, 2013

Strawberry- Nectarine Sorbet

Dairy-free, refined sugar-free, Paleo friendly

There are countless reasons to love summer.  Warm days, long nights, beach trips, and camp outs.  As a real food lover, I look forward to summer all year long, knowing that I will be able to enjoy the bounty of fresh fruit this season has to offer. Peaches, watermelon, cantaloupe, and cherries, they are all ripe for the picking in these hot, sultry months.

Although I am a long way off from my dream of growing all our own fruits and veggies, I am fortunate to have a nectarine tree in our backyard.  Ever since I noticed the teeny, tiny, fuzzy fruit starting to grow I had stalked that tree, impatiently waiting to sink my teeth into that first sweet, juicy bite.  Everyday my boys and I would go out in the yard and give those guys a good feel.  The wait seemed excruciatingly long, those beauties retaining their firmness, not yet willing to succumb to the ravenous mouths of babes.  After what seemed like an eternity, we went out into the yard one morning, ready to dole out our customary squeeze and that's when the magic happened.  My finger sank ever so gently into the flesh of the fruit, leaving a shallow indentation.  I knew our wait was over.  The boys and I enjoyed an afternoon of picking fruit and then we got to reap the rewards of our efforts.  Like most organically grown fruit, these nectarines were small, a far cry from the enormous ones that fill the bins at the supermarket.  But the taste, oh the sweet, sweet taste.  These little gems were so fragrant, the whole kitchen smelled of this gorgeous stone fruit.  Between the boys and I, we must have polished off at least 15 of those puppies that day.

After our bellies were full and I had cleaned all the sticky remnants off my monsters, I looked at our impressive harvest and realized we had way more nectarines than we could ever eat.   I racked my brain trying to figure out how in the world I was going to use this much fruit. I knew some would go directly into my dehydrator to transform into dried nectarines.  But this was more than my dehydrator could handle.  I needed another option.  There was always nectarine salsa, but I'm not a big fan and besides, there was no way my family would ever be able to consume that much salsa.  Did I mention yet we had a lot of fruit?  Enough to fill six or seven fruit baskets and this was just our first harvest.  Our tree still had plenty of fruit to bear, enough to provide us weeks of stone fruit goodness.


As I said before, summer is a glorious season.  While it's probably safe to say that most people adore summer, no one enjoys it more than little ones.  It truly is the season of childhood, a time where dreams are big, worries small, and the only time that three short months can feel like a lifetime.  And there is nothing kids love more on a hot summer day than a cool, refreshing treat.  Ah yes, nectarine sorbet.  That was the answer to my seemingly endless pile of fruit. 

Only one problem, I hadn't attempted to make sorbet since my family and I adopted the Paleo lifestyle almost two years ago.  It suddenly dawned on me, I had made a ton of Paleo friendly popsicles and ice creams, but never a sorbet without refined sugar.  Let me assure you now, the result was nothing short of delicious.  The honey and strawberries add just the right amount of sweetness, and the hint of tartness from the fresh lemon rounds the flavors out beautifully.   I also added coconut milk for its nourishing, creamy fats and to prevent the sorbet from getting too icy.  This sorbet is as delectable as it is refreshing.  Perfect for a summer day.  Enjoy!

Strawberry-Nectarine Sorbet

2 cups ripe nectarines, chopped
1 cup strawberries, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 - 1/2 cup raw honey (depending on sweet you like it.  I used 1/4 c and it was the perfect balance of sweet and sour for us!)
1/4 c full fat coconut milk

Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor.  Start with 1/4 c of honey and add more if desired.  Blend until smooth.  You can either run the mixture through a sieve if you prefer a super smooth sorbet, or just pour straight into an ice cream maker like I did.  Process according to manufacturer's directions, mine took about 20 minutes. Transfer soft sorbet into freezer safe containers and freeze until firm.


To make this recipe without an ice cream maker, pour mixture into glass or metal container and place in freezer.  As the mixture begins to freeze, run a fork through it to break up the ice crystals.  Repeat this process several times over the course of a few hours.

You can also pour mixture into popsicle molds.

You can use peaches in place of the nectarines, and feel free to play around with the berries as well.  Raspberries would be delicious, but more honey might be required since they are not quite as sweet as strawberries. 


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