The first local strawberries just arrived at my grocery store! A few years ago, I might have have picked up a basket and headed straight home to make a big pie or a batch of shortcakes. And while I still enjoy the occasional rich treat, I'm making my strawberry desserts lighter and fresher these days. This week I'm offering up three of my favorite low-cal strawberry desserts.
Instant Strawberry Ice Cream
Makes a generous 3 cups, serving 6
You can serve this ice cream straight from the blender, soft-serve style, or put it in the freezer for a few minutes, to set. Instead of using heavy cream, I keep things light with evaporated milk, which offers all the benefits of cream with half the calories. And because evaporated milk is less rich, it allows the strawberry flavor to really shine. Although I haven't given up sugar, I'm using less of it. Here I sweeten the strawberries with agave, a natural sweetener with a low glycemic index, which prevents the usual sharp rise and fall in blood sugar. When strawberries aren't in season, simply buy frozen strawberries. Garnish this light, frozen treat with extra sliced strawberries if you like. If you don't want to use agave, substitute an equal amount of sugar.
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled, halved if large and frozen
- 1/2 cup agave
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk
Place berries in a blender and add the agave and the evaporated milk. Thoroughly blend on the highest setting, stopping and stirring the mixture 3 or 4 times to evenly process, so the ice cream is smooth with small bits of strawberries. Transfer to a shallow pan and freeze to a scoopable texture, for about 1 hour.
Sugared Strawberries With Greek Yogurt and Light Sour Cream
Ever since I spent time in Provence more than a dozen years ago, I've been making a version of Sugared Strawberries. In France they use fromage blanc (not common here) and crème fraîche (pretty pricey here). This recipe with Greek yogurt and light sour cream is an affordable and equally irresistible dessert. Using light sour cream (only 35 calories in the 2 tablespoons called for in each serving) adds just the right amount of richness, still bringing this luxurious dessert in under the 200-calorie mark. The mound of Greek yogurt with the sour cream drizzle is meant to look like a snow-capped mountain. Remember to sprinkle the sugar on this dessert at the last minute. You don't want it to dissolve before serving.
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 2 cups nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup light sour cream, thinned with 3 tablespoons water
Sprinkle the strawberries with 1 tablespoon of sugar in a medium bowl; let stand until the sugar dissolves and forms a light syrup, for about 30 minutes. When ready to serve, spoon a portion of strawberries on each of 4 dessert plates. Top with a mound of Greek yogurt, drizzle with a portion of thinned sour cream and sprinkle generously with sugar. Serve immediately.
Makes about 2 dozen
Unlike chocolate-dipped strawberries that must be eaten relatively quickly, these Chocolate Stuffed Strawberries use a fudgy chocolate sauce that can be refrigerated, so at a moment's notice you can easily fill a few fresh strawberries. For a big party it's easy to double the recipe — use 4 ounces of chocolate, a full can of sweetened condensed milk (not to be confused with evaporated milk) and 4 dozen strawberries.
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
- 1/2 can (about 2/3 cup) sweetened condensed milk
- 2 dozen strawberries, stems on and tip ends up, quartered lengthwise almost all the way through
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave on high power for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Whisk the chocolate into the condensed milk and refrigerate until set, for about 1 hour. When ready to serve, place prepared strawberries on a serving platter. Place the chocolate in a piping bag or a 1-quart freezer bag with the bag tip snipped. Pipe a portion of chocolate into each strawberry. Serve, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
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