THE BIG CHILL…


 I really love the summer, but as the days get longer with clear blue skies and long, hot, sticky nights, the intense heat can sometimes be a little too much to bear. At times like these we need to find some refreshing, delicious ways to us cool down and a frozen ice cream is very tempting and often hits the point. The truth is whether you’re 8 or 80, you’re always the perfect age to enjoy a lovely ice lolly but if you take just a little time to make them yourselves at home, they can also be a healthy, thirst-quenching snack.


There are endless possibilities and you can pack them full of your favourite fruits, or make them creamier with the addition of coconut milk or low fat yoghurt. If you’re feeling a little bit devilish, why not pop some alcohol into them for an adults-only treat at the end of a hot summer’s day?

Preparing these ice creams is the easiest thing in the world and all you’ll need is some Popsicle moulds, a few sticks, and a blender. You can be as creative as you want and try different flavour combinations and you can also freeze savoury favourites such as gazpacho!  Try these three, simple recipes at home and then experiment for yourselves and chill!
 

Orange, mango & cardamom popsicles dipped in white chocolate

Prep time: 15 minutes, plus freezing

Ingredients                        makes 10

Juice of 4 oranges
1tbsp icing sugar
1 ripe mango
4 cardamom pods
250g white chocolate

Bring the orange juice, icing sugar and cardamom pods to the boil in a saucepan and reduce by half. Pass through a sieve and leave to cool.
Peel the mango and remove the flesh from the stone. Blend with the orange juice until smooth. Freeze in Popsicle moulds. After one hour add the sticks and freeze until solid or overnight.
Place the white chocolate in a medium bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water; making sure the bottom of the pan does not touch the water. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Dip the end of each popsicle in the white chocolate. Transfer immediately back to the freezer until ready to serve.


Cucumber, kiwi & lime with fresh mint

Prep time: 10 minutes, plus freezing

Ingredients             makes 8
1 cucumber, deseeded & diced
Juice of 2 limes
3 kiwis, peeled & diced
6-8 mint leaves 
250ml water 

Place the cucumber, kiwis, mint leaves, lime juice and water in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into sections of a lolly mould tray or into individual lolly moulds. Add the sticks or lids and freeze overnight until firm. Run the moulds under hot water to loosen the lollies, and then remove from the moulds. Serve immediately. 

Strawberry, watermelon & basil popsicles

Prep time: 15 minutes, plus freezing

Ingredients                        makes 12

250g fresh strawberries
1tbsp icing sugar
250g watermelon, peeled & diced
Juice of 1 lime
4 fresh basil leaves

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Freeze in Popsicle moulds. After one hour add the sticks and freeze until solid or overnight.

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