As temperatures continue to rise, there is nothing like a cold treat to keep the heat at bay. As we approach the long Fourth of July weekend, I’d like to share a few recipes that are healthy and easy to make, while being deliciously cool!

Fruit yogurt is a healthy addition to your diet year-round, but especially in summer. Here are some fruit yogurts you can make at home.

Frozen Fruit Yogurt Dessert

Ingredients

1 cup fresh frozen fruit

1 banana

1 tablespoon kirsch or maraschino cherry juice

Place fruit in blender and puree. Add kirsch or cherry juice and blend. Pour into dishes and serve.

Makes 4 servings

Frozen Peach Yogurt

Ingredients

1 cup sliced ripe peaches

1/3 cup sugar or sugar substitute

Dash of salt

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

1 ½ cups plain yogurt

Puree peaches in blender or food processor, then mix with sugar or sugar substitute, salt and almond extract. Stir in yogurt and then pour into a tray with a lid; cover and freeze for 2 hours. Remove 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Makes 3-4 servings

Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles

Ingredients

6 wooden sticks

6 waxed paper cups

1 cup sliced strawberries

2 cups plain yogurt

1/4 cup honey

Combine strawberries, yogurt and honey in a bowl. Spoon mixture into paper cups and freeze for 20 minutes. Add sticks and freeze until firm. Peel off cups before serving.

Makes 6 servings

Orange Yogurt Freezer Pops

Ingredients

2 cups plain yogurt

3/4 cup defrosted frozen orange juice concentrate

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

7 popsicle sticks, if molds do not have handles

Freezer pop molds

Mix yogurt, orange juice concentrate and vanilla in a bowl. Fill freezer pop molds. Insert a stick in each mold if necessary. Freeze for at least 4 hours.

Makes 7 popsicles

Your Favorite Fruit Frozen Yogurt

Ingredients

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup cold water

2 cups sugar or sugar substitute

6 cups plain yogurt

2⅓ cups of your favorite fresh fruit

Place gelatin in a saucepan. Add water and cook over low heat until dissolved. Combine sugar, yogurt, dissolved gelatin and fruit and mix. Pour into an ice cream box or tray and freeze.

Makes 2 ½ quarts

Summer and winter, I love the refreshing taste of iced coffee. Here are some of my favorite coffee desserts to have at home.

My Frozen Coffee Almond Whip

Ingredients

3/4 cup whipped cream

4 teaspoons Amaretto or almond extract

2 sliced bananas

2 teaspoons coffee

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut

Grated chocolate

In a mixing bowl, combine whipped cream, Amaretto or almond extract, bananas, coffee, vanilla and coconut. Pour into serving dishes or a freezer tray and freeze. Sprinkle grated chocolate on top before serving.

Makes 6 servings

My Tortoni

Ingredients

1 egg white

1/2 cup unsweetened whipping cream

1 ⅛ cups sweetened whipped cream

1 ½ teaspoons instant coffee

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

2 ½ tablespoons slivered almonds

Beat egg white until foamy. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar or sugar substitute. Beat until peaks form. Add unsweetened whipping cream, 2 tablespoons of sugar, coffee, vanilla and almond extract. Beat until stiff. Add 1½ tablespoon of almonds. Spoon into baking cups. Sprinkle remaining almonds on top and freeze.

Makes 4 servings

Frozen Mocha Parfait

Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute

3 tablespoons coffee

3 egg yolks

7/8 cup chocolate

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup whipping cream

Cinnamon

Place sugar or sugar substitute and coffee in a saucepan and cook 5 minutes. Beat egg yolks until stiff and add to coffee syrup. Melt chocolate and add to coffee mixture and cool. Add vanilla and whipping cream. Pour into a freezer tray and freeze. To serve, spoon into parfait glasses and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Makes 4 servings

Desserts aren’t the only cool treats you can make in the summer. Sure, there are salads, but here are some of my favorite cold soups.

Gazpacho

Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute

12 small or 16 cherry tomatoes

6 kirby cucumbers

2 small onions

2 green peppers

2 red peppers

2 garlic cloves

4 cups tomato juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

6 ribs celery

Salt and pepper to taste

Place half of the tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, garlic, tomato juice, oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, parsley and celery in a food processor or blender and blend. Pour into a large jar. Place remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend. Add to jar and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 8 servings

Mom’s Beet Borscht

Ingredients

1/2 teaspoon sour salt or

1 - 1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar

4 cups water

2 cups grated beets

1 egg yolk

In a saucepan, bring to a boil sour salt, lemon juice, salt, sugar and water. Add beets and boil 10 minutes. Heat egg yolk with a little cold water and add slowly to soup. Cool and serve.

Makes 3-4 servings

Cold Cucumber and Spinach Soup

Ingredients

1 tablespoon margarine or oil

2/3 bunch chopped scallions

2 diced cucumbers

2 cups pareve chicken soup

1/3 pound cleaned spinach

1/3 cup sugar-free whipping cream

3 tablespoons non-dairy creamer

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Melt margarine or heat oil in a soup pot. Cook scallions until tender. Add cucumbers and sautee 5 minutes. Add chicken soup and bring to a boil. Simmer 15 minutes. Add spinach and cook 4-5 minutes. Add whipping cream and non-dairy creamer. Cool. Puree in food processor. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper. Chill. To serve, pour into bowls and garnish with sliced cucumbers, radishes or scallions.

Makes 4 servings. JN

Sybil Kaplan, the author of nine kosher cookbooks, is a Jerusalem-based lecturer and journalist who leads weekly walks in Jerusalem’s Machaneh Yehudah market. She and her photographer-husband also write about Jerusalem’s kosher restaurants for Janglo.net.

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