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Well and Good: Keep Your Cool, the FRESH and Healthy Way!

With summer approaching, we all know that the extreme Texas heat is headed our way. Here at FRESH, we’re ready for the dog days of summer – and we have a couple great ideas on how to keep things cool while satisfying your sense of culinary adventure:

Granita.

If you’ve never tried granita, now’s the time! Similar to sorbet, granita has a flaky, coarse texture. It’s made by pouring a sugar and fruit (or coffee!) base into a shallow dish. The mixture is frozen and occasionally flaked with a fork. Granita is a great treat for summer, and it’s easy to make at home. If you’re thinking of trying it, we’ve got a FRESH recipe for you!

FRESH Strawberry Granita

1 cup hot water
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 cups sliced, hulled strawberries (1 lb whole berries) plus additional berries for garnish

Stir first 3 ingredients in small bowl until sugar dissolves. Blend 3 cups strawberries in processor until smooth. Add sugar syrup and blend until combined.

Pour mixture into 13x9x2-inch nonstick metal baking pan. Freeze until icy around edges, about 25 minutes. Using fork, stir icy portions into middle of pan. Freeze until mixture is frozen, stirring edges into center every 20 to 30 minutes, about 1 1/2 hours. Using fork, scrape granita into flaky crystals. Cover tightly and freeze. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep frozen.) Scrape granita into bowls. Garnish with berries and serve.

Gelato.

Even if you can’t make it to FRESH every week, chances are you’ve tried our gelato. With flavors like tiramisu and cookies & cream, it’s hard to resist this frozen treat! Because gelato is made with more milk (and less cream), it’s a healthier option than ice cream. The great news is that the freezing process reduces ice crystals and produces a smooth, creamy treat for you to enjoy! Dairy not your friend? No problem! Try our great variety of sorbet, which is gelato made without milk. You’ll be amazed at the smooth and creamy texture of this dairy-free delicacy. Want to make it at home? Here’s a recipe to try:

Chocolate-Hazelnut Gelato

2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup
4 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella)
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, crushed, for garnish

In a saucepan combine the milk, cream, and 1/2 cup sugar over medium heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whip the egg yolks with the remaining sugar using an electric mixer until the eggs have become thick and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Pour 1/2 cup of the warm milk and cream mixture into the egg mixture and stir. Add this mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Place a strainer over a medium bowl and pour the warm custard mixture through the strainer. Stir in the vanilla and hazelnut spread until it dissolves. Chill mixture completely before pouring into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions to freeze. To serve, scoop gelato into serving bowls and top with hazelnuts.

FRESH substitution: If you’re aiming for dairy-free, swap out all the dairy in this recipe for mimic crème.