Oh, the joy of cool and refreshing summer desserts. To me nothing feels and tastes better than a sweet fruit sorbet on a hot summer day. Every year I get excited all over again when summer rolls around so I can pick my way through all the seasonal fruits. The colors alone make me want to go wild in my kitchen and whip up whatever suits my fruit fancy at the moment Blueberry Bedazzler. A few days ago, my fruit infatuation was a sorbet (or a freeze as I call it) with some of my all time favorites: sweet peaches, tart raspberries, and beautiful strawberries. Oh and a hint of pomegranate.
To make the sorbet I cut and froze fresh fruit before using. Frozen fruits are a great way to incorporate more produce into your life and whip up a treat in no time. They add flavor and texture to smoothies and create gorgeous desserts like this in minutes. I feel confident nutritionally using frozen fruit because I think in some cases the quality can be better than fresh. As a rule when I can’t get fresh I use frozen. Studies have shown that (depending on the source of your frozen produce) very few nutrients if any are lost during the freezing process. Freezing also keeps the waste down. No more throwing away good produce.
Fresh produce can be severely compromised if it sits too long on the grocery shelf (thereby losing a good percentage of it’s nutritional values over time, especially Vitamin C and glucosinolates). Fresh produce is also compromised when exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations which can often occur during shipping. Exposure to extreme heat can remove both the enzymes and nutrients. Unless you use local or grow your own, it’s likely that your produce may have been compromised in one of these two ways. Frozen fruit is generally frozen right after harvesting but check with the vendor for detailed information. Make sure you use only organic frozen fruit for best results, flavor, and higher level of nutrients.
I decided to add a twist to this sorbet by including a few off-the-beaten-path ingredients like essential oil, sea salt, and balsamic vinegar. Essential oil makes regular appearances in my sweets as you may have noticed Elegant Whipped Lavender Berry Mousse Mango Coconut Cannoli, and sea salt adds a nice counter-bite that so many desserts need. But the balsamic vinegar was a new contender. I read somewhere about using it in frozen desserts and thought it would be a perfect addition to this mix. It was.
This sorbet can be made in a blender, food processor or sorbet/ice cream maker. It takes only a few minutes to blend or process and you are good to go. You don’t need an ice cream maker but you can use one if you want. I’ve turned more and more to using a food processor and blender for my frozen desserts because I find the prep involved for using the ice cream maker a little cumbersome. Having to remember to freeze the container beforehand and freezing the mixture at least an hour prior to processing just doesn’t seem to work for me. I never seem to have the two steps in alignment at the right time. Regardless, you be the judge because after all, whichever method works for you is the best one.
I garnished my colorful sorbet with dried pomegranate seeds for extra texture, flavor and nutrients. You can either purchase them ready made or dry them yourself. To dry them, place on a solid dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 115 degrees for at least 8 hours or until desired dryness is achieved. The longer you dehydrate the seeds, the drier and crunchier they will be. Adding the dried pomegranate seeds is purely optional but they sure did add a lot of extra zing. Can’t discount the added nutrients either.
This sorbet turned out to be one of the most unique sorbets I’ve ever had. The balsamic vinegar (with the sea salt) really made the fruit flavors pop, and created a sensation that can only be described as mildly pungent. But it’s so buried in the fruit that it never stands alone. It’s just there, teasing the taste buds with every bite. In addition to the dried pomegranate seeds I added sliced peaches and fresh raspberries. When all was said and done, I marveled at this beauty thinking how pure and simple it really was, and how gourmet it tasted. I need a lot more of this in my life.
I hope you will enjoy this easy and quick dessert; a fabulous sorbet that marches to a different drummer and keeps the pace quite beautifully.
This recipe is raw, dairy and nut-free, and serves 2 – 4 persons.
Blazing Peach Berry Balsamic Freeze
- To freeze fresh fruit, simply add to a sealed freezer-safe container or bag and place in freezer. It will keep up to 2 months. Make sure to pit, peel (such as avocado or banana), and slice or chop larger fruits before freezing. I prefer to freeze my own fruit but when it’s not available I purchase it already frozen.
- To make the dried pomegranate, place fresh pomegranate seeds on a solid dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate at 115 degrees for at least 8 hours or until desired dryness is achieved. The longer you dehydrate, the drier and crunchier they will be.
- 2 cups frozen chopped peaches
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1-2 tsp balsamic vinegar of choice
- 8-10 drops orange essential oil or few drops orange extract
- 1/4 tsp orange-flavored stevia (optional)
- 1/4 tsp fresh orange zest (optional)
- 2-4 Tbsp honey or other light sweetener to taste
- Add all fruit except the dried pomegranate seeds to a food processor.
- Process until smooth. This may take a few minutes. You can also partially thaw the frozen fruit for 20-30 minutes then blend in a blender until creamy.
- 1 Tbsp dried pomegranate seeds per serving
- fresh peach, mango or other fruit slices
- fresh raspberries or other berry of choice
- pinch of sea salt per serving
- Spoon sorbet into bowls.
- Garnish and enjoy.
- Yields about 4 cups.
- Can be stored frozen up to 2 months. Thaw for 10-15 minutes or until desired consistency is achieved before serving.