Strawberries are one of the summer’s greatest gifts! Sweet, fresh strawberries are available at farmer’s markets, roadside stands, pick-your-own farms, and the grocery store. Although I have made more than my share of strawberry pies and desserts, I can’t help but bring more home when they look so good.
Unfortunately, as the novelty wears off, they just aren’t getting eaten as fast as they should be, and I found myself looking at an untouched container I bought a few days ago. Time to make a decision! What’s it going to be? As I mentioned, I’ve already exhausted my stand-by recipes. Then it hit me, in the same way, the Florida heat and humidity hit me when I went out at lunchtime, it was time to make something cold and refreshing out these beautiful berries. Time for strawberry sorbet! I adore making sorbet. The recipe I’ve developed over the years is easy/peasy, nothing fancy or fussy! It’s also naturally dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan.
As strawberries are low in carbs and high in fiber, they fit seamlessly into a low-carb diet. If you (like me) choose to use Splenda or Stevia instead of sugar or honey (which is strictly a personal choice – all work in this simple recipe), it is also a keto-friendly dessert.
If you want fancy or fussy, there are lots of complicated recipes with lots of ingredients and steps which, in all fairness, will produce a very creamy and sophisticated sorbet. Some of these so-called sorbet recipes contain dairy (often sweetened condensed milk), which technically makes it sherbet, not sorbet. If you were wondering, the definition of sorbet is a dairy-free frozen dessert made from fruit juice and sugar. Sherbet contains a small amount of cream or milk, giving it a creamier, richer texture.
I’m not into any of that. I just want something cold and refreshing on a hot day using minimal ingredients and can be made in minutes. My sorbet isn’t going to win any culinary prizes, but it can’t be beat for pure fruit taste in an icy consistency. It all starts with frozen strawberries. In using fresh berries, give them a thorough wash to remove any pesticides (or better yet, buy organic). Dry the berries and then hull them. I use a handy-dandy strawberry huller, which makes easy work out of a pound of strawberries. If you don’t have such a gadget (under $10 on Amazon), just use a sharp knife to remove the stem and center core. If you are in a hurry or aren’t bothered, just cut off the green tops. (No stress!) Use paper towels to pat dry, place them in a ziplock bag, and pop in the freezer for a few hours or overnight. If you want really easy sorbet, just buy frozen strawberries.
When you remove the strawberries from the freezer, check to see how solid they froze. My strawberries froze like ice cubes! They were hard as rocks. I bring this up because most home blenders and food processors caution against crushing ice – which is practically what we’re doing, and we don’t want to wreck our equipment! If the strawberries froze super hard, like mine, let them sit out for a few minutes to slightly soften. You don’t want them to thaw – but they need to have a little give. This is also where the warm water comes into play. If your blender or processor is stalling out, add a splash of the warm water to “loosen” the berries. I used the entire quarter cup of warm water for this batch. I’ve made it before when I only needed just a little.
Oh, now’s a good time to mention that I found no difference in using a blender or a food processor. I have both, and I’ve used both for this recipe. This time, I used my blender. It is no harder or easier. Either works just as well. With either device, I found that the “Pulse” function works best. It takes a little patience to go from strawberry “ice cubes” to a smooth frozen consistency. At first, you think, “no way.” Just keep at it. Use a spatula to move the mixture around and redistribute the hard chunks until it all, magically, becomes blended. Now is the time to add your choice of a sweetener and splash of citrus juice. I suggest doing a little taste test before adding the sweetener. I’ve had berries that were so naturally sweet, I cut the amount of sweetener in half.
The lemon or lime juice brightens up the flavor and keeps the color vibrant. Freshly squeezed juice does taste better, but bottled lemon or lime juice works just fine. If you are going with fresh, before juicing, zest the fruit. Zhoosh up your sorbet by making Strawberry/Lime or Strawberry/Lemon by adding in the zest.
The sorbet is ready to serve straight from the blender or food processor. It will have a softer consistency when served immediately. If you prefer a firmer texture, transfer to a freezer-safe plastic container for an hour or so. If you leave the sorbet in the freezer for more than a couple of hours, it will freeze solid and require a few minutes at room temp to soften enough to scoop. If you want to make it pretty, garnish with a couple of fresh berries and/or thinly sliced lemon or lime.
Simple Strawberry SorbetCourse: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Made in minutes with frozen fresh strawberries, this sweet and light frozen treat is dairy-free, gluten-free, keto-friendly, and vegan! This easy, icy, healthy dessert is chockful of Vitamin C and Potassium. Perfect for a hot summer day!
1 lb (approx. 3 cup) fresh or frozen strawberries
2 tablespoons honey, sugar or artificial sweetener⠀
1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup warm water, as needed
Optional garnish: Fresh strawberries, lemon or lime slices
- In a heavy-duty blender or food processor, blend the frozen strawberries until smooth. Add the warm water, as necessary to loosen the strawberries. Use a spatula to redistribute the mixture as needed.
- Taste when smooth and your choice of sweetener, as needed, for sweetness.
- Serve immediately for a softer texture, or transfer into a freezer-safe container and freeze for 1-2 hours or until firm. (After a few hours, the mixture will freeze solid and may need to be set out for a few minutes to soften before it can be scooped) . If desired, garnish with fresh berries and lemon or lime slices.
- Strawberries: If your fresh strawberries freeze rock hard – like ice cubes, which is not advisable for most home blenders and food processors – allow them to slightly thaw. Use the warm water, as needed, if the mixture seizes up and becomes solid.
- Tip: Using the pulse feature on your blender or food processor helps keep the mixture loose, but it will still require the use of a spatula to manually redistribute.
- Lemon or Lime Juice: Fresh is always best but bottled juice can also be used
- Serving: Sorbet will be ready to eat immediately after blending. It will become firm within an hour or so in the freezer. If frozen for more than two hours, the mixture will freeze solid, and require a few minutes at room temperature for it to become pliable enough to scoop.
- Zhoosh: For added citrus flavor, mix in the zest of one lemon or lime