Frozen desserts have a lot of flavor but only a little fat

August 07, 1994|By Patsy Jamieson | Patsy Jamieson,Eating Well Magazine United Feature Syndicate

There is no sweeter summer moment than the one when you lift the lid from the canister of an old-fashioned ice cream maker, see the folds of frozen custard wrapped around the paddle, dip a finger in and taste the goodness of your homemade treat.

Technology has its own charms. I now enjoy the convenience of a little ice cream maker that requires only advance chilling of the canister. Yes, I still crank by hand, but the ice cream needs only intermittent stirring during the freezing period.

Although my recipes have changed as I have explored lighter fare, a formula for a truly rich-tasting low-fat ice cream eluded me until quite recently, when I discovered that Marshmallow Fluff -- basically a commercial version of an Italian meringue -- lends a velvety consistency without adding a gram of fat.

Frozen yogurts do not need this kind of make-over, however; they're inherently low in fat. Their quality depends almost entirely on the ripeness of the fruit used. Take advantage of fruit at the peak of the season, then freeze the surplus.

These treats are at their best the day they are made, but they can be stored in the freezer for up to four days.

Watermelon Ice

Makes about 1 quart; serves 6

6 cups watermelon chunks

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup sugar

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

In a food processor, puree watermelon with lemon juice. To remove seeds and fiber, force the puree through a fine sieve into a bowl. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together sugar and gelatin. Pour 1 cup boiling water over the sugar mixture, stirring to dissolve. Add to the reserved watermelon juice and mix well. Chill until cold, about 30 minutes. Pour into the canister of an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. (Alternatively, freeze the mixture in a shallow metal cake pan or ice cube trays until solid, about 6 hours. Break into chunks and process in a food processor until smooth.)

147 calories per serving; 2 grams protein, 1 gram fat, 36 grams carbohydrate; 5 milligrams sodium; 0 milligrams cholesterol.

Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

Makes about 1 quart; serves 6

3 pints raspberries

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/3 cups instant-dissolving sugar

1 cup plain nonfat yogurt

In a food processor, puree raspberries with lemon juice. To remove seeds, force the puree through a fine strainer into a bowl. Whisk in sugar and yogurt. If necessary, chill until cold.

Pour into the canister of an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. (Alternatively, freeze the mixture in a shallow metal cake pan until solid, about 6 hours. Break into chunks and process in a food processor.)

242 calories per serving; 3 grams protein, 1 gram fat, 60 grams carbohydrate; 30 milligrams sodium; 1 milligram cholesterol.

Chocolate Ice Cream

Makes about 1 quart; serves 6

This fudgy ice cream will satisfy any chocolate cravings, but contains only 5 grams of fat in a serving.

3 cups 1 percent milk

1/4 cup dark corn syrup

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 large egg yolks

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 ounce bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped

1 tablespoon coffee liqueur or strong brewed coffee

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups Marshmallow Fluff

In a large heavy saucepan, combine 2 1/2 cups milk, corn syrup and brown sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, until steaming.

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, whisk together egg yolks, cocoa, cornstarch and the remaining 1/2 cup cold milk until smooth.

Gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg-yolk mixture; then return to the pan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens, about 3 minutes. (Because the custard is thickened with cornstarch, it will not curdle when it boils.)

Remove from the heat, add chocolate, and stir until melted. Stir in coffee liqueur or brewed coffee and vanilla.

Transfer the custard to a large, clean bowl and place a piece of wax paper directly over the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Cool completely. Add Marshmallow Fluff and mix with a whisk until as smooth as possible. (The mixture will be a little lumpy; lumps will break down during stir-freezing.) Chill until cold.

Pour into the canister of an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

320 calories per serving; 7 grams protein, 5 grams fat, 64 grams carbohydrate; 96 milligrams sodium; 76 milligrams cholesterol.

Peach Ice Cream

Makes about 1 quart; serves 6

3 cups sliced peeled peaches (6-8 medium-sized peaches)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 cups Marshmallow Fluff

1 cup 1 percent milk

2 teaspoons amaretto or 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

In a food processor, puree peaches with lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl. Add Marshmallow Fluff and mix with a whisk until as smooth as possible. (The mixture will be a little lumpy; lumps will break down during stir-freezing.) Add milk and amaretto or almond extract and mix well. If necessary, chill until cold.

Pour into the canister of an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. If you plan to serve this ice cream directly from the ice cream maker, add an extra cup of chopped peaches to the mix just before stir-freezing.

235 calories per serving; 3 grams protein, 1 gram fat, 57 grams carbohydrate; 47 milligrams sodium; 2 milligrams cholesterol.

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