Every Fourth of July my family loves to pack a cooler, blanket and some glow-in-the-dark bracelets and head down to the community park to delight in a spectacular fireworks show.
To end our picnic dinner, nothing refreshes like this satisfying Italian Ice recipe, made with fresh local fruit and served in individual containers. Or, blend into fresh fruit freezes and serve alongside your meal.
It's so easy, even the kids can make it on their own. No ice cream maker is needed-just prepare ahead, pack some red, white and blue spoons and you'll have an explosion of flavor to end your meal.
Strawberry Italian Ice
makes 4 cups
3 cups of fresh strawberries, halved (I like locally grown organic berries for the best flavor)
2 T. sugar
2 T. honey
1 T. fresh lemon juice
Step 1: Blend the fruit, sugar, honey and lemon juice with 2 cups of ice in a food processor or blender until chunky. Add another 1 cup of ice and blend until completely smooth.
Step 2: Pour the mixture into a shallow baking dish and freeze 30 minutes.
Step 3: Scrape the ice with a fork until slush, then freeze until firm, about 2 more hours.
Step 4: Scoop into individual plastic containers, cover and freeze again. Keep frozen until ready to eat.
For fruit freeze drinks:
After step 1, blend in 1 cup milk with fruit mixture, then freeze. When ready to serve, take out of freezer, let thaw approximately 1 hour, then blend in mixer with 2 cups of ice. Pour into glasses and serve.