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July 22, 2019
This is about...
Watermelon, Strawberry and Banana Sherbet---YUM!
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        BABY IT'S HOT OUTSIDE! We've had day after day of really hot weather here in the northeast. So I'm always looking for something really cold to cool me down. Once I've had my fill of slices of cool watermelon or lemon or limeades, I start playing around.
        IT MAY SOUND A LITTLE UNORTHODOX, BUT ONE OF MY FAVORITE FRUIT COMBINATIONS IS WATERMELON, STRAWBERRIES AND BANANAS. It's refreshing, sweet and the bananas add a little extra texture and substance. This sherbet, which is somewhere between an ice and ice cream is a yummy take on that combo. AND, IT'S SO EASY TO MAKE---NO LUGGING OUT THE DREADED ICE CREAM MACHINE lurking in my cellar, that I never want to drag upstairs and plug in.
        Lately, it seems like I'm not the only one with an ice cream machine aversion. There are a lot of "no churn" ice creams out there right now. But, they all use sweetened condensed milk to give it it's smooth consistency. I'M NOT A FAN OF THE STUFF, SO I'VE SUBBED IN COCONUT CREAM. If you're not familiar, you place a can of full fat coconut milk (not coco lopez)in the fridge overnight, and the cream will rise to the top and harden. It's a simple matter from there to scoop out the solid cream.
        So, here's a fruity, creamy concoction that requires just your standard food processor, and is "accidentally" vegan too! You simply freeze the fruit and blend it up in the food processor with some of that coconut cream, a little lime juice, and a touch of sweetener and vanilla. Pop it back in the freezer and you're good to go.
        IT DOES TAKE A LITTLE ADVANCE PREP. The night before, put a can of coconut milk in the fridge to harden, and cut up and freeze the fruit. The next day or whenever a heat wave hits, you'll be ready to blend up a cool, sweet treat. Oh one last thing, I always like to serve it with some of the fresh cut fruit. YUM!

LESSONS Learned:
1. If you have the space in your freezer, you can spread the cut up watermelon and strawberries on sheet pans and freeze. I don't have that kind of space, so I just place the pieces in lidded containers. Just don't pack them in, and they'll be easy to break up.
2. Limes are sometimes hard to squeeze. Pop them in the microwave for 10-12 seconds and they'll be easier to juice. Lemon juice is a yummy option too.
3. If the fruit is very sweet, you may not need any sweetener at all. Taste first, and then add it if needed.
4. I use 1/2 cup of the coconut cream. To make it creamier you could add more coconut cream or use less fruit.
5. It's best to store the sherbet in small containers, from 1-2 cups, so it will take less time to soften and scoop.

Watermelon, Strawberry and Banana SHERBET

1/2 of a small seedless watermelon, 6 cups of 1 1/2" chunks
2 cups strawberries, 1o ounces
1 large, ripe banana
1/2-1 cup coconut cream from a 13.5 oz can of full fat coconut milk, such as Thai Kitchen or Native Forest
1/3 cup lime
1-2 packets stevia, or 1-3 Tablespoons honey or sugar, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
extra watermelon, strawberries and banana for garnish

Make the sherbet:
        The night before, freeze the cut up watermelon and strawberries on sheet pans or in large lidded containers. Place the can of coconut milk in the fridge as well.
        The next day or up to 2 weeks later, add all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. You may need to do this in batches. Taste for sweetness and add sweetener if needed. Place in small containers (1-2 cups) or ice pop molds and freeze. If using the pop molds, push a few pieces of the fresh fruit into the molds too. Freeze for 4 hours or overnight. If serving by the scoop, leave the container out at room temperature for 20-30 minutes to soften.
        Serve with fresh watermelon chunks, sliced strawberries and bananas.

Makes about 6 cups or 12 servings. YUM!
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