June 10, 2011

Basil Sorbet: An Experiment

I'm on a health kick. 
I bet eating fresh vegetables out of the garden, the added vitamin D from the sun, and longer days has something to do with it. 
I try to avoid sugar and use alternatives that are lower on the glycemic index. This coming from the girl who used to have a candy drawer growing up. 

Agave nectar is my go-to right now. Here are some things to know about agave nectar:

  • Agave nectar is derived from the Agave Cactus, and comes in the form of a syrup that you can buy in the natural food section in your super market. 
  • Agave nectar is actually a bit sweeter than sugar!
  • Agave nectar has a glycemic index of around 29 (considered low), honey has a GI of 58 (medium), table sugar has a GI of 80 (considered high)
  • Foods with a higher GI are more likely to store glucose as fat rather than as fuel. A high release of insulin can result in a drop in blood sugar, causing you to become hungry.
  • There are 20 calories per tsp. 

I decided to try making sorbet with agave nectar instead of sugar. And since I have an abundant amount of basil leaves from trimming them yesterday, I made three types of sorbet, all with basil.

Here are the flavors I made:

Lime Basil Sorbet

Grapefruit Basil Sorbet

Strawberry Basil Sorbet

I will share with you my recipe for each. Please just use this as a start because you can simply taste the juice as you go to see what you want to add more of! Here are the basic instructions for making sorbet:

1. Put all ingredients into a blender or Cuisinart (ingredients for each are listed below)

2. Blend really well, nobody likes chunks of basil in their sorbet.
3. Transfer to your ice cream maker and follow the instructions from the manufacturer. If you don't have an ice cream maker, keep reading!
4. Place the mixture into a container and then into the freezer for four hours. Once the mixture starts to freeze,  mix it up a bit with a fork so it doesn't become one big ice cube.

5. Finish freezing the mixture, this usually takes about 12 more hours.
6. When you are ready to serve, place the frozen mixture into the blender/cuisinart and blend. This will give it that "sorbet" texture.
Makes 1-2 servings.

Lime Basil:
1/4 c. lime juice
Zest from half of lime
1/2 c. basil chopped
1/2 c. of water
1/4 c. agave syrup (I used the darker agave syrup)
1/2 tsp salt

Strawberry Basil
2 c. of strawberries chopped
1/2 c. of chopped basil
1/2 t salt
1/4 c. Agave syrup (you could use less if your strawberries are fresh from the garden)
1/2 c. of water
a dash of lime zest

Grapefruit Basil
Juice from one grapefruit
1/2 c. of water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c. of Agave syrup
1/4 c. of basil

I had some taste testers over and we all agreed, the grapefruit basil was the best! 

I'm also growing Stevia, which is a natural sweetener that is 200 times sweeter than sugar and has a Glycemic Index of less than 1!

I hope you have a nice weekend!
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