Homemade sorbet: healthy and refreshing

The best recipes and the explanation of the difference between sorbet and ice cream

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By Alex

Sorbet is a healthy and tasty alternative to ice cream, a light dessert with remarkable refreshing effectiveness. Usually served in the middle or end of a meal, it is a medium-calorie food that is also popular with children. Many tend to confuse it with ice cream or gelato, but it’s a totally different product, as we will see.

What is sorbet?

Sorbet can be considered the forerunner of ice cream. It is a cold dessert prepared with fruit purée or fruit juice and sweetener (commonly sugar, but liquors and syrup may also be used).

During summertime, it is a tasty way to end meals due to its remarkable refreshing and thirst-quenching effectiveness. Sorbets can also be a good alternative to ice cream for those who are intolerant to lactose or gluten.

This dessert is fat-free and medium-calorie. Sorbets (and popsicles) are definitely less caloric than ice cream. In fact, sorbets lack the fat component that in ice cream is usually given by the presence of milk, cream or eggs. Therefore, sorbet is less creamy and generally has a more icy texture than ice cream: it is colder (and for some even more refreshing!) on the palate.

Sorbet how to make it

This cool dessert can also be easily prepared at home. Unlike ice cream, in sorbets you do not need to use ingredients such as ice cream maker to be able to make it at home.

Sorbet preparation

Sorbets can be prepared with a base of sugar syrup and fresh, ripe fruit, preferably seasonal products. Let’s look at the preparation steps:

  • Pour sugar (200 ml) with water (500 ml) into a saucepan and let it melt over a very low flame.
  • After making this syrup, you add the juice or pulp of the fruit that you intend to use for the preparation of sorbets.
  • The mixture thus obtained should be poured into ice containers and allowed to rest in the freezer for about 12 hours.
  • Once the necessary time has elapsed, the cubes should be removed from the freezer and placed in the glass of the food processor.
  • After blending everything at maximum speed, you can serve the homemade sorbets.

Sorbet made with juice extractor

Sorbets can also be prepared by using the juice extractor. In this case, you can choose to freeze the fruit to be used or use juice cubes previously frozen in the freezer.

Fruit sorbet

Although fortified wines can also be used, fruit remains the ingredient of choice for making these fresh desserts.

Lemon sorbet

Lemon is a traditional and popular ingredient for making sorbets because of its refreshing and thirst-quenching taste.

lemon sorbet
Traditional lemon sorbet: it can also be easily made at home using fresh fruit.

Strawberry sorbet

Like lemon, strawberry is also a popular ingredient in making these cold desserts. Due to its texture, it makes for a creamy and consistent as well as refreshing dessert.

Melon Sorbet

A tasty and very summery variant – also increasingly in vogue in restaurants – is one made with melon.

Peach Sorbet

Peach is also an excellent option for making thirst-quenching and tasty sorbets during the summer season.

Cherry sorbet

Cherries are an excellent summer fruit for making tasty sorbets. This choice requires some patience because you clearly have to pit the cherries one by one.

Sorbet can be made with various types of fresh fruit.

Sorbet in pregnancy

Ice creams and sorbets are not usually contraindicated in pregnancy. However, occasional consumption of them and in small quantities is recommended. A different matter, however, should be made in the case of women suffering from gestational diabetes. In that circumstance, the intake of these sugar-rich foods is not recommended.

Sorbet for children

Fruit-based sorbets usually represent a child-friendly and popular dessert. You can also choose to prepare a less sugar-rich version, which is also ideal for younger children. Better then to opt for more sugary fruit (for example peach, cherry or watermelon) while avoiding, for example, the more sour taste of lemon.

Sorbet when to serve it

This refreshing dessert should be served in the middle of a hearty meal to take advantage of its digestive effect between courses. In particular, it is well suited after fattier meat or fish courses.

More often, however, sorbets are served at the end of a meal to refresh the palate and aid the digestive process.

It is also ideal for a refreshing break or as a snack to find relief from the heat.

Differences with ice cream and gelato

While ice cream has the highest milk fat content of any frozen dessert (between 14 and 25 percent) and gelato has a slightly lower milk fat content (between 4 and 9 percent), sorbet is an entirely dairy-free product. Yes, it’s also vegan!

Bonus tips

Find out more summer recipes here: