We all scream for ice cream

As the weather heats up in the Northwest, it's time for this yummy treat

I love the saying “everything old is new again,” and I think it really applies to food. I am constantly amazed when food magazines showcase recipes or techniques that my grandmother taught me years ago. If you check, many of these new foods and ideas are very similar to those in the “Joy of Cooking” or one of Julia Child’s cookbooks.

Homemade ice-cream makers fall into this category. I remember, when I was a little girl, my grandmother made the most wonderful sorbets, sherbets and ice cream.

My Nana lived in a tiny apartment and didn’t have much room, but she made wonderful frozen treats, right in her tiny freezer compartment. It was just big enough for three ice cube trays. No electric machine, no hand-cranked bucket with rock salt. The tools she used were simple – a fork and an ice cube tray and the technique of “still-freezing.”

Although it is now trendy for a restaurant to serve you sorbet between courses, this tradition has been around for a long time. The Chinese, Mongols and Romans all had frozen treats long before freezers existed.

Julia Child also loved this tradition. Below is her ice cream recipe, perfect to cool you down on a hot summer day. Fresh fruit is the secret here. Unlike most manufactured ice creams, this one doesn’t have stabilizers or emulsifiers to preserve it, so it won’t hold long. You can also try Nana’s Fruit Ice to cleanse your palate between or after meals.

Julia Child’s Easy Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen fruit

1/4-1/2 cup sugar

1 cup whipping cream

Hull berries or pit peaches, then slice fruit. Freeze until very hard. Do not thaw. Break into large chunks. Add fruit and whipping cream in food processor, mixer or blender. (If using a mixer, make the pieces smaller.) Beat until mixture is thick and fluffy. Serve right away. Makes 4 servings.

Calories: 272

Carbs: 22g

Fat: 24g

Sodium: 20 mg

Nana’s Fruit Ice

2 cups sugar

4 cups water or tea

2-3 large lemons, limes or oranges

Grate 2 teaspoons of fruit peel. Add to saucepan with sugar and water. (Or use fruit-flavored ice tea or green tea instead of water.) Boil for 5 minutes. Squeeze fruit to get 3/4 cup juice and add to saucepan. (You can also substitute other juices, like pomegranate, cherry, apricot or strained berry juices.)

To still-freeze, put mix in a metal ice cube tray or flat cake pan in the freezer. Cover with foil. When slushy, stir with a fork, working from the front to the back of the tray. This reduces the size of the ice crystals. Do this 2 or 3 times, or every half hour or so. Move from freezer to refrigerator 20 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Calories: 195

Carbohydrates: 49g

Fat: 0g

Sodium: 5mg

The information in this column is meant for people who want to keep their kidneys healthy and blood pressure down by following a low-sodium diet. In most cases, except for dialysis patients, a diet high in potassium is thought to help lower high blood pressure. These recipes are not intended for people on dialysis without the supervision of a registered dietitian.

[Katy G. Wilkens is a registered dietitian and department head at Northwest Kidney Centers. The 2013 recipient of National Kidney Foundation Council on Renal Nutrition’s Susan Knapp Excellence in Education Award, she has a Master of Science degree in nutritional sciences from the University of Washington. See more of her recipes at www.nwkidney.org.]

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