Education (July 2011)

Easy Summer Sorbet

 With all of the organic, locally grown ingredients available throughout the Hudson Valley, summer is a great time to get kids in the kitchen and teach them the benefits of cooking and eating fresh, local ingredients. One easy dish that is sure to get kids excited about cooking is homemade Strawberry Vanilla Sorbet. In addition to being easy to make, not to mention delicious, it is a great warm weather treat for children who have dairy allergies and aren’t able to enjoy ice cream.

To make Strawberry Vanilla Sorbet, you will need:

• 1 quart fresh strawberries

• 1/2 of a vanilla bean

• A vegan simple syrup (1/2 cup water + 1/2 cup vegan sugar)

• 1/2 cup water


1 Wash and de-stem the strawberries. For a fun family

outing, visit a local berry farm to pick fresh strawberries. If you can’t go strawberry picking, consider picking up the berries at your local farmers market.

2 Once the berries are washed and de-stemmed – a great project for the littlest members of the family – freeze the strawberries in a single layer bag for an hour or until the berries are almost completely firm.

3 While the berries are freezing, split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the inside out with a child-safe knife or spoon and set aside.

4 Then, make the simple syrup by combining 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup vegan sugar in a small, heavy-duty sauce pan and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring frequently, until all sugar has dissolved and mixture thickens to a syrup-like consistency. Remove from burner and cool the syrup for half an hour in the refrigerator.

5 Once the strawberries have frozen and the simple syrup is cooled, it is time to blend the ingredients into a velvety, smooth sorbet. Place the strawberries, vanilla, simple syrup and 1/2 cup of water in a blender, secure the lid and puree until smooth.

6 Once the mixture reaches a smooth consistency, it is ready to serve. For an added treat and burst of flavor, top with fresh local berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or blackberries. Any leftovers can be kept in the freezer and should be stored in an airtight container for up to a month.

Tom Donnelly is executive chef at O2Living (www.o2living.me), a natural lifestyle and wellness community in Cross River. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @o2chef.